the disconnect

When I try to describe what it’s like to be a millennial transgender woman in America, what it really boils down to is a deep sense of disconnect. Not the disconnect between mind and body which stereotypes our experiences; but the disconnect in society that fetishizes and despises us at the same time. This is what it’s like to be trans in 2015: On the same day a new episode documenting Caitlin Jenner’s post-transition life airs and the LGBTQ world celebrates, three black transgender women are murdered within a single 24 hour period without a single minute of mainstream news coverage. As Laverne Cox plays the beloved transsexual inmate in a women’s prison in Orange is the New Black off-screen she raises support for CeCe MacDonald, a black trans woman incarcerated in a men’s prison for having the audacity to defend herself against racist transphobic violence.

Getting coffee and catching up with a brother from the masjid he asks me, “what is it like being a trans woman now that being trans is so trendy?”

I tell him, “My sisters are dying in the streets just for being who they are while the world celebrates a rich white woman being objectified and ogled in a whirlwind of public spectacle. It isn’t very different from being a woman in general.”

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