A long while ago, I had an idea for a blog wholly focused on the variety of issues that come up when one is a trans teacher, both from a teacher standpoint as well as the cold reality of the common, unspoken, discrimination from education professions many of us experience. It kinda fell through the cracks when my life upended into itself, but I might bring it back in lesser form somewhere because I keep on running into things I have views on or people blathering on from a standpoint of ignorance about things I experience on the direct lines as an educator. And today is no exception.
Today’s rant/ramble is based on a long tweet thread by author Ana Mardoll, writer of the book Poison Kiss
Xie wrote a long chain about the fear-mongering surrounding accommodations in university courses for students who are triggered by certain aspects of learning material (typically depictions of physical abuse, sexual assault/rape, suicide, etc… in literature classes) and had a lot of very good points mostly surrounding how we already make accommodations for students who have to leave the class during a lesson due to physical ailments such as the flu as well as students with physical disabilities that keep them from engaging fully with lessons owing to missed absences and other needs for accommodations.
Xie also notes that those complaining about Trigger Warnings are also anti-science, ignoring how things like exposure therapy actually work, how PTSD works, what a trigger warning even is, because much like with trans issues or abortion, people really don’t like that the science of it all is more or less settled on the side of the marginalized and does not agree with their conjectures.
And I roll trans issues, specifically things like bathroom access and scary “social transition” stuff such as names and pronouns into this “debate” about trigger warnings, because it all comes from the same place.
Namely that certain marginalized groups are existing in public in a way that is no longer easy for a person to ignore and this infuriates those who refuse to acknowledge said people and want to make even the slightest efforts to grow up sound like a draconian punishment on their moral and legal right to be an asshole to people without consequences.
And it doesn’t mean that these groups didn’t exist before hand. There’s always been trans kids and young adults and kids and young adults who’ve experienced rape or abuse and mentally ill kids and young adults. We’ve always existed in physical form, but for the longest time, a dominant group member could remain justifiably ignorant about our existence because there was strong social barriers and sometimes even legal barriers about talking about our existence or being visibly present.
And it’s really this piece that ends up driving a lot of these social panics, same as it does for folks that get all up in arms about “PC culture run rampant”, white people’s “right” to use the n-word, or “conservative censorship in universities”/”anti-free speech among liberals” in the form of people using their own free speech to criticize and protest speech they see as harmful.
Basically, those raised on an unequal playing field feel it is their “rights” to have inequality extended forever, where the minority groups they abuse aren’t allowed to fight back or even criticize their actions or call them mean names like “bigot” or “harasser”. And a lot of that anger stems from things used to being one way and now they have changed and now that social expectation that used to encourage folks to remain silent now has started to shift in the direction of viewing as assholes people who don’t grow and accept that people outside the normative exist.
And I don’t say this casually.
But rather out of direct observation of the panic and their distortions of the real issues and real requests of the students making them.
Like, let’s take trigger warnings. I’m a big fan of them and don’t just use them in my teaching, but in casual conversation. In fact, I first started adapting to using them in casual conversation before I incorporated it in the classroom, because of two things.
1) I know a lot of people from really fucked up backgrounds who’ve experienced a lot of bad shit. Trans folks who’ve been beaten by their family, women who’ve experienced multiple rapes and abusive partners, people of color who’ve experienced hate crimes and physical assault.
And 2) I am very politically minded and most topics I tend to cover or want to converse about tend to be really big and scary and potentially triggering, such as transphobia, hate crimes, discrimination, rape, abuse, and so on. I’m a feminist and have been for a long time and a lot of my interactions with other people tend to be on these feminist wavelengths where a lot of the topic of discussion is flatout depressing but interesting to me nonetheless.
And the combination of these two made trigger warnings necessary, because they gave my friends a head’s up on whatever dark road of conversation I was going down and allowed them the time to prepare or bail out as necessary. And because lacking those trigger warnings meant I was more worried about covering any topic for fear of hurting a friend unnecessarily during a casual conversation.
Because a trigger isn’t someone going “oh me, oh my, this person conversing is too REALZ for my delicate female affections, I shall cry trigger so as to censor his FREEZE PEACH.”
It’s basically a phenomenon where you really aren’t there anymore because you’re back in a flashback of whatever traumatic thing that happened to you is, experiencing it like it’s happening now. When I’ve been triggered, I shut down hard, just filling with endless chains of self-hatred, with the feel of my rapist against me and the world I was inhabiting a second ago might as well not even existing.
I can’t focus on whatever else is going on around me because I am essentially not there and I can end up losing days to this, as a trigger tends to make it easier and easier to slip into that space and can flood me with all the emotions of fear and pain and self-hatred that filled such events.
It’s not a matter of exiting out of conversations I don’t want to have. It’s that I’m exited out of conversations I do want to have (most of my triggering events tend to occur when I’m with groups of friends, luckily) by my brain essentially shutting down.
And that sucks. But trigger warnings allows me to prepare first or recognize that no, I don’t actually have the spoons for this topic today, but I’d love to discuss it on a day I’m a bit more functional. And that moment of preparation is key as it allows me to shore up my defenses so I’m not blindsided by a topic that’s just gonna put me in a foul mood or an emotional tailspin.
And in practice, the trigger warnings means I get to have more conversations about pretty dark topics because everyone is able to emotionally prepare as needed as part of their general survival in a world where these topics come up.
In the classroom, I follow this practice, giving kids a heads up when topics are veering into the depressing and potentially triggering. It takes 5 seconds. No really, because all it is “And so as we look at, content warning: sexual assault… (pause for beat) sexual assault data”.
And this is useful and necessary, because I work in a private school where many of our students have dealt with heavy traumas where they might be being physically abused at home or be survivors of rape, or have traumatic experiences with accidents or lost family members to gun violence.
And in practice, using trigger warnings means more of my students are engaged during those conversations or topics instead of drifting off and becoming unresponsive for the rest of the class (the frequent result that occurs when teachers don’t use trigger warnings and I know this because I’ve had fellow teachers ask me how to get X student to engage in classes and then I found out they had been triggering the student without warning and hadn’t realized).
The whole thing barely interrupts my flow as a teacher. And is so small on my end that it doesn’t even eat into class time, unlike when dealing with a student in crisis mode who fundamentally can’t learn because they are in a bad triggered state.
And it’s very similar to pronouns for trans kids. Like, most of my trans students have needed or wanted to explore scary “SOCIAL TRANSITION”. By this I mean, they want to try out new names or new pronouns and maybe want to dress a certain way at school.
And it’s extremely easy to accommodate that.
Here’s what I do. I have an email I send out letting the other teachers know three things, what name a student prefers, what pronoun they prefer today, and what pronoun and name should be used in communication home to parents as not all our kids are out to their parents.
And there was a time when I was sending out that email every day, because we had a genderfluid student whose preferred pronoun changed nearly every day between she and they.
And then the earth opened up, swallowing us all into hell… or teachers just adapted. It just became a routine, teachers would check the email, use those pronouns when talking to the student, use different ones in communications home as needed, and we’d keep an eye on campus to make sure no one was bullying the kids in question. With bathroom access, we just swapped out some single-access bathrooms on a floor for two gender neutral toilets so we didn’t even have to deal with any stress on that front and we just trucked on.
And it really wasn’t the end of the world. The students are happy, because unlike most places, their identities are being respected and they feel safe and the overall impact on instruction is near zero. Like, seriously, the biggest impact is that one of our bigender students explored with pronouns for awhile and eventually settled on ce/cir/cirs.
And that’s an uncommon pronoun. So all the teachers spent some time practicing, not much more than half and hour and now everyone pretty much lets it roll of their tongue with ease. And the impact on the student has been immense. This particular student has struggled a lot with suicidal ideation over the years but has openly said that school is the safest place ce knows and ce feel accepted as cirself here. And that’s important to us as educators. It makes us feel good about our job and our work.
And these are both things that are so minor, so unobtrusive as to not really involve more than mere seconds in the classroom, and yet we get endless thinkpieces bemoaning the “scariness” of these changes. And most are based on either ludicrous scenarios that simply don’t happen or on fixating on some corner case and going all slippery slope on it. So let’s tackle the latter one first.
OH ME OH MY THE SLIPPERY SLOPE!
So, detractors of trigger warnings like to fixate on an extreme case that can happen because arguing that they don’t like spending five extra seconds throwing in a head’s up before covering an intense topic makes them seem like assholes.
And that extreme case is: “What if you drop the trigger warning and a student leaves the classroom instead of engaging in the discussion”. Largely because that trigger warning lets them know that no, they don’t have the spoons for this today (maybe things are too raw, maybe it’s a bad mental health day, maybe they recognize that their defense on these things isn’t great or it isn’t a safe space to have a conversation on this*).
*And this last one is key. Because no one with traumatic experiences is going to risk their mental health if they expect that they’ll just get dismissed and that ignorant conjectures repeating toxic myths are going to be privileged over them. And that’s a failure of a teacher or moderator to control and is going to be responsible for more walkouts than anything else. Like, if something is making me angry and I know I’m about to blow up and yell at people and the room does not feel safe for politely correcting the record about someone else’s bullshit, I exit the room, let myself rant outside so I don’t disrupt the conversation and then either come back or move on to a different conversation. And this is not the same as a trigger warning. This is picking your battles and recognizing when you’re about to be a disruption to everyone else and removing yourself before that occurs.
