The Fight (2020) Chase Strangio is a transgender rights activist and a lawyer. And the attacks on my body—individual and systemic—have not taken and could not take away the many ways that I am aligned with power. In other words, REALITY DOESN’T END WHERE YOUR FEELINGS BEGIN. It does not represent who I am but rather a painful past that I worked hard to move beyond; it is as mean-spirited and useless for you to try to seek this information out as it would be for me to go in search of some painful experience of your childhood to define who you are for others. But the very fact of my existence triggers in some people an entitlement to uncover something about who I "really" am and to reveal for themselves that I am just putting on this mythic identity of "Chase Strangio."

I am transgender and transgressive, and I am part of a community that is dying because of our threat to the “order of things” as they are. The reality of trans lives is that we struggle against the interpersonal and systemic beliefs that we are only putting on our genders and that beneath them lies some “truth” of who we really are — and that notion fuels violence and discrimination against members of the trans community. Whether intentional or not, our unearned centrality in public discourse and sites of power serves to diminish the spaces that can be and are held by people of color who do and do not share the identity characteristics that mark us as The Other. He is a transgender rights activist and raises his voice in support of the LGBTQ. In case you don’t know. The Fight (2020) Chase Strangio is a transgender rights activist and a lawyer. Introducing Trends: visualize news in real-time and discover top authors or outlets. For years, the work has focused on legal reform to the exclusion of work committed to power building and organizing in communities experiencing the most violence from our legal systems. As a kid, I looked to Navratilova to find a path for survival. The AP’s note was similar, saying, “The story has been edited to remove a former name in accordance with AP Style to use the name by which the person lived and avoid former names unless relevant.”. And you know what happens in their obituaries? Sign-up for our free weekly e-mail newsletter. However, their names are unknown. That is the organizing principle of our society, founded on indigenous genocide and chattel slavery. Commentary: Stonewall story is still playing out, Semenya Forced to Alter Body to Comfort Slower Women, Caster Semenya Is Being Forced to Alter her Body to Make Slower Runners Feel Secure in Their Womanhood. I have experienced deep anguish, discrimination, trauma, discomfort, and violence connected to this transgression of convention. Yet, within the largely white-dominated liberal nonprofit structure, these efforts have done little to destabilize existing power dynamics. The Progressive Inc. publishes The Progressive magazine plus and Public School Shakedown. One day, while waiting for a friend at Penn Station in … That is my conclusion after sitting down with Chase Strangio, Deputy Director of the ACLU’s Trans Project, last week for our latest Facebook Live #LivesAtStake conversation. The fact of my gender transgression signaled to this person that I was waiting to engage in an exchange of sex for goods. One person’s womanhood does not take away from another’s simply because it looks different. It is not relevant to who she was or how anyone will actually remember her — and including it in an obituary is a final act of disrespect so cruel that it undermines whatever respect was meant to come from memorializing a person in an obituary. Before her transition, she fathered (yes – FATHERED – it’s how biology works!) We did not liberate ourselves from the structures of white supremacy at the end of the Civil War.

And the attacks on my body—individual and systemic—have not taken and could not take away the many ways that I am aligned with power. It is not relevant to who she was or how anyone will actually remember her — and including it in an obituary is a final act of disrespect so cruel that it undermines whatever respect was meant to come from memorializing a person in an obituary. Your prurient curiosity shouldn’t get to trump our right to dignity and respect, and we are going to assume that your self-serving desire is more about hurting and exposing us trans people than accurately describing the people we are. Tags: Commentary , Sports , Transgender , Martina Navratilova None of these various struggles as I experience them, however, change the fact that I am white and trans. Chase Strangio (r) met with ACLU client Chelsea Manning after Manning's release from prison in 2017. Opinion | I’m a transgender attorney fighting for my community. We’ll get back to Chase in a second, but first, quick side note about the ACLU. Create a free Muck Rack account to customize your profile and upload a portfolio of your best work. The @ACLU is a complete joke who is suing DeVos because she wants fairness and due process for students accused of sexual harassment/assault. Caitlyn’s transition happened when she was 65. But I am also a tool of white supremacy and patriarchy, and my Otherness does not change that. Chase Strangio is an attorney at the ACLU in New York City. Who cares if they had kids or amazing careers before they transitioned? By calling trans women men, Navratilova is telling trans people, “You are putting on a gender that is not real and I know the real you.” And instead of seeing us, she takes our real pain experienced through erasure and places them on cisgender people like her. Hence, the whole “trans” label. The illegibility of a body with a petite frame, pubescent facial hair, flat chest, tight pants, and higher pitched voice invites stares. Sometimes they coordinate to diminish my sense of self, other times they fade into the distance and I reclaim the movement of my body in the world.

