Imara Jones: Transgender Narratives Are Expansive


>> TRANS VOICES AND TRANSFORMATION.

THIS WEEK ON THE SHOW, USING INDEPENDENT MEDIA TO MAKE CONNECTIONS.

I INTERVIEW IMARA JONES IN A CONVERSATION ABOUT HER TWO SHOWS, TRANS REPRESENTATION, AND RESISTANCE IN THE AGE OF TRUMP.

IT’S ALL COMING UP ON THE LAURA FLANDERS SHOW, THE PLACE WHERE THE PEOPLE WHO SAY IT CAN’T BE DONE TAKE A BACKSEAT TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING IT.

WELCOME.

♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪ >> THE POP CULTURE MOMENT OF THE WEEK CAME WHEN THE CHIEF KNOWLEDGE OFFICER OF CROSSFIT RUSSELL BERGER WROTE IN A TWEET, DON’T THESE PEOPLE KNOW TWITTER'S DANGERS BY NOW? THAT LGBTQIA PRIDE IS "SIN" SHOWING INDEED THAT A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS A DANGEROUS THING.

NOW APPARENTLY BERGER KNEW THAT IT WAS PRIDE MONTH AND HE KNEW THAT CROSSFIT IN INDIANAPOLIS IN ANOTHER HEAD-SCRATCHING MOMENT HAD CHOSEN TO CANCEL A PRIDE EVENT.

WHAT HE DIDN’T KNOW WAS THAT FOR MANY GAY PEOPLE CROSSFIT IS LIKE CHURCH WITH SHOUTING, TESTIFYING, AND RUNNING IN THE AISLES AND PERHAPS AS IMPORTANT FROM A CORPORATE PERSPECTIVE IS THAT CROSSFITTERS ARE WEALTHY, EARNING ON AVERAGE $150, 000.

WELL, WHATEVER HE FORGOT THE COMPANY’S CEO TOLD HIM TO SHUT THE "F UP" AND TO HIDE OUT, FOR REAL, HE SAID BOTH OF THOSE THINGS, WHICH BECAME EASY TO DO BECAUSE, WELL, BERGER WAS FIRED.

ALL OF THIS GOES TO SHOW YOU THAT YOU NEVER GET IN-BETWEEN A CHIEF EXECUTIVE AND HIS MONEY.

>> THAT WAS A CLIP FROM THE LAST SIP WITH IMARA JONES.

THE LAST SIP IS A WEEKLY SHOW THAT PREMIERED ON FREE SPEECH TV EARLIER THIS YEAR.

IT FEATURES DISCUSSIONS ON POLITICS, CULTURE, AND THE HOT TOPICS OF THE DAY.

AS ITS AUDIENCE IT TARGETS HISTORICALLY MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES AND BRINGS THOSE VOICES TO THE FORE ON SUBJECTS SUCH AS DIVERSITY IN TECHNOLOGY, TRANS RIGHTS, OR ONE OF THE HOTTEST SHOWS OF THE SUMMER, POSE.

ON TOP OF THAT, IMARA JONES HAS ANOTHER SHOW OUT NOW, A WEB DOCUSERIES THAT WE’LL ALSO BE HEARING MORE ABOUT.

IMARA, THANKS FOR JOINING US.

GLAD TO HAVE YOU.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

>> I WAS TRYING TO REMEMBER WHEN WAS THE FIRST TIME WE MET OR WERE ON A SHOW TOGETHER.

I COULDN’T ACTUALLY REMEMBER BUT I FEEL LIKE WE’VE CROSSED PATHS FOR A LONG TIME.

>> INDEED.

THEN CONFERENCES AS WELL.

YEAH.

>> NOW WE’RE BOTH ON FREE SPEECH TV.

>> THERE YOU GO.

>> AMONG OTHER PLACES.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE LAST SIP.

WHAT ARE YOU SIPPING FIRST? >> WE ARE SIPPING INFORMATION FROM THE FRONTLINES OF SOCIAL CHANGE.

WE BELIEVE THAT THE COMMUNITIES THAT ARE, AS YOU SAY, THE MOST HISTORICALLY MARGINALIZED, ARE ACTUALLY WHERE THE SOLUTIONS TO OUR MOST PRESSING PROBLEMS ARE COMING FROM BECAUSE THEY’RE THE PEOPLE THAT ARE MOST INVESTED IN FINDING SOLUTIONS, RIGHT? THE PEOPLE THAT ARE MOST IMPACTED ARE THE MOST INVESTED IN FINDING NEW SOLUTIONS.

