We are excited to welcome back our UUFKC friend & KWESI rockstar Cassie Poe, who will speak on “Trans History: Realities and Allyship?” as part our lead-up to International Transgender Day of Visibility.
Cas is an anti-racist and anti-bias speaker. As a transracial adoptee, Cas uses their 25 years of experience growing up within the cisnormative white evangelical church to educate others. Cas is indigenous and Latinx and is also trans and nonbinary. Their pronouns are they/he and has been both a fan and member of our fellowship since 2016. Cas was a community organizer for our non-profit KWESI and has made so many deep friendships with many of our members. Cas continues to credit our fellowship for helping them bring the clarity and unconditional love needed to come out as trans and to continue advocating for the voices of the marginalized.
10:25:22 Okay. Cool.
10:25:32 Slide the first. What's my face?
10:25:41 Oh, you're doing that. I just wanna thank all of you.
10:25:44 I love this congregation. This is my first safe place.
10:25:47 Growing up.
10:25:51 A lot of you know my story. I grew up in abuse of household, and I've mended those relationships.
10:25:58 But this was my first time. There were so many of you that basically adopted me, as you know.
10:26:03 Back, then, as your brand, or you know, and it it made me feel so good.
10:26:08 I love all of you, and I love this congregation.
10:26:10 This fellowship so much. Okay, anyways, let's go on to the presentation.
10:26:17 So let's talk about trans history. Thank you for coming today, and I hope you all are doing well.
10:26:23 My name is Cass, and my pronouns are the he.
10:26:26 Today I'm going to talk about some indigenous, queer history before colonization. The invention of the gender binary explained the pyramid of transphobia and go over some action steps for allies.
10:26:41 So a little bit about me. So maybe you already know enough about me.
10:26:44 But I am Latinx and indigenous. I'm transanced on Binary.
10:26:49 I'm a trans-racial adoptee which is a term you describe when a person of color is adopted into a family, but different racial identity, such as like a white family like.
10:26:59 In my case this can lead to many issues, including a lack of racial identity trouble navigating Bipo peers and culture and even internalized racism, like, in my case, these issues are what LED me to pursue an antiracist education which LED to the decolonization decolonization of my
10:27:16 racial and gender identity. Now I take that information to spread awareness to others about the communities.
10:27:21 I'm so proud to be a part of. So let's go ahead and get into some histories sorry I need to speak into the microb.
10:27:30 Better. Okay. So now we're going to go over some pre-colonial history regarding gender identities and gender expression as they relate to a different indigenous communities around the world.
10:27:44 And so we're going to touch on the Heraq community of South Asia, which.
10:27:49 Yeah, they're the subtitles are right there.
10:27:52 The Moshe community of this appetite. People in Methaco, the two-spirit community of North America, and so many more. I'm going to focus only on these indigenous communities for the sake of time.
10:28:03 Okay. So the two-spirit community, the two-spirit term is an umbrella term used to describe indigenous peoples of North America who identify outside of sexual or gender norms.
10:28:24 It was created in 1,990, at the indigenous lesbian and gay international gathering in Winnipeg, Canada.
10:28:29 So it's a relatively new term. Two-spirit.
10:28:32 Specifically 2. Spirit was an identity that was celebrated in native American communities and were often regardless as balance keepers, healers, and are leaders of their community.
10:28:43 Notice how this compares to post colonization where our identities are now in valued and seen as a threat.
10:28:50 Also please know that the term two-spirit was not intended to be interchangeable, interchangeable with LGBT.
10:28:58 Native American to spirit is its own term, with its own historic value and meaning, that needs to be respected as its own identity, and it also is a translated word as it is, and the bullet point, okay, let's move on to Moshe another beautiful example of indigenous
10:29:20 koreannities so Mooshe is a term used to describe indigenous peoples as Southern Mexico, who identify as a third gender outside of male and female, because of their femininity, and the ability to provide for their families, moshe are often celebrating and
10:29:32 we're beer deeply in their community. It's very important to understand the Moshe community do not become themselves in western frameworks of gender identity.
10:29:42 So they're a distinct group within their own waste of thinking, feeling, and living just like two-spirit.
10:29:46 They are their own identity. Okay, our last example for today is move on to the huge community.
