There, I fixed that damn cartoon
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
I think the rest of the comic is actually kind of important to the context of this discussion. Just saying “Well, you’re cis, you don’t understand” is bullshit. We want cis people to understand. We don’t want cis people to speak for us. That comic definitely sounds like it could be progressing to an ill-informed appropriation of our voices. It also sounds like it could possibly be progressing to an explanation of respect and acceptance. I doubt it’s the former considering Josie cut it off, but I can’t tell because…Josie cut it off.
Saying cis people can’t speak for trans* people is one thing (and, on the whole, correct). Appropriation is bad. Saying cis people can’t speak about trans* people and can’t understand trans* issues no matter whether they are informed and respectful or not is just trying to make us out as more different than we actually are, and cis people will never understand (and indeed respect) us if we are constantly cutting them out of the conversation. Since (just statistics here) most people are cis, that does no good for us in terms of widespread acceptance.
In short, if someone could link me to the rest of the original comic that would help, and I would be able to form an opinion on it. I am not saying Josie did anything wrong here, but Josie has the full information and I do not, making it hard for me to actually judge what anyone has said. That does not assist our cause.
THANK YOU. It really bothers me when other trans* people act really snobby towards cis people and act like they can’t possibly understand anything about being trans*. Okay, sure, cis people will never know what it actually feels like to be trans*. They don’t know what a lot of the things trans* people have to deal with on a day-to-day basis feels like. In this sense, they do not understand the trans* community, simply because they don’t share the experiences of trans* people.
But this doesn’t mean they don’t want to understand.
Most of the people who have helped me deal with my gender issues are cisgendered. My therapist is cisgendered. My best friends are cisgendered. My therapist in particular has helped me SO MUCH with my gender and feeling more comfortable with myself. She’s not trans*. I don’t know if she’s ever worked with trans* people before (but I know for a fact I’m the first genderqueer person she’s worked with). She didn’t know about a lot of what I was talking about. But the thing is that she WANTS to know!
When I told her I was agender and explained to her what that meant and how it made me feel about my body, she didn’t give me a strange look. She didn’t tell me I was confused. She didn’t tell me I was wrong. She accepted it as a valid identity instantly and proceeded to ask me about my experiences and feelings and helped me work through them. She encouraged me to get the gender-neutral haircut I wanted for so long. She’s been helping me work on how and when (aka when I’m good and ready) to come out to my parents. Hell, when I told her about binders and how I really want to order one when I go back to school and my parents can’t see what I get in the mail, she ENCOURAGED me to do so! She understands that my chest makes me uncomfortable. She may not know how that feels because she’s cisgendered, but she understands that I’m feeling uncomfortable and genuinely wants me to be comfortable.
I’m kind of rambling, aren’t I?
To get to the damn point already, shoving cis people out of our lives isn’t helping anything. Just because they’re not struggling with the same things we are doesn’t mean they can’t support us! That’s like saying men can’t be feminists. Why should we be hateful towards people who genuinely want to help? I agree that they shouldn’t try and speak for us, but telling them they can’t speak at all is just wrong…
I understand being upset when someone who does not know your experience tries to speak for you. I don’t know the context of the original comic so I can’t touch on that subject.
However, there’s a difference between understanding exactly what it’s like to be trans and being an understanding person who wants to learn and empathize, and a looot of people are in the latter category. You can’t get acceptance if you keep pushing everyone else away.