I come from spaces of privilege. Gay. Cis. Male. White. These intersecting privileges haunt the trajectory of my intellectual goals as a researcher. Because of this space(s), I am apt to treat others different from me, those who do not occupy that space(s), as exotic–as representing modes of being that only marginally count for the fetishized difference they maintain. The equality of their, let’s use the word, ontology in my lifeworld is limited by that exoticism.
I hope that I can continue to identify the various pathways into which this privilege-induced exoticism encroaches on my work. Ethnography should, as Bruno Latour said, ‘retain the working principle of uncertainty rather than the notion of exoticism.’
Trans* activists, people, are beings in a material world that is so many instances crosscut their being by power-effects of class, and race, and gender/sex legibilities. But they come together against these intersecting barriers, these odds, to form networks of power and being that, in my opinion, should be de-subjugated, to borrow from Foucault. On the one hand, it should be know because they make history–they make the material history of how our social organization, the collective, will persist. On the other hand, it should be known because, and as simple as this sounds, they simply are. The human in its diverse ways of being, the subjugated knowledge that they produce, the microscopic relations they maintain–what an infinite thing to be interested in.
Trans* is not exotic. Trans* is human, complex, uncertain, surprising, webbed within the infinite creative evolution we call life. I hope I can be a part of that.