10:29:55 Is a term used to describe additional people of South Asia.
10:30:01 Hydra is considered a third gender in India Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal, and many other places, as well.
10:30:08 Many people believe he just have the power to bless, and often present at weddings, and bursts to perform blessings.
10:30:16 There were an extremely important and respective segment of society, while some of that culture reverence still remains.
10:30:24 The status of the Egypt community has long been impacted by colonization.
10:30:29 Today, a grilling fight for acceptance can be found all across South Asia.
10:30:35 Okay. Now, we're going to take it way way back, back, back, back, back, back.
10:30:41 So let's go over some queer identities that pre date a lot of misconceptions that trans identities are new.
10:30:49 Let's go over that. Okay? So in we have the Vedas community, which is a location.
10:30:54 Now we refer to as India. They have their own culture and script, and they described individuals belonging to multiple genders.
10:31:02 And you look at that day. That's pretty old. Next one.
10:31:06 We have found powdery sharks around the Middle Kingdom of Egypt that listed 3 human genders.
10:31:14 Also there has been found foundational work in the Hindu law.
10:31:19 That explains and talks about biological origins of 3 sexes.
10:31:25 So that's examine this, and remember that there are many people today who believe in a binary because of religious reasons, often will point to the Book of Genesis of asthma and Eve to support a gender binaries.
10:31:41 But the book of Genesis, which mentions Adam Eve was rated in the sixth and fifth BC.
10:31:47 Era, as we mentioned previously, we have so many editions, correct identities that existed long before that.
10:31:54 Okay, so let's go into some activists that I want to.
10:32:01 To speak about, and to raise their voices, some amazing queer trains and non-binary activists that I would love anyone here to follow and to know about.
10:32:15 On the far left. We have Geo. Neptune, who is a two-spirit activist, educator and digital cultural leader.
10:32:21 Next we have kumahina, a mahout activist, filmmaker, artist and community leader in Hawaii.
10:32:27 Next we have Lexmi Troopathy. A Hejra rights activist, Bollywood, actors, dancer, choreographer, and motivational speaker in India and on the far right we have Lucas Avandino, who is a mushy activist and speaker from Owaka
10:32:43 Mexico. Please follow the amazing work from the square activists and what they are doing on indigenous communities.
10:32:50 And I put their their Instagram handles. If you are on Instagram, but it's important to lift up other voices because these people are fighting in their communities for their right to live and to exist.
10:33:03 But let's go back to some more history. Okay?
10:33:07 So I'd wanna make the distinction that there is a timeline, for when the gender bias was created, when colonyization specifically European colonization hit many parts of the world, including South America, different countries in Africa and India, specifically, we can look at the timeline and look at when
10:33:32 there was indigenous communities that were thriving, including queer communities, and then, when colonization hits, not only did they forbid those queer identities to express themselves and to exist, and to thrive the communities within themselves, started to adapt the transphobia and the homophobia so even
10:33:53 if there was a revolution, and whatever colonial power left, it doesn't matter, because those thoughts were ingrained so deeply within the people.
10:34:03 Now they persecute themselves and others. So that is the impact of colonisation today is people of color all around the world that used to have rich.
10:34:13 Career history has now adapted to a new thought, which is the sex binary, which a lot of people don't know, that the 6 binary was an invention created by racism.
10:34:24 So let's go into that, hey? Creation of the 6 Binary.
10:34:30 So now we cover it before European colonization that there were various indigenous queer identities existed outside of them in masculine ideologies.
10:34:37 But did you know that the creation of the gender binary, or what was called the sex binary, is actually more recent than unique?
10:34:45 Until the 17 hundreds. Many scholars, doctors, and philosophers assumed that humans only had one biological sex male women were considered as inferior men.
10:35:00 So, in speaking of turns, a biological genitalia, sorry to be graphic, but this is for education.
10:35:06 The vagina was considered, an inferior penis.
10:35:11 The the womb was comparable to a scrotum, and the test scores were exterior ovaries.
10:35:19 Again everyone was Smale. Women were considered as inferior men until the 17 hundreds.
10:35:24 Also many scholars in the 18 hundreds thought that white people were superior because they had a unique ability to display a visual difference between male and female.
