CONTENT WARNING: Talking of transphobia and gender dysphoria. I may have babbled a bit, but hope my point comes across coherently here. Reader discretion is advised.
I’ll be honest with you. I didn’t want to talk about this. At all. I hate conflict, but I’ve found myself voicing my take on this more as more has come to light, and especially now I feel it’s important to speak up.
I’m by no means wanting to attack or bully anyone here, nor do I condone that kind of behaviour. I’m seeing too much of that right now and I have no intention of adding to toxic and harmful behaviour, no matter who it is from.
I love the sex blogging community, I really do. It’s a place where everyone can come together and be their unfiltered selves, share their thoughts, their talents and work. But sadly, the last few weeks has brought out a very ugly side of what I’ve always known to be a positive and inclusive space.
Seeing instances of transphobia is incredibly saddening and shocking. I see it a lot online, the usual transphobic nonsense and it makes me (a cisgender woman) very angry on behalf of my trans acquaintances and friends. So you can imagine how it makes me feel seeing this in a community I love so dearly.
But this isn’t about me. This is about the people who have been made the butt of these recent happenings. This is about what we can do to repair and grow stronger and actually be the affirming and accepting community we claim to and want to be.
Seeing what I’ve seen, while obviously these events are not ok, I tried to give the benefit of some doubt. Meaning, while it’s not any excuse, I thought perhaps some involved are from backgrounds where trans awareness is very slim, or they have a preconceived notion of trans and gender identity is. For example, as some conspiracy of the political left (side note: it’s not) or some trend involving young people. That’s not the case either, if you’ll look at historical figures such as Lili Elbe, Marsha P. Johnson, and the Public Universal Friend.
Like I said before it’s no excuse, but an instance where education and owning up to where one fucked up could potentially rectify. Harming someone inadvertently, as it were, and not realising the gravity of their words perhaps. And for some, perhaps that is the case. I’m not defending anyone’s actions by saying that, I’m merely stating that a lack of extensive knowledge on an important topic such as trans and gender identity can be a contributing factor to saying things that are, inadvertently, insensitive. In which case, we make amends in order to move forward.
Basically, for better or worse, I try to see the good in everyone, like perhaps it wasn’t intended so etc. etc. Regardless, that has still caused harm and responsibility has to be taken for that. But also as seen, intentions can be very, very bad and it horrified me to see what was written that has caused this harm, and trying to justify behind free speech. What needs to be remembered is with free speech comes responsibility not to demonize innocent people. It’s definitely opened me to the stark reality that even in a community like this, one that is a sanctuary for many of us, myself included, you will come across some whose intentions towards others are not good. The post in question horrified me and achieves nothing but prejudice towards a community that already have to deal with bounds of that.
However, seeing what I have seen from a few of the parties concerned, makes me doubt this notion of simply not understanding the gravity of the situation, and it is very saddening. One such I saw with an incredible venom I found shocking. Unfortunately, prejudice is still very much alive and well in this world. And so many of us, who have been exposed to that first hand, wish this was not the case.
For that, I can’t offer anything. Apart from stating that it’s inherently wrong, but I fear that will fall on deaf ears. I’m seeing bullying from all sorts of people in the wake of this, and even hearing cases of death threats. Regardless of the controversy, sending hate mail and death threats is never ok. Regardless of who that is, I will never, ever, condone that. Don’t stoop down to that level. Rise high and far above it.
I do believe that people can change, depending on the circumstance. I hope that changes can be made for the better. I’ll be honest here, I’m no angel. I’ve said and done things in anger that I regret in my life and have since tried to do everything in my power to make it right.
I’m not claiming to be a poster girl for all things right and redemption here, but I do believe it is possible for some people to hold their hands up and say, ‘Ok, I really fucked up.’ and mean it, wanting to make amends. What matters is sticking and committing to that, in order to learn from said fuck-up and help those that have been harmed as a result.
However, for some that’s not the case and where they continue to harm people, due to lack of courtesy to treat fellow people like human beings. Be it racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, you name it, unfortunately this kind of vitriol takes many forms. I’ll say this here and now, that will not ever have a place here. I condemn this behaviour and will continue to do so.
Being a bisexual woman, I’ve experienced first hand what it’s like to be treated as ‘the other’ or flat out erased because apparently, I’m a greedy slut that can’t just pick a side and is going to cheat on any partner I have.
So imagine what it’s like for trans, non-binary, genderqueer people etc. being told an array of terrible things, being physically abused or worse. It happens all too often. Trans people are one of the most vilified demographics in the world. It’s important to understand that trans people are people, and shouldn’t have to be the butt of someone’s prejudice. No one should have to be.
I’m certainly no expert on trans rights either, nor ever claimed to be, though I’ve always considered myself an ally. If I fuck up on someone’s pronouns or name and I don’t know, please for the love of God, tell me. The last thing I’d ever want to do is trigger someone’s dysphoria, which from what I understand of it, can be absolutely debilitating.
I’m still learning when it comes to awareness on many things in life, and I’ll never stop. There’s a lot about trans identity, particularly outside of the binary, that I’m very much a newbie to. In order to be the best ally we can, it’s important to learn more and lead by example of an inclusive blog and community.
There’s things I may not understand. That’s exactly why I want to learn, and why I personally feel it’s important for us to. Education in any capacity is so important. We’re all on a continuous learning journey and it’s important to remember that. And just treat people with basic courtesy. Be kind to each other. It’s really not that hard. There’s enough hate in the world already, we don’t need any more.
For fellow sex bloggers, regardless of gender and sexuality, you’ve got a friend here. Let’s move forward, and lead by example, to be the inclusive and sex-positive community we want to be.
All my love to everyone,