Rad Reading: Transgender liberation doesn’t need inclusion
by Abaki Beck
In this essay, trans non-binary student Landyn Pan writes about inclusion versus liberation for trans people. He emphasizes that inclusion in violent gender binary systems should not be a goal in activism, and does nothing to make him feel more safe. Beyond physical inclusion (he cites bathrooms and Greek life), he also discusses how the gender binary and gender expectations policies trans people on how to "be" trans. He writes about his own process as an Asian American trans non-binary person navigating both mainstream spaces and (majority white male) trans spaces.
This is a particularly relevant essay as many states, cities, and schools are debating "bathroom bills" that would allow individuals to use the restroom affiliated with their gender identity. Similar critiques are had of marriage equality as a "big moment" for LBGTQ rights. How does advocating for entry and celebrating "being allowed" into an oppressive system help to dismantle it? Though brief, this essay is an important critique and perspective on contemporary trans activism and what liberation truly looks like for trans and queer people.
POC Online Classroom celebrates the intellectual tradition and knowledge production of marginalized communities. Rad Reading is a series that highlights texts to read, writers to support, and ideas to discuss. We post every Tuesday!