transphobes live in a very odd world.
23, trans guy, gay, chinese, singaporean, aspie. started T on 11 march 2011. currently stealth because my country's views on LGBT people are views that terrify me.
I feel so helpless, sitting here. I don’t know how many signatures that wildly homophobic petition has received so far - it was around 4.8k last night and this morning had broken 6.3k, and it’s increasing, as social media things do. And just… knowing that so many people in my country believe that LGBT people are potential rapists and pedophiles whom “our children and our families” need to be protected from makes me scared to live here. I’m not afraid for my physical safety, because Singapore is at least usually safe, and I’m pretty inconspicuous, but that willful exclusion stings - I’m someone’s child too, and I do have a family -, as is knowing that every stranger who smiles at me might suddenly drop all friendliness and turn hostile if only they knew, or drag their kids away from me.
I wish I could do more without causing further emotional harm to myself, because every time I venture into the fray it leaves me exhausted and with a greatly diminished self-esteem that takes ages to recover from, and my therapist and others have suggested that I don’t place that obligation on myself to be an activist. And I was doing okay with that for a while, but then this issue cropped up again and now it’s all over the place, and it’s had for me to maintain the illusion that the majority of people in my country aren’t disgusted (or worse) by people like me, because people are being really vocal about that, at least online. And it’s hard to just sit here and do nothing.
I wish that there could be less miscommunication and misunderstanding in the world.
I wish that people would be nicer to each other.
I wish we could have peace.
I wish there were concrete solutions to the problems of privilege. Just read a tumblr SJ thing on cissexism and how:
1) the existence of privileges actively hurt people without them
2) said hurt can lead to justified resentment or hate from the oppressed
3) but it is highly unlikely or even impossible for the privileged to completely get rid of said privilege as long as they are a member of the privileged group
From other sources,
4) neither is it desirable, because we should be working to extend privileges to the people who don’t have them, rather than stripping them from the ones who have them.
But then this invariably leads to situations with:
Oppressed person: “I hate you because you hurt me, and I wish you would die.”
Privileged person: “What can I do to completely stop hurting you?”
or, if they were more cruelly honest: “kill yourself.”
But if said suicide happened, other people would arguably get hurt, possibly much more. Though in every attempt I have made to work this out, suicide is the only way to completely eradicate the hurt of the first problem, if it is not possible for the privileged person to become a member of the marginalized group. (which is why some trans guys refuse transition and hence do not increase their male privilege and hurt women in the process. sadly I did not have the strength to choose that path, because not transitioning was doing terrible things to my mental health and making me actively suicidal. But I’ve often been acutely aware of the moral ramifications of my transitioning, especially since for safety reasons I have to be stealth, which means I also get conditional cis privilege.)
And I don’t find that satisfactory at all, and have been struggling with this for ages, as a member of both privileged and marginalized communities. Is this even a worthwhile moral dilemma? Can we declare something morally wrong if there is no real morally right alternative? (I suppose yes, hence the damned if you do, damned if you don’t adage.) Is it fair to condemn people - to the extent of wishing them dead - for things they cannot help? Or is this a matter of unfair but justifiable? To what extent should we sacrifice our well being to benefit others, and is this a moral obligation? Do we also have a moral duty to ourselves that might sometimes override this?
These aren’t rhetorical questions, and I would be grateful if people could provide answers. Thanks.
Also, obligatory “hi I am aspie and am thus not being clueless on purpose because I have a lot of problems with understanding things like this.”
Do you honestly want to spend your life being angry? and frustrated, and depressed, and helpless, and afraid, and being upset by other people and making other people upset;
There are always going to be oppressions and unfairness, and you will never fight it all or eradicate it all. I’ve tried. For about seven years. It destroyed me. It destroyed my world and made me incapable of seeing the good in anything any more, because all I could think of and all I could see was injustice and oppression and hatred, even in the things I used to enjoy. I’m still recovering, have been going in and out of therapy because of this, and I’m not sure I’ll ever heal completely, though I hope so.
for you, if you still have the chance now, if you’re still at the stage where you’re all fired up and passionate and overcome with righteous anger, I’m begging you - save yourself and walk away before it gets too bad. Channel that righteous anger into good rather than bad, even if that bad is done in the name of good. Don’t post that hateful retort, no matter how justified, don’t reblog the terrible thing that no one can do a thing about other than have their day ruined by, don’t feed the trolls.
