and we will never buy our way into trans* liberation (or into style or into fashion). no amount of “queer” fashion brands and companies and blogs will make the world “better” (or more equal or more dreamy) for trans and gender non conforming folks, or for poc’s, indigenous folks, folks without documentation, and dis/abled folks. (yeah, i’m looking at YOU wildfang, with all of your horrific appropriation!)
when we fool ourselves into thinking that “queer” clothing stores are liberating or even celebratory, we buy into thinking that economic systems re: clothing are fair except for the lack of options for (mostly white, class-privileged, and often well educated) trans and gender non-conforming folks. when we think like this, we foreclose the possibility of leveraging a more thorough, systematic critique of the structures that distribute resources and life chances disproportionately along lines that foreclose possibilities for “others” re: race, ethnicity, un/documented status, dis/ability, first nations, national origin, education level, criminal history, gender, etc.
i’m not interested in questions like, “do you support these companies?” i’m not thrilled about queer clothing companies, because such companies often fail to ever engage in concerns about the redistribution of wealth and, it seems, these companies often opt to further stratify access to “affirming” materials among and within trans* and gender non-conforming spaces. such companies (as far as i can tell) legitimate very raciazlied and classed aspects of masculinity, such as suits and vests and ties, without offering other types of masculinity OR accessible clothing options (such as sliding scale, etc.).
i’m more interested in questions concerning building and enacting collective futures that don’t require fine suits made by black and brown women and children in the global south, but instead, i want to pursue collective visions and actions that resist and counteract the legacies of colonialism, imperialism, racism, sexualized violence, ability, and capitalistic exploitation inherit in white masculinity. i’m more interested in figuring out how we can use our creativity and genderfabulous-ness to abolish prisons/borders/walls, to create ways to engage in transformative and restorative justice processes, and to resist western and u.s. imperialism and security cultures. i want to pursue questions that completely confuse, bewilder, question, and contest “fashion” and “style” and “(white) transmasculinity.”
so, in summary: let’s seriously consider what $500 or $800 (for one suit…) for project nia (chicago) or the silvia rivera law project or the audre lorde project OR ANY LOCAL COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION could do! (hint: more than a fucking suit can do for you.)
resist individualism. resist the lures of nice things. resist the “comforts” of capitalism. DREAM BIG AND FIGHT TO WIN!