IN MANY WAYS, THOSE ARE THE VOICES THAT, AS YOU KNOW, ARE NOT UPLIFTED, ARE NOT BROUGHT FORWARD IN MEDIA, AND PARTICULARLY THOSE THAT ARE AT THE INTERSECTION OF RACE, CLASS, ALSO GENDER, AS WELL AS SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND IDENTITY BUT ALL THOSE THINGS SORT OF CREATE NEW POINTS OF VIEW FOR US TO LOOK AT AND THINK ABOUT IN OUR SOCIETY AND AS WE BECOME MORE DIVERSE IT IS EVEN MORE THE CASE.

>> YEAH.

I ALWAYS SAY THE PEOPLE WITH A FRONTLINE SEAT ON WHAT IS HAPPENING ARE THE ONES THAT CAN BRING US THE NEWS.

>> THAT’S RIGHT.

>> PEOPLE WHO ARE AT THE CUTTING EDGE ARE GETTING CUT BUT THEY’RE ALSO GETTING SMART.

>> THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT.

>> ABOUT WHAT’S HAPPENING.

GIVE US SOME EXAMPLES OF SOME OF THE PEOPLE YOU’VE HAD ON, SOME OF THE SHOWS YOU’RE EXCITED ABOUT.

>> ONE OF THE SHOWS THAT I THINK STANDS OUT FOR ME THE MOST IS WHEN WE HAD ALMOST AN ENTIRE SHOW THAT WAS DEDICATED TO SEXUAL ASSAULT AMONGST AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN AND GIRLS.

WE SPOKE ABOUT IT FROM A HISTORICAL POINT OF VIEW, WE SPOKE ABOUT IT FROM A CONTEMPORARY CULTURE POINT OF VIEW.

THERE WAS ONE PERSON THAT WE HAD ON WHO — TREVA LINDSEY, A PROFESSOR WHO WROTE AN ENTIRE ARTICLE FOR VOX ABOUT HOW BLACK WOMEN’S ACTIVISM ACTUALLY HELPED TO SETUP THE PROSECUTION OF BILL COSBY.

WE HAD HER ON AND THAT WAS VERY INTERESTING.

THEN ALSO AISHAH SHAHIDAH SIMMONS, WHO IS A WELL-KNOWN RESTORATIVE JUSTICE VOICE IN TERMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT.

IT WAS THE FIRST TIME THAT I HAD EVER SEEN A PROGRAM ON TELEVISION ON NEWS DEVOTED TO THAT SUBJECT AND WHERE EVERYONE SPEAKING ABOUT IT WERE ALL AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN.

THE CONVERSATION WAS BROAD, BRINGING INTO THAT NOT ONLY CIS WOMEN BUT ALSO TRANS WOMEN AND A LARGER DISCUSSION ABOUT THE ROLE OF MEN OF ALL BACKGROUNDS IN THAT.

THAT WAS A PROGRAM THAT STANDS OUT FOR ME.

THERE ARE OTHER SEGMENTS THAT STAND OUT FOR ME.

ONE OF THEM, AS YOU MENTIONED, WAS ONE THAT WE DID ON THE WAY IN WHICH AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN-LED VR TEAM HERE IN NEW YORK IS USING VR TECHNOLOGY AS A WAY TO COMBAT THE IMPACT OF RACISM BY EMBEDDING WOMEN IN AN ALL-AFRICAN-AMERICAN ENVIRONMENT TO HELP COUNTERACT THE IMPACT OF PTSD AND OTHER THINGS THAT ARE CAUSED BY RACISM, WHICH WAS A TOTAL INNOVATIVE POINT OF VIEW.

THOSE ARE SOME OF THE STANDOUTS FOR ME.

>> YEAH.

YOU’RE DOING THIS NEW DOCUSERIES NOW, TRANSLASH.

GREAT TITLE.

WHAT DO WE SEE IN TRANSLASH? >> ONE OF THE THINGS THAT INTERESTS ME ABOUT TRANSLASH AND ABOUT THIS PARTICULAR MOMENT IS THAT WE’RE AT A MOMENT OF SOCIAL BACKLASH, WHICH IS UNDENIABLE IN ALMOST EVERY SINGLE WAY.

AT THE SAME TIME THERE’S BEEN A DRAMATIC EXPANSION OF THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO ARE TRANSITIONING, EVEN IN THE LAST TWO YEARS.

>> WOW.

IS THAT DOCUMENTED? >> MM-HMM >> WOW.

NOT JUST THAT WE’RE KNOWING MORE PEOPLE, IT’S THAT IT’S HAPPENING MORE? >> IT’S HAPPENING.

IT’S HAPPENING MORE.

