International Day of Transgender Visibility was started just last year as a much-needed counterpart to the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which focused more on memorializing those lost rather than celebrating everything the trans community is doing today. Ironically, a recent controversy over the Tribeca Film Festival features problematic representations of trans women, and the ensuing discussion only further marginalized the trans community. And it all started with a little cis-directed flick called Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives. Yeah, you read that right.
Ida Hammer has been writing The Vegan Ideal for several years as a way to examine and deconstruct overlapping oppressions. Her work centers on undoing transphobia in vegetarian and ecofeminist communities. Ida was kind of enough to speak with me recently about how cissexual privilege undermines a lot of ecofeminist writing and how she has carved safe space for herself in a sometimes very anti-trans movement.
Transphobia and anti-trans sentiments are not uncommon among ecofeminist writers and activists. It's a disgusting and painful reality. Feminists working on all sorts of issues know that transphobia and anti-trans sentiments are not uncommon among radical groups of any kind that nevertheless label themselves as open and tolerant. What's particularly disturbing to me is not that this happens in any one place—context aside, oppression sucks—but that in a movement of people working on issues around valuing all life, human and non-human alike, there are still vocal opponents of trans rights and inclusion. How completely bewildering and shameful.