|the dissapointment with my community post
||[May. 12th, 2008|08:41 am]
marci bowers was the keynote at the trans health fair this weekend and she was extremely disapointing. she made racist jokes about how she used to live in mpls and would see all the "indians walking to the liquor store" and about the photo of a metoidioplasty and how the penis might not be "large by african american standards," but that it was pretty impressive for that surgery. this was on top of admitting to having drank before speaking [at a SOBER EVENT], and rambling about herself and her accomplishments for most of her keynote. the workshop she gave was a presentation on her surgeries and she rambled through about half of it about herself again, spent about five-ten minutes on ftm surgeries and about 40 min on mtf surgeries. she was so offensive i walked out of both her presentations, one of them about to cry. i found one of the organizers and broke down for a minute with him and he was really great. a lot of folks talked to the coaltion about being upset and they were totally supportive of us. |
but the thing that REALLY bothers me is that people were laughing at her jokes! they were eating up everything she was saying. also, when remy and i got the courage to go back in there and he respectfully asked her how she felt she addressed white privilege, racism, gender identities besides ftm and mtf, and access to surgery for people with lower incomes, she dismissed it, turned it into a joke. she responded to white privilege with condolutedly saying that it was a difficult issue to address, to racism with how she felt she was essentially all races and could relate to them- typical liberal racism, and excused her comment about african americans by saying she performed surgery on a lot of african americans and it was just a trend she'd noticed, to other gender identities with a reference to a south park episode where one of the characters wanted surgery to become a dolphin, and to access for lower income folks with some bs about dipping into her own pocket for one of her patients. a
she said a lot of really condescending shit about us being young and "keep at it, kid!" kind of fake-ass attitude. it was insulting and all of it was completely inappropriate for her to say at a trans health fair. she speaks all over the world and hasn't addressed her own shit AT ALL. she acted like she'd never been called out on it. she couldn't even graciously handle criticism without trying to discredit, humiliate, and brush off the people showing her the issue. and i know that it IS possible to take that kind of criticism without that kind of reaction, if you react that way it means you aren't thinking about it and don't want to admit to yourself that you're being racist/ fucked up. in addition, she insulted my friend right in front of me- i wanted to run up onstage and tell her all about herself very very disrespectfully. but we held back, let her be applauded again, and left. the whole thing was fucking draining.
other than all that, it was awesome! i tabled for the march and we got a lot of people interested!!! and the workshops were effing sweet. the trans health advocacy workshop even got me pumped about maybe trying to get involved in that kind of work!!!!! super inspiring. it was all really well organized and exciting, and i don't blame the coalition at all for the choice in speaker, they had no idea she was going to do that. i do think that they need to have a white privilege workshop as well as some sort of poc safe space event or workshop though, for starters. because that was not a safe environment. i mean, you can expect some degree of bullshit at this type of event, but not from the KEY NOTE- fucking christ!