FOR INSTANCE, CALLEN-LORDE, HERE IN NEW YORK, THE SINGLE LARGEST FASTEST CATEGORY OF PATIENTS THEY HAVE ARE TRANS PATIENTS.

>> FASCINATING.

>> IT’S INCREASED AN OVERALL NUMBER OF PATIENTS THEY HAVE BY 25%.

>> WHICH IS NOT TO SAY THAT IT’S SUDDENLY GOTTEN EASIER OR MORE COMFORTABLE TO BE A TRANS PERSON IN AMERICA.

>> NO.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MY OWN PROCESS OF TRANSITIONING SPARKED IN ME WAS WHAT’S THIS LINK BETWEEN A BACKLASH AND LEANING FORWARD? WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT THE MOMENT THAT WE’RE IN? I HAVE TO SAY THAT DONALD TRUMP’S ELECTION WAS A SPUR IN ME TO ACCELERATE MY PROCESS, I HAVE TO SAY.

I FOUND IN TALKING TO OTHER PEOPLE THAT I’M NOT ALONE IN THAT.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK IS HAPPENING IS ONE OF THE CORE RATIONALES I BELIEVE FROM THE RIGHT IS THAT THEY WANT TO TAKE THE COUNTRY BACK TO A TIME WHEN ESSENTIALLY THEY WERE DOMINANT AND FELT THE MOST COMFORTABLE, EVEN THOUGH OBJECTIVELY THE COUNTRY WASN’T BETTER OFF BUT THEY FELT THAT.

THE IDEA IS THAT IF THEY UNDERMINE THE PILLARS OF SUPPORT FOR ALL OF THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO COME TO THE FORE SINCE 1965, PARTICULARLY, THEY ARE VERY FOCUSED ON 1965 BECAUSE THAT’S THE YEAR OF IMMIGRATION CHANGE AND ALSO THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT.

IT WAS AFTER THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT.

THEY’RE VERY FOCUSED ON THAT.

THAT SOMEHOW THAT THE COUNTRY WILL BECOME WHITER, MORE MALE, MORE PATRIARCHAL, AND MORE CHRISTIAN AND MORE STABLE.

FROM THEIR POINT OF VIEW.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK IS INDICATIVE OF WHERE WE MIGHT BE GOING IS THIS MOMENT, THIS TENSION THAT I MENTIONED WHERE ACTUALLY, HONESTLY, AS THEY CONTINUE TO PUSH BACK AND TRY TO TURN THE CLOCK BACK THAT ACTUALLY MORE PEOPLE WHO THEY WANT TO GO AWAY ARE GOING TO RISE UP EVEN MORE.

>> MORE AS LIKE EVEN AN ACT OF RESISTANCE? >> THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT.

WHAT THEY’RE ACTUALLY DOING IS NOT SETTING THE COUNTRY ON A MORE STABLE PATH FROM THEIR POINT OF VIEW.

THEY’RE ACTUALLY PUTTING THE COUNTRY ON A MORE UNSTABLE PATH.

THAT WHAT WE’RE DOING IS SETTING UP CLASHES.

WE’RE NOT ACTUALLY GOING TO END THEM.

THAT’S INTERESTING.

I WANT TO TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT WHY THEY DECIDED TO TRANSITION.

WE’RE GOING TO BE SPEAKING TO LEADERS OF VARIOUS ORGANIZATIONS, CAST MEMBERS FROM POSE, AND THERE’S ALSO ANOTHER HOT SHOW THAT FOCUSES ON TRANS PEOPLE CALLED MY HOUSE ON VICELAND.

THOSE CAST MEMBERS.

THEN ALSO SOME ASPECTS OF MY OWN MEDICAL TRANSITION THIS SUMMER.

THERE’S A LOT TO PACK IN IN THOSE EPISODES.

IT’S THAT ESSENTIAL TENSION OF THE PUSHBACK AND THE PUSHBACK AND WHERE THAT LEADS US.

>> I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT MEDIA BECAUSE I WAS STRUCK THIS SUMMER TO SEE ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES AT SOME POINT A FAIRLY POSITIVE STORY ABOUT TRANS MIGRATION AND THE CHALLENGES THAT TRANS PEOPLE HAVE AT THE BORDER.

I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, "WELL, THAT STORY WOULDN’T HAVE APPEARED –" I CAN’T IMAGINE IT EVER APPEARING BEFORE NOW.

I’M SURE THERE’S PROBLEMS WITH THE REPORTING.

THERE IS MORE REPORTING AND IT’S NOT ALL TERRIBLE.