Well, here’s the thing. In that extreme case, you’ve already lost the student. The only question left is to what degree you’ve lost that student. Like, if you didn’t give that trigger warning and instead jumped right into a triggering topic, that kid is going to be mentally gone. Because they didn’t have the spoons for it.
Worst case, they break down in the classroom, disrupting everyone’s lesson and making them less likely to attend future lectures because of the embarrassment of it. Second worst case, they blow up on a student and now you are de-escalating a heated argument instead of continuing in your lesson plan and everyone will be kind of less engaged because they’ll just be fixated on the argument and their personal feels. Third worst case, they shut down completely, go into a panic state, and absorb nothing from the lesson and are stuck in that hell for a period of time.
And fourth worst case and more commonly, they walk out anyways. Like, kids aren’t dumb, they get their mental health, they know what they have spoons for, and they don’t want to break down in front of everyone anymore than anyone else. So they’ll slip off to the bathroom, have a good cry, and maybe come back later, maybe not and now you’re tracking that student down or in college, hoping they come back to the next class.
Like, I’ve been in discussion groups that didn’t have content warnings or good moderation and the room’s felt unsafe for my experiences. And when that happens, I bail. I leave the panel or the discussion, go outside, rant for awhile in anger and frustration and go to a different panel or discussion group or just go home. It happens fairly regularly in ace discussion groups because I do a lot of atypical things for ace people so I tend to get erased in discussion groups a lot in ways that piss me off.
And that’s not even a trigger. That’s just fuck this shit. And I’ve been in lectures where the topic being covered is being covered wrong. It happens a lot in panels on gender or lectures on gender by ignorant cis straight white guys when you’re a trans person. And the panel or lecture ends up being a wash to deal with because all you can end up thinking about is how much you hate the ignorance of the presenter rather than anything else they said.
Point being with all this is a student who’d walk out at the trigger is a student you were going to lose no matter what.
If you do a trigger warning, now that student knows you care about their experiences and so is more likely to come in engaged in the next class. Like, we’ve been there as teachers where a student is being affected by home shit and is only like 20% there even though they are physically in the classroom. They’re too busy thinking about all that stuff instead. You show that kid openness, you give them the impression that you are safe to talk to, maybe they talk about it and that allows them to engage for the rest of the class because they feel they have support.
It’s the same with trigger warnings. If I have a student bail on me because that’s not a topic they can handle on that day, by giving them the trigger warning they are more likely to be willing to return to that topic on a later date rather than just asking to not even deal with the subject. And they are more willing to put in the work necessary to deal with a tough subject because they know I’m not gonna be an asshole to them about it.
Similarly, detractors of SO SCARY “social transition” like to fixate on locker rooms and bathrooms as if there isn’t already discomfort for the trans student in using those and as if that trans student would be safer using a bathroom where they are signaled out as not being approved by the school thus giving a free pass to bullies to target and harm them.
Like, just letting them use it, letting everyone know that yeah, we support accommodating kids, trans kids exist, deal with it, shuts stuff down real quick.
As noted, we went to gender neutral toilets for a floor and we cracked down hard on transphobic bullying. Within several months, everyone adapted and got over it. The students saying the way X student was dressed was weird got over it and eventually helped defend that students pronouns to others who misgendered them. The students complaining about the gender neutral toilets got used to them and just view them as the toilets that they are.
When we remove the official forced gendering and its enforcement, then the complaints about it tend to cease, because that enforcement has always been artificial and weird and it quickly becomes apparent that some kids being trans really isn’t the end of the world that parents assured them it would be.
And they get this, which leads to the slippery slope part.
Oh, what about kids adopting all sorts of outlandish pronouns and switching all the time. Well, we’ve had kids with neopronouns and kids with fast switches owing to gender fluidity. I sent out more regular emails. Done. For identities that were less common, I attach a link to a comic from an artist with that identity explaining what that identity meant for them or an article about the identity. The teachers take 5 minutes to read it and I serve as point person to answer questions as needed from them or the students. It’s all total cost me maybe a total of two hours of prep time over the course of the last year. Not a big deal.
Oh, but what about the slippery slope of trigger warnings. What about people having triggers of spiders or the letter b, how do you adapt to that?
Those triggers are uncommon, but if you recognize that trigger, you throw it in, it takes an additional five seconds and now you’re not losing a student whenever you cover spiders. Again, done, not that big of a deal. Also, this shit is bullshit, because rape triggers and abuse triggers are common because those issues are common. It’s good practice to always have those warnings, because you’re likely in any classroom of over 10 students who have at least one student with those triggers because they’ve had those life experiences.
But yeah, expanding it out for less common triggers won’t eat up your entire lesson. And you’ll earn a student who will be extra engaged because you acknowledged their trigger even if it seemed weird or unusual.
And now the conspiracy theory excuses
So, many detractors of both trigger warnings and “social transition” quickly realize that they have no legs to stand on. So many times, they’ll turn instead into full on conspiracy theories to try and distance themselves from the bigotry actually underlying their objections.
No, they cry, we don’t have a problem with trans kids and their pronouns or using trigger warnings so that kids with traumatic experiences, we have problems with… uh… er… that is to say… think of something… People faking those things to get stuff? YEAH, that’s the stuff.
You’ve probably heard these arguments a lot because sexists and transphobes love throwing them out there to make themselves seem less like cartoon supervillains for decrying things as minor and unobtrusive as trigger warnings or respecting people’s pronouns.
They go, oh, what about a kid posing as trans to slip into the girl’s locker room or bathroom (and it’s almost always “fake” trans women that these people freak out about, showing the backwards chauvinistic world they’re coming from). And what about a kid faking a trigger in order to claim that they can’t read any of the reading material or be assessed on it.
So, let’s go into these two slabs of bullshit shall we.
1) No one is going to go through all that effort just to intrude on a space where they might see the vaguest hint that someone is going to be undressed unless they are doing so specifically as a protest against the existence of trans people.
No, seriously, gender dysphoria is real and no one is going to go through being misgendered and the gauntlet of violent stares you get when you are visibly trans, being singled out as non-normative and a “freak” by the school, and all the anti-trans harassment that comes with all that just to maybe almost see less skin than they would see in most PG-13 movies or any bikini girl photo search on google.
The kids have the internet and they have porn at their fingertips and understand school blocking systems better than the people running them. That’s frankly too much effort for a creeper to bother with when there are much easier ways to see nudity that’s actually nude.
Additionally, creepers who get off on the violation of boundaries tend to also be heavily wrapped up in toxic masculinity and so are very unlikely to go through all the effort of putting on girly clothes to get off on violating spaces when they can do just as much damage and get in less trouble simply walking in through the unlocked front door and doing their creeper thing.
And that’s why the only people we see who are fitting these right-wing stereotypes of what men would do if this “trans madness” gets passed and we respect kids’ pronouns in schools, tend to be right-wing anti-trans activists who are deliberately walking into women’s restrooms to protest the existence of trans people.
In short, when the people raising the conspiracy theory are the only ones fulfilling the conspiracy theory, you can dismiss the genuineness of that concern real fucking fast.
And there’s a similar conspiracy theory for trigger warnings because right-wing ideologues are nothing if not derivative in their tactics insinuating that kids will claim fake trigger warnings to get out of assignments which has two flavors of what the fuck.
2a) This doesn’t happen, because trigger warnings aren’t actually a change in curriculum, it’s a heads up about planned curriculum. So kids aren’t actually going to be using them to get out of assignments, because trigger warnings aren’t actually about editing assignments to be respectful of the triggers of your students. It’s the verbal equivalent of throwing a warning tag on a mattress.
2b) So let’s talk modified curriculum or assessments. Cause as a teacher, I love these. I live for a student who for whatever reason wants to do an alternate assessment or project that ties more directly with their interests instead of a standard written assessment.
And I’ve done a bunch of different topics and especially love to throw these out as finals or midterms because it allows kids to engage deeper with the curriculum.
And I’ll do the extra work to make those a reality and will even do things like oral assessments for students who have severe test anxiety and can’t quite perform at their best in a traditional assessment. And because of this, I’ve been told by bosses that I’m one of the most requested teachers at my school and I tend to cover more material at a higher level than many of my fellow teachers and have actually given seminars to fellow teachers on how to expand curriculum options.
And the end-results are awesome. I had a student who was an artist do anthropomorphizations of each planet in the solar system and they ended up putting so many good touches into the design based on characteristics of the planets that I didn’t even notice them all at first (like Earth actually had accurate percentages of green and blue on her dress based on the percentage of water on the planet and Mercury had an off-the shoulder dress and mismatched pants to show the difference in temperature between the hot and cold side). I had another gut, clean, bleach, and construct a chicken skeleton as a final anatomy project.
Now, there are on occasion students who think this is a free pass to not do any real work on the final or midterm or on a particular assessment. Those students are wrong and I tell each student this. I grade alternative assessments harder than I would traditional assessments, because I’m taking the extra time to design and provide support for these alternate assessments. And the kids get that and only twice have I had to come down hard in the grading of an assignment because a student tried to test the waters of what they could get away with (those same students tried to play the same games with the traditional assessments, giving one word answers to short responses questions and snarky non-answers to long-form questions so it was not exactly an isolated incident).
You can incorporate that for trigger stuff. Providing alternate assessments or books for students that are just moving too slow owing to triggers on a book covering a particular subject. My fellow teachers have had to do it on occasion for English assignments. And well, it doesn’t have to be a big thing and you can grade it harder for the extra work on your part to have to be familiar to both books.
