it was strange

Very strange to be talking to a 42-year-old trans man who has lived so much trans community history — who knows Monica Helms, the woman who designed the first trans flag, and who used the very original copy to drape over the coffin of one of his friends, and who has been personally targeted by the KKK for his activism — and to have to explain to him the phenomenon of trans medicalism.

Very strange to be talking to this man who told me that the trans flag and the trans symbol were both originally designed to include nonbinary people, who kept following up what he was saying about trans history by saying “I was there,” who emphasized the initial, intentional value of “unity” in the trans community, and to find myself trying to explain to him why there are people who don’t feel like “transgender” is truly the broadest umbrella term.

Very strange to be talking to this man, who explicitly believes that “queer” is useful and appropriate as a substitute to “the alphabet soup,” who explicitly counts an a-for-asexuality as part of that string of initials, and to try to relay my personal sense that it’s wrong of me to even get my fingerprints on the word “queer.”

He looked at me like that shouldn’t even be in question.

It was strange.

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