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We cannot divorce transmisogyny from its roots in both transmisia and misogyny, nor can we ignore the ways in which the patriarchy significantly and tangibly impacts trans women.

Time and time again cis folks, including cis women, will invalidate trans women’s womanhood by claiming we do not experience oppression under cisheteropatriarchy. Cis women, for example, will dismiss trans women’s concerns and lived experiences as “crying wolf” and re-center their experiences in all spaces as though they aren’t already saturated with cis experiences. To define womanhood as dependent on experiencing patriarchal oppression has many pitfalls, but in addition, this argument is simply false. Trans women do experience misogyny. In particular, trans women and femmes are hypervisible, fetishized, objectified, invalidated, and abused, facing a confluence of oppressions like transmisia and misogyny. In this, trans women face a specific intersection of these known as transmisogyny. And to disconnect transmisogyny and define other manifestations of misogyny as more “real” is in itself a form of gender-based violence. To assert that transmisogyny or any experience of trans womanhood is less than or isn’t as “real” is cissexist violence and is often weaponized to enact more violence. Although often erased or invalidated, all trans women experience misogyny. Trans women of all ages, all types of presentation/expression, and through all different stages of transitioning (or not transitioning) do in fact experience misogyny in addition to transmisia, often in the form of transmisogyny specifically. It’s in the way autonomy is stolen systemically such as by the medical-industrial complex in gatekeeping life-saving medical procedures or by the state in withholding access to social institutions through so-called “bathroom bills” or “bathroom laws”. It’s present interpersonally in cis people asking invasive and inappropriate questions or touching our bodies without consent to see if they are “real”. Even simply navigating life and existing often means trans women, including those who present more conventionally masculine, experience transmisogyny such as by being constantly misgendered.

Accepting male privilege while doing nothing to eradicate it and uplift women of color will not save me, and it will not save other transgender men.

By Morgan Givens I stand at the cross-section of multiple identities as a queer black trans man. I remember what it was like to be viewed as a black woman. I remember how I was treated, spoken to, and neglected by society. It’s true that there are dangers inherent in being a black-bodied person, of being seen only through the lens of a society that trains others to view me as subhuman, as worthy only of a bullet or chains, of being seen as a black man who needs to be put down. I never realized how unsafe I had felt, how heavy the weight of fear had pressed against me until it lifted. I distinctly remember when it happened, my shoes as they slapped the pavement, their scuffing reaching my ears as I trekked across an open parking lot, blanketed in darkness on a frigid December evening. I remember the fear of being gendered as a woman evaporating, and the final puzzle piece of male privilege sliding into place, as I was struck by the sudden realization that I no longer had to worry about being attacked as I moved towards my car.

It's time for the black community to stop neglecting black trans women and leaving us to fend for ourselves.

When myself, Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors and community activist Blossom Brown interrupted Charlamagne tha GOD's Hip-Hop and Politics panel on the MSNBC stage at Politicon this weekend, we knew it would be the catalyst for an overdue conversation within the black community. [embed]https://twitter.com/ashleempreston/status/891821597073457153[/embed] As news of our protest spread like wildfire on social media platforms, thousands of people began stating their positions on whether they felt that Charlamagne tha GOD, and alleged comedian Lil Duval, held fault in the dangerous transphobic dialogue that took place on air last week during iHeartRadio’s show, The Breakfast Club. [embed]https://twitter.com/fatfemme/status/891367522561392642[/embed] Of course there were apologists who immediately began defending Charlamagne and Lil Duval. Instead of addressing how Charlamagne used previous guest, transgender author Janet Mock as a prop to provoke a controversial response from Lil Duval for sensationalism and ratings, they chose to argue that Lil Duval is his own man and independent of The Breakfast Club. They didn't see fault in Charlamagne and his co-hosts laughing hysterically at his adamant assertion that if he had sex with a trans woman he'd kill her. They didn't see any harm in Charlamagne and DJ Envy sexualizing Janet Mock – a married woman – by asking Lil Duval if he found her beautiful and if he'd engage in sex with a transgender woman. They chose to defend death to trans women by making the false argument that we are sexual predators who are out to trick men into having sex with us, therefore if we’re killed, it's a justifiable response.

As people who are committed to the collective liberation of the oppressed, here are some explicit ways that we can try to disrupt the flows of social capital within our QT/BIPOC activist spaces.

"Social capital" is a term that's been getting thrown around a lot these days within QT/BIPOC activist spaces. What is this term, and where exactly does it come from? Simply put, the term "social capital" refers to the fact that social networks have value (monetary and otherwise). Social networks – i.e. who you know, and who those people know, and who those people know, and on and on – often determines everything from your ability to find a job, your likelihood of finding an apartment, to your ability to influence public opinion. Everyone possesses some degree of social capital, by virtue of living in society. However, the degree to which social capital affects the outcomes of their life in a positive or negative way is often determined by factors like race, class, gender, ability, size, etc. So how does this show up in queer communities and/or in activist spaces? As people who are supposedly working toward the collective liberation of Black and Indigenous people, queer, trans, disabled, incarcerated, and undocumented people, are we knowingly or unknowingly complicit in allowing social capital to accrue to body-minds that are already valued by mainstream society? (i.e. light-skinned, thin, cisgender, able bodied, extroverted, educated, class-privileged, etc.) The answer is a resounding yes. Because QT/BIPOC activist communities still function within the parameters and value systems of modern-day racial capitalism, we cannot entirely extricate ourselves from the insidious ways in which people whose traits and appearances are already valued by capitalism tend to gravitate toward each other in social spaces. Once this happens, the value that these people already possess by virtue of their position in capitalist society magnifies many times over, simply because people tend to share their time and resources with those they already know and share community with.
Related: Organizing For Liberation Ain't Free When Capitalism Rules Everything Around Me

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