It’s also not something that’d go away if they didn’t do that. Like, you have a kid triggered by a book about a rape survivor and they’re moving slowly through it. They’re going to be disconnected from the discussions and unable to keep up with reading quizzes if you don’t accommodate them, so it ends up, do you lose the student and have them flunk that section or do you offer them a lifeline?
Most kids appreciate the lifeline.
And again, if you have some anti-trigger-warning asshole trying to bullshit their way out of doing work, well, they tend to back off when you show them the actual expectations you have for an alternate assessment and how you plan to grade it.
Said student is also going to try to disrupt the class no matter what.
Like, any women studies professor or gender studies professor can tell you about “that guy”. “That guy” occurs at least once in any class and they only attend because they view the major as bullshit and so have made it their mission to try and disrupt everyone’s learning experience and be as big an asshole to the other students as he can because he doesn’t want to engage with the material or thinking deeply about gender stuff. “That guy” becomes the bane of every other student, making discussion spaces less safe by mocking people with rape traumas or backgrounds with abuse, recycling MRA talking points, and acting like his ignorant conjectures should be seen as equally weight to the actual professors.
And these assholes love to fuck with assessments, writing essays deliberately arguing bass-akwards nonsense or just straight up refusing to complete work such as reading the novels or completing the essays, taking the F as a badge of pride for having “put those uppity feminists in their place”.
And so, yeah, “that guy” might try and latch onto a bullshit “trigger” to try and dodge out of work, but it’s part and parcel of his standard crap and one of the easiest to dodge, because you can give him a custom assessment that actually forces him to examine his behavior in its context or to research the actual science behind triggers and what they are. In short, you can give an alternate assignment that’s actually a learning experience and maybe get something out of “that guy” that you normally wouldn’t. Even if that’s them shutting up about demanding alternate assessments for the rest of the semester.
But again, even this off-the-wall example is easily dealt with by just having good habits with alternate assessments.
And again, most folks aren’t going to go for it unless they are actively protesting “trigger warning” stuff and trying to be an asshole about it.
These accommodations are minor. But the backlash is strong. And the backlash is strong because the accommodations are new. Because it’s taken us a long time to really respect, hey, there might be some kids who’ve actually dealt with shit in life, maybe we shouldn’t be dicks to them or hey, some kids might be trans.
And for a small core, any change from “what they used to do” feels bad. Feels like an imposition. Feels like oppression, because they have no experiences with oppression outside being asked to stop doing things that are oppressed.
And well, sorry, tough titties, but you need to grow up because the shit being asked for are hardly the imposition you make them out to be. No matter how you try and spin it.
It’s five seconds out of your day, adapt, move on, teach.
It’s really not that hard.
So, I’m still somewhat raw and upset about the latest push against trans kids so hey, my little used personal blog is gonna be all rebuttals to transphobic bullshit posing as concern for awhile.
So, basically the TERFs and the TERF-adjacents have found a new go-to to argue against accepting trans kids. And that go-to is that they aren’t against trans kids, no, they’re just against folks going through “potentially unnecessary medical treatments”:
Now everyone and their mother knows what this is about. It’s about tying the way cis people freak out at the very idea of surgeries or hormones and try and displace that fear on trans kids and act like it’s out of some genuine concern for children. Y’know, like how homophobes associate gayness with sex and then try and argue this automatic word association is a reason to be strongly against anyone talking about queer sexualities with children.
Again, these people are not exactly subtle in their antipathy for us.
So, there’s a few things fucked with this.
One, is that it continues to value the vague unease of cis people over the lives and well-being of trans folks*
*Not to keep beating up the dead horse of Jesse Singal, but he decided to follow-up his last trainwreck with a response to Julia Serrano who is… well, the exact person Jesse Singal should seek out, a biologist, academician, and trans woman who speaks eloquently on both trans research and trans experiences, albeit sometimes with frustrating framing. And he tries to tackle a thought experiment she had, which was to have an audience of cis people imagine that they were offered 10 million dollars for their gender, to live as the wrong gender the rest of their life and suffer through that dysphoria. And it’s pretty powerful because most cis people who actually think about it rather than dismissing it with a crude joke about how “easy” women have it or assuming that being thought of as a man all the time when you are not is somehow bearable, don’t take up the offer. Because they at some level understand that one’s gender is one’s gender. Naturally Jesse Singal repeats the thought experiment, comes to the same conclusion, but nonetheless dismisses the thought experiment and argues that some cis folks would still take that because gosh sexism is just so bad, ignoring the life experiences of trans women who’ve lived that and know that the sexism and transphobia and all the hatred is worth no longer being treated as if a boy over and over again. Cause in his mind the idea that one cis person could somehow be wooed over with the “10 million dollars” of dealing with slightly less sexism is too high of a price to universally get behind any form of actual care outside of “concern for” trans kids. And is worth endless articles wringing his hands because he has vague unease at the thought of someone transitioning (i.e. he has vague unease at the thought of himself transitioning and displaces that on women because he’s that type of male feminist) and somehow this must be based on something worthy of reason rather than just his implicit biases. But then, we already knew all that.
Second, is that it makes no goddamn sense, because we already treat children for things they might not actually have. Hell, we treat adults for things they might not actually have.
Like, the obvious example is mental health. I’ve got a lot of students with various mental health conditions. A lot of them had to go through a lot of processes, a lot of tests, and a lot of drugs that simply did not work for them or didn’t work right at that dosage to find the right blend to help them stabilize and better function as themselves.
Cause that’s part of finding out what works. And it’s a major part of medicine. If you go in to a doctor’s office with depression, they try you on various medications to find the one that works. When one doesn’t, that gets crossed off the list and you continue on. So, all this hand-wringing over this terrifying thought that some cis person could somehow stumble through the years of defeating various gatekeepers trans kids and trans people are expected to go through and the million chances to turn back if the treatment is not working is based on something that is just part and parcel of any form of medicine. You try something on the list for that condition or illness. And if that doesn’t work, you go back to the drawing board.
Not to mention that again, the medicines these fucks are freaking out about are some of the easiest to get off medicines possible. And require the most hoops to jump through to get them. Like, very very few clinics are actually cool enough to say “oh, you’re trans, yeah, let’s get you on some blockers, kid” right off the block. A lot of them require potentially years of stable identity and even then refuse because of this ingrained cis fear that they somehow could be trans-ified in the same way that homophobes are scared that standing next to a gay person could “convert” them to “that unhealthy lifestyle” in their estimation.
And blockers themselves are a compromise to hormones, delaying the decision until its been years of stable identity with no shifts and the kid is practically an adult already, albeit now with a stunted pubescence to “make sure they’re sure”. And are undoable by simply not taking them anymore and as far as medications go, they have very few side effects**.
**Transphobes have recently begun arguing that blockers are “shady” and despite all the research that their health risks are minimal, they insist that ha, there might be long-term damage for those who take them for a long time. Somehow ignorant of the realization that someone who takes puberty blockers for a long time is very unlikely to be cis.
But then, the whining about “medicine” is just to rope in the rubes. A way of demonizing blockers and hormones and making it seem nefarious and shady for a doctor to follow AMA and APA best practices and making recommended treatment protocols and how mental health medication simply works seem nefarious and off and find something anything to complain about that isn’t what really bothers all these fucks.
And that’s surgeries.
Like, push any transphobe about “trans kids” or even trans people and eventually they’ll start ranting about genitalia and saving those genitalia from “mutilation” like some annoying anti-circumcision activist crashing the Trans Pride. Even Singal fell into this trap trying to defend his vague unease about supporting trans people without hemming and hawing all the damn time about it when Noah Berlatsky wrote an article critiquing his article on desistence, by immediately seeking out ex-trans folks who regretted surgeries. Many transphobes in the religious right and in the TERF movements cite the same handful of folks, all ones who underwent surgeries and claimed that those surgeries ruined their life.
Cause like the automatic assumption that gay people equal anal or oral sex among homophobes, people automatically associate trans folks with genitals and genital surgeries.
Endless “comedians” making jokes about trans folks that mostly center around “chicks with dicks” because trans women scare the beejesus out of transphobic fuckheads. Endless sobbing pieces lamenting the tragic downfall of “intact” bodies due to the evils of trans surgeries.
That shit massively impacted my life when my family was in the process of disowning me for being trans and trying to force me into reparative therapy at the careful coaching of a TERF piece of shit. Both my uncle and father lamented over my penis and its future fate, because to them that’s all a trans person is.
Their genitals and “the surgery” which, let’s not kid ourselves, to cis people there is only ever one surgery and that is bottom-surgery. It’s fucking everywhere.
And it’s in the creepy way trans folks talk about trans kids, obsessing about their junks like a child molester eyeing up a victim to groom. SecretGamerGirl had a really good deconstruction of that shit here.
To them, that’s all we become. And our humanity is subsumed into that automatic trigger. And this happens to the point where writers writing about us from a position of bias can’t stop flicking their tongue against that wound as they write, freaking out about the poor penii and uterii of the world and lamenting the idea of a cis person ever going through the horror we regularly expect trans folks to go through.
It’s the reason for the careful framing of hiding behind “just being against unnecessary ‘medicine'”, because it makes their actions seem noble in the same way that homophobes reframe their attacks on gay people’s private lives as “standing up for religious freedom” for the same reason.
Because it’s not like just avoiding giving a kid antibiotics because hey, it might not be a bacterial infection. It’s like denying a kid any form of antidepressant because you don’t want to risk ever giving an undiagnosed bipolar kid experiencing depression an antidepressant that might not work. So all the kids need to suffer without ever even trying the drugs and starting that process.
