Recently, I made passing reference to a comment that got me thinking about the problematic nature of plastic surgery and how that conversation is a bit weird for someone like me who has had a fair amount of work under the hood.
I feel like I've had a few similar moments where I'm hearing conversations and I'm like, "hmm... wait. This sounds a bit different to my trans ears". One was in the "Fat is not the Enemy" panel today. There was good discussion about the importance of learning to love our fat bodies. porcinea told some really good anecdotes about her own headspace realignment from one where fat shame was normal to where she felt genuine fat joy.
And the conversation seemed to generalize a bit to acknowledging that there's often a lot social pressure for women to hate their bodies and that learning to love the bodies we have is such an important feminist action. But obviously I can't hear that without thinking about the many, many conversations I've had where people seemed to be telling me that my trans identity seemed to be an example where I couldn't Learn to Love the Body I Had with a dollop of You're Too Invested In The Social Construction of Gender. (That latter argument goes, "if our society wasn't so uptight about the social role of women and the social role of men, then trans people wouldn't feel any need to change their bodies because they could do the stuff they want to do regardless of what their body looked like." This often reminds me of Ayn Rand logic.)
Even when I do have these "Now, just hold on" moments, I find myself wondering when it's fruitful to just blog about them or if it's a good idea to bring them up in the panel. Despite having these "Now just hold on" moments, I think WisCon "gets" trans issues. I think that the majority of people who attend WisCon, even if they're not fluent with trans issues, get the whole "questioning gender" concept. And, as this year's Elves and Dwarfs panel reminds us yet again, it's not true that the majority of people who attend WisCon get issues like racism. I mean, they get it at the level of "racism is bad, don't be racist." But. I hope you know what I mean.
Anyway, I don't feel as compelled to take space in non-trans panels to talk about a trans spin on the panel topic when it's clear that we need so much more space for dealing with race issues (there are probably other issues that need space at WisCon, but it's so clear that race needs so much more discussion and treatment). I want to be clear that I still think that WisCon is the best con evah (partially because there are so many people who recognize the deficiencies and jump up to do the work to improve them), but it'd be wrong to gloss over these unhappy-making elements of the con.