One major concern that I have been having regards cis gay men and their relation to trans* women. More specifically, those femme* identified men that seem to want to parallel their experiences and intersections with mine. While I find it beautiful to build solidarity and community, I feel a bit disgruntled when I’m viewed as one in the same. What I mean is that there is a fine line in friendships that we make with cis gay men who access femininity that we sometimes cross when it comes to building a connection/bond. It’s troubling for me when cis people who claim they rebuke gender and dress however they please try to infiltrate the trans* movement and become new spokespeople for our struggles because we are not the same. The fact of the matter is, one can identify as a cis gay gender queer individual and still commune with groups of other cis gay men but when I am placed in the picture, how do you navigate my uncomfortability in that space? Does anyone realize how invalidating it is to be brought on as one in the same all because we all access femininity and to then deem us all sisters and take pictures and form this clique when in all actuality, I’m a trans* woman and you are cis men? Do we not realize how that can make one feel uneasy? To be treated as a token trans* representative but her own proclamation of trans* womanhood being minimized to align with the fem narrative of cis gay men….that’s not how allyship works. To not be given the opportunity to address the disunity one feels when trying to feel welcome amongst cis gay men but being a trans* woman and having them lump you in a fem category with other femme* men and make you all sisters is problematic. I’ve been able to step back and look at my amazing summer but realize that I wasn’t actually seen or validated. To equate my identity with cis femme* gay men is violent. To look back and notice how your community’s queerness is being appropriated and sensationalized and your presence was only appreciated for a single moment and the cis gays are back at their normal business is disheartening. Call me petty. Call me problematic. But this is my truth. I don’t know how I can effectively hold friendships with cis gay men if they can’t understand that our journeys, identities, and experiences are not alike.