WITH RESPECT TO THE MEDIA, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS CHANGING? ARE YOU SEEING POSITIVE CHANGE OR JUST A GREATER NUMBER OF STORIES? WHAT? >> WELL, I THINK THERE IS — AS TRANS BECOMES MORE VISIBLE, THERE’S MORE COVERAGE.

>> RIGHT.

>> RIGHT.

IT RISES PEOPLE’S CONSCIOUSNESS, WHICH IS WHAT HAPPENS IN MOMENTS LIKE THIS.

I THINK THAT WITH MORE COVERAGE SOME OF THE COVERAGE IS GOING TO BE GOOD AND SOME OF THE COVERAGE IS GOING TO BE BAD BUT THERE ACTUALLY IS JUST MORE OF IT, RIGHT? I THINK THAT THE PEOPLE WHO DO WRITE ABOUT TRANS ISSUES DO CARE ABOUT IT, RIGHT? IT DOESN’T SEEM LIKE EDITORS ARE ASSIGNING THEM TO PEOPLE THAT DON’T CARE, "OH, GO JUST COVER THIS STORY.

" AT THE SAME TIME, THERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MAINSTREAM SOURCES AND MAINSTREAM CENTER/LEFT OF CENTER.

FOR INSTANCE, THE ATLANTIC HAS A HUGE DEVOTED ON TRANS ISSUES.

THERE’S A LOT OF FOCUS ON THAT.

>> ARE TRANS PEOPLE WRITING? ARE TRANS PEOPLE TALKING? >> NO, NO, NO.

THERE ARE A COUPLE ISSUES.

NOT ONLY ARE TRANS PEOPLE NOT WRITING AND TALKING, WHICH IS PARTLY THE RATIONALE FOR MY SHOW, BUT IT’S ALSO THE CASE THAT — THERE’S ALSO THIS HUGE UNDERGROUND, EQUALLY NEGATIVE, EQUALLY DISGUSTING CHURN IN RIGHT WING MEDIA THAT’S ANTI-TRANS.

I WAS RECENTLY AT A CONFERENCE OF THE NEA THAT FOCUSES ON SOCIAL JUSTICE.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I HEARD OVER AND OVER — NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION.

NOT ONLY ON TRANS ISSUES BUT IN GENERAL THERE’S THIS EMERGING CONVERSATION ON THE RIGHT THAT ETHNIC STUDIES, "TRANSGENDERISM" IS WHAT THEY CALL IT, IS A CONSPIRACY THAT’S BEING PUT FORTH BY JEWS IN THE MEDIA TO UNDERMINE WHITE CHRISTIAN AMERICA.

I HEARD IT FROM SEVERAL DIFFERENT PLACES.

I HEARD IT IN A BLACK LIVES MATTER CONFERENCE.

I HEARD IT IN A TRANSGENDER CONVERSATION.

THERE’S ALSO THIS EQUAL CHURN.

THAT DARK MEDIA, AS WE SAW FROM THE LAST ELECTION, HAS JUST AS MUCH IMPACT AS WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE BROADER PRESS.

I THINK THAT THERE’S A COUNTERVAILANCE EVEN AS THINGS CONTINUE TO IMPROVE WITH THE DEFICIENCIES THAT YOU SPOKE ABOUT.

>> TALK ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY A LITTLE BIT, NOT JUST THE TRANSITION BUT YOUR TRANSITION FROM WORKING IN THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION, FOR EXAMPLE, INSIDE A BELLY OF A BEAST TO THIS KIND OF INDEPENDENT, I THINK VERY BRAVE, PRODUCTION-MAKING IN MAKING MEDIA YOURSELF, MAKING YOUR OWN VOICE HEARD.

>> YEAH.

WELL, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A TOUCH OF INSANITY.

AS YOU KNOW.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> AS YOU KNOW, IT’S NOT AN EASY PATH.

>> YOU WERE IN THE COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE.

>> NO, ACTUALLY, I WORKED ON TRADE.

>> OH, YOU DID? >> I WORKED ON TRADE AND COMMUNICATIONS.

>> OH, THERE YOU GO.

>> IN THE LAST TWO YEARS OF THE ADMINISTRATION.

YEAH, I THINK THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I’VE ALWAYS HELD IN MYSELF IS THAT I BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE THINGS BETTER.

I THINK THAT WE THEN HAVE TO ASK OURSELVES OBJECTIVELY WHAT MAKES THINGS BETTER.

THE MORE EXPERIENCE YOU GET, THE MORE YOU LEARN WHAT MAKES THINGS BETTER.

I THINK THAT’S ESSENTIALLY BEEN MY JOURNEY.

BECAUSE ONE OF THE THINGS IS I WAS TRAINED AS AN ECONOMIST.