And it ignores what the kids are asking for. The first medication in all this isn’t those much feared surgeries. It’s not even the hormones and blockers that purity-fetishizing assholes try and demonize as somehow super scary, because they deep down realize that obsessing about surgeries with kids who may never get them is kinda really creepy***.
*** One of the things that’s been fucking with transphobes for a bit now is that their chosen victims have been doing activism for awhile. Fighting against the type of rigid and transphobic/homophobic structures that used to govern our only access point to treating dysphoria. Creating community and community support that was actively discouraged before. And one of the consequences of that and the growing acceptance for trans folks is that a fairly large section of trans folks don’t really bother with surgeries. Or if they do, they opt for the less sensationalized surgeries like orchidectomies or hysterectomies rather than what is typically thought of when people think of bottom surgery. And this fucks with transphobes, because their whole pitch is based on the universality of surgeries and making those seem like a cabal of evil trannies is somehow forcing these surgeries on impressionable youth in the same way that homophobes obsess about older gay men forcing gayness on impressionable youth. So, transphobes have had to switch to these not very transparent methods of demonizing things like blockers and hormones because those just aren’t as scary to a cis frame of mind and actually make one more likely to sympathize with the pain and suffering trans kids go through unnecessarily****.
**** I know this piece has gotten super rambly and a giant hot mess. But I’ll summarize my main problem with this shit. It’s Christian Science. It’s someone knowing of a medical treatment to cure and existing problem and some asshole yelling, stop, no, don’t give this kid that treatment, they might not need it, they might only need Jesus. Just with Jesus replaced with some vague handwaving about potential cis-ness. And it’s because they are just in denial of medical reality as Christian Scientists in that they believe that all this trans stuff is a myth and thus all the “treatments” for it are unnecessary medicine getting in the way of “proper” development.
Hell, the first medication isn’t even names and pronouns.
It’s hair. It’s clothes.
This is where trans kids first fight with their parents. To have the right to look how they want, to reduce that dysphoria sartorially. It’s a bitter fight and it’s often hard won, at best.
Hell, even supportive parents balk at this first medication. Feeling pressure from society to try at least a little to enforce some semblance of gender-congruence.
The second medication is the names and pronouns. Fights to be recognized as who they are, allowed to explore pronouns and see what fits. Find what reduces that dysphoria.
Everything else comes way later. Even for folks who figure it out later in life. I know, I’ve mentored a lot of trans college spaces and I’ve seen a large number of folks who came out as trans in college. Every time, years over appearance. Years over name. Then maybe hormones. Surgery a potential speck on the horizon, frequently reduced in importance once folks see just how magical hormones can be in reducing a lot of dysphoria.
Trans folks think about this shit. A lot. They don’t just go waltzing into a pharmacy and ask for everything on the top shelf. They agonize over this shit, analyze it from every angle, and seek out trusted professionals or close friends.
No transition is chosen willy-nilly.
And that’s kind of the unspoken boogieman in all this. The idea that some cis person could “transition” as a lark and by that they almost always mean surgery. Which doesn’t happen.
Even the scant few ex-trans folks they can pull out who didn’t detransition because of social stress (the majority of names transphobes like to trot out to try and make “desistance” and “detransition” seem like huge issues affecting hundreds of folks are well… folks who had to fight for years to transition in the first place. Folks who spent years lying to doctors and ignoring their own dysphoria and probably still lying to themselves (like honestly, people have we learned literally NOTHING from the whole ex-gay malarky). Folks who weren’t at all pressured to do surgery or else, rather the opposite. Who’ve now conveniently fallen in with folks eager to use their confusion and pain to deny the rights of trans people everywhere.
Because no matter what we do to show how little we’re asking for, they’ll nonetheless try and couch their actions in concern.
Because this is a repeat of the same old shit we went through with gay rights and still go through with gay rights to this day. The same automatic assumptions, the same effect of “liberal” folks using their personal antipathy and feelings of unease to try and demonize or cast “reasonable doubts” on the rightness of letting kids explore gender or sexuality in spaces without prejudice. Even the same organizations forming to oppress us (let us not forget that their used to be a homophobic batch of second wave feminists just as strident as TERFs have been about trans folks).
And being a veteran of a lot of those gay rights battles, I’m tired of all of it.
I’m tired of my kids being hemmed and hawed over, because some assholes can’t stop thinking of junk when they think trans folks. I’m tired of watching kids go without care and respect and recognition and HUMANITY because of all the cis people hemming and hawing and floating bad faith arguments. I’m tired of watching all my trans friends get to the edge of suicide because of endless harassment from the sort of fucks who think we never thought deeply and agonized over our genders.
I’m tired of this bad faith bullshit and bigots hiding behind “science” and “the kids” and “the bible” to justify their tired reflexive negative feelings.
I’m tired of people prioritizing unease built out of ignorance, out of a failure to incorporate us into their personal lives and get to know us and let that fear wash out, over our rights and our access to the very few avenues of legal medicine and care we are allowed as transgender citizens.
I’m tired of the knowledge that we’ll repeat every phase of fighting for gay rights with trans people and hell, will probably do the same damn thing for poly people and ace people and non-binary people and so on and so on. Over and over and over again.
And I’m most of all tired of begging for my humanity from folks who think it perfectly okay to take dominance over it and make it a public issue worthy of debate. Who find the pain I went through, the confusion being a young trans girl growing up with no clue what was happening to her, just that it was all so very wrong, so very fascinating but not nearly as compelling as the way they just sort of feel wary when they think about the health care we use to undo that.
I’m tired of having this fight with fuckers who are the equivalent of some ignorant fuck wandering into a cancer ward going “gosh, what’s the deal with all this radiation, that’s really freaky to think about, y’know what we need, a public debate on whether or not y’all really need this. I mean, imagine if one of you didn’t have cancer, that would be awful.” And acting like their reflexive bullshit isn’t something that’s been answered a thousand times in a thousand ways by people who inherently have thought of it way more than they ever will.
Fuck TERFs, fuck people who surround themselves with TERFs, fuck their transparent bad faith arguments, fuck this bigoted nonsense hiding behind the passive terrorism that is perpetuated against trans folks.
I let myself be disowned because I was done with fighting for my humanity, with begging for my humanity. I walked and risked homelessness and have only now years later begun really putting together the shattered wreckage of my psyche caused by believing the transphobic culture that treats our identities as something to hem and haw over rather than accept. And along the way, being trans, has meant I’ve nearly been killed, multiple times. Has meant a lot of jobs not calling me back “mysteriously”. Has meant a lot of bullshit from a transphobic society that is eager to repeat the bathroom battles of the 1950s.
And I’m done putting up with it from anyone else.
So, all y’all cis fucks can just get over it. Get over trans kids. Get over trans adults. Get over trans celebrities like (unfortunately) Caitlyn Jenner.
Get over us, introspect, just fucking acknowledge why you react with unease at our existence and really examine your life far far away from us.
So we can try and save as many of the kids you try and kill every year as we possibly can and try to build for them a future where they don’t ever have to feel they have to beg for their humanity.
So, yeah, let’s just close the lid on this transphobic waste of space.
And yeah, I’m saying he’s a transphobic piece of shit, because not only does he write these “I’m not saying I’m freaked out by kids using different pronouns, I’m just implying that it’s awful and practically the same thing as surgery in a way that lets me deny it and angrily denounce ACLU lawyers who point out the striking similarity between my arguments and the arguments of anti-trans hate groups by claiming they are the ‘real’ gender essentialists”:
But because of this one tweet chain:
The article he’s complaining about is an article decrying the American College of Pediatrics, a fake organization run by a hate group intentionally trying to be confused with actual Pediatricians because said hate groups want to pretend their bad science is actually what is recommended by pediatricians.
Yes, that’s right. Not only does Jesse Singal keep writing these shit articles about trans people, not only does he salivate over reparative therapy clinics like they were the one true bastion of sanity in the trans “debate”, not only does he intentionally surround himself with TERFs who prop him up against those “evil transgender activists” and let him play male ally hero to his heart’s content.
He has straight up risen in anger in defense of a fake medical organization literally run by folks who are recognized by the SPLC as members of hate groups.
Yes, that’s right, shitbird Singal defended a literal fake agency whose only existence is to disseminate bad science about trans folks. Decrying the writer as a fake ally just trying to get in with the trendy transgenders because gosh darnitt we’re just crawling with allies at the moment.
And his fig leaf to try and justify this as anything other than his rising to the defense of his fellow bigots is this:
Yes, that’s right, he’s angry that an article talking about an active hate organization posing as a real reputable national organization speaking on behalf of all pediatricians didn’t go off on a random tangent to ramble about his pet theory about gender dysphoria having all these social causes so really there’s some secret underground of cis kids secretly tricked into being trans that need to be saved by making it even more difficult than it already is for trans kids to even receive social support in favor of their names and pronouns.
And the worst part of it all is this:
He cites a heart-breaking tale of a genderqueer (i.e. NON-BINARY) individual who experiences variations in just how destructive their gender dysphoria is not as an example on non-binary experiences and how they are frequently erased in these “trans debates” or an example of what fresh hell trans people are expected to deal with before society considers them “trans enough” to even experiment with pronouns and names…
No, not as any of that, but as an example of his bugaboo hinting at a supposed “regret culture” of ex-trans individuals.