10:35:35 Black, indigenous people of color were seen as indistinguishable of sex.
10:35:40 This was done on purpose, so slave owners and others with positions of power, could legally treat women of color as badly as men of color.
10:35:49 The idea of femininity was only allowed to white women.
10:35:54 So the idea of femininity and patriarchal terms of women need to be protected.
10:36:01 Women are delicate and they need to stay in the kitchen.
10:36:04 That was only towards white women. Black women were treated justice badly, as black men, and you can see that in works of like Angela Davis and James Baldwin.
10:36:15 So let's go into.
10:36:22 Let's go into what does science have to say about gender and sex?
10:36:27 Since we talked so much about history, so far.
10:36:30 Okay, so what science has to say is that for I mean going back a little bit, actually, for too long.
10:36:38 Historically, the government and society has inaccurately used both terms.
10:36:43 Gender and sex interchangeably, and now we no longer do that.
10:36:46 We know that gender and binary the gender binary is not mit, accurate, and a 6 pioneer is not as well.
10:36:54 What is true is that sex and gender are actually distinct from each other.
10:36:59 Both are actual social costs that operate on spectrums.
10:37:05 It's true that sex characteristics tend to be by mold.
10:37:08 Bimodal, meaning that there are clusters of characteristics that tend to be associated with what we traditionally are familiar with in both female and male bodies.
10:37:17 Quote so. Yes, on average, some people do have to be graphics.
10:37:23 Sorry sorry to have penises, and some people do have vaginas.
10:37:26 This is what allows for reproduction. Yes, however, there are many examples where there is a blend of different combinations in individuals, and that is always existed, such as in the case with the intersex community, and it's important to remember there are many intersex individuals, as there are redheads in your
10:37:46 sex. Community is a N turn for individuals that do not fit into the sex, borrowing area of male, because of chromosomes because of a blended genitalia because of meaning factors so external genitalialists do not do present across the spectrum.
10:38:07 So many different ranges of different male quote-unquote.
10:38:13 Body parts, and then also different combinations of both of those in representing individuals, and this means that physical Chinatillia is not binary also, on average, some people tend to have X Y chromosomes, and some tend to have Xx chromosomes.
10:38:34 However, 6 chromosomes coming a wide spectrum, as well in a wide spectrum, as well.
10:38:36 In a white spectrum as well, and always have with at least 16 different, naturally occurring variations.
10:38:41 So we really want to start thinking outside of the binary and start thinking about spectrums and understanding the beautiful diversity that humans actually have existed in. So let's explain some terms.
10:38:58 Oh! Wait! This is my fun slide. Basically, this slide, if you look at the title, we could be that if you believe there's only 2 genders they will disagree with you.
10:39:09 So we have a lot of national and American health organizations.
10:39:14 We have the World Health organization. We have the American and Psychiatric Association, the World Medical Association.
10:39:18 So I just like that side, because there's a lot of people that say it doesn't make sense. And I'm like, no, it does make sense. It.
10:39:26 It's complicated sometimes to explain it. Okay? So let's go into the cisgendered person the Cis gender bread person.
10:39:36 I like to explain this because it's cute, and I people like it.
10:39:40 So this is our idea of someone who identifies a who identifies, apps mail or Sis email. And if you look, the gender identity, it has women and man, it has gender expressing feminine masculine biological sex femaleness, male is if you notice
10:40:02 there's only 2 categories for each one. Right?
10:40:03 Very binary, right, so that fits well for a session in person.
10:40:09 But let's go into what all of the diversity that really exists.
10:40:16 So if you look at the gingerbread person, there's the gender identity at the top there's the orientation, as in what they are sexually attracted to.
10:40:28 There's the expression which is the app word expression of how they want to express themselves in the world.
10:40:35 And then you have the biological sex. And if you notice, instead of being binary, they're all on spectrums right?
10:40:42 And you see that there's a lot of different diversity that exist.
10:40:49 So I think that kind of makes what I'm saying a visual, if that helps at all.
10:40:54 I feel like a lot of people learn from the ginger bread in this way. And so it's important to kind of shift our way of thinking to the way that science has now been informing us how all of these categories actually operate in the world okay?