Understandably, the trans community was hurt by her remarks then — and especially now as she digs into her anti-trans ideology. Because Aimee was my client, I had spoken with the Times reporter writing Aimee's obituary to share my experiences with her, but it somehow didn't occur to me to ask them not to publish Aimee's deadname; I thought the Times' editors would have the forethought to be more respectful. Their prime target was Joel Weber. To validate that — especially in news reporting — by referring to me as "Chase Strangio, formerly known as [deadname]" is to ensure that I will never have the authority to claim the truth of who I am; it cedes that authority to a structure of power and discrimination that would rather I never existed at all. There must be some standards, and having a penis and competing as a woman would not fit that standard.”. So, for me and other white trans people, this means that our experience is centered in conversations both about trans-ness and about discrimination and violence generally, to the exclusion of non-trans people of color and to the exclusion and erasure of trans people of color.

I exist in public, at Penn Station and elsewhere, without the sense that the world “intended that [I] should perish,” as James Baldwin wrote to his nephew in 1962. Denying this is to ask people to willingly suspend disbelief and collectively pretend that truth doesn’t matter. They are suing to PREVENT DUE PROCESS. To validate that — especially in news reporting — by referring to me as "Chase Strangio, formerly known as [deadname]" is to ensure that I will never have the … Not even a reporter’s.”  It’s written by Chase Strangio, whose bio sentence at the end reads, “Chase Strangio is a trans activist and staff attorney at the ACLU in NYC.”. Well, The Fight is a 2020 ACLU documentary based on examining 4 cases that have been brought against the Trump administration by ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union). This is no doubt because the majority of the Parkland survivors in the media are white, and speaking about trans-ness in the abstract can be filtered or imagined through the lens of whiteness. I don’t know what Aimee’s deadname is and I don’t GAF, but it seems massively idiotic to pretend as though whatever name Aimee went by for FIFTY TWO YEARS of her life wasn’t significant. But that expertise is situated as nonimpacted and white (as well as cisgender, nondisabled, male, heterosexual) and “impact” becomes synonymous with exclusion. Opinion | What Mario Lopez said about transgender kids isn't just dumb. Allow me to point out once again that Aimee died at age 59. We have been building those structures every day since 1865 and every day before that.

Our obsession with gender ruins them. That reality isn’t real. That’s kind of their whole purpose. Even now, people discriminate trans people and try to suppress them. By contrast, mocking the penis sizes of men of color is a familiar and comfortable part of the American discourse and serves whiteness. Trans men are not “real” men – they are trans men. The week before Christmas, my 4-year-old came down with the awful stomach virus going around her school.

If you Google any well-known trans person, you will see the same related searches. Even our Otherness is leveraged in the service of white supremacy. You can’t just “proclaim yourself a female,” she writes, as if trans people just wake up one day and announce a gender as a ploy to hurt cis women. His exact age and date of birth is unknown.

It was not the first time I had been assumed to be a sex worker while out in public, nor was it even close to the first time I had been touched without consent. Copyright © 2020. To reporters, I get that it can seem — falsely — like including someone's "old name" is little more than a historical fact to flesh out a story. I have watched my friends and community members die by suicide, preventable illness, and violence because transgression is punished with corrective assaults on the opportunities we need to survive. Let that sink in. And, he also had to battle the discrimination and hatred people gave him just because of his gender. Because that’s a thing. In other words, Aimee’s death was considered newsworthy enough to be covered by the NYT, the AP, and other prominent publications. I have accumulated my own pain, but that is different.

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Follow him on Twitter @ChaseStrangio ., — Chicks On The Right (@chicksonright) May 14, 2020. The above-linked article from NBC News is titled, “A transgender person’s deadname is nobody’s business. It's dangerous. The line-drawing that Navratilova and others want to get into about who is “woman enough” is a dangerous one with a long legacy of exclusion — of Black women, of other women of color, of queer women, of trans women.

An obituary is supposed to be a sign of respect for who a person was, but deadnaming is a way to shame trans people for who they are. "It is customary to include someone's birth name in an obituary," the reporter explained. DeVos’s Attack on Trans Athletes Is Not About Equity - It’s About Social Control. That reference has been removed,” an editor’s note in the NYT read. What the reporter didn't understand was that my friend had not only died from COVID-19 but also that her death was directly related to the kind of systemic refusal to honor trans existence that causes the paper of record to insist on publicizing our deadnames. We speak often of “directly impacted communities” when referring to people of color, trans people, disabled people, incarcerated people, immigrants, and other historically marginalized groups, usually in the context of these belated and often symbolic efforts to identify groups whose voices have historically been excluded from our work.

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