If you are oppressed, you probably have enough troubles of your own and don’t need to fill your mind with all the other horrors that are going on around you to people like you, unless you can handle i. If people are going to beat you up tomorrow in a hate crime for being gay and/or trans and/or black and/or poor, spending a day angrily debating grammar on Tumblr isn’t going to make that any better; spending that same day doing something you enjoy will at least give you happiness in place of that anger. and the world will still go on, and a marginalised person - you - will have had a moment of joy.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change the world, assuming it’s for the better. It’s a noble cause. As is being selfless. But there are limits, and if you’re constantly in a state of anger and hatred, you’re past that limit, and the bigots have won.
Don’t let them win.
i want to give up
i want to forget
i want to pretend that smiles from strangers are for me
and that they will last, even if they knew
i want to believe that people are good people
i want to believe that this world is a good world
i want to believe that hate is nothing but ignorance
i want to believe that if they knew, they’d care.
i want to unlearn the things that i’ve learnt
i want to enjoy again the bliss of ignorance
unwittingly laugh at jokes that mock me
give my heart to stories that erase me
fall in love with those who would shun me
enjoy a chicken sandwich
i want to pretend that the bigots aren’t referring to me
or to my friends
or my family
i want to pretend that they hurt nobody
and ignore the scars to the contrary.
i want to forget that there is a battle
with humanity divided against itself
i want to forget that there’s an us and there’s a them
i want to see myself as human once again
i want to believe that it need not get better
i want to pretend that it already has
turn a blind eye to the horrors i’ve heard of and seen
perhaps find peace in the spaces between
i want to unhear of the pain that i hear of
and waste no more moments still battling my own
i want to walk in delusions of freedom
that i’m not alone.
I read a mildly transphobic thing online and now I’m extremely dysphoric and am disgusted by myself and want to die or at least hurt myself. I haven’t felt like this in ages. Why do transphobes have to exist. Why do I have to exist. What do I even think I’m doing with my life. I feel like a huge joke again. Every photo of a cis person on my dash (i.e. ~99% of them) is mocking me.
(incidentally, this happened after a bout of trying to address my internalized homophobia, and sort of succeeding, reinforcing my theory that I can’t defeat one without inadvertently strengthening the latter.)
…I’m going to go walk in the park and look at ducks and think about how we have a rover on Mars.
DAMMIT PEOPLE, STOP BASHING ALLIES
NO ONE IS PERFECT OKAY
WE NEED ALL WE CAN GET.
I’d much rather have a cis straight ally who uses some problematic terms and is willing to learn, than have that same person get turned away - even to the point of outright hate and resentment against the LGBT community - by people yelling at them for their slip ups and mocking their imperfect efforts and sometimes engaging in plain old bullying, like in that one case on Tumblr where people spammed someone with inbox messages telling her to kill herself.
because it’s happened
I’ve seen it happen
and it pisses me off.
Acceptance is a spectrum. I’d take anyone on the positive half of it, thank you very much, and then work on educating them farther up that spectrum. A thousand well-intentioned allies with some messed up ideas plus five super-perfect allies is far better than just five super-perfect allies without the thousand, especially when there are thousands more who would rather have us dead and burning and who really don’t need any more adding to their numbers.
also, given that I live in a country where having gaysex is against the law and can get you two years in jail, just finding someone who thinks that it shouldn’t be is already a gigantic step up, and to see allies far better than that get ruthlessly torn apart online just makes me want to tell you to check your privilege. congratulations on living in a wonderful progressive country like the USA where you actually *have* super-perfect allies. for the rest of us, if we didn’t have problematic allies, we wouldn’t have any at all.
why is tumblr full of extremists
why do we have to effectively choose between accepting everyone and their identity as legit regardless of whether they think they are a cat or Korean despite being white or if they’re a cis straight person who has decided they’re queer because they like 50 Shades of Grey and that if you have any sort of privilege and aren’t trying to get rid of it or are deriving any shred of happiness from, say, feeling safe when you walk alone at night, or being finally gendered correctly, you are a horrible inconsiderate person
and on the other hand, unrepentant bigots who think that feminism is misandric and trans people dying is a trivial first world problem and that rape jokes are hilarious
and on the third hand (because this afternoon I identify as an alien), frustrated moderates like me who think we’re better than all of you
why can’t we all just be excellent to each other. love your enemies and all that, even if they hurt you, because that’s the only way to end hate. the world would be a better place if everyone tried.
