The I don’t care list, an open letter to becoming allies
I don’t care about your feelings of confusion around my gender.
I don’t care about your armchair gender theory, where you tell me how we should “do away with gender” without proposing any solutions to existing oppressive structures.
I don’t care that your gay friend, or even your white trans man friend, used the term “tranny,” you don’t know the effect of that word and have no right to “reclaim” it.
I don’t care when you tell me about how you saw this really fucked up transphobic/transmisogynist thing. Don’t tell me, I know it exists and it’s pervasive. This applies to any intersection of oppression I may inhabit. What I want to hear is what you DID about it in that moment. Otherwise, see my previous lack of caring.
I don’t care about being your go-to “call out” person on all things trans*. If you are my ally, my friend, our relationship has to be more than me calling you out. Putting the onus on me to identify when I need to call you out is exactly the kind of pressure allies are supposed to relieve. Friends get angry with each other, and that is how friendship is tested and understanding is built.
- I care about a lot of things, and that list is far longer. This list itself is in fact an expression of care, a care for myself. Be my ally, wholly and truly in that struggle.
[A/N: presented this as part of my allyship workshop at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference. People seemed to enjoy it and someone asked me for a copy, so here it is for anyone else interested. -Brynn Cassidy (Cass)]