10:41:12 Okay, this is a really complicated graph. I'm not.
10:41:19 I'm definitely not gonna go into detail with it. But this is an amazing graph that since scientists have come together and made to describe the different chromosomes because a lot of people will point to chrome or they'll point to genitalia and be like that's the reason why we have a
10:41:34 binary. It's visible. Why is it so hard for people to understand?
10:41:40 So actually, no, there isn't. Only x x x Xy. Chromosomes.
10:41:46 There's a mass a giant community called the Intersex Community, and they are everywhere.
10:41:52 They are as many people there as they are. Redheads, and they've been marginalized, and they may need people who are intersex when they are born.
10:42:00 Their parents would choose choose which sex, that they will portray, and they will have surgery.
10:42:08 But if you look there are so many different combinations that result in so many beautiful different ideas.
10:42:15 And so this is going into each single one, and if you look at all of those gray boxes of as a lot of attendees, and it's important to respect this idea that there are people out there that don't fit into the binary and that's a beautiful thing it feels like a lot but
10:42:35 imagine being somebody who doesn't fit in the binary and doesn't fit into society standards.
10:42:41 So bringing that all around to remembering how we can walk in this world as allies, and taking this information, trying to educate people around us, especially numbers or friends.
10:42:56 So let's go into Alex ship. Okay? So I have done.
10:43:03 Anti-racist workshops before, and I love using the moving walkway analogy cause it seems to make it very visual you might have heard of it before, but here's an allergy analogy to better understand our responsibilities under the socialization of white supremacy
10:43:25 imagine, and we went walkway, the type where you can find it at the airport, the moving walkway represents white supremacy.
10:43:32 The people on the walkway represent all of those with white privilege.
10:43:37 There are 3 positions. Someone with white privilege can take, or we can say, Cisper.
10:43:43 We could say both number one, you are walking in the same direction of the walkway, and allowing the momentum of the walkway to push you farther forward.
10:43:53 This represents all the people with white privilege or Cis privilege in both that add to white supremacy by reproducing racist acts and or defending number 2.
10:44:06 You are standing stagnant on the runway, allowing the momentum to silently benefit you, while you do nothing to change it.
10:44:15 So the momentum is still going in the same direction with the same speed and the same force.
10:44:21 This represents all the people with white privilege that continue white supremacy by not doing anything to stop it.
10:44:29 Number 3. You are actively moving in the direction against the flow of traffic.
10:44:35 This represents all the people with white privilege, who are actively engaged in their anti-racist work.
10:44:43 This is the only option. It causes change, and this is the only acceptable option.
10:44:48 But it requires the most work, and it requires you to move or to take action.
10:44:53 So let's go into the pyramid of transphobia.
10:44:57 Okay, so this pyramid was created and illustrated by gender minorities, organization by the gender minorities organization which is funded by the International Transplant to Preen awareness, to trans issues.
10:45:14 The pyramid includes stereotypes, prejudices, discrimination, and the effects on a trans.
10:45:21 Community, and, as you can see, stereotypes are at the bottom, and it builds up.
10:45:27 So we're going to go into that a little bit stereotypes are widely like on the screen.
10:45:32 Stereotypes are widely held. Ideas about groups of people.
10:45:35 Some examples are all trans. People are confused mentally ill, prodigious feelings which are feelings about a group.
10:45:43 For example, I don't feel safe around trans women discrimination, which are negative behaviours against a group such as voting or supporting anti-trans, legislation.
10:45:54 And ax, which is increased violence, murder on a trans. Community. So go into each one.
10:46:01 So stereotypes stereotypes, and I want to go into these because there is kind of confusion on each of these effects, because a lot of people don't understand that their stereotypes lead to the marginalization and death of trans people not saying that to be
10:46:20 a Debbie downer without that is the reality of the situation.
10:46:23 So let's talk about it. Stereotypes are cognitive thoughts about people.
10:46:28 They are widely held ideas about a certain group of people which are oversimplified generalizations, stereotypes lay the foundation for prejudice.
10:46:37 Credits are the feelings we have of other groups, it can be unjustified. Preconceived opinions, attitudes, thoughts, and feelings about a person which often come from believing in stereotypes about the group they belong to which lays the foundation for discrimination.
10:46:56 Discrimination is the actions or the failure to act based on prejudice it is known as the behavior or negative treatment of others.
10:47:05 Some examples include, I want to stop trans women from using women's bathrooms.
10:47:10 Trans. People should be sterilized to change their birth certificate, etc.
10:47:14 Etc. So basically, what I want everyone to take away with, because there are people that would consider themselves to be true allies aggressively.
10:47:29 But they really have a hard time understanding that the stereotypes and the false ideologies that their family members that they love so much, or their friends that they love so much, are actually really harmful, and they should speak and say something during those moments and there's different ways, allyship can
10:47:50 express yourself. You don't always have to call out. You can call in.
10:47:54 And it's important to be that educational person for those individuals.
10:48:01 So understanding the reality of these myths about trans people, these stereotypes about trans people, and looking at the pyramid, at trans phobia, we can really grasp how Syriotypes, even if they're well-meaning, even if there's a legitimate reason why.
10:48:20 that person has not been educated yet, and is saying that what they're saying they lay the foundation for the greater effects that's happening to the trans. Community.
10:48:30 So we really want to make that link in our heads. So I, yeah, let's go into the action steps for today's workshop.
10:48:37 We're almost done. Okay, so what am I? Favorite things to say is, be ready to be called to action, but also be ready to be called out.
10:48:48 So I think for a lot of allies, whether it's white allies, Sis allies, male allies.
10:48:56 It's being called to action is easier than being called out right I've dealt with a lot of white fragility in my life from allies and I've only been out for a year.
10:49:10 As trans and I'm already dealing with a lot of Cis fragility which is understandable, and I love every single person in my life, and I love every single person that has showed me that Cis fragility, any and it it shows me that there needs to be more education around how
10:49:27 sis, people can learn how to cope and manage their own trauma and own triggers when being called out right and learning the process of when someone is who is trans who is upset with you, or someone who is trying to call you out on something that you said learning how that you don't have to agree
10:49:47 with them right in that moment you can take care of yourself, and however you need, but it's important to externalize it, and remember that if there is a truth to what they're saying, whether it's about racism whether it's about racism, whether it's a true to what
10:50:03 they're saying, place it at a table. We're all at a table together.
10:50:06 We're all trying to listen to each other. And there's been people who say things that doesn't resonate with you or maybe not even be applicable.
10:50:15 But remember to place it at your table, and you can chew on it over a couple of days, even if it's a couple of years.
10:50:23 You can chew at it slowly, by slowly. You don't have to throw it right back at their face.
10:50:27 And we don't want to do that. We don't want to be allies in any passing to do that.
10:50:34 So be ready, be called to action, but also be ready to be called out, and to place that other person's thoughts in front of you.
10:50:43 So another action step for today is to tell others what you learn today, especially those who are unsupported with the trans community.
10:50:53 I'm pretty sure these slides will be available on the website, and if not, I will make sure they are available through email so that you can just download them and have them.
10:51:02 If you have any questions, you can email me, too. I covered a lot of topics.
10:51:08 I don't. Can I say, that's fine. That's I'm totally normal.
10:51:12 I totally agree, because it's a lot. And my last action step for today's workshop is to donate to some nonprofits fighting for anti-trans legislation.
10:51:22 This is one of my favorites. It's transientequality.
10:51:25 Dot org, and, as you know, there is so much going on in the trans community, I don't have any friends who are transfer or not scared right now.
10:51:34 We're all heightened anxiety. I'm literally going there before it.
10:51:37 It's it's really bad time. It's a really, really hard year for all of us.
10:51:42 So if you can, I put a QR code and you can just bring up your phone and donate if you feel like it.
10:51:49 But yeah, yeah, making sure that we are, you know.
10:51:54 Putting actions to our worries is mostly important thing, and just I have like 4 min.
10:52:03 But this really what I think this fellowship a lot, because it took a long time to come out and to accept myself.
10:52:11 And I'm still on a journey of doing that. And it's not easy.
10:52:15 But it's congregations it's fellowships like this that make it a little bit easier, and I you know who you are, you know, wish I love all of you, and thank you for having me come here and speak.
10:52:26 Can shoot you up. That's it.