“Bye Girl, or Bye Boy, or Whatever You Are!”: A Latinx Transgender Man’s Experience with Queer Battle Fatigue in Texas

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies






Duke University Press

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I am a Latinx man of transgender experience, assigned female-at-birth, from a small, rural town on the Texas-México border. Though I knew I was different growing up, the thought of transitioning never crossed my mind, mostly because I was never exposed to other transgender people, and in particular, transgender people of color. I often write and speak about my upbringing because it leads me to the purpose of this essay. Boni Wozolek, Ross Varndell, and Taylor Speer (2015) introduced the notion of Queer Battle Fatigue (QBF) as a way to better understand the frustration that queer people face in a heteronormative society. They write that “the framework of Queer Battle Fatigue is intentionally fluid and is not presented with a set of tenets or ideals to anchor the theory. This is because we wish to center the discussion on lived experiences rather than tenets that in some fashion validate what it might mean to be queer and fatigued through battling every day commonplace aggressions” (6). However, Wozolek, Varndell, and Speer do make three points when referring to QBF. First, micro-aggressions often result from whatever situation affects the queer person. Second, the act of feeling fatigued leaves the affected with a sense of battle negotiation. Third, a sense of resistance or resilience may result from these encounters. While I try to remain as visible as possible as a transgender person, I revert back to my ability to “pass” as a cisgender man, especially when I do not feel safe. I am already a person of color to begin with in a predominantly white institution. Adding my transgender identity to the mix adds a layer to complexity that keeps me feeling anxious at times. Trans people of color have a higher incidence of suicidal ideations, attempted suicides, along with many negative outcomes like homelessness, violent attacks, and so on (James et al. 2016). The purpose of this piece is to provide a snippet of the situations that I deal with weekly (sometimes daily), as illustrated through a QBF framework. It is my hope that through this example, the reader may have a picture of what it means to be brown and trans in the South.