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This here is a low traffic blog on topics close to my heart. As such, comments and engagement on old posts are always welcome and will be responded to. Except! for comments on old posts telling me to lighten up, not take things so seriously, or let things go, 'cause that shit's just plain ironic. Those comments will get a suggestion to visit Derailing for Dummies.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tiwonge Chimbalanga Is A Woman

Ok folks, I'm a little tired, a little behind on schoolwork (ok, a lot behind on school work), needing to have laid my head down on the pillow hours ago, and more than a lot pissed.

Because: Tiwonge Chimbalanga is a woman and she has been for years.
Say it with me folks! Tiwonge Chimbalanga, the (sole) female partner in a couple who were recently convicted of "homosexuality" in Malawi is a woman. Her nickname is "Aunt Tiwo." Notice the "aunt" in "Aunt Tiwo?" Tiwonge Chimbalanga is a woman.

FUCK. I mean, how many times do I need to repeat this until it sinks in in the mainstream, (and more importantly damnit, gay) media? I'm so sick of this cooptation of the struggles of trans* people (and let's be honest with ourselves, it's actually mostly the struggles of trans* women that are being coopted, and it's mostly trans* women of color who are at greatest risk of physical violence).

10 times? 100 times? I'll do it! You won't like it but I will. Because Tiwonge Chimbalanga deserves to not have one more slight thrust upon her. It was wrong of the Malawi government to attempt to jail her and her partner Steven, and it would *also* be wrong for the government to have done that if she was man. But she isn't. She's a woman. Tiwonge Chimbalanga is a woman.

Should I write a fucking song about it? I'm afraid it's pretty boring, I haven't really worked out the chord structure, melody line, or the verses, so far it's just aproximately 20 choruses of "Tiwonge is a woman" (3 times each chorus) and then at the end when performing you're required to get really angry and throw a vase full of flowers against the wall on the last line. The flowers represent humanity's attempts to pretty up bigotry. Ok, so it's mostly a performance piece. It'll be opening in NY in a month, along with my other piece "ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH: A Musing on Things that Piss Me Off"

A partial rundown of what I'm talking about: Questioning Transphobia quotes numerous articles that totally misgender Tiwonge Slap upside the head continues to repeatedly post about "gay" couple in Malawi that Tiwonge is part of (which is what set off this particular tirade), and now a random list of blogs that are queer/gay identified that just popped up when I ran a quick search that all either report on the "gay" couple without explaining the truth, or actively call Tiwonge a man.

Why yes. I am angry I just searched and found not a single LGBT (a lot of them say they are fucking LGBT on them!) blog that even mentioned preferred pronouns or the fact that "gay" is the wrong way to describe a straight relationship between Tiwonge Chimbalanga (who is a woman) and Steven Monjeza.

1 comment:

  1. Yep. There was a time when one could make excuses, such as "Maybe they don't know", but not any more. There was a time when they were saying, "Let's concentrate on getting them out of jail, then we'll worry about 'details' such as gender identity". Well, they're out of jail, and Chimbalanga is still being misgendered. There was a time when they were arguing that "'Transgender' is Western concept and it would be appropriative to impose it" (while having no problem imposing the equally Western term "gay couple"). But there's nothing Western about the idea of a 'woman', last I looked, and Chimbalanga has repeatedly said that she is one. I will join your chorus!


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