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Thanks For the Provocation, But I’m Good


There is nothing so sweet as having your own words used as ‘evidence’ to support a half-baked claim that attempts to invalidate your existence. Nice, right? The other morning I received email notification that one of the newer RadFem blogs took some of my wording, as well as those of Becky and another blogger, to construct yet another tired and fallacy ridden argument against us. You have to love that sort of thing. Yes, I was a little irritated. I mean I wrote this as a result, right?

I’m not going to spend much time on her post as it’s simply not worth it. I’ll get to why in a moment. She appears of the opinion that by taking a miniscule sampling of blogger opinions and highlighting the disparity in explaining a very complex and somewhat subjectively understood condition, she can invalidate the premise that transition is necessary. Um, yeah… I don’t know what the worst flaw in this even is to be honest. A ridiculous statistically insignificant sample size? Presenting as evidence words from blogs taken out of context? I mean seriously, bloggers as hard scientific evidence? Finally, the strange presumption that there is some world governing body of official trans opinion that dictates the expression of our personal experiences. Yes, she engages in the typical misgendering, which is really nothing more than childish name calling. You are probably wondering if I zinged her with a witty set of rejoinders rife with pith and vinegar. Nah.

Simply put, I don’t have anything to gain by making an effort to even acknowledge the opinion. It simply doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of things. Whether I engage these anti-trans folks or not is inconsequential. I attempted once to start a polite discussion and quickly understood this group is not interested in any form of mutual understanding, much less work toward a common good that would actually benefit and empower women. When someone is determined to be all pissed off and contentious, there is simply no reasoning with them. On those grounds enough it’s wise to disengage and ignore.

The good news is that we can afford to do this. The current trend shows that the RadFems don’t have anything nearly resembling a majority opinion on trans issues, much less appreciable political clout to ram their ideology through anyway. Our main obstacle remains religious conservatives and the opposition we face from them. This is weakening as we continue to make strides in educating the population at large. Religious conservatives are also highly unlikely to spend much time listening to any group that brands itself as “radical”, so the notion of an alliance there is almost comical, even though both are driven by dogma and ideology over plainclothes reality. Ignore them and eventually they will fade to background static until inevitable generational changes relegates them to historical curiosities.

Instead of focusing our energies on unreasonable people determined to hate us, we are much better served promoting our general personhood. We do this every day by simply living our lives, interacting with co-workers, fellow students, and our communities at large. Some of us feel the need to do more and word at advocacy, outreach, and education. I am never surprised by the fact that by being open and honest about my condition, I find that individual perceptions of trans people in general improves. Imagine, just being a person having greater impact than standing on a soapbox denouncing others on trumped up flim-flam! Well, it takes some longer than others to realize that being big nasty pants to a minority slice of the population is now out of vogue.

To sum it all up, I wish them well in their fervent and hate fueled mission to ultimately discredit themselves entirely. You won’t hear another peep out of me on the matter. I would like to invite my sister and brother bloggers and activists to do the same. Don’t bother answering them, ignore them all together at public events (just like you do the crazy Pride Protestors with the shitty painted signs), and push forward as respectable members of the community. In doing so we invalidate all sophomoric claims that we don’t exist by simply living our lives.

We will win our equality in the end simply because we are more motivated. We live this every single day. It’s not a thing or a shtick, but a condition that affects every single moment of our lives. It’s not our words or arguments that validate us, but our actions and passion with which we live, work, play, and love. The energy we put into the world to not only simply be, but gain equality and live normal and productive lives from the time we come out to ourselves and society simply cannot be equaled by those who, for whatever reason, insist on standing in our way. They will tire and have other things to occupy their attention where we never will, because this is core to our fundamental selves. Don’t fret over the opposition; we got this.


About michellelianna

I'm a transgender woman now in the maintenance stages of transition having all the electrolysis and surgery one can reasonably be expected to undertake. While busy exploring my new world, I took to blogging about it with dubiously popular results. I don't have quite as much to say as I used to, but I'm not quite done yet either.

8 responses »

  1. I’m sorry to hear that yours & Becky’s words were taken out of context and used in an attempt to invalidate your existence. It takes much courage & strength to not let such acts deflate the Spirit. As one of my heroes, John Trudell says, we must protect our Spirits, for we live in a time where the predatory (industrial) energy is working hard at mining our minds and eating our Spirits.

    “we are much better served promoting our general personhood. We do this every day by simply living our lives, interacting with co-workers, fellow students, and our communities at large. [..] It’s not our words or arguments that validate us, but our actions and passion with which we live, work, play, and love.” —-> Beautiful and powerful. Activism takes many forms and is not all about group protests with signs or putting forth textual arguments, for though words are important (and all we have on the internet), we are so much more than that. Sometimes, for some people, just getting through each day is an act of resistance and activism.

    Much peace, power & Spirit-protection to All.

  2. Trying to deny any woman the right to use a bathroom or other facility is as ugly as hanging a “no colored allowed” sign on it. It is as reprehensible as “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever”. And the rest of America needs to wake up and see hate speech for what it is.

    Thanks for not linking to their post-I’d hate to give them the extra traffic. Even just to rubber-neck.

  3. okay, you’ve convinced me. i’ll give up organizing my secret trans ninja vigilante squad.

    • Hold on now… Whether we engage the fringe element transphobes or not is one thing, but being able to say we have a secret trans ninja vigilante squad ranks as cool as being able to say you have a secret laboratory in your house. Sure, it might never get used, but the wow factor is still there. 🙂

  4. Thanks for not even linking to the frustrating post! I was sitting here trying to figure out where it might be, and what they may have said, and how I could find it. Then I realized that there is no point in doing that. All it will do is give me a seasick feeling of vertigo and nausea with a tincture of unfulfilled anger. I don’t want to read it because it is not part of my life. I don’t want to read it because I would likely feel a lingering sense of being emotionally soiled afterwards.

    What will I do instead? I will go about my daily routine and go to work where I am supported and accepted as my true self, go to lunch with my friends where I am just one of the gals, stop by the market on the way home where no one sees me as anyone unusual, and go home to my family who loves me! Because, as you said, that is my real world day to day Outreach. If people read me as trans they then experience me as “That really nice friendly trans lady, You know? The one who used to be a guy.” They know that I’m valid and real because they see me right there in front of them. If they knew me in the past they know how much more alive I am now, how much more engaged and comfortable and confident I am now.

    I don’t need to read that posting because I know what these issues, no.. what these “factors” are in our lives. I know that it is real in the same way that I know that Kindness is real. Compassion is a much stronger energy than Hate. So, yes, let’s just compassionately let them burn their fires out.

    Trans people are in the public eye. Increasingly that eye is seeing nice people just trying to get by with nobility and honesty. The forces that block them are increasingly looking like mean negative people who look small and nasty. We are moving forward by just be gracious and honest in our daily lives. So no need to read some sad and angry diatribe from a shrinking pocket of negativity. You are so right, they really don’t matter.


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