Having been around various forms of sex work I have become quite used to cosmetic surgery. I spent a lot of time drawing parallels while reading Susan Stryker’s “Frankenstein” piece. I think about the times in which we allow ‘unnatural’ bodies to coexist peacefully and when we view them as threats.
There are a handful of people in my life that I care about immensely, of this handful several of them happen to be trans. Trans bodies are the types of bodies that are currently viewed as a threat to be distinguished by much of society. The idea of my loved ones being walking targets of violence is always on my mind.
In the recent years we have seen an increase in trans visibility and media representation, both good and bad, but mostly bad. This has led to an increase in certain rights and protections for these individuals across the country. However, there have also been many step backs with an increase in violence and bathroom legislation that hurt any gender non-conforming person regardless of gender identity.
Many people view this visibility as a good thing but it can also be rather terrifying. Prior to this, the majority of people did not know what trans people were and because of this never thought about them. While that obviously had its downsides it also meant that they were not on the look out for trans people. With the increase of knowledge and legislation has come an increase of “gender policing.” Trans and gender non-conforming people have been using bathrooms for a very long time and for a very long time nobody noticed. This is because nobody told them they should. Now people are trying to decide who belongs in what bathroom despite no evidence of prior issues.
As a reactionary response I have now become hyper aware of my surroundings when a trans friend goes to a public bathroom. A casual outing to a bar, restaurant, mall, airport, etc, now exists as a potential site of violence. My facebook feed is a constant new source for whichever trans woman was murder last in America. There are endless stories of suicides and depression. I admit that I did not read much of Trumpet that was assigned in class. I had enough stories of dead trans people in my own life at the moment and it was honestly very tiring.