BY FERN SNEDEKER
A queer community under increased surveillance. Queer bodies under attack—psychologically, ideologically, physically. Nudieland—where two men shot seven and killed one at a queer punk show in Phillips—is the most recent example on my mind. But it’s not even the most recent attack on the trans community, just the one I remember most vividly.
Draconian laws trying to normalize us and shape us into cis bodies. Queerphobia. The odd glance or comment of the storekeeper, the server, the childhood friend. All I can think is, “Why do they want us to die, why do they laugh at suicides?” as Anita Velveeta sings in “TERFS WILL NOT GET INTO HEAVEN.”
My only response to the weight of surveillance can be gender euphoria. What does this look like?
Telling myself I love my body. Wearing clothes that feel true to me. Telling friends about my queerness and them accepting me. My hair—yes, my beautiful, twirled, messed-up hair. Pronoun pins. Getting pride flags and being outwardly queer. Celebrating when someone uses the right pronouns for me. The euphoria I feel when someone corrects misgendering for me. Queer music. Writing about queer rights. The communal love that brings us all together.
It’s also about celebrating the small wins: a coworker trying hard to use my pronouns; the days I wake up and feel FREAKING GOOD about my outfit; advocating for myself and others on the days I don’t feel like it.
When discussing transgender people, mainstream discourse often focuses on gender dysphoria. My hope is that in celebrating our transformations—physical, emotional, communal and spiritual—we can show our very human essence in a world where many perceive us to be outside the realm of humanity.