Speech RaR

Hello, this is the first time I’m doing a speech at a demonstration. I’ve had a feeling I have things to say for years now, and I’m slowly finding a way to put my feelings into words.

I am standing here for myself more than anything else, because I am hurt and angry and I want to emphasize that and to be seen.

First, I am going to talk about the pain. Then about the anger. 

Some of you may know the feeling of getting stared at on the street for a little longer than necessary. And those looks don’t come from interest and friendliness but from disgust, confusion and outrage. 

I know those looks all too well. They got more when I shaved my head some years ago. They got more when I started dressing the way I like and they got more when I moved from Osnabrück to Dresden last year.

Sometimes it’s more than just looks. Strangers, especially in public transport, have asked me intimate questions more than once, like: “Are you a man or a woman?” “it’s sad, you’re pretty” “Whatis your phenotype like?”

Those little stings, born from ignorance, hurt because they hit the same mark over and over again. Those microaggressions scare me of bigger aggressions. And simply said: They’re just pissing me off.

I identify as queer on basically every level (yay)

Some time ago I looked at my life and recognized a pattern.

My whole life I’ve tried to understand the norm, the majority. What’s it like for a woman to like a man? What’s it like being cis? It was a long process and to a certain extent, I think I get the norm. In the end, I’ve tried to fit in long enough, to just be normal. 

But then I’ve noticed something else: I’ve had enough. I’m tired and exhausted. I am tired of always viewing the perspective of other people, especially because I don’t get much in return. It’s long overdue that the majority tries to understand the minorities, not only in terms of being queer.

Dear people who are not queer: educate yourselves! and try to understand the life realities of queer poeple and other minorities.

Educate yourselves and do it on your own! Don’t lean on queer people to do the work for you. It’s extremely exhausting, tiring and frustrating. 

Responsibility gets put on the affected people not only when it comes to education. On my personal gender journey I’ve been asked again and again: Would trans people still exist if society was different? If iit was more egalitarian, if there wouldn’t be the strict gender norms that we have? Would there still be people with the desire to change their bodies, to “change their gender”? 

You can ask this question in a different way: Are the scars on trans bodies the scars that stayed behind from the hate and the pressure to assign yourself to a gender? 

This might be an interesting and important question but right now it’s irrelevant. It’s a fact that society is not different, society is the way it is right now. And right now, being different is being punished by bigger and smaller gestures. When deciding, you can’t take into consideration that there would be any rapid changes in the next years.

That’s why the priority is not to discuss philosophical questions but to create a more just and self-determined society. It’s not the solution to make it harder to access body conforming measures and to let cis therapists decide who’s “trans enough” in forced therapies.

The solution is to weaken gender roles. I don’t want to stop them at all, but to allow some shades of grey and some colour, to allow and celebrate some differences. Because that’s what differences are: worthy of celebration.

Those are the circumstances that hurt me. Now I want to talk about my anger.

Especially concerning groups who are struturally dircriminated, their anger is often ridiculed. That’s a useful tool if you want to keep someone down because anger is strong and it’s there to support us.

In the last two years, I’ve started getting to know my anger all over again. I guess I have been made to unlearn most of it, like so many people who are raised as women. As a child, I’ve gotten to know more destructive anger, which turned anger in general into a negative thing for me.

In the meantime, I’Ve started to see that anger is incredibly amazing, strong and important. Anger creates clarity and shows us where limits are reached and boundaries should be set.

I want to motivate you to be angry, to say: My limit is reached, something has to change.

I want to motivate you to become friends with your anger.

The more I got to know my anger in the course of the last years, the more I’ve gotten to realize, my anger is of a very clear, strong and soft quality. It helps me to get out of a numb victim position (in which to stay is sometimes good and valid) into a creative position.

I want to advertise our queer college group, which I returned to life with the help of some people a couple of weeks ago.

The group is called Radical Rainbows, which makes me very happy. We might be queer and cute, but we are also radical and angry. 

If you are looking for a queer community, come over – we meet on every first Wednesday of the month at 18 o’clock at the Stura Baracke. You can also find that information on instagram.

Stay angry and form gangs!

Thank you for your attention.