Listening to the Trans Experience

Expanding the LGBTQ Conversation
July 14 2014 3:29 PM

Listen to Trans Australians Tell Their Stories

transstill
Just listen.

Still from "In My Shoes."

A common refrain among trans activists is “just listen,” and for good reason: Respectfully listening to the stories of trans people with an open mind is probably the quickest possible way to social justice. Of course, statistics being what they are, it’s entirely possible that many people won’t encounter a trans person in their everyday lives—which is why it’s great that The Gender Centre, an advocacy organization based in New South Wales, Australia, has produced a video that allows space for some of their clients to just speak for themselves.

The young trans adults featured in the documentary talk about all facets of the trans experience, and they echo a point about invasive medical questions articulated by Parker Marie Molloy in Outward last week: Stop asking. As one interviewee puts it: “I just want people to get that if you’re not OK with me asking about every little thing about your dick, don’t ask about mine.” It’s not a big request, but refraining from such questioning can go a long way toward making the world a more humane place for trans individuals. 

J. Bryan Lowder is a Slate assistant editor. He writes and edits for Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section, and for the culture section.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Behold
Sept. 21 2014 11:00 AM Sometimes You Just Need to Print Your Photos the Old-Fashioned Way 
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.