Recently I’ve felt rage inside of me and I mostly attribute it to the upcoming election and politics being in the forefront of everybody’s mind. In a training I recently attended, queer suicide rates were discussed and one of the tipping points for a lot of folks is election time. All of the issues the queer community faces are discussed, lots of opinions (hurtful and uninformed) are pushed onto everybody, and in general, marginalized groups are in the spotlight. When this happens, a lot of ugliness comes to the surface. As of late, I have found myself avoiding comment sections and news in general. I have strayed further and further away from the presidential election due to fear. Fear for me, fear for you, fear for the United States, our priorities, our morality, our livelihood. I’ve asked many people this question throughout the last few months: Does growing up mean finally being aware of just how terrible our society is, or is our society just extremely messed up at this specific time? Or am I only choosing to see the bad in everything? Do I view the world through shit colored glasses? I don’t know and I’ve been attempting to change my view but with each passing day, I am only disheartened more by things I hear and things I see. I would describe myself as a very positive person, but that positivity is rapidly turning into negativity.
Something that has especially been bringing me a lot of stress and displeasure is the privilege and entitlement of (straight) cis men. Am I projecting my own insecurities onto a large group of people? Probably. Am I wrong to do that? Possibly. Do I have sources and life experiences to back up every single thing that irritates me about this huge group of people? Yup. Please hear me when I say that I do have plenty of cis men in my life who I respect, who inspire me, who I find great value in and feel have influenced many parts of me. I have deep love and admiration for these individuals, and part of my adoration for them is the fact that they were able to break through my shield of judgement and my bad attitude. I’ll be the first to admit that this is one of my biggest flaws, and I’m looking for ways to change a lot of my views of cis men.
I reflect back on my life and feel it’s quite possible that I’ve always been triggered by cis men and the “societal norms” of masculinity. This has been something that I have been coming to terms with and I’ve been delving deep in regards to how it makes me feel about my own transition and life in general. In a patriarchal and misogynistic society, these feelings do not make life any easier. This contention has become exponentially more prominent in my life once I transitioned and especially once my last relationship ended a year and a half ago for reasons that I won’t discuss in this segment. Although these feelings have reared their ugly head in recent years, I’ve always felt uncomfortable around straight cis men. Even growing up, I had a lot of irrational fear, stress, and anxiety revolving around my relationship with my own father and more importantly his role (in my eyes) as head of the household. If any of you know my father or have read a single Facebook post I have made about him, you know that he is kind, he is accepting, he is diplomatic all of the time, he is thoughtful he is respectful, and in no way feels it important to assert dominance over anybody. So why, even as a young child was I so nervous? I’ll chalk it up to some type of trauma that I experienced long before being in his care. I couldn’t tell you what that trauma would be, as I literally have no idea, but I bring it up because it’s the only thing in my mind that makes sense for this trigger to be so real even in my preadolescent years.
Fast forwarding a bit, I feel like my wariness around cis men was also heightened by jealousy. They had what I wanted, but (at the time) I could never have it, so resentment grew for what I’m guessing is decades. For a long time I felt like all I knew was jealousy. I was jealous of people’s authenticity, people’s joy, people’s lives. Luckily, the feeling of jealousy has subsided but unluckily it has been filled with more or less the feeling of disdain. Looking back, I have always had privilege and a lot of it. I may have never known or understood what that meant because of the affluent neighborhood in which I was raised and never having to see or understand what it truly meant to be underprivileged, but my eyes have been opened and I can see clearly now.
Even as a post transition AFAB person, I have a lot of privilege. I’m white. I have passing privilege. And now, I’m seen as male. I can’t remember if I’ve discussed all of my privilege epiphanies in this blog, and I definitely do not have the time, space, or energy to get into that now, but really seeing and living the differences in privilege has changed me the absolute most during my transition. Bringing this all back to the point, I feel disdain because I feel like I see the privilege that these cis men have and that they can’t quite grasp. Honestly, I shouldn’t be so upset by the fact that they don’t understand it as genuinely as me because it’s so engrained in society. A lot of cis men in my age range have started to discuss this, acknowledge this, and try to change this. For that I am forever happy and thankful. Still, this disdain is ever present.
Hyper masculinity scares me. Rape culture scares me. Aggression scares me. Apathy scares me. Sexism SCARES me. The fact that marginalized groups are begging white cis men in power to make the right choice in decisions regarding morality, and that our cries for justice are met with more aggression, more defensiveness, more skewed perception of reality is pitiful to me. I am absolutely disgusted by the entitlement and the ignorance.
To reel it in, I am unhappy with the way our society was created to put and keep straight cis men in power positions. I’m unhappy with our societies underlying xenophobia. Again, I understand that I’m generalizing a hell of a lot and maybe most of this is some deep rooted personal issues that desperately need to be sorted out, but with everything going on right now from the North Dakota Oil Pipeline battle, The Stanford Rapist and his ridiculous slap on the wrist, POC and especially trans women of color STILL being murdered regularly, trans people still not having adequate representation, blatant racism at every turn, white cis men actually believing that women are treated equally, and basically everything Trump, it’s so fucking hard.