One of the partners on our MHB boards mentioned recently that she’d never apply for an LGBT scholarship, because she doesn’t identify as LGBT, and it reminded me that I never told the story about me & the LGBT Blogger Initiative Conference I went to.

It seems I am perplexing to people, & I felt a little bit like an odd duck while I was there. It came up because at some point, someone announced that grants might become available for LGBT bloggers, and a few people told me that they hoped I would get one. But someone also mentioned that they could see others have an issue with the fact that I’m not LGB or T. My standard response these days is – “I’m the Q that gets left off a lot.”

But still it’s an issue that has come up, & may come up even moreso that I’m thinking about going back to grad school. Will I choose, like the partner above, not to apply for any LGBT scholarships? As a sort of liminal queer, probably I wouldn’t, except that then there’s the whole issue of what I do & what I’d want to study – which is all about the LGBT, and the T in particular.

The other question I was asked, which I’ve been asked before, is why? Why the trans community? & To be honest, I just don’t know. I was charmed by my very first meetings with trans people, & continue to have a deep love for the trans community & for trans people. Aside from my Debsian sense of social justice, that is.

Tim McFeeley did a wonderful “short history of the LGBT movement” (which I was pleased to note I knew cold!) as a workhop that Sunday morning, and he closed with a quote by Frederick Douglass:

When I ran away from slavery, it was for myself; when I advocated emancipation, it was for my people; but when I stood up for the rights of women, self was out of the question, and I found a little nobility in the act.

That’s my answer & I’m sticking to it.

6 Replies to “Douglass”

  1. …it seems the more I learn about you the cooler you become. I know a few trans allies….I live with one…but you are sort of the speaker of the house on this issue. Thanks for what you do so well.

    Patty loved the book you signed. I think she’ll find it to be very relevant. Thanks again.

  2. Thanks for ending with a quote from one of the moderately unsung greats, Frederick K. Douglass.

    I am glad that out of the past few years of tribulation of trans we have witnessed the emergence of what may turn out to be the biggest uniter of the LGBT communities. “Q.” Got LGQBT?

    Great blog entry thanks you the partner who shared too.

  3. It’s a good quote, and a good sentiment. And btw, you shouldn’t be afraid to identify with LGBT even if you don’t fit exactly within the four letters of the listed alphabet soup. Most progressive LGBT people understand that Q’s, I’s, A’s, as well as other letters, are in the soup even when we don’t actually say those letters when we say “LGBT.” You belong Helen if you see yourself as being a part of, or allying with the community.

  4. Interesting. Despite my status, whatever that is, I get angry when people demand that only personal experience is primary, and often the first, criteria used to qualify for something. I’m not discounting personal experience, but the LGBT community is then dismissing a lot of people who have supported the community for years and decades. And it can be argued those folks have provided more results than the community itself.

    The community needs their voice, whatever flavor of personhood that is, and denying them support is discrimination. If the community can’t or won’t support them, who else will? I don’t see a lot of non-LGBT organizations offering scholarships for LGBT issues. It’s about supporting the diversity of humanity. Everything else is incidental.

  5. I think it has a lot to do with feeling like it’s okay to be a roadie, but not okay to feel like one of the band. It’s like I’m seen as queer by association and somehow that marginalizes my own experience. I really don’t know. There are still times I feel like I’m trapped between worlds. Queered by the Hets and Hetted by everyone else. I’m just tired of being othered.

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