I helped plan and execute Trans* Awareness Week at that university with small group of dedicated students known as the Trans* and Allies Club. I was helping to facilitate a conversation around trans* identity and I was thirty minutes late for a staff meeting, during which all I missed was the rest of the brain-washed RAs drinking juice, eating cookies, and watching a YouTube video about environmentalism.

I was late for the first time, I explained to to my white direct supervisor why I was late when I got there.

The next day or so, his supervisor fired me.

I stood up for something I believe in, trans* rights and trans* safe and brave spaces and in a roundabout way I got punished for it.

This is not a cautionary tale to tell people to bend to the bureaucracy: I paid a heavy price for my activism, while I was dismissed not only by an Assistant Dean of Students, every other person on staff, the senior Housing staff, but also Dean Spade, who is apparently hailed as a hero and champion of trans* rights all over Seattle and campus, who was the faculty representative (or whatever the position is called) for the Trans* and Allies Club at Seattle University.

I didn’t expect this Law professor to come riding to my rescue but I also didn’t expect to be dismissed so casually.

It was just a kick in the teeth for me. I’m not saying Dean Spade or the entire trans* community should be blamed for what happened but even among marginalized groups activists don’t practice intersectionality and when push comes to shove they stick up for their own.

Advertisements