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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ERICA SPEAKS: On isolation, trans hierarchies, and ostracism

|||| Erica Inchoate

There is this cultural myth amongst trans people, especially amongst trans women, that we are supposed to transition and then move on and have no contact with the quote-unquote “trans community” ever again.

This is a pretty harmful myth, not only because it venerates the traditional doctrine that we must be separated from each other, but also because it prevents safe access to medical care as much as it keeps us from being able to organize and agitate for our rights, inclusion, and dignity. It forces us to deny our trans identities as a precondition for being allowed to keep living. It also puts us in precarious positions where isolation — for many, our only option — can similarly become hazardous for our physical and mental health.

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