Opinion transgender pride, transgender exclusion from pride, LGB, trans, genderqueer,

Published on June 12th, 2012 | by Wild Gender


A Painful Pride: Ryan Confronts Bigotry at “Gay” Fest

transgender pride, transgender exclusion from pride, LGB, trans, genderqueer,


By Ryan Cassata

Yesterday, I played Long Island Pride Fest. It was really excellent for me to take the stage at the Pride closest to my hometown. All of my local friends got to see me rock a huge festival. My performance went great. I got encored which was an amazing feeling. I was announced as a “transgender singer-songwriter.”

Now, I’m totally fine being known as a transgender singer-songwriter. I’m even more comfortable with it at pride. Everyone at pride is cool with trans people right? Wrong.

About thirty minutes after my performance I walked–alone–to the parking lot to move my guitar from backstage to my car.

I was approached by three cis-men. They seemed to be about 20 or 21. They didn’t seem drunk. They were wearing pride pins and rainbows. Two of them were touching a bit. They were definitely there celebrating pride, no doubt.

As they came closer they started to chuckle in an immature way.

”Look, it’s the girlboy!” They continued to laugh, pointing their fingers at me. I felt like a circus freak show exhibit.

I felt a fire rage up inside of me.

How could this happen to me at a pride festival? How could other queer people be so uneducated about the trans community that they make a comment so ridiculous and offensive?

The three boys walked past me.

I turned around and let that fire take hold of my actions. I screamed out, “are you in this community or are you a fucking asshole?”

Then I realized: I see all other queer people and also non-queer allies as a part of my community, but these three supposedly cisgender gay men, they do not see me in their community. They do not welcome trans people in their community. They spit at the very thought of us.

Isn’t it crazy how so much ignorance can exist within the queer community?

I went home from pride feeling like their was no safe place for transgender people. I always saw pride as a safe place, a place where I could truly be myself and not have to worry about being attacked, ridiculed or bullied.

Unfortunately, I will now carry fear with me to pride. Myself and other trans people are not welcomed by some members of the gay community. I now have to worry about being attacked by other members in the queer community. It’s really a shame.

I blame it all on ignorance.

For one, the Long Island gay center does not focus at all on transgender issues or the trans community. They predominately cater to white gay cis-men. It’s time to stand up. It’s time to let this awful truth be known. It’s time to let the gay center know how we feel. I will soon be voicing my pride experience and my feelings to them.

No, I’m not blaming this all on the gay center but they do have the upper hand and they can do a lot to fix this problem. We need to start somewhere.

I can name many other times where I have been excluded or made fun of by cisgender gay men. Sometimes it’s not they are trying to be rude. It’s because they are uneducated about trans people.

– You have no right to ask a trans person what they have in their pants.
– It’s rude to say to a trans-guy “0h, Well, You kind of look like a girl.”
– It’s rude to say to a transwoman “oh, well you kind of look like a man.”
-Being queer does not give you the right to look over the things mentioned on the list.

Are we the LGBT community or is it segregated to an LGB community and a T community? Before we ask society to accept any of us we must first learn to accept all of us.


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About the Author

Wild Gender

is an online magazine and creative hub born out of gratitude for the gift of full expression. We are dedicated to creative practices that celebrate gender fluidity, identity and expression. Wild Gender prioritizes visual art, creative writing, and journalistic work by trans/gender-variant individuals who have never before been published in a public venue. Run entirely by volunteers,we are always in search of writers, thinkers, and creators hoping to participate in our growing community.

One Response to A Painful Pride: Ryan Confronts Bigotry at “Gay” Fest

  1. Skyspiders says:

    I am so glad that you wrote this. I feel just a tiny little bit less fear in the LGBT community knowing that someone else has this fear as well.