I WENT TO THE LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS.

THAT’S WHERE MY DEGREE IS FROM.

THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT YOU’RE TRAINED AS AN ECONOMIST THAT ARE JUST ORTHODOXY.

ECONOMIC GROWTH IS GOING TO BENEFIT THE MOST NUMBER OF PEOPLE, IT’S LIFTED THE MOST NUMBER OF PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY, AND WE ARE TRAINED IN ORTHODOXY QUITE FRANKLY, WITHOUT QUESTION.

I THINK THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT LIVING DOES AND LIFE DOES AND EXPERIENCE IN SEEING THE WORLD IS THAT YOU GET TO TEST THOSE EARLY IDEAS AGAINST THE ACTUAL REALITIES.

I THINK THAT THERE ARE SOME SEVERE DEFICIENCIES IN THE WAY THAT OUR SOCIETY WORKS AND THAT IF YOU ACTUALLY WANT SOCIETY TO WORK BETTER FOR PEOPLE WE HAVE TO HAVE RADICAL CHANGE.

>> I’M GOING TO ASK YOU TO DO MAYBE SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU UNCOMFORTABLE BUT TALK A LITTLE ABOUT SOMEBODY LIKE ME.

HERE I’VE BEEN IN THIS BUSINESS A LONG TIME.

I THINK THERE ARE THINGS, I KNOW THERE ARE THINGS THAT I STILL DON’T GET ABOUT TRANS RIGHTS, ABOUT A TRANS VISION OF THE WORLD, AROUND TRANS EXPERTISE.

YOU KNOW THE TAG OF OUR SHOW IS THE PLACE WHERE THE PEOPLE WHO SAY IT CAN’T BE DONE TAKE A BACKSEAT TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING IT.

WHAT DOES SOMEBODY EVEN LIKE ME NEED TO PERHAPS SEE THAT I’M NOT SEEING ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF LOOKING AT THE TRANS STRUGGLE AND TRANS RIGHTS? >> I THINK TRANS IS ESSENTIAL IN A LOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS.

I WAS ACTUALLY SPEAKING TO SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN IN THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT AND FEMINIST MOVEMENT RECENTLY ABOUT THIS LONG CONVERSATION.

THERE CANNOT BE AN END TO PATRIARCHY WITHOUT AN EMBRACING OF TRANS RIGHTS.

IT’S FUNDAMENTALLY IMPOSSIBLE.

TO THE DEGREE THAT WE BELIEVE THAT PATRIARCHY IS A FUNDAMENTAL PILLAR ON WHICH INJUSTICE IS BUILT IN OUR SOCIETY THAT MEANS THAT THAT PILLAR CAN’T BE UNDONE BECAUSE AS LONG AS WE HAVE GENDER ESSENTIALISM, AS LONG AS WE THINK IN BINARY WAYS, WE’RE GOING TO GET CAUGHT IN THE SAME CONSTANT TRAP.

IT’S ONE OF THE REASONS WHY WE HAVEN’T MADE AS MUCH PROGRESS AS WE THINK WE SHOULD HAVE MADE ON FEMINISM AND ON WOMEN’S RIGHTS BECAUSE MISOGYNY AND PATRIARCHY ARE ESSENTIALLY STILL THERE AND THEY WORK IN THE SAME WAYS AROUND THESE ISSUES.

WHAT THE TRANS PERSPECTIVE DOES IS THAT IT FUNDAMENTALLY UNDERMINES THAT.

IT TAKES THE CORE ARGUMENT OF BIOLOGICAL DETERMINISM OUT OF THE CONVERSATION OF GENDER, WHICH THEN UNDERMINES PATRIARCHY.

IF ME BEING BORN THIS WAY DOESN’T MEAN THAT I AUTOMATICALLY HAVE THE STATUS IN SOCIETY THAT MEANS THOSE TWO THINGS ARE TOTALLY SEPARATE, WHICH THEN DRIVES A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CONVERSATION.

WHAT TRANS IS ABOUT IS ABOUT THE ABILITY TO SEE AND TO REIMAGINE OUR SOCIETY IN BROAD WAYS THAT CAN LEAD TOWARDS JUSTICE AND HUMANITY AND PUT HUMAN BEINGS AT THE CENTER OF OUR SYSTEMS RATHER THAN ORTHODOXY.

>> I WONDER WHERE WE TOOK A WEIRD TURN IN THE SENSE THAT WHEN I WAS COMING UP, WHICH YOU WOULD SAY I GOT MY FEMINISM IN THE 1970s AND EARLY 1980s, I WAS A QUEER, LEFT SOCIALIST FEMINIST.

