As I’ve expressed before, I am in true admiration of the beautiful feminine image, whether it’s of a cis-gender woman or my fellow trans/CD sisters, and whether they’re dressing to the nines or posing in casual fare. I also admire our trans community’s collective efforts to enlighten the cis-gender community of the fact that we are wonderful human beings who should not be shunned out of fear.
Admittedly, I don’t fancy myself to be the most glamorous woman on the internet, and I don’t think I’m as articulate as most when it comes to standing up for trans rights. But at least I know I try to be beautiful, and I do make a stand for trans people. And I take pride in doing both while striving to be a positive representation of the CD/trans community. That means not presenting myself in a risque situation, i.e. no nudity and not showing the *ahem* junk that’s in my trunk.
I bring all this up because this morning I saw a few unfortunate images on Flickr that I’m trying to scrub out of my mind. On Flickr, and other online platforms for that matter (social or otherwise), images appear of crossdressers willingly reveling in rather tawdry situations, including showing a bit of barely-there underwear, quite a lot of skin, and even exposed pictures of the… *ahem* [pointing toward the “down there” region]. These are images that leave me not only turned off but scratching my head and wondering, why would they want do to that?
The unfortunate pictures and videos I saw on Twitter this morning all came from the very same account, featuring the same person who posted those images. And they almost all featured the same setup: A male-to-female crossdresser of relatively good muscle tone, posing in nothing but a bikini top, while taking their smartphone and… uh, leaning it up against the fully exposed… *ahem* [pointing toward the “down there” region]. Yeah, it made my skin crawl in a not-so-welcome way. Ugh!
I make mention of this particular crossdresser using her smartphone… uh, [pointing toward the “down there” region] because of what was appearing on the phone’s screen. Displayed on that screen was a clear picture of a man she refers to as her transphobic brother, whom she also identifies by name, age, and location. It was self-evident from her photos and actions that she was not trying to build bridges with her brother, nor trying to enlighten him about the trans community. No, she was in no uncertain terms telling her brother to go… well, *ahem* do something to himself.
Needless to say, I immediately blocked the person on Flickr, meaning they can’t view or comment on my photos, nor will they, thankfully, come up as friend suggestions or members of photo groups I’m part of. But it wasn’t just the full frontal pornographic nudity that disgusted me: It was also this person telling her brother to *ahem* go somewhere if they’re going to be all transphobic — and judging from her fully identifying him and posting all of this content within the past 30 days, doing so out of spite. (Seriously, the oldest “date posted” indicator on her stream was 30 days ago.)
I’m clearly not dismissing this person’s critique of her brother (if that was indeed her brother) as unfounded. I can empathize with her telling him to take a hike if he’s gonna be so transphobic. Such unfounded fears toward our community have sadly launched more than a few estrangements. But asking him to leave her life through… well, let’s just call it a pornographic approach (because that’s clearly what it is) benefits no one. It hardens the estrangement into something akin to unbreakable concrete. It darkens the heart of the person calling out the phobia. And through an X-rated lens, it definitely paints our broad, proud, and beautiful trans community in an unflattering light.
I actually hope this person’s brother will come around, regret his transphobic beliefs, and ask for forgiveness. And I hope she will be receptive enough to rebuild that familial bridge that has been napalmed. But I just wish she could have stood up against her brother, and anti-trans haters in general, in a manner that doesn’t depict us as the tawdry freaks our collective enemies honestly believe we are. We are not freaks.
So before you pull the figurative trigger on your anti-phobia blaster (apologies for the analogy), stop and think for a moment. Your aim may be true, but the recoil may also harm you, those around you, and the community that includes you. Replace that photographic artillery with words that demonstrate your hurt and hope for a better future. That is how you stand up for your community — nay, our community — against the transphobic people in our world.