Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Gabbi Pierce on the “Evolution of Gender”

The Wild Reed’s 2022 Queer Appreciation series continues with an excerpt from Gabbi Pierce’s insightful June 18 Lavender Magazine article that explores and celebrates the “evolution of gender.”


The deep struggle that comes with being trans is undeniable, but where there is struggle, there is resilience in the perseverance of life, and where life perseveres, the whisper of a better world can still be heard. Mae, a trans woman with a powerful disposition and a passion for helping others, offered her vision of the kind of world she wants to see won.

“One where we’re free to be ourselves without having that fear of retaliation, or that fear of being physically assaulted just for being trans. One where we’re able to go to the doctor and get our HRT [hormone replacement therapy] and everything like that without having to jump through so many hoops. Yeah… It would be really cool to live in that world.” she said, before adding: “It feels like I’m asking for the bare minimum which is really sad, but that’s – I mean – honestly that’s all I can ask for.”

Invited to share their thoughts on what a gender liberatory world would look like, Ag [a passionate non-binary organizer] expressed that they “thought about free trans inclusive healthcare, public housing, mass transit, worker owned systems . . . basically just a world that’s rooted in caring for one another – cis or trans. Going through that world would just be so euphoric, and I feel bubbly when I think about it. I get butterflies in my chest kind of, thinking about a world where we can all just, like, exist and care for one another.”

Margot [who identifies as a trans woman] responded that she just wants a world where being trans isn’t a big deal before speaking to the things about being trans that feel positive.

“The more positive stuff is I guess just to do with my life and rebirth and, like, being able to be myself and put my life into a place that I feel very excited about living every day.” she reflected out loud.

Margot’s ideal world is to “be able to access the amazing, transformative, life giving parts of being trans, without the stigma and the – oh my god – just the ravid hatred, or the more structural issues that are in place to keep us in our zones.”

Upon obtaining the vision of a better world, a new challenge is presented, the challenge to make that world a reality. Agency must be embraced in steering the struggle, the evolution of gender, along the proper course to the end destination.

Ag illuminated an approach that emphasizes cis and trans people standing together, deep community organizing, and building political power.

“We really need cis people to be very committed to the vision of trans liberation and to actually put the work in . . . actually like fighting alongside us to build this world of liberation that we’re fighting for. That looks like organizing our communities, electing people into office who are also going to fight for us, having cis people alongside trans people in building this world.” they stressed.

In this world, the validity of a trans person’s humanity is the subject of mainstream debate, and in this world, cis-normative patriarchal dominance continues to fight to maintain its grip over all aspects of gender oppressed life. However, the dream of a better world lives boldly, growing in power as it’s carried from one generation to the next in the long struggle toward liberation. That struggle drives forward the evolution of gender, forcing down the walls that were built to lock away all outside of the cis-normative binary, to expand the ways in which gender is understood, communicated, and lived. It is that evolution, that struggle, that paves the path from the world that currently is to the world that needs to be, and it is through collective power and a shared vision of hope that the struggle is won. Hardship permeates trans life, but so too does the essential dream of a better world, and that world – the world where gender lives unconfined – is ready to be claimed.

Gabbi Pierce
Excerpted from To Struggle and to Dream:
The Evolution of Gender

Lavender Magazine
June 18, 2022

NEXT: Afdhere Jama’s
“Love Song to the Queer Somali”

Related Off-site Links:
What Does It Mean to Be Gender Non-conforming? – Janet Brito (Healthline, January 13, 2021).
Democrats Unveiling “Transgender Bill of Rights” – Zach Schonfeld (The Hill, June 28, 2022).
Spanish Government Approves New Bill on Transgender RightsAP News (June 27, 2022).
A Map of Gender-Diverse CulturesPBS.org (August 11, 2015).

UPDATE: Americans Are Deeply Divided on Transgender Rights, a Poll Shows – Melissa Block (NPR News, June 29, 2022).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Putting a Human Face on the “T” of “GLBT”
Trans 101
Catholics Recognize and Celebrate the Truth of Transgender People: “Their Quest for Authenticity Is a Quest for Holiness”
Lisa Leff on Five Things to Know About Transgender People
Day of Silence Prayer
Our Lives as LGBTQI People: “Garments Grown in Love”
Jim Smith on the “Tears of Love and Faith” of LGBTI People and Their Families
Minnesota Catholics, LGBT Students, and the Ongoing Work of Creating Safe and Supportive Schools
“This Is Indeed Part of My Queer Agenda”
Signs and Wonders Continue

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