How gatekeepers made me hate my body: a narrative (part 1)

[Ed. note: This is the opening instalment of a five-part narrative. Subsequent instalments to come. Monica is preparing this narrative as part of a forthcoming book on her life experiences.]

|||| Monica Maldonado

[WARNING: References to rape, physical violence, clinical gatekeeping, and transphobia.]

Personal note: I’ve chosen to tell this story to confront a larger phenomenon — the wholesale exclusion, isolation, desexualization, and near-universal disgust directed at trans women — strictly and specifically through my individual lens. I chose this not because I felt I couldn’t discuss this in more abstract and universal terms, but because I think in this case it’s actually beneficial and it adds to the conversation a narrative context which I feel is often missing. As a result, this narrative is a bit more involved than usual. Rather than continuing to allow cis people to frame this discussion on their terms and making it about them and their sex, it’s time we told our own stories because this has never really been about cis people.

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“This (Trans)Revolution will not be streamed”: a 2011 retrospective

[Ed. note: We are delighted to welcome Monica Maldonado to our crack team of contributors here at Cisnormativity! This is also her debut essay as a trans activist.]

|||| Monica Maldonado

Sitting back and watching the last several months has been an incredible journey.

Frustrating examples of discrimination, oppression, transmisogyny, and transphobia have littered the news cycle more than in previous years. While much of this is simply increased news and social media exposure of trans* issues in the last year (many of these events have been occurring for years), much of it is also backlash against a rise in political awareness of the trans community and social justice workers.

Beyond the backlash, there also has been an awareness which has allowed CAMAB women and GQ people especially to begin standing up in the face of the intersectional oppressions we face. That awareness has been turning a corner, and in just the last few months it feels like the clouds are parting and we can begin seeing the light peek through.

From my perspective, it feels like the time to fight is now. Now more than ever, we have a chance to not only change the world to make our generation’s lives better, but also for the next and the next.

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