I fully admit that parts of this post may be hypocritical, but I never claimed to not be part of the problem.
I don’t know how politically correct this opinion is at the moment, but I’ve been feeling a growing discomfort with how words and labels are being increasingly stripped of meanings. And I… don’t like that, even in cases where it may be benefiting me.
I don’t mind redefinitions. That I can deal with. If, in the instance of trans people for instance, we redefine ‘woman’ to ‘person who identifies as a woman’, rather than ‘person declared to be a girl at birth’, that’s all good. It’s still consistent, it’s relatively objective, it’s something that can be standardised, there’s a comprehensive distinction between ‘girl’ and ‘not girl’, it’s something that can still mean something and thus be meaningfully communicated.
But then how far should individual claims of identity count? If a gay man from a heavily religious background decides that being gay is wrong, whereupon he marries a woman and declares himself to be straight despite still being exclusively attracted to men, does that then make him straight? Wouldn’t that then, by definition, make ex-gay people right when they claim that someone can change their sexual orientation, if someone who used to be gay is now straight because he declared it as such? Shouldn’t who he’s actually sexually attracted to still count for something?
What about for an ‘ex-trans’ person who likewise declares themselves ‘cured’ because they detransitioned or refused transition due to external pressure and continue to struggle heavily with gender dysphoria? Are they then ‘really’ their birth gender because they believe that being trans is wrong and trans identities don’t really exist? Are they then ‘really’ cis?
Is identity-policing always bad? I respect the right for people to identify themselves, but when it comes to objective discourse, standards seem necessary. I identify as gay, because I’m almost exclusively attracted to men, and any vague attractions to women are minor enough to be negligible; but objectively I might be considered bisexual, and I’m fine with that - in fact, I’m actively in favour of that, in the name of consistent definitions - as long as it doesn’t intrude on how I describe myself.
I miss the time when words meant things. When ‘male’, ‘female’, ‘genderqueer’, ‘genderfluid’ referred to specific, distinct groups of people. When straight people were people who were sexually attracted to the opposite sex; when gay people were sexually attracted to the same sex; when asexual people were sexually attracted to neither; when ‘cat’ referred to furry four-legged felines, and didn’t include human otherkin…
when it didn’t matter what you wanted so much as what you are, with definitions that might evolve with time to more appropriate, accurate forms in order to better suit human diversity, rather than to degenerate into meaningless collections of letters whose meanings no one could clearly define or agree on and were sometimes outright contradictory, to the point where a person’s individual definitions of terms are often first necessary before any effective communication could take place.
I miss consistency. I miss sometimes making small sacrifices in accuracy for consistency. Not all cats have four legs due to accidents or mutations or whatever, and not all cats are furry, but that doesn’t make me want to change the definition of ‘cat’ to ‘felines of varying furriness that have around four legs or so’, because then it starts to lose meaning.
And that scares me. Because I love language. I like words. And I like words that mean things. And when I have those definitions, I can use those words and play with those words and let new meanings emerge from them that can best communicate what I want to say. Or create new words, where necessary. And I don’t ever want to lose the beauty of that to a bland, meaningless mess of unoffensive genericity.
I have met so many “heterosexual” as well as “homosexual” people who are in support of the gay community and are “ok” with it………except for when it comes to their children and especially their boys. They get up in arms at even the thought of them possibly turning out gay. It makes them…
Can’t say about the former, but for the gay people who are uncomfortable with their kids turning out gay, I think a large part of it is due to the concern that others might see it as proof that allowing gay couples to adopt means that those kids are going to turn out gay, and use it against them.