    I am ready to write a manifesto entitled; Its easier for me to say ‘Gay’

    I love the LGBT community so much. I sit and read their stories for hours, watch their ‘it get’s better videos” and sob silently to myself at ridiculous hours of the morning. I feel that my struggle with the community, and family is so similar even if our situations, feelings orientations are not exactly the same.
    But I feel afraid to attend pride parades. I feel like I can’t reach out to them, because inevitably they address… almost like… what ‘side’ your on. Gay men even talk down and talk trash to lesbian women. Its no surprise to me that they then do the same to trans people. They are scathing towards blurred or as they call them ‘indecisive’ perspectives such as ‘BI’ I can only imagine what would they do with someone like me..

    I often find, over and over again, that it’s easier for me to say gay than anything else.
    Straight people understand what Gay is.
    Its safer to say gay around gay people too. They also understand Gay.

    It’s still very polar for them. men with men women with women. They are just paired up on the polar opposites together.

    As soon as Bi people who go from one side to the other on a regular basis introduced themselves they were shunned because that breaks this “law” of polarity in their minds.

    When trans people introduced themselves they were shunned even more so and treated like a smear on a good name. ‘blending’ the ‘pure’ polarization of the opposites couldn’t possibly be tolerated…

    It continues to be this way, even with more education, with more resources, and more brave people sharing who they really are with the world…
    The LGBT community is still incredibly biased
    Gay newspapers still advertise ‘men only’ events. & I can’t help but wonder to myself what exactly it is that they are defining as men or how they would react if a trans FTM came to one of those events. I envision a ‘where the wild things are’ reception where they ‘roll their terrible eyes and gnash their terrible teeth’

    I’ve met people all over the world FTM who are interested in men. and beyond. Why should they be excluded from events of men seeking men? etc.
    But they are, and vehemently so.

    So for someone like me, born sex -F gender neutral asexual who is interested more prominently in women for physical but not sexual companion ship – but doesn’t mind male companionship and enjoys every shade of FTM MTF neutral and beyond in between… it is almost impossible to be heard, given genuine consideration, respected and acknowledged.
    People of every aspect of the LGBT community can not even comprehend someone of my orientation let alone accept us or appreciate us. They want us to constantly prove who we ‘say’ we are to them and they never fully accept it. They make fun of me all the time.

    ” Oh you want to have kids? Well… you know you have to have SEX to do that right? ” -cissgendered atypical male……me-  No actually I don’t, not at all.

    ” Well…. if you don’t like sex then how come you like kissing and cuddling and stuff ” – Gay male ….. me- Because sex is sex and kissing is kissing. -big difference-

    ” Kissing is definitely a sexual thing so you can’t be asexual ” –  Transgendered MTF …. me – I can see how kissing can be sexual and I understand that kissing is purely sexual to you but that is not how i feel about it.

    ” Your face is too feminine and soft to ever look like a guy, you’ll never be taken seriously as anything other than female” …. Lesbian Female

    it goes on and on…

    In fact… as soon as I openly talk about what I am in any kind of community and my true orientation openly, it immediately sparks a hot debate with everyone around the table about my ‘proposal’

    As if they were going to decide amongst themselves then and there whether I was valid, like what I had just said, was that I was an Alien from outer space.

    They continue to talk amongst themselves occasionally listening to what I have to say, only to use what I have told them to somehow prove or disprove their opinion on me.

    This goes on for hours until finally they see fit to collectively dismiss me with a – no- your not- you don’t even know what you are talking about because we all cant understand you and don’t have anyone amongst us who has your experiences that you claim to have so you must be wrong, or lying.

    Yet if I introduce myself as “Gay”

    Their is a collective… OH… ok…. and the conversation continues normally without hardly so much as a ripple.

    So it is just easier for me to say “Gay” and it is so pathetic that I am MORE accepted universally if I say that for the most part, than I am if I share who I really am and where I really stand.  

    I walked into a college campus recently with a gay resource center…. they had a pamphlet wall with every kind of information you could think of…

    My heart skipped a beat when my eyes came across the word ‘asexuality’ in bold letters on one of them.

    It may be two leaflets on a wall in a sea of others… but its a start. More of this is needed for everyone, All the letters in the alphabet after LGBT couldn’t define the range of people that exist at this point – but every single person who identifies in their own way is valid, and we all deserve to be acknowledged for who we really are.

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