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Nothing Between Us...But Love: Intersectionality & Allyship In Queer, Trans & 2 Spirit Communities

Florida State
by

Kim Katrin Milan

on 15 March 2016

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Transcript of Nothing Between Us...But Love: Intersectionality & Allyship In Queer, Trans & 2 Spirit Communities

Intersectionality
Indigenous Sexualities & Genders
Ableism
Sexism
"The system isn't broken, it was built that way."
These are the social and political constructions that define social location and these systems are the foundation upon which our economy is based on. As it determines who gets what and in what quantity. They serve a very clear purpose and they are always intentional although individual awareness will vary.
Intersectionality & Allyship Within Queer, Trans
& 2 Spirit Communities

Race;
a masculine of centre Black person might identify as a stud versus a butch.
Age;

a little girl who is showing ‘masculine’ traits under the age of twelve may simply be regarded as a ‘tomboy’ and not have her gender policed in the same way as she would post 12 or during puberty.
Ability;
a
differently abled descriptively femme person may not be able to physically access some of the social markers of ‘femininity
Examples
"to remain exempt from perpetuating social inequity"
DEFINE
MAINTAIN
ENFORCE
(cc) photo by medhead on Flickr
POWER
PRIVILEGE
&
Cultural Colonization
Systems Of Inheritance
Transphobia
We must challenge all those who insist that women
who act or dress in a feminine manner take on a submissive or passive posture. For many of us, dressing or acting feminine is something we do for ourselves, not for others. Its our way of reclaiming our own bodies and fearlessly expressing our own personalities and sexualities. Its not us who are guilty of trying to reduce our bodies to mere playthings, but rather those who foolishly assume that our feminine style is a signal that we sexually subjugate ourselves to men.

— Julia Serano, Whipping Girl: A transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity
“The notion of productivity is rooted in capitalist (and, it follows, ableist) ideas about an individual’s value. It is important that we be “productive”, not only when we are at work, but at all times.
As a disabled child shuffled through the medical industrial complex and as a baby of color shipped across the world to “new parents,” I have felt more like a different species, a freak, an object to be fixed/saved, a commodity. Like someone who has been owned and whose body has never felt like it was mine. Like someone who they were trying to make human (read: able bodied, white), if only the surgeries had worked and the braces had stuck. Like something that never could even get close to “desirable” or “feminine” or “woman” or “queer.” Like ugly. Not human.
http://leavingevidence.wordpress.com
The magnificence of a body that shakes, spills out, takes up space, needs help, moseys, slinks, limps, drools, rocks, curls over on itself. The magnificence of a body that doesn’t get to choose when to go to the bathroom, let alone which bathroom to use. A body that doesn’t get to choose what to wear in the morning, what hairstyle to sport, how they’re going to move or stand, or what time they’re going to bed. The magnificence of bodies that have been coded, not just undesirable and ugly, but un-human. The magnificence of bodies that are understanding gender in far more complex ways than I could explain in an hour. Moving beyond a politic of desirability to loving the ugly. Respecting Ugly for how it has shaped us and been exiled. Seeing its power and magic, seeing the reasons it has been feared. Seeing it for what it is: some of our greatest strength.
"Not being racist is not some default starting position. You don’t simply get to say you’re not a racist; not being racist — or a sexist or a homophobe — is a constant, arduous process of unlearning, of being uncomfortable, of eating crow and being humbled and re-evaluating."

- PostBourgie
Racism
Sexism
Ableism
Heterosexim
Imperialism
interlocking structures of policies, culture, institutional powers invented in order to control and manipulate wealth and resources.
Gender Non Conforming
Masculine Of Centre
Civil Rights
“Muxe” is a Zapotec word derived from the Spanish “mujer,” or woman; it is reserved for males who, from boyhood, have felt themselves drawn to living as a woman, anticipating roles set out for them by the community.
http://prezi.com/xas2gd8urjhb/re-imagining-resistance/
Racism
Vic Taurewa Biddle by David K. Shields for Dazed & Confused Magazine
Biddle was an original presenter (along with Tania Simon and transgender singer Ramon Te Wake) on New Zealand’s 2004 series Takatāpui - the world’s first indigenous gay, lesbian and transgender television series. Read more about the meaning behind the word Takatāpui here.
“I get people who are really ugly, and say ‘You can’t be a homo and have a moko on your face’. But who cares about them, you know? They’re just idiots” - (short interview on Youtube)
One of the tenets is kesh, or uncut hair.

"Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women. However, baptized Sikhs believe in the sacredness of this body - it is a gift that has been given to us by the Divine Being [which is genderless, actually] and, must keep it intact as a submission to the divine will," she added to her response on Reddit.

The photo was also picked up by Cracked.com, which lauded the student for her "graceful and fresh" response.

The poised student, who is also president of the Sikh Student Association and plans to be a neurosurgeon, also said that she believes that by not worrying on her outward appearance, she is able to better focus on actions that matter.

"When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away," she writes. "However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can."

While not alone in her adherence, Western culture's standards of beauty -- which involve all sorts of waxing and shaving -- have made many Sikh women disregard the rule.
For links to these & more resources:
http://thepeopleprojectto.tumblr.com
“I have a lot of problems with the academic queer community because it’s a community that exists completely removed from reality. Those kids who are selling their bodies on the West Side Highway, on Christopher Street, they don’t even know what the fuck queer theory is.”
— Mykki Blanco
“As a Queer Femme, so often my sexuality is defined in relation to whoever I am rolling with. When seeing people say that ‘femmeness’ is invisible, I ask them to look a little harder. If in your version of ‘queer’, it only seems to exist in flavours of androgynous and butch, I strongly encourage you to change your minds cause we ain’t changing our gender.”
— Kim Crosby via Homeward Bound: Searching for the Secret Island of Black Queer Mixed Femmes | Autostraddle
Source: Queer and Trans* Youth Visibility Project
“Crossing Over”: A Documentary Looks At The Difficult Journey Of Trans Immigrants http://www.buzzfeed.com/skarlan/crossing-over-a-documentary-looks-at-the-difficult-journey-o
2013 Soweto Pride. Credo Mutwa Park, Soweto. Johannesburg, South Africa. Photos by Zandile Makhubu and Zanele Muholi
vs.
Mackelmore, Gaga
Nothing Between Us... But Love:
“I asked all of the gay male students in the room to raise their hand if in the past week they touched a woman’s body without her consent. After a moment of hesitation, all of the hands of the gay men in the room went up. I then asked the same gay men to raise their hand if in the past week they offered a woman unsolicited advice about how to “improve” her body or her fashion. Once again, after a moment of hesitation, all of the hands in the room went up.

These questions came after a brief exploration of gay men’s relationship to American fashion and women’s bodies. That dialogue included recognizing that gay men in the United States are often hailed as the experts of women’s fashion and by proxy women’s bodies. In addition to this there is a dominant logic that suggests that because gay men have no conscious desire to be sexually intimate with women, our uninvited touching and groping (physical assault) is benign.”
— Gay Men’s Sexism and Women’s Bodies by Yolo Akili
Here is a vignette from March 2013: A 24-year-old gay man named Yhatzine Lafontain is leaving a restaurant late at night with a friend on Roosevelt Avenue and 95th Street in Queens. Both are dressed as women, Mr. Lafontain in a jacket, short dress and heels. Exchanging goodbyes outside, they are approached by a man who tells them they look good.

In Mr. Lafontain’s account, they chatted briefly to avoid seeming rude and the man departed. Within a few minutes, an undercover police officer approached Mr. Lafontain and his friend and arrested them, suspecting them of prostitution. “We were surprised,” Mr. Lafontain told me, “because we had never talked to anyone about sex or money.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/nyregion/arrests-by-the-fashion-police.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0
http://racialicious.tumblr.com/post/42598277581/what-does-casual-racism-look-like-in-lgbtq-spaces
Allyship is a process, not an identity.
Strategies For Solidarity
The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.
Another’s experience does not invalidate your own, but it should and necessarily does complicate your own.
Privilege happens at the expense of others.
Treat others the way that they want to be treated. Ask.
Imagine that your allyship card expires at the end of the day.
Guilt isn't useful, solidarity is. Leverage your privilege.
It is no one’s responsibility to educate you but your own.
Listen. Learn. Practice. Repeat.
Acknowledge Privilege. Dissolve Guilt.
Take up less space. Fall back.
Collect your folks.
Center. Listen. Acknowledge. Inquire. Move towards resolution. (CL/R)AIM)
Honor your mistakes. @KimKatrinMilan
Full transcript