72% of victims of anti-LGBT homicide are transgender women, and 67% of those are trans women of color.
I don't think of passing as a privilege — it's a means of survival.
When we only get interested in the story of the trans woman who has "found herself," or come out after multiple surgeries, and, by linear narrative standards, "completed her journey," we're ignoring the experiences of those for whom this type of standardisation is not an option.
When you have every other stranger you meet trying to tell you you're not a real woman because of biology, things can get exhausting real fast. Diaz uses makeup to get closer to her biological connections, not further away from them.
If we're ugly despite our efforts we're pitied, but if we're deliberately ugly, we're amoral and deserve the violence we face because we don't aim to fend it off with makeup, hair, or fashionable clothes.
"First Caitlyn was an easy punchline, then the narrative changed when the Vanity Fair cover came out and all people could talk about was her presentation. Now, we've got talk-show hosts criticising her looks and talking about how big her hands are or how she needs to do something about her voice,” says Renée. “The scary thing is, people think this stuff means they're being progressive and supportive of the trans community. I'm really sick of everyone pushing the ‘born in the wrong body’ narrative. It is harmful, and it doesn't force people to question the gender binary and erases people who don't fit into it. I understand how this narrative might have served people in the community in the past by providing an easy way for cis people to relate to us, but we need more."
If we're going to support trans women in pop culture, we should support trans women in our day-to-day lives, too.
Trans women are tired of the media focusing entirely on a single version of the labour-intensive and class-divisive journey of “transitioning,” because for many trans women, transitioning is never that simple or uniform to begin with. It belies the complexity of their journeys, and it makes the destination seem simplistic and clearly defined.
The idea of a ‘successful’ transition described in media is linked to the idea that you are as invisible as possible.