Guest post by Amy M., WAVAW Volunteer
Autostraddle describes itself as “… a progressively feminist online community for a new generation of kickass lesbian, bisexual & otherwise inclined ladies (and their friends),” and it is one of my favourite things on the internet! It’s a mix of politics, advice, pop culture and more from a queer and trans* perspective.
One of my favourite regular features on the site is the trans*scribe series. These personal essays written by folks identifying under the trans* umbrella never fail to be moving. For example, Vivian Taylor writes about the different standards for what makes a “good” trans woman and how they are unfairly pushed upon trans* folks from within queer and feminist circles:
“It’s a great double bind. If you present in a traditionally feminine way, you’re just being a misogynistic parody of a woman, and if you fail to present in a traditionally feminine way, ha! There’s the proof that you’re not really a woman right there.”
Writer Mey touches on this topic as well in her piece, examining the intersecting oppressions she experiences as a fat transgender woman:
“So not only do I have to deal with the crippling body dysphoria that comes from having a body that I don’t even recognize as my own, I also have to deal with the cultural misogyny that tells me that a woman can’t be as big and fat as I am and still be desirable.”
Other articles deal with being trans and schizophrenic, struggling with intimate partner violence in queer spaces, the need for more trans* women of colour role models, transitioning as genderqueer and the difficulties of not fitting into the “accepted trans* narrative.”
“Oftentimes when I am in a place occupied by butches and men, masculinity becomes a kind of currency… if there are women in the room, their objectification seems to be a bonding mechanism for the butches and men, laughing about who has the best ass, the best tits, who they’d f*ck or not f*ck.”
She also writes about the struggles of presenting as masculine at an airport, the differences between experiencing street harassment as feminine-presenting and masculine-presenting and the incorrect assumptions that sexual/physical boundaries don’t exist for butches, among other topics.