Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has opened up about cisgender privilege, speaking on The Intercept’s 'Deconstructed' podcast about recognising the unique challenges faced by members of the trans community.
It's no surprise, really. The 29 year-old congresswoman has been a vocal advocate for LGBTIQ+ people in the past, even sharing her love for RuPaul's Drag Race on social media. Still, this conversation marks one of the first times a politician has not only addressed, but taken ownership of their cisgender privilege on a public platform.
"If you haven’t had a transition in your life where, you know, you were maybe born poor or born without certain privileges and then especially as you transition into having certain privileges in your life, you actually see and feel and sense and taste and smell all of the differences," she explained to podcast host and columnist Mehdi Hasan.
"If you’ve never experienced different treatment in your life, you wouldn’t know what different treatment feels like or looks like. And it’s really, really hard."
According to Ocasio-Cortez, members of the public should start looking at themselves and observing their own privileges - whatever they may be.
"I’m a cisgendered woman," she said.
"I will never know the trauma of feeling like I’m not born in the right body. And that is a privilege that I have, no matter how poor my family was when I was born. But it’s really hard for some people to admit that they — you know, it’s part of this weird American Dream mythology that we have, that for a lot of — in a lot of circumstances isn’t as true or isn’t as clearly communicated as we’d like for it, or we wish it was."