Which… no, fuck you. Our non-binary brethren. Our questioning brethren. Our egg-mode brethren terrified by a general culture wherein it is perfectly legal to discriminate us out of jobs, wherein most of our murders aren’t even investigated, and where family disownment is so common, that we’re actually stunned when a trans person actually has the support of their parents.
These are not tools for you to push your bullshit ex-trans cheerleading on behalf of bankrupt ideologies working to strip us of all legal rights.
These are people, scared people, trying to figure themselves out.
Who are not planning on hoping on the surgery three weeks in. They’re still working on whether or not to try a different pronoun or wondering if they remain in the closet, whether or not they’ll become one of the many statistics of trans youth who off themselves because our society treats gender dysphoria as some sort of game or meaningless distraction.
And here’s Singal, defending hate groups, smearing people who expose them as “liberal journalism at its worst”, all because he does not understand what gender dysphoria is, what the transgender spectrum is, or even what trans activists want for trans kids.
Cause, for all the hinting that he’s doing working up to his no-doubt lucrative future career being a Robert Oscar Lopez or a Maggie Gallagher for trans issues that trans activists are somehow recruiting the youth and confusing them with “you can only be x binary with x transition path”, that’s not how any of this shit works.
Trans adults, what we want for our trans kids is for them not to be dying by the hundreds every year. We want them to not commit suicide, feeling alone and scared like so many queer youth have felt for years.
We want them to be able to explore what they want to be without it being terrifying or brutally punished, even if at the end of it, they decide they’re totally cis.
We want kids to be able to try on a pronoun and see if it fits and not have to fight their teachers for it to be respected. To be able to try out a name and have it not be a thing.
And frankly, modeling this behavior in my own school. Letting kids explore, letting them see that trans teachers exist, that trans adults exist, is so fucking easy and non-disruptive. Even our genderfluid students whose pronouns changed from week to week. And for all the scare tweets from Singal hinting at societal ruin resulting from letting kids be, even if they are non-binary. It doesn’t have to be a thing.
Cause if we can do a little to make teenage life less hellish, to create a safe space for trans students to exist and thrive and be who they are. Where their identities and pronouns are respected whatever they may be today.
We should do it.
And in the meantime, I’d like this to serve as the closing of the book on Singal. Because it’s clear that this is just gonna be the typical path of the neo-TERF. Hang out with TERFs, pen questionable articles, defend your hanging out with TERFs and questionable articles, straight up cite hate groups and prominent anti-trans organizations and join a fictional reality.
Because apparently we’re going to have to go through all the same steps as gay folks for the mushy middle to actually recognize their antipathy as the bigotry it is and grow the fuck up already.
In the meantime, fuck Jesse Singal. And when he’s opening for Focus on the Family or retweeting the dark lord of TERFdom in a few years, let it be a surprise to no one.
FINAL UPDATE (8/23):
For those who say, okay, no, Jesse Singal couldn’t actually be defending the Liberty Council’s pet think tank as if they were a legitimate science organization:
No, he did.
So either he’s so bad at his job he literally does not understand what organizations of medical professionals are real or not or he’s gladly willing to stir the pot and murky the waters if it will feed causes he believes in (to whit, performing gender reparative therapy on young trans kids*)
*Again, no really:
Oh, and supposedly “many” trans people now apparently believe reparative therapy is awesome. Yeah, totes, and “many” gay people love ex-gay camps and “many” pregnant women love pregnancy crisis centers.
He’s also a fan of the theory that we were forced to be trans by evil parents who “confuse us” about our true gender (because his unstated belief that comes through in all his works seems to be that trans kids need to be saved from the “irreversible” consequences of trying out a name and a pronoun for awhile and seeing if it sticks, because some combination of evil mothers and trans activists will trick them into taking hormones and getting surgeries when they are actually cis (rather than the kid just figuring it out along the way):
Which, I say to that, I wish. My mom tried to beat the trans out of me and hide that possibility from me and my parents disowned me when I came out. These trans kids I work with, almost none have parents that support them. Every ounce of identity they have to carve out of a mountain of constant fighting. But hey, it’s not like we’ve noticed how sexist asshole men tend to assume that mothers of trans folks are bad mothers “forcing them” to be trans:
Oh wait, we have. And it’s transparent as fuck.
Bonus points? He’s also a non-binary truther, who believes that non-binary gender identities and neopronouns are all a trick to get feminists to “waste resources” on non-women. As if non-binary people aren’t hesitant enough about belonging to “women’s spaces” or like non-binary identities don’t exist:
Cause to ignorant cis assholes the notions of more than two genders seems absurd and proof that us trans folks are delusional and lying.
Bonus to the bonus? He’s also a big fan of claiming trans folks are gender essentialists because of his whole “not supporting reparative therapy means you believe in a strict binary system where there is one way to be trans” strawperson oral sex contest… while decrying the notion of more than two genders as ignorant claptrap and non-binary people as not deserving protections of being a protected class.
Fuck you, you disingenuous hack. Fuck your ascientific bullshit and rancid repolishing of TERF talking points and fuck your working for and standing up for literal hate groups. And fuck your transparent transphobia. Fuck you trying to exploit our NB youth while denying they even exist. Fuck your sad little douche dance and just fucking come out as the bigot you clearly are but don’t want to be seen as.
It’ll at the very least be less insulting to our intelligence.
So, I wrote a monster thread below going in depth on his latest post and especially noting the bizarre nature of his seeming understanding and acknowledgment that even in his shitty studies “regret” or desistence does not seem to happen all that often in pubescent trans kids as well an acknowledgment that blockers and hormones are often very useful and life-saving. But one major thing bothered me and it took several tweets of his to become fully crystalized.
The first is this:
Which is a subtweet to this chain by Sady Doyle:
Which is just… angering, in its myopic woe, is me victim-pose. And it’s becoming somewhat of a habit of late. His responses to trans and trans ally academics and writers writing scholarly deconstructions of his arguments and responding like, well… academics with far more politeness than Singal’s ignorant pop-sci ramblings metrit have been illustrative.
His response to Julia Serrano writing a very long piece deconstructing his arguments about desistence and his continued defense of reparative therapy for trans kids was to argue that her noting that he only bothered to quote parents who thought it was a good thing their kids ended up not trans was actually an attack on the parents themselves:
His response to Noah Berlatsky’s article I cited in my last post was to sic a bunch of ex-trans motherfuckers on him because he noted that Jesse Singal was raising fears of a potential kid existing to deny healthcare to actual kids hurting right now or at least “be very concerned about it”.
Every time he’s rightfully critiqued with an undue amount of respect, he whines about “attacks” and reframes deconstructions as single line mentions that allow him to feign defensiveness on behalf of a “put-upon” population of transphobes and allows him to escape responsibility for the transphobia in the world.
Even I’ve dealt with this shit from him, reaching out to him about how his actions make it harder to keep my trans kids alive because his articles are cited and used by their parents to deny them even the basic dignity of having their pronouns and identities respected. Instead he whined that the parents must have misinterpreted his words, because god forbid he take some fucking responsibility for his actions and the impact his words have as someone who takes deliberate care to pose himself as a rational bearer of “hard truths” in a “irrational” desert of “activists” and their “opinions”.
And it’s especially annoying that he does this, “pfft, words, how could they impact someone’s life” when he’s written extensively about online harassment and abuse and how thoroughly that shit fucks with women’s lives online and where he fully expects that his work as a writer matters and will engage and affect people on a personal level.
But with trans stuff? Nope, displace, deny, and denounce the evil trannies for “smearing his good name”.
Like, fuck, that post on top is sickening in how its phrased, because it’s perfectly designed to be every asshole’s favorite dismissal topic. An unholy blend of “my critics are crazy” and “women be all emotional and shit”. And that’s infuriating.
Largely because despite his denials, his words do contribute to the death of trans kids. And he knows it. He knows and admits and acknowledges that dismissal of trans identities by parents causes an increase in trans suicide rates as does public transphobia and loss of public access. And yet, he makes the same arguments as are currently being used by the ADF to eliminate trans rights around the country and his works are taken by parents as confirmation that it is indeed “a phase” and so there is no point in supporting their trans kids.
He knows that his words contribute, but he can’t accept it, because it would mean introspecting about his actions and the toxic pool of TERFs he has willingly surrounded himself with. And he can’t stop trying to poison the well for his critics, making them out to be crazy, because much like a lot of other “feminist men”, he can’t stand being called out for his garbage.
And it sickens me. And the reason it sickens me is that Sady Doyle is right. Jesse Singal does indeed value living trans kids way less than cis kids and puts his fears of things being “icky” or “hard” over the well-being of children and does fear-monger over things that are completely harmless and easily undone by evoking the larger fears and anxieties society has over the precious penii and uterii of the world and the spectre of surgeries most trans folk don’t even get potentially happening years later.
Cause, there’s a moment when Zinnia Jones has a thread responding to him directly and asking him about his arguments in an effort to get him to clarify, quoting a myriad of studies on trans folks and desistance because Zinnia Jones is a major nerd for scholarly papers and does a lot of the functions of an academician:
Wherein Jesse Singal makes a major revelation as to his beliefs:
Oh, a kid on the cusp of puberty is probably trans, blockers are fine, in Singal’s estimation. Which is news considering his last piece was a giant dumpster fire fixating on blockers and making them sound super scary. Additionally, he’s admitted before that hormones are usually prescribed after years of blockers and thus very unlikely to be given to someone not trans. And so on.
So all the shit he fear-mongers about and acts like is so hard to undo, he’s totes okay with.
