21 March 2012

Testing My Patience

I am going to say something that, coming from an educator, you might find odd:  I utterly abhor tests.

All right.  I'll lay my cards on the table:  I never was very good at taking tests.  I know lots of other people aren't, either.  More to the point, I wonder whether some tests measure anything besides its taker's ability to take tests.

And then there are the ones that are just plain stupid, and worse.  An example is one that was on Planet Transgender's site the other day.  The blog's author put it very well:  "The ChaCha quiz challenges you to prove your (manly) or (womanly) misogynistic transphobic cissexualism by being able to distinguish between real Woman (sic) and transgender fakers."

The test does play into, and display, all sorts of stereotypes and pure-and-simple hate. However, I have to admit that in one way, I do find amusement in the fact that it exists.  In looking at it, all I could think about was a guy I knew who made it a point of showing me that he could pick out all of the gay people walking down the street or in a crowded restaurant.  And, after every display of his prowess, he insisted, "But I'm 100 percent straight."  Uh-huh. 

In a more serious vein, the test reminded me that society at large will accept us as equals to cisgender folk only when it can embrace, not only diversity as most people currently understand it, but diversity within any given group of people.  In other words, there won't be any real hope of equality until more people are willing to accept the same sorts of variation in physical appearance, behavior and other characteristics in trans people as it does in cisgendered people.  We're not all weepy bombshells, just as not all cisgender women are.  And some of us, as much as we love clothes and shoes, actually care more about things like books.

Anyway...If you've been reading this blog, it's likely that you already understand what I've just said.  So I don't want to risk beating the proverbial dead horse to death.  I just hope that I live long enough to see true acceptance become the norm.

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