Factions within our community

The splitting off of the LGB Alliance from Stonewall is shining a light on the difficulty a lot of people have with figuring out who is part of The Community and who is not. Like for instance in replies to a tweet in which they invited comrades to join the effort:

We had our pre-launch meeting last night. The amount of positive energy and expertise in the room was truly inspiring! Please DM us if you want to join in our efforts. We have a mountain to climb but we will succeed!

A confused reply:

We are stronger when united. When you choose to create factions within our community we are all diminished. You do the work of those that wish us the most harm. If you want me to choose, I won’t choose bigotry.

Wait. Who is “we”? What is “our community”? Who are “you”? Who are “those”?

What people make up the we who are stronger when united? Not the whole population, obviously, because somebody has to make up the group “those that wish us the most harm,” but so then who? Who are the people who make up “our community” and who are the people who don’t?

This is the whole point. The reply (which is echoed by many others) is assuming that trans people are (obviously and necessarily) part of The Community along with lesbians and gays, and also assuming that that assumption is self-evidently correct. But it’s not. The two are not the same thing. Yes, both deviate from a certain version of “normal,” but it’s not the same version that they both deviate from. The two can look similarish at a casual glance, but that doesn’t mean they are the same, and the tensions that roil the supposed “community” make that plain.

Abstractions, how do they work.

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