Toon: The Friend of My Friend is... (On Transphobia)
This cartoon has been brewing in my head for a while--it really depresses/irks me that in 2009, there are still numerous people in feminist and queer circles who actually think it is acceptable--even REASONABLE or RIGHTEOUS or FEMINIST--to be transphobic or to "debate" the inclusion of transgender and other gender non-conforming folks in LGBT and women's spaces.
Equality is SO not up for debate, sorry! It's one thing if someone genuinely is a bit confused on proper respectful gender terminology or genuinely doesn't know much about gender identity or transgender issues--it's another if someone has had ample opportunity over a long period of time to ditch their bigotry and emphatically chooses not to.
Anyway, the actual final cartoon came together after a fantastic panel at the WAM 2009 conference, "In/Out of Focus: Gender, Non-conformity and the Media," featuring Jack (Angry Brown Butch), Julia Serano (Whipping Girl), Miriam (Feministing) and Kate Bovitch. I asked the panelists what their opinion was on non-transphobic feminists/activists who continued to be close with transphobic feminists/activists, etc.
Julia Serano's take (and I apologize if I misquote, since this is based on scribbled notes) was that while some people are willing to listen, at this point it's clear that some people just aren't--which is just ridiculous in this day and age. "In 2009 there are very few feminists and LGB folks who haven't been exposed to trans people." Still, "a lot of times there's a lack of calling out. They want to give feminist friends the benefit of the doubt."
But "there needs to a shift from 10 years ago. People should know better."
Jack commented that this has all happened before, and gave the history of the exclusion of queer women from the feminist movement as an example.
And then my handwriting degenerated into illegible scribbles. Still, you get the idea. I'm reading Whipping Girl now and it's fantastic.