But what gets his goat, what leads him to balk at fully supporting trans youth and the AMA-recommended medically ethical care procedures in place, is “younger kids”. Kids who are pre-pubescent.
But here’s the thing about pre-pubescent kids…
THERE’S NO BLOCKERS THEN. There’s no hormones. There’s no surgeries.
Because puberty literally hasn’t even begun so it fundamentally does not make sense even in the most permissively liberal of households for anyone to start blockers because there’s nothing to block. And since no one of their age group is starting hormones, there’s even less of a reason to start the kid on those, because their body is fundamentally not ready for it. And surgeries… well, we’ve already touched on the irony of transphobes being all pearl-clutching over surgeries that fundamentally do not happen before the age of 16 or so while turning a blind eye to how the medical community has normalized the brutality of “correcting” intersex kids’ genitalia for the comfort of those same pearl-clutchers. But again, no one is going to do that. The genitals have not finished growing, have not been through puberty. Hell, most surgeons balk at most any form of non-emergency surgery for these reasons, because the damage can massively extend as the kid goes through puberty in ways that can be hard to predict.
And that’s a big deal, because it means all his hand-wringing isn’t about any of the things he’s hand-wringing about.
It’s instead about the only form of care we give to pre-pubescent kids. Which is respecting names and pronouns.
But he’s too much of a coward to say that outright and so dances around things and keeps raising the spectre of “evil drugs” and “trans activists” to hide the fact that what has got him all worried and verklempt in the night is the idea that prepubescent trans kids might be using a different name or different pronouns and happily supported in that rather than aggressively “encouraged” to be cis.
And he’s blaming those kids and those who support them for him immediately thinking about sugeries and hormones and potential “life-altering medication” they might go through one day never having been told that they are a deluded freak who doesn’t realize how cis they are.
And this is monstrous. Because pronouns and names are literally the least one can do and has little to no impact on anything other than the well-being of the kid.
And I know, because I’m a trans teacher and that means the trans kids in my classes find me. Because that’s the benefit of fighting the very real attempts to ban those like me from my profession, kids get to see themselves in people of authority and this makes them a little more willing to come out and take that risk, because they can trust that at least one person will fight for them.
Currently I work with middle school and high school kids and their struggles often begin with names and pronouns, coming out as them, trying some out to see what fits, convincing parents that this isn’t a phase and to respect their identities and stop causing them pain by misgendering them or calling them deluded freaks. It’s a genuine struggle to keep them alive in a transphobic society, but I work hard at it and knock on wood, I haven’t yet lost one though I’ve gotten way closer than I’d like*.
*Kid away on break, constantly misgendered while on a trip exacerbating a depressive spell, made an attempt that school officials and friends were able to intervene on and which a group of us teachers were able to talk them down from when they got back. If one person didn’t answer the phone, if they didn’t listen to the teachers asking for extra time for them to let new medications have an effect, then we would have lost them. Shit like this haunts me and gets me really riled up about assholes like Singal.
And a lot of the techniques we use to respect names and pronouns, to adapt even to frequent shifting of pronouns for our genderfluid students, are simple. A matter of sending emails updating people about pronouns and what to use in missives home. A matter of taking an extra five seconds to practice. It’s something so little for the teachers, but makes all the difference in our students and in how safe and supported they feel on our campus.
So to demonize and fearmonger about this like it’s some grand social experiment or is somehow going to convince cis kids to go through years of dysphoria — and believe me the kids feel the dysphoria fast. Had a bigender student who initially thought ce might be genderqueer, but was hitting massive dysphoria when trying to just go by they and couldn’t figure out why ce was getting dysphoria in either direction when ce tried to be one or the other. Until ce figured out ce could be bigender and found a pronoun that worked for cir and allowed ce to escape that feeling of dysphoria. Yet, a kid working out something complex out like that with little to no social support is somehow “easier” than a cis kid figuring out they aren’t actually trans after the first week of being misgendered? Puh-leeze. And even the ex-trans folks he trotted out to defend himself note that they spent a long time experiencing dysphoria trying to force a transition, but hid it because they didn’t see themselves reflected and respected and had ignorant health care workers who literally didn’t know what they were doing.
It’s all just gobsmacking.
And frankly, I’m not just speaking about a teacher of older students. Before this job I primarily worked with elementary school aged kids. And well, some were trans or gender-non-conforming and the ones who were sought me out because I was a visibly trans teacher and they told me. And some were young. I had kids who were in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, kindergarten, even one pre-school kid who identified as trans. And well, for them, it was as simple as using their preferred name and pronoun. That’s it.
And when that happened, they were happy, just like any of their cis peers. And you could tell which ones were being bullied for it (usually starting in late elementary school), because they were more quiet, keeping to themselves, but they lit up when I was teaching the class and I could tell who was tormenting them because those kids would get visibly awkward while I was teaching. One even apologized to one of his victims after my class.
And when it didn’t? When it wasn’t even clear if the kid had a vocabulary for what they were going through, but it was definitely clear that their parents didn’t have any respect for the very idea that their kid could be anything but cis. The types who would have lapped up Singal’s and Zucker’s exclamations of “80% desisting” if the kid did try and come out? The pain on their faces was excruciating.
One of my worst teaching moments was in a job I held teaching summer camp classes right after I had been disowned by my family and discriminated out of my job. I was deep back in the closet, pretending to be cis, because I had to eat and take care of my partner who had slipped into a deep dark depression of her own.
In this job, we had a very strongly gendered bathroom policy. It was boys go here, girls go there. All of us using the restroom at the same time, because this is structured summer park time and to do otherwise was to invite the anarchy of the beasts.
And there was this kid there, who was painfully obviously gender-non-conforming and probably not at all cis. And it was painfully obvious, because nearly every time I had to do those gendered bathroom calls, the kid would actually literally flinch and they would never actually use them. Though they would slip off later on their own when they thought no one could see them with their brother watching the door.
I pretended not to notice, but I did ask their parent if the kid had a preferred pronoun. The mom reacted furiously with me, angrily insisting their kid was a boy and that was that and I immediately let it drop, because I needed the job. And I watched helplessly as this confused kid continued to go through the painful ritual of trying to make those bathrooms stop hurting them and not knowing how.
And I know my cowardice in that instance hurt that kid and I don’t know if their mom eventually softened and accepted them or if that kid ever was able to figure things out.
But it’s one of the things you see when you actually work with trans youth instead of penning fear-mongering articles about how “unsettling” you find them and how “worried” you are from afar while distancing the very real damage you do.
And that’s what infuriates me as a trans teacher about shit like Singal’s. It’s the casual dismissal of what the pain is for trans kids who are trans go through. It’s a deliberate attempt to make pronoun switches and names, something as simple to undo as using or unusing a nickname into some major thing that one should be terrified of.
And it’s a refusal to acknowledge why he’s doing any of it.
Cause I’m sorry, but Singal and his defenders are too smart to not realize what they are doing. Singal wouldn’t be dodging all critiques and making out like he’s the unfortunate victim of a howling mob of anti-science activists who just can’t accept basic reality if he didn’t at some level understand what he’s doing and how actively he’s avoiding education on that topic even when it comes from out-of-touch cis academicians or his own preferred sources.
So he knows.
He knows that he’s placing his own prejudice-fueled discomfort about the idea that there could be trans kids, about what his brain conjures in response to the knowledge that there could be trans kids, over the actual humanity of those trans kids and their needs and requests.
He’s projecting all that he thinks about when he’s thinking about trans kids (about things no trans kid is going to have access to for years when it will become quickly obvious that the kid is very likely trans and has been through all the gauntlet of gatekeepers set up currently) onto their lives. And making that immediate prejudiced antipathy into something that’s trans kids and the adults who support them’s fault.
Because he’s too “progressive” to acknowledge that he’s got a big giant blindspot regarding trans issues born out of the same bigotry that leads homophobes to cry rants about “sex” when gay kids come out.
And I just can’t anymore. I can’t keep acting like he’s at all acting in good faith anymore or appealing to his better humanity, when he’s so clearly acknowledging everything trans folks have been saying, but still plays this little victim dance anyways, when he publicly states that “oh, I’m just so worried about prepubescent kids” as if he doesn’t fully understand that all those kids are asking for is for their names and pronouns to be respected and to have the freedom to explore that identity and see if it fits.
And as much as he wants to deny it, deny his hand in the transphobic culture, his articles are indeed hurting people. Are indeed contributing to the toxic cage that drives so many kids to suicide. And it’s that case not because we mean trans activists are trying to guilt-trip him away from the cause of science.
But because this reinforcement for parents that it’s okay to react to requests for pronouns and basic dignity as if it’s a demand for surgeries now and to pray and hope that it’s a phase instead is taken seriously by parents of the same prejudices as him. Who want their kids to be cis so badly that they’ll mistreat and demonize their actually trans kids.
And that shit has a body count. It nearly added one in the case of one of my students when his parent used Singal’s article to justify continuing to deny him his pronouns and his identity.
And as a trans teacher, I don’t want to see myself lose another trans kid because some cis asshole couldn’t get his shit together and introspect about whether or not his immediate balk at the idea of pre-pubescent trans kids might have more to do with his fears about what that “might mean” rather than anything real.
Cause that shit is infuriating and I’m tired of respecting it in an age where trans rights are more under the gun than ever before.
So, sorry, Singal, but fuck you. And fuck your pose as the last rational soldier in a sea of trans adults who just want their kids to not die like so many of us did.
Let’s talk about trans kids and the state of academic information on trans folks and the history of medical misconduct that trans people have had to cope with.