I THOUGHT THAT WAS OUR VISION WAS TO DESTABILIZE THE BINARIES AND TO UNDERMINE CAPITALIST TRANSACTIONAL RELATIONSHIPS AND INSTEAD HAVE TRANSFORMATIONAL, ETC.

>> YEAH.

>> THEN SOMEHOW IT ALL BECAME DEFENDING THIS LAW, DEFENDING THIS GAIN, AND LET’S NOT TALK ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE WHILE WE’RE UNDER ATTACK.

>> RIGHT.

I MEAN, I THINK THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT IS ESSENTIAL FOR US TO UNDERSTAND IS THAT EVEN IF WE DON’T LIKE THE SYSTEM, WE’VE BEEN RAISED IN THE SYSTEM.

RIGHT? A HUGE PART OF THE SYSTEM IS DIDACTIC THINKING.

IT’S EITHER/OR.

FOR INSTANCE, IF YOU ARE A SOCIALIST FEMINIST AND YOU’RE IN A MEETING WITH MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE ALSO SOCIALIST, AND THEN THERE’S A CONVERSATION ABOUT, "WELL, WE NEED TO FIGHT FOR WORKER COOPERATIVES.

" >> RIGHT.

>> THEN SOMEONE RAISES THEIR HAND AND SAYS, "WELL, WHAT ABOUT THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN COOPERATIVES BECAUSE UNLESS WE HAVE WOMEN LEADERS, "" AND THEY GO, "WELL, WE CAN’T DO THAT BECAUSE WE CAN ONLY DO ONE THING AT A TIME.

" EVERYONE’S BEEN RAISED IN THIS BINARY SYSTEM OF THINKING AND OF FORCING YOU TO MAKE CHOICE.

ALSO, THE OTHER THING THAT PEOPLE DON’T THINK ABOUT IS THE WAY IN WHICH SUBCONSCIOUSLY EVERYONE HAS ABSORBED ALL OF THE ISMS.

>> YEAH.

>> ONE OF THE THINGS FOR INSTANCE THAT PATRIARCHY DOES REALLY WELL IS THAT IT GETS WOMEN TO QUESTION OURSELVES FUNDAMENTALLY.

EVEN WHEN YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE RIGHT ANSWER, YOU THINK ABOUT IT TWICE.

MEN DON’T DO THAT, RIGHT? >> I’VE NOTICED.

>> RIGHT? THERE’S NEVER THAT CONSIDERATION.

THEN WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMEONE IN THIS PROVERBIAL MEETING RAISES A DOUBT THEN YOU BEGIN TO DOUBT YOURSELF.

IT’S A WAY IN WHICH YOU THEN ARE FEEDING INTO PATRIARCHY IN A WAY THAT YOU DON’T EVEN THINK.

>> YEAH.

IT’S FASCINATING AND SUPER EXCITING AND I WISH WE HAD MORE TIME BECAUSE IT ALSO SEEMS LIKE AT A MOMENT WHERE TECHNOLOGY IS ALSO DRIVING US TOWARDS A BINARY, KIND OF, "ARE YOU A ONE OR A ZERO? IS IT A THUMBS UP OR A THUMBS DOWN? ARE YOU A FRIEND OR A NOT FRIEND? WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP?" THE TRANS MOVEMENT IS SAYING, "NO, NO, NO.

MUTABILITY IS ALL.

" IN FACT, TRANS IS SOMETHING WE ALL NEED TO EMBRACE IN TERMS OF A SENSE OF POSSIBILITY AND MUTABILITY IN A VERY RIGID AGE.

>> EXACTLY.

ONE THING ON THAT, THOUGH.

ONE OF THE KEY AREAS OF COMPETITION BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND CHINA WITH RESPECT TO COMPUTING AND TECHNOLOGY IS ACTUALLY QUANTUM COMPUTING, WHICH TAKES YOU OUT OF ZEROES AND ONES.

WE MAY ACTUALLY BE MOVING TO A WORLD WITHIN OUR LIFETIMES WHERE THE BINARY EVEN WITHIN THAT LOSES ITS POWER, WHICH LEADS TO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT POSSIBILITIES, FRIGHTENING POSSIBILITIES, FOR COMPUTING BUT IT MEANS THAT WE ARE LIVING IN A WORLD IN SO MANY WAYS IN WHICH WE’RE TRYING TO IMPOSE A BINARY ON A PLANET AND A PLACE THAT’S RESISTING IT.

>> YEAH.

QUANTUM ENGINEERING.

I WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT IT.

>> YEAH.

>> I HOPE I FIND OUT MORE ON YOUR SHOW.

ALL RIGHT.

