Text by Miquel Missé, translated from original at http://www.idemtv.com/es/2015/12/30/camarada-alan/
I almost know you, Alan. They had proposed me to pay you a visit, a couple of weeks ago to lift you up a bit. To tell you about the many dates when you’re a trans guy, or that the best remedy against bullying is girlfriends, or that Barcelona has a great group Jovens Trans (Trans Youth) that would shower you with kisses and would teach you the non-binary language, or that you could go see a movie some Friday in Espai Trans (Trans Space) and that you could take your mummy with you so she could have a coffee with the other volunteer-mummies of Grupo Familias Trans (Trans Family Group) in the side-room. Or that you could join an event of the big Generem (Gender) family. Or that you’d go to a concert of Viruta FtM. Many spaces you would have been welcomed warmly, where you would have felt less alone, but where you never went. Of course, if there would be anyone who could understand you, it would have been your equals, the dozens of of trans guys and girls who crowded yesterday in a manifestation to remember you. Who, just like you, ran a steeple chase to survive in school, with serious doubts if they would make it. Who invented dozens of stratagems to go unnoticed in hostile spaces, telling lies to not show our documentation. Who know of the 1001 black holes you could fall through constructing a boy identity with knowing where to start.
I almost know you, and at the same time, it is almost like I knew you.
These days many people ask how it can be that committed suicide. They raise their hands to their heads. What I think is why it doesn’t happen more often. More, the question ought to be: why shouldn’t it happen. Surely many comrades who day in day out give talks and workshops about sexual and gender diversity in hundreds of schools, share this reflection. And every day discover someone who literally survives in their class. The school bullying for having a different gender expression or identity is on a daily basis. You don’t have to take much effort to see it, in gthe squares, corridors, dressing rooms. No mystery at all. The majority of LGTB persons tell stories of discrimination during adolescence. Dozens of reports have been written to tell it still takes place, but still people are surprised. More than naivety, it is utter hypocrisy. Your death will doubtlessly bring school bullying on page one. But what I a am not clear about is if they will develop politics to transform this scenario.
Now it is easy to say #YoTambiénSoyAlan (#IAmAlsoAlan). That is what the whole world does. But it is way more difficult to be Raquel, Sara, Nico, Claudia, Paul … that are still alive. Some days they fight under the blankets not to go to school ot who seek a new school. Who resist through therapy or some pill to calm their discomfort, caused in part by many boys and girls exercising violence to show that they triumphed in reproducing the hegemonic gender roles but who in turnare also victims dresses up as executioner. Who survive with patches that only seek to readapt them as if it depended on them, hiding our collective responsibility. Having to hear every day the mantra that the environment is difficult to change and that reality is thát suffocating and the binary só engrained … Thus implanting the defeat.
But notwithstanding all that noise, Raquel, Sarta, Nico, Claudia, Paul .. are still alive.
I remember that not even a year ago, when we launched project OASIS, holiday camps for LGBT youth in Barcelona, hearing form some public administrations that the bullying wasn’t that strong. That in the end people found a way out, we shouldn’t overdramatise .. in the end. I really would have taken you with OASIS.
Let all this sadness that engulfs us these days not blind us. May this sadness return us our rage against a system to which your death is just collateral damage. Like the women we bury each month, like the fucking faggots that is painted on bathroom doors. Your death is the best example that our culture is rooted in the idea that there are only men and women, boys and girls. With opposite bodies and binary brains, polarized behaviors, heterosexual desire. Your death is the best example of a structural disaster: sexism.
When trans boys and girls won’t have to hide their identity in class, that would be a success. That they can be trans people in their school, trans colleagues of their friends, trans alumni of their teachers. Without having to guard any secret. In order to get there, that trans youth can feel safe, we need trans role models, trans culture, and much much trans pride.
Le no one believe that will be fixed by changing the names on out ID’s, nor by changing our bodies. That would help us live better.nut wouldn’t do away with the system that led you to your death. The answer lies in stop focusing on what trans people should change, and start with changing the social system that, to start with, pathologises our experience demanding a certificate of mental illness every step we take.
May your rebellious smile with which the media torture us serve to pass the lament and keep us in the struggle. May it serve to keep your memory alive with the deepest trans rage. Because a comrade is who – without getting to know them – we can know through their day to day struggles as through their great battles, share them and love them.
I almost knew you comrade Alan. But from now on we surely will not forget you.