But before all that, let us talk about a science writer named Jesse Singal. Jesse Singal is a senior editor and science writer for New York Magazine. He’s especially well known for some particularly well-written deconstructions of that particular hate movement in gaming that will never end.
He, however, is also becoming more and more well-known for his articles on trans kids. Which are… okay, the only charitable way I can put this is that they are awful. Absolute drek.
Defense of Zucker’s Reparative Therapy Clinic
His first infamous article on the subject of trans kids was a defense of Zucker’s infamous Gender Identity Clinic in Toronto.
Now, most cis people have never heard of Zucker or his clinic in Toronto. A few have and assume that since it was a clinic set up to serve “trans and gender non-conforming kids” that it must therefore have been an empathetic and caring institution that tried its best to serve trans youth and young trans adults.
Except it really wasn’t. Zucker’s clinic was essentially one based on the idea of reparative therapy. I.e. the idea that one can “fix” being trans or being “girlier” or “butcher” than is typically expected for your gender.
As such, Zucker’s main treatment methodology surrounded “gender-confirming behavior”. Basically, if you have a boy child that is expressing that she is a girl or that he would like to play with dolls or dress up in high heels, that the best way to care for that is to aggressively counter that by giving them stereotypically masculine clothes and toys and refusing to call the child by the gender or names they ask for. This sort of “tough love” will then set the boy straight and keep them from growing into the sort of “deviant” lifestyle that the sort of permissive parents who would let little boys play with dolls would encourage.
Sure, if a child fought through all of Zucker’s many steps of emotional abuse for years and years and their parents (specifically their mothers, Zucker was a big fan of the “your mother is the source of gender confusion” theories)*, then he might deign to allow them to pursue medical transition options in late childhood, early adulthood and a lot of kids in the Toronto area had no choice but to do that, because for the longest time, he was literally the only game in town for transgender youth. But his main goal was no
*Here’s a heartbreaking account from a mother of a transgender child talking about the lack of research and trying to follow Zucker’s advice and seeing just how much pain and misery that was causing in her daughter.**
**Which of course, it does. Singal tries to turn Zucker into a martyr, speaking obliquely about an untold and hidden number of folks who mourn Zucker’s clinic for it’s “excellent” trans-related care, because it’s telling that there’s not many trans folks who went to his clinic who think fondly of him, or even many folks at all. And that’s unsurprising. Even if his methods work, and even he admits that his methods are fully unsubstantiated, they are still awful abusive things. Like, almost no child who is gender non-conforming as a kid but grows up gay instead of trans or even grows up cis and het looks back and goes, “you know what time in my life was awesome? When I was brutally bullied for liking the color pink.” Hell, a lot of male geeks carry lifelong chips on their shoulders entirely surrounding being bullied for “not being tough” and “being a girly wimp”.
Overall, his method was rather indistinguishable from the status quo treatment of “effeminate” boys (and those read by society as boys) and its treatment of “masculine” girls (and those read by society as girls). Bullying, threats, social condemnation, outright refusal of expression. And for those of us who have been through the gay rights struggle for the last few decades, from the methods of ex-gay camps which also fixate on “gender affirmation”.
Hell, the hilarious and brutal coming-of-age comedy But I’m a Cheerleader is entirely based on the weird gender ideas of sexuality reparative therapy and the overall ex-gay movement. And a central motif was the aggressive attempt to “normalize” “deviant” attraction with stereotypical feminine or masculine activities, completely unaware of how homoerotic many of them are:
And that’s the thing, Zucker’s clinic is no different than any run-of-the-mill ex-gay clinic, hell his protocol is literally what Pre-Snake Person Dispensationalist Christian parents are encouraged to do with their kids if they suspect they may have “deviant” tendencies***.
***The comic below is “Dumbing of Age” by David Willis. In this comic, Joyce is a former homeschooled evangelical kid from the PMD culture and her boyfriend Ethan here is a gay male she is in the process of trying to “fix” (she later realizes how fucked up this is and comes to fully support him). The “Joshua” they are referencing is Joyce’s trans sister Jocelyne, who has yet to come out to the family but has come out to Ethan:
The main idea behind Zucker’s clinic is that the first priority in any form of trans healthcare is to make doubly, triply sure that no single cis person ever be forced through the ignominy of going through what we expect trans people to do.
And the thing about it is that view was not that uncommon very long ago and still holds a lot of sway in the academic literature on trans individuals. In fact, Zucker himself started a vanity press solely devoted to publishing his papers on the awesomeness of his method and other works by former mentees of his. By volume, this makes up a hefty bulk of the available research on trans youth. To the point where a lot of the protocols at the time were heavily sourced from Zucker or his associates.
History of Bad Health Care
For the longest time, trans healthcare and the access to it has been based on convincing cis gatekeepers that you are in fact trans enough to be allowed to seek healthcare relating to the treatment of gender dysphoria or receive legal recognition for your gender identity. And it’s main goal has been to discourage as many seeking care from doing so in the hopes that that will make sure not a single cis person will transition and come to “regret it”****.
**** “Transgender regret” is a major watchword of the TERF movement and among right-wing transphobes including the ADF and is frequently used in papers arguing against the extension of equal rights to transgender individuals. A lot of it surrounds a single man by the name of Walt Heyer who is basically just PFOX Part 2. (No really, here’s Zinnia Jones looking into his claims on the number who regret transition and what she found about his claims and the claims of other “ex-trans” activists).
For the longest time, the Standards of Care for transgender individuals was based on the infamous Harry Benjamin Standards (which are still in effect, unfortunately, in many places, despite the hard work of trans activists). The Harry Benjamin Standards of Care basically demanded from trans folks looking to transition be of specific body types and levels of femininity or masculinity (overweight patients were forced on crash diets and unhealthy eating disorders to approximate the shape allowed to proceed and those whose overall body shapes were not deemed masculine or feminine enough or those who were non-binary were straight up denied care). They then were expected to spend up to 2 years living without hormones as the gender that they were (meaning putting themselves at high risk for street harassment and violence), then allowed hormones and surgery, but and here’s the catch, they were expected at the end of the care to disappear and become stealth, literally starting brand new lives with brand new names, miles away from any friends or family, so as to best blend in as cis and certainly never mention that you were trans or aid younger trans folks trying to get care.
These standards devastated the trans activist community, denying us our activists for decades and convincing many to hide themselves and their lives away lest they be denied medical treatment for their trans identity. And it’s only been in recent years, thanks to the tireless activism of trans folks who refused to disappear and abide that stealth requirement in the 90s and 00s (not to mention the rise of the internet) that has allowed the trans community to rebuild its community strength and actually advocate more effectively for its rights. This was the normal and the academic side of things was no better.
One of Zucker’s other main defenders has been Alice Dreger, who wrote a pop-science book on “activists wars on scientists” that was basically a giant hit list of people she disliked personally. (Zinnia Jones did a big deconstruction of her and her work here). But she was a major source for Jesse Singal’s article. Her main objection surrounded defending a book called “The man who would be queen” by J. Michael Bailey. Which was in and of itself defending an academic concept known as “autogynephilia”. The idea behind it is that there are “true transsexuals”, who are hyper femme and attracted to boys (unurprisingly given social anxiety surrounding masculinity and the idea that boys “can become girls”, most of the research in existence focuses on freaking out about trans women first and often added trans men standards and research as an afterthought and never even broaches topics of non-binary identities) who should be allowed to undergo this whole procedure, because hey, in the mind of the researchers, if they’re hot enough, it’s almost like they’re girls and it’s better than being gay*****. And so everyone else, the trans lesbians, the trans bisexuals, the trans girls who like butching it up with flannel or a pair of jeans and sneaks, were clearly just “fetishistic straight men” who “get off on wearing women’s clothes” and so should be denied any treatment what’s so ever” (again, no really, go back and read Zinnia Jones’s deconstruction, it’s hella damning). This second group was then referred to as “autogynephiles” because they weren’t, in the eyes of the researchers, “trans”, they just were in the love of the idea of themselves having vaginas (hence the term). It’s still a popular term among TERFs and is usually trotted out to justify harassing trans lesbians and argue that they are just “pretending to be women” in order to “get off with sleeping with lesbians”.
***** No really, that was a large part of the theory. And part of the conspiracy theory TERFs break out every so often to argue that trans people in general is all a conspiracy to turn all the gay people straight. Trans lesbians and trans gay men are ignored in this or called the wrong gender in order to justify this feeling of persecution (not to mention straight up ignoring bi or ace trans folks or nb trans folks of all varieties or orientations or how interconnected the trans movement has always been with queer rights in general (Miss Major threw the first brick at Stonewall and trans activists have been at the center of a lot of gay rights struggles including the right to get married)). Ironically enough, they usually cite things like Iran’s support of trans folks only when they would otherwise be gay to “prove” this conspiracy. Despite the fact that the system Iran is using is the same systems they themselves praise as the “good ones” (like the old Harry Benjamin system) before “political correctness” took over. And are otherwise fine with reducing the idea of trans people into “former gender-non-conforming gay person turned trans” when it means rejecting the huge trans spectrum (or wibbly-wobbly ball) that the trans community puts forth.