FINAL QUESTIONS FOR PEOPLE OR FINAL COMMENTS TO PEOPLE WHO WANT TO JOIN YOU AND FIND YOU IN THE MEDIA BUT ALSO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CONVERSATION MORE WHAT CAN THEY DO? WHERE CAN THEY GO? >> THE GOOD THING ABOUT TECHNOLOGY IS SOCIAL MEDIA.

ALMOST EVERYTHING IS IMARA JONES SO IF YOU TYPE IN MY NAME ON ANY SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM, IT’S A VERY EASY WAY TO FOLLOW ME.

THEN FOR THE LAST SIP IF YOU JUST GO TO GOOGLE AND TYPE IN THE LAST SIP IT COMES RIGHT UP.

>> ALL RIGHT.

CONGRATULATIONS, IMARA.

>> THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME.

I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

>> GREAT TO HAVE YOU.

♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪ >> WHENEVER I SIT DOWN TO DO MY MAKEUP I ALWAYS THINK ABOUT MY MOTHER.

I USED TO SIT DOWN AT MY MOM’S VANITY AND I USED TO LOOK AT EVERYTHING THAT WAS THERE AND SUBCONSCIOUSLY LOOKING AT HOW MY MOM USED ALL THE STUFF THAT WAS THERE.

ONE OF THE CRAZY THINGS IS WHEN I STARTED WEARING MAKEUP HOW FAST I ACTUALLY PICKED IT UP.

I THINK IT’S BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH I WASN’T ACTUALLY PUTTING ON ANYTHING, I WAS ACTUALLY SUBCONSCIOUSLY TAKING EVERYTHING IN THAT WAS THERE.

I THINK THAT IN SO MANY WAYS IT’S LIKE A METAPHOR FOR BEING TRANS IS THAT ALL THE TIME YOU’RE GROWING UP IN THIS DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE, IN THIS TOTALLY DIFFERENT BODY THEN HOW YOU FEEL INSIDE AND HOW YOU KNOW THROUGH SCIENCE AND STUFF.

AT THE SAME TIME YOU’RE TOTALLY ABSORBING EVERYTHING SUBCONSCIOUSLY, WHICH IS INTERESTING HOW GENDER WORKS.

IT’S NOT ONLY ABOUT THE BODY THAT YOU’RE GROWN INTO.

IT’S ALSO ABOUT ALL OF THE THINGS THAT ARE SUBCONSCIOUSLY AND UNSPOKENLY HAPPENING.

MY MOM WOULD NEVER HAVE WORN THIS.

SHE WOULD NEVER HAVE WORN THIS COLOR.

IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN HER COLOR.

I THINK THAT’S GOOD.

I’VE GOT TO CLEAN UP THE EDGE WITH A Q-TIP BUT I THINK WE’RE READY TO GO.

READY TO FACE THIS FIRST — WELL, NOT FIRST BUT THIS VERY DIFFERENT PRIDE FOR ME.

I’M IMARA JONES.

I AM THE CREATOR OF THE LAST SIP AND I AM TRANSITIONING.

ACTUALLY, I’VE ALWAYS KNOWN WHO I WAS.

THE PROBLEM NEVER HAS BEEN IN KNOWING.

THE PROBLEM ALWAYS HAS BEEN IN ACCEPTING IT.

I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE THAT AS AN ISSUE.

IT DOESN’T EVEN HAVE TO BE TRANS.

IT’S ACTUALLY ONE OF THE REASONS WHY I THINK THAT THERE IS A HUGE BACKLASH AGAINST TRANS PEOPLE BECAUSE I THINK THAT THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD WHO DON’T ACCEPT A LOT OF THINGS ABOUT THEMSELVES AND WORK TO FIGHT IT AND TO SEE OTHER PEOPLE WHO DON’T RESIST WHO THEY REALLY ARE, WHAT THEY WANT OUT OF LIFE, OR WHO THEY REALLY WANT TO LOVE OR WHERE THEY WANT TO LIVE.

IT ENRAGES THEM.

♪♪ THE THING ABOUT TRANS PEOPLE, ABOUT US, IS THAT THE MODERN LGBTQ MOVEMENT WAS STARTED BY TRANS PEOPLE, BY MARSHA P.

JOHNSON AND SYLVIA RIVERA, WHO WERE THE FIRST TO RIOT AT STONEWALL.

EVERYWHERE THAT YOU CAN THINK OF ALL OF THE PROCESS AND PROGRESS THAT WE’VE HAD ON LGBTQ RIGHTS, WHETHER OR NOT IT BE SOCIAL, POLITICAL, NOW MEDICAL, TRANS PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ESSENTIAL TO THAT AND ESSENTIAL TO THAT STORY.

