I would like to take the present moment to lay out my plans for my Transmedia blog entries, at least for the near future. It has been suggested that I should write a blog post describing how to talk to trans people and how to discuss trans issues with due respect and consideration. I also intend to begin pursuing a series of blog entries that are deeply tied to my personal interests and to my career goals.
With regard to my entry on respectfully discussing trans issues, I would like to state at the outset that I will present my own views on this. I do not claim to speak for all trans people, nor should my advice be taken as concrete and immutable. With respect to these issues, and especially when speaking to trans people, I cannot stress enough how important it is to be cognizant of the person’s feelings and what they say. Some trans people may be comfortable with terms and manners of speaking with which I am not—and vice-versa. Also, I beg to keep in mind that the term transgender is an umbrella term and covers transsexuals—who have transitioned or intend to transition to the opposite gender to that which was assigned to them at birth; cross-dressers—those who live varying proportions of their time as the opposite gender to that which was assigned to them at birth; and those who identify as genderqueer, agender, or some other variety of gender outside of the traditional gender binary.
My preferences and my comfort level is determined by my identity as a female and by my intention to fully transition from male to female. That being said some of my views may be found to be shared by many trans people you come into contact and I will strive to be general and broad in my statements. Also, slip-ups and ignorance are to be expected. So long as you come from a place of respect, they will be tolerated. What is most important is a willingness to learn and accept when a trans person informs you that something you say is inappropriate or offensive.
Finally, I may turn to my intended project, about which I am terribly excited. I work in a public library and plan to pursue my Master of Library Science degree after graduating, with the goal of becoming a children’s librarian or a YA librarian. I have determined to compile a (hopefully exhaustive) list of children’s and YA literature that deals with trans characters and with trans issues. I have found a few lists online and am excited to see the amount that exists. I intend to post every few weeks regarding one or more of these works: my views on it; the quality of the representation in the case of works of fiction; the usefulness of the information in the case of works of non-fiction.
I will begin next week with the work Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher. I happened across this at worked and was thrilled. Thankfully I have finally remembered to find the time to read it. It was published in 2009 and is a winner of the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award.
I hope that these posts will be met with enthusiasm and will hold the interest of those who read them. I would love to hear of any suggestions of works to include in my future blog posts; and would love to hear from other trans women on my post on discussing trans issues with regard to their opinions on what I write. I know that not all of my opinions will meet with everyone’s approval, but I would love to see it open a dialogue that can further develop conversation on these issues and further develop the knowledge of those who may come from a place of respect, but may not be up to par on the respectful language.
I would also like to note that I intend to start a personal blog in the future, which will include some cross-postings from this blog (especially of those posts in my proposed series) but will expand to include topics of a personal interest, and topics related to trans issues, which are not necessarily related to media. I will announce the commencement of this blog as soon as I have gotten around to starting it.