The importance of listening to people with trans identities

The documentary Trans, one of a kind airs this Thursday, at 9:10 pm on M6, while the climate is uninhibited transphobia. In August, a simple family planning poster about her support for pregnant transsexual men sparked an avalanche of offensive and discriminatory comments. A minority fringe of feminists is also struggling to exclude trans women from its struggles. On another level, the editor Delphine Cinier, the documentary director, has been working with for eight years, this time refused to collaborate with her. “She said to me: ‘I’m not interested, I don’t want to know them [les personnes trans]it makes me uncomfortable, I don’t want to, “she says. She couldn’t make him change his mind.

“People forget that we are human beings, deplores Aëla, a trans woman in her thirties whose journey was followed by cameras on the sixth channel. We are almost reduced to a state of furniture or animals that we would have the right to attack as if we were creatures from a parallel world. Some still don’t have the click to say to themselves “I have no right to hurt this person, even if I don’t understand who they are and what they’re going through.” This is where we need to provide education and answers. “

“We need to communicate, it’s a human subject”

It is therefore to do a pedagogical work that Aëla agreed to testify in the documentary. Same thing for Zach, a 20-year-old trans man. “Before I found out what transience was, I suffered without knowing why. It is thanks to the increased visibility granted to this topic that I knew it existed. Not talking about it would be denying the reality. “

Emma, ​​60, the third protagonist of Trans, one of a kind, he echoes: “At times we have also been criticized for communicating too much because, presumably, it tires the public. So what do we do? Do we keep hiding? I believe in communication, he is a human subject. “

Delphine Cinier admits that she knew nothing of the transience before starting the documentary. “I could make a lot of mistakes when talking about transgender people,” admits the director. It was Karine Le Marchand, who, with the flocked cap of her producer of Potiche Prod, offered her this project in 2019, to follow her three witnesses for several years. “I always decide to tackle issues that I don’t know,” says the host of Love is in the meadow. I arrive with my ignorance and my received ideas. I need to get into people’s lives and understand who I really am in order not to make caricatures of themselves. “

Karine Le Marchand and her big clogs

But as the (almost) saying goes, hell is paved with good notes of intent. On the screen we find the style of Karine Le Marchand: the role of the good friend with an attentive ear and heavy hooves. She claims to have shown a working copy of the documentary to Zach, Aëla and Emma. “After we did that, we didn’t change anything, because we didn’t water down the message or change the reality. That the witnesses tell me that they have recognized each other is the best compliment you can pay me. “

As a spectator, on the other hand, one can feel a certain discomfort in the face of a tendency to misery or in front of the useless reconstructions of some scenes, including that of physical aggression, which illustrate the testimonies. The fact that the first names worn by Emma and Aëla before their passage are pronounced several times will surely question those who know to what extent the use of dead names represents violence for the people involved.

Furthermore, Zach explicitly refused to have his first name used. “I don’t want people to imagine me with a female name. We don’t want to remember the discomfort we were in in the past, ”he explains, turning to the camera. However, he agreed to entrust the childhood photos, “to testify one last time, before moving on”. Emma, ​​has given her consent for her identity prior to her passing to be explicitly mentioned. “I passed late, I would not have wasted 60 years of my life. I had a man’s life, ”she says.

moral panic

But it is above all the debate conducted by Karine Le Marchand at 22:55, after the documentary was broadcast, which risks causing a sensation. Titled Transgender child: what to do?will invite, around the table, Zach, witness of Trans, one of a kindpsychiatrist Serge Hefez, Solange who, according to the press release, is “the mother of a transgender girl and refuses to accompany her child before he begins a psychiatric analysis of several years” and Blandine, presented as “resolutely feminist” and ” contrary to the very notion of gender choice. ”We find the latter among the signatories of a forum considering“ that trans people should not be included in the spaces reserved for women, nor be at the center of the feminist agenda ”.

“The system put in place by M6 brings face to face (…) a young transgender and two activists who encourage transphobic discrimination (punished by law), one presented as a simple worried mother, a guarantee of credibility, when you do not let them speak your son”, the Fransgenre association is indignant in a press release signed by many feminist and / or anti-LGBT phobia organizations and groups.

The theme of the transience of minors, very fashionable in the media in recent months, stems from a moral panic that mixes alarmism and disinformation, as Slate recalled last year. “I understand caution, it is normal, but we must not forget that the law does not allow you to do anything”, underlines Emma.

“We’ve always been there”

And to add that the feminists who exclude trans people from their struggles, called Terf according to the acronym of the English expression “trans-exclusionary radical feminist”, are “a small number, which tends to grow and make a lot of noise”. .

“They are fighting against the wind, Aëla reacts. Many think transgender is a trendy new concept. This is not the case. When one scratches the history of humanity a little, the gender spectrum is much broader, in pre-colonial civilizations, in Malaysia and North America, for example. We have always been there. We always will be. Making sure we don’t exist means wiping out a part of humanity. I don’t know how to analyze the fear that awakens in them. By simply being ourselves, we awaken many unconscious things in people. All the more reason to listen to trans people, directly affected by the topic, rather than those who speak for them and without knowing it.

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