♪♪ HEY, DRE.

COME IN WITH YOUR AWKWARD SELF.

WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO CONTROL OUR BODIES.

PUT YOUR STUFF DOWN.

>> IT’S NOT GETTING BREAST AUGMENTATION.

>> EXACTLY.

>> IT’S GETTING BREASTS.

IT’S DIFFERENT TO HAVE LITTLE BOOBS AND GETTING BIGGER BOOBS.

YOU’RE JUST GETTING BOOBS PERIOD.

>> JAY-Z ALL INTIMATE AND BOO-ED UP.

>> OKAY.

HE HAS THREE KIDS.

YOU THINK HE AIN’T HAVING SEX? YOU THINK HE AIN’T RUBBING SOMETHING DOWN? MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE YOU DON’T LOOK AT HIM AND THINK SEX AND SO — >> THAT’S SO TRUE.

>> THAT’S WHY IT’S UNCOMFORTABLE FOR YOU.

>> IT’S SO TRUE.

>> IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BEYONCE AND WHATEVER.

YOU DON’T SEE SEX OR YOU DON’T THINK OF SEX WHEN YOU LOOK AT HIM.

>> THERE IS AN INCREASINGLY AGGRESSIVE, HOSTILE, DARK MOVEMENT THAT IS AT WORK IN THE STATES TO PENALIZE PEOPLE THAT HELP US, TO BAN VARIOUS RIGHTS THAT WE HAVE, TO TARGET AND OTHER US WHICH SETS US UP FOR VIOLENCE.

I’M LUCKY ENOUGH TO KNOW PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND TO BE ABLE TO SIT DOWN AND ACTUALLY ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THAT I HAVE.

IS THIS A REALLY GOOD TIME TO TRANSITION? >> IN 2017, WE HAD THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF HATE VIOLENCE-RELATED HOMICIDES.

THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF SINGLE INCIDENT HATE VIOLENCE HOMICIDES THAT WE HAD EVER COUNTED IN THIS COUNTRY.

PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITIES ARE HAVING A REALLY HARD TIME ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

PEOPLE ARE CALLING US OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

YOU MIGHT EXPERIENCE MULTIPLE INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE JUST IN THE COURSE OF YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE.

YOU MIGHT BE TRAUMATIZED BY JUST THE IMPACT OF THE HATE THAT WE’RE SEEING IN THE WORLD THAT’S PLAYING OUT IN TERMS OF POLICIES THAT ARE PLAYING OUT IN WHAT WE MIGHT CALL THE DAILY INCIDENTS OF VIOLENCE.

I REALLY WISH WE HAD NEVER COINED THE TERM MICROAGGRESSIONS BECAUSE AGGRESSIONS ARE AGGRESSIONS AND THEY HAVE IMPACT.

>> HEY, HOW ARE YOU? GOOD TO SEE YOU.

IT’S AN INTENSE TIME TO BE TRANS.

THERE ARE TRANS PEOPLE THAT ARE VISIBLE ACROSS THE BOARD.

>> I REALLY TRY TO JUST LIKE MONITOR MY SPACE BEFORE I GO ANYWHERE AND MAKE SURE I’M ABLE TO HAVE AN EXIT PLAN OR HAVE SOME KIND OF ALLYSHIP WITH PEOPLE THAT ARE AROUND ME.

THAT’S WHY I LOOK AT PEOPLE LIKE, "OKAY, I KNOW IF SOMETHING WAS GOING DOWN THAT PERSON WOULD GET UP AND KIND OF HELP ME UP.

" >> I THINK WE’VE NEVER BEEN SO VISIBLE SO PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR US.

THAT’S SOMETHING I NOTICE IS PEOPLE ARE REALLY LOOKING TO CLOCK US AND REALLY LOOKING LIKE WHO IS TRANS? IF YOU STAND OUT IN SOME WAY, SCRUTINIZING YOU.

>> TRANS WOMEN OF COLOR IN PARTICULAR ARE MOST IMPACTED IN OUR COMMUNITY BY VIOLENCE, PARTICULARLY BY HOMICIDE.

WE’VE SEEN ACROSS THE COUNTRY A NUMBER OF LGBTQ COMMUNITY CENTERS AND SAFE SPACES ALSO UNDER ATTACK IN A WAY THAT I THINK WE HAVEN’T REALLY SEEN IN RECENT HISTORY.

>> THIS DOCUMENTARY ISN’T POLITICAL.

IT TALKS ABOUT POLICY BUT THE POLICIES ARE DRIVEN BY POLITICS.

♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪.

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