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Comment: Why the NUS policy condemning cross-dressing is offensive

Sarah Savage March 28, 2015
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Trans activist Sarah Savage reacts to motions passed at NUS Women’s Conference condemning cross-dressing, and telling gay men to stop acting like black women.

This is in response to the National Union of Students recent women’s conference and the policies which they have voted in this week.

Unpopular opinion time. I find what the NUS is doing all shades of offensive.

First off, how dare they ban cross-dressing!

For years I myself identified as a cross-dresser, my first time in public presenting as female was at a Halloween fancy dress party, I’ll never forget it as one of the most liberating experiences of my life and it set in motion a path which led to transition.

By banning gender fluidity the NUS are actively discriminating against gender variant people who are yet to fully understand their gender, and those who are still in the closet.

Yes for some cross-dressers it is a fetish thing but don’t tar them all with the same brush.

Even having fetishes isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I have made some very good friends from both the fetish community and the TV/CD community, but the holier-than-though mindset some people seem to have is the most damaging issue facing the landscape of diversity and equality in the twenty-teens.

People always forget about the gay teen living on the streets of Saudi Arabia, the trans woman being exploited in Russia, now that in the UK we have laws to protect LGBT people there is a lot less to be truly scared of.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still some massive inequalities – 25% of homeless 16 to 25-year-olds are LGBT, 46% of trans* people attempt suicide to name just two statistics.

But by focusing on things that really aren’t a genuine problem to peoples everyday lives the NUS are actually contributing to the polarisation of the battle for true equality rather than looking at the bigger picture and trying to find some common ground we can all agree on. Why aren’t they passing policies that tackle real problems?

For the NUS to pass a policy demanding that white gay men stop acting like black women really shows a distinct lack of awareness, that statement assumes that all women of colour act and talk the same, which is kinda racist in itself and the statement also reeks of homophobia.

I agree that any white person, male, gay, straight or whatever claiming to have an ‘inner black woman’ is offensive but it’s also wilfully ignoring how global social influences have resulted in a blending and exchange of language and cultures.

What right does the NUS have to set arbitrary limits on what is right and wrong? Can one single group honestly claim total ownership on entire parts of language and behaviours?

Saying that white gay men are have all the privilege is erasing those who are not ‘manly men’ as well, try telling the white gay man who has just been abused and beaten up in the street for being ‘too flamboyant’ or ‘too gay’ that he should have just used his privilege to appease the attackers.

Also, going to a large national conference, saying that the applause is triggering and demanding that everyone use jazz hands is exactly the same as walking in to McDonald’s on your local high street and demanding everyone in the restaurant throw away their Big Macs and only order salad because you are on a diet. Just sayin’.

This blog was originally posted on sarah-savage.com

As with all comment, this does not necessarily reflect the views of PinkNews.

Related topics: activist, Cross-dressing, drag, Employment, England, gender, my transsexual summer, National Union of Students, nus, Sarah Savage, Trans, Transgender

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