Sponsor talk at Transgenderfilmfestival 2009, Amsterdam

Sponsor talk TNN at NTGF 5 May 22 2009

Good evening everyone. Sparkling persons, genders and genitals.

As community sponsor the Transgender Network Netherlands is proud to present the movie, “Los travestis también lloran”, “Transvestites also cry.”

Transgender Network Netherlands is an organization you might see as the political wing of the dutch transgender movement to be. “To be” because there are several organizations and a few companies with T* as its core business, but there is up to now not much of a movement.

TNN strongly supports this festival as an excellent example visibility, being one of our core projects these years. Together with better legislation, better health care and anti-discrimination.

I am particularly happy to introduce this movie because it tells of those of us who are in the most marginal positions: immigrant transvestites with no legal status, no other means of existence than sex work.

For me at least the existence of groups like these shows we cannot stop when dutch or european transgenders have their rights secured. Until we all are free no one is really free. This theme touches on immigration, poverty, discrimination, injustice.

We will not be free until the European fortress has opened its doors, until justice is done to everyone. We’ve got a long way ahead of us, but times seem to be favorable for us.

Until we come out of the closet and people get to know us, we will still suffer from transphobia. We are here and we want to recruit you for the transgender revolution. A very practical start is to all come out to at least one person who doesn’t know who we REALLY are. Like Harvey Milk said for the gays and lesbians of his days. You can not have an invisible movement and visibility really works. So out of the closet and into the streets everyone.

Thanks and enjoy the movie

7 thoughts on “Sponsor talk at Transgenderfilmfestival 2009, Amsterdam

  1. Janiek

    Visibility is a tricky thing as trans people are concerned. These people are so diverse that presenting or representing them as a group and say “We” and “Us” seems to result in a picture where “we” are seen as the segment of our movement that is most visible, because most different in appearance and choices and life style from “mainstream” society. Which is not neccesarily an advantage for everyone in the community.

    I for myself like to be seen as a woman and am perfectly comfortable with disclosing my transgender background if and when I deem it appropriate. What I am not comfortable with is “transgender” becoming a sort of identity that comes between me and my chances of being accepted as a woman in the first place.

    This causes me to have mixed feelings about “transgender” becoming more visible as a group identity.

  2. vreer Post author

    @Janiek
    It is. And we are so diverse as a group. And visibility surely not always is an advantage. I surely recognize that. I suggest more visibility as a means to be nown as a group. One way is more role models (volunteers anyone?) but that is not enough for the human environment. Then we still can be seen as freaks or sinners or whatever negative they come up with. When friends, colleagues, family etc. know who and what you are they get a more realistic idea about ‘us’. Which mostly leads to less discrimination (analogous to the gay thing). Therefor I deem it important to be out personally. Maybe not always and everywhere – always take care of personal safety. But passing is frelling privilege.

    As to the personal, individual aspect: ther is always tension between the personal need and the political. That will hopefuly lead to a reatie self outing strategy ;o)
    I am not saying everybody must me out everytime in every place, but (lots) more out & proud people is god for society and for us.

    Leaving the closet behind is also a question of pride: pride of who you are, self consciousness, self love

  3. janiek

    @ vreer: Maybe that could be a helpful strategy: empower each other to be out in the way you are yourself. And to make sure media visibility shows as much of the difference as is possible to prevent the development of stereotypes (analogous to the gay and lesbian thing ;-P!).

  4. Frederique

    I think that it would be good that any trans-whatever is known as trans-whatever in its own environment. Not to make a new steriotype about trans-whatevers as a third sex or whatever, but to make trans-whatevers a personal thing instead of something that is far away from ones doorstep. Most steriotypes about trans-whatevers will remain despite whatever media-attention if trans-people are hiding behind the steriotypes about man and women. Media-attention will help if transgenders will talk about the differences (and the things that are the same) to people in their own environment. The problem is that many trans-people just don’t like that kind of talk because they don’t want to be known to be different to “normal (wo)man”.

  5. janiek

    @ Frederique: the problem is not being known as different from other men or women, but that this difference becomes in some way more important than your being the man or woman you are and want to be recognised as.

  6. janiek

    Well, my dear Clouzeau, ik merk dat ik er steeds minder van begrijp, van dit soort politike stellingnames. En hoe duidelijker jij erin bent, hoe duidelijker het mij wordt dat het niks voor mij is.

    Ik zie mijn genderbeleving en seksualiteit niet in termen van rebellie tegen een onderdrukkend systeem. Dat de meerderheid van de mensen (op het oog) hetero is, is lastig voor verschillende minderheden. Door alle vanzelfsprekende aannames word je niet gezien of moet je jezelf telkens weer uitleggen. Maar het behoren tot een HLBT-kamp op de tegenoverliggende heuvel brengt gewoon opnieuw allerlei aannames met zich mee, waartegen je jezelf moet uitleggen. Ik ben niet eens hetero, maar wat moet een hetero trans met een bom onder het hetero-systeem, vraag ik me af? Ik krijg er in elk geval geen wij-gevoel bij.

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