Her and Bailey are also big fans of Blanchard’s Typology. Which is based on the idea that there is an “objective” survey that separates out the “lying autogynephiles” from the “true transsexuals” and labels said “autogynephilia” as a paraphilia similar in structure to pedophilia or bestiality. Blanchard is also somewhat famous as that guy that trained a bunch of the scientists the right-wing likes to parade around from time to time who rant about how transgender identities are all made up or harming America and for being a massive homophobe who believes that the opposite of being gay is being “normal”. A lot of it is based on questions about feeling attraction to being viewed as a woman (interestingly enough 93% of cis women have “autogynephilia” according to the autogynephilia side of his “test”) as well as questions asking about orientation.
J Michael Bailey in fact simplified the test to look like this:
“Once you have learned about the distinction between autogynephilic
and homosexual transsexuals, and seen several of each, distinguishing
the two is easy. If Blanchard and I saw the same 100 transsexuals, I
would be surprised if we disagreed on more than two. But most readers
will not have met a single transsexual of either type, and even most
clinicians who see gender patients are not used to thinking about them
this way. In any case, you cannot simply ask someone “which type are
you?” I have devised a set of rules that should work even for the
novice (though admittedly, I have not tested them empirically). Start
at zero. Ask each question, and if the answer is “yes,” add the number
next to the question. If the sum gets to +10, stop; the transsexual
you’re talking to is autogynephilic. If the sum gets to -10, she is
[Actually you should take the whole test before making judgment.]
+10 At least three times, have you become sexually aroused enough
when wearing women’s clothing in private that you masturbated?
+10 Have you been married to, and had biological children with, a
+9 Have you been married to a woman, without children?
+10 If I had observed your childhood behavior, would you have
appeared about as masculine as other boys?
+10 Are you nearly as attracted to women as to men? Or more attracted
to women? Or equally uninterested in both? (If “yes” to any of these)
+9 Is your sexual preference (to men, women, both, or neither)
difficult for you to decide?
+9 Were you over the age of 40 when you began to live full time as a
+9 Were you a virgin (no oral, vaginal or anal sex with another
person) until after the age of 20?
+7 Do you refer to yourself as “transgendered?”
+6 Have you often felt envious when looking at sexy women?
+10 Have you ever been in the military or worked as a policeman,
truck driver, or something equally stereotypically masculine? (use
+9 Have you worked at any of the following occupations: computer
programmer, businessman, lawyer, scientist, engineer, or physician?
-8 (If the previous two questions are answered “no”) Have you ever
worked as a hairstylist, beautician, female impersonator, lingerie
model, or prostitute?
-9 Does this describe you? “I find the idea of having sex with men
very sexually exciting, and the idea of having sex with women not at
+9 (If the answer to the previous question is “no”)
-8 Is your ideal sex partner a straight man?
+8 (If the answer to the previous question is “no”)
-9 Have you had sex with many men and no women (or only one woman to
see what it was like)?
-7 Would you like to look at pictures of really muscular men with
their shirts off?
+5 (If the answer to the previous question is “no”)
-8 Were you under the age of 25 when you began living full time as a
-8 If you saw an elegantly dressed and sexy woman on one sidewalk,
and a muscular, naked man on another, which would you look at? (Man)
+8 (If the answer to the previous question was “woman”)
-7 If you could spend only one hour with a very attractive man, which
would you like to do more: dance with him or suck his penis? (Penis)
+5 (If the answer to the previous question is “dance”)
“Interviewer, ask yourself:
-8 If you didn’t already know that the person was transsexual, would
you have never suspected that she was not a natural-born woman?
+9 (If the person has been on hormones for at least 6 months) Do you
find it difficult to imagine that this person could ever pass as a
-6 Would some of your male friends find this person sexy?
-3 (Male Interviewers) Is this person flirting with you?
+8 (Female Interviewers) Is this person flirting with you?
“Finally, this interview could be invalid if you suspect that the
transsexual may be autogynephilic and either (a) worried you will
think badly of her or will deny her a sex change if you know the
truth, or (b) obsessed with being a “real” woman. As far as mistakes,
it is more likely that the interview would identify an autogynephilic
transsexual as homosexual than vice versa.”
Which looking at it, we can see the major problems inherent in it, the way it dismisses queer or closeted trans women as fake, the way it prioritizes the sexual gaze of the observer and whether or not the trans person turns them on or not and puts in rewards for being sexual in the right way (i.e. straight and horny).
Not to mention it is straight up disproved by the fact that gay and ace and bi trans folks are still trans. And the fact that these questions when looked at directly are such absolute garbage, it becomes hard to believe anyone actually gave this shit the time of day, much less felt this was a valuable and accurate piece of science worth pissing away one’s credibility to defend or worth setting up whole systems of care to codify. Like, seriously, we’re supposed to put up with a system that heavily weights the stereotypes and biases of the interviewer and which straight up ignores the majority of trans experiences in order to pitch a discriminatory model? Puh-leeze.
And we also see the garbage that has been sold as science for so long. Nonetheless, Jesse Singal continues to defend Alice Dreger as much as Dreger defends Bailey and Bailey defends Blanchard and the other old transphobes that had a stranglehold on the state of science for so long.
And here’s the thing. That’s been the case for a long long time. Our science has been transparently awful and designed to create a very narrow means of accessing health care and has prioritized restricting and denying care in the name of “protecting” the very idea that a cis person could accidentally transition and have to go through the dysphoria and misery that we expect trans folks to go through.
Hell, trans folks have published zines and guides for decades entirely about how to get around gatekeepers, sometimes to the extent of informing each other on how to illegally acquire things like testosterone, estrogen, and spirinolactone so as to self-medicate.
And nonetheless, these systems have stood for far too long, dominating the literature on trans health care with garbage essay after garbage essay sexualizing and dehumanizing us in the hopes of making our existences more palatable for a cisgender society, putting their comfort ahead of our lives. And it’s only begun to change recently thanks to the tireless work of trans academics like Susan Stryker and Julia Serrano as well as throngs of trans activists risking the staggering murder rate of trans individuals and all manner of social costs to speak about our actual lives rather than the sanitized pap this whole crew had been smearing everywhere.
Bi and ace trans folks speaking out. Non-binary trans folks speaking out. Trans kids speaking for themselves. Building community and proving these theories wrong largely by simply existing. Showing that these attempts to other and disappear them into bizarre categories was entirely a fiction crafted by a cisgender society that is desperate to recast trans folks as “just what happens when someone gays too hard”.
And we’ve seen the results of this system we’ve had in place for so long. The suicide rates among transgender individuals is staggering (According to the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey 41% of surviving trans individuals have attempted suicide at least once in their life and conservative estimates of those lost to suicide before getting a chance to be surveyed stand at about 31%-50%******) and is even higher among trans kids owing to the pure hell that being forced to go through the wrong puberty is.
****** I’m sorry for the long runup, but I’m trying to stay somewhat dispassionate about this shit, but this shit infuriates me for several reasons. One, I love good science and I hate pseudo-scientific garbage people nonetheless accept because they so desperately want to believe what its peddling. Like, you could have the worst designed study, but if you conclude that black people are dumber than white people, gay people are bad parents, 1950s gender roles are evolutionary, or most trans people are cis, you’ll get no end of assholes lining up to tongue your ass and call you a visionary and overlooking massive design flaws in your tests. Two, I’m a trans woman and I am also a teacher. And so I have trans kids in my classes who are directly at risk from this faffing about surrounding their health care. I have so many friends and students were all my work is just keeping them alive, because the world is so painfully shit to trans people that that is actually a difficult thing to do. And every ounce of garbage that calls itself science and its defenders makes that job harder. And third? My dad wanted to send me to reparative therapy. Because he believed this shit. He disowned me and tried to ruin my life because he believed this toxic awful shit. And I see the same thing happening to my students. Where their parents read this crap and then suddenly backtrack on treating their kids as human beings, because “scientists say you’re just making it up or are diseased” and the best thing for you is to abuse you. And it makes me so mad I can barely see.
Back to desistence
Which brings us at long last to Jesse Singal’s latest abomination, which is about desistence.
Much like “autogynephilia”, desistence is a term much beloved among TERFs and is an old scientific idea that has zombie-like floated around the cesspool of research on trans issues for awhile, contributing to misinformation among parents.
Here is the idea behind desistence. Desistence is the scare term to describe an efect wherein “most” “gender non-conforming” youth do not actually turn out trans and thus “desist” from that (unhealthy) “lifestyle”. Already, it’s got some major problems. First among them that it is called desistence or desisting in the first place. Because desisting is something you do from a crime. You are ordered to cease and desist when you are being given a court-order to stop doing things or when a cop orders you to stop your commission of a crime. The type of people who view being trans as akin to a crime do not in any way have our best interests at heart. Full stop.
And the science its based on is fatally flawed, often lumping together gender-nonconforming kids (i.e. those perceived as boys who like playing with pink or dolls or other objects socially associated with girls or kids who are tomboys (whether they turn out to be girls or boy) with kids who state out loud that they are transgender and who express marked discomfort at being misgendered on a consistent basis.
Which, no shit, sherlock. Most kids who are just being considered by society as “too girly to be a boy” or “too manly to be a girl” will not end up being trans, because they are not trans, because that has nothing to do with being trans. They are kids who have an interest society has decided is too masculine or feminine for their gender.
This is not even in the same ballpark as actual trans kids who have stated repeatedly what their gender is to the point that their parents no longer wrote it off and actually sought out care. And who persist in that year after year. But hey, lump those non-trans kids in with actually trans kids and count all the non-trans kids as having “desisted” from being trans, you can sell the oft-cited narrative that “80% of trans kids desist from being trans”*******
******* This shit actually pisses me off a lot. Because, it’s intellectually dishonest and it is such a transