One Direction, Fandom, and White Supremacy

I went to a One Direction concert a couple days ago. (FYI, Leeyum was delicious and wet and sprayed down the other boys with a fire extinguisher… THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER IS HIS PENIS, the absence of Zayn in the harmonies sounds profoundly wrong, and it was lovely hanging out with friends and going to my very first stadium-sized concert).

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Photo taken by Shane Camastro.

[Description: A dark stadium lit up with a few spot lights. THOUSANDS of people can be seen in seats on the ground and filling two upper tiers to the brim. Two silhouettes in the foreground can be seen of two figures with hands raised.]

As I surveyed the audience from the nosebleed seats, I couldn’t help but notice how many people were there. I heard it was estimated 10,000 people were in the stadium. In the nosebleed seats, there were a lot more families with young children (both boys and girls) but the vast majority of the seats were taken up by (white) girls and young adults.

On the one hand, seeing so many girls in one place was empowering. It’s not every day that you see a sea of girls in one place. Exiting the stadium post-concert, I exclaimed to my companions that it looked like a mob of zombies in front of us due to the sheer number of people. I naively imagined that we could enact powerful change with such numbers. Imagine if the money for the tickets to see this concert were instead collected and used to create more sustainable systems of food production… Over many concerts, this money could change the world!

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Culturally Specific Pronouns

From the moment we’re born, we’re told by (usually) a doctor that we’re a boy or a girl. We learn to be a boy or a girl depending on what the doctor said and are treated as such by everyone around us. You follow a boy path or a girl path and you are not supposed to stray. Your parents, friends, teachers, and everyone around you are watching you and trying to keep you on that narrow path that you were assigned to by a doctor at birth with no divergences allowed. And then you’re expected to find someone from the other recognized gender path to engage with romantically and sexually.

As a trans person, I don’t fit into the role given to my by the doctor. The norms that produced these strict, policed gender roles enforced from birth stem from colonialism. Western European superiority over all other peoples is justified through “civilized” culture of patriarchy, gender normalcy, and heterosexuality. These gender norms are far from natural. They are taught and imposed and are used to enforce that half of my family are inferior.

I choose to sometimes use the pronouns, “ta” and “tade”. (Pronunciation: “tah” and “tah-duh”) Unlike neo pronouns such as ze/xe/fae/vae, the pronouns, “ta” and “tade” are actively used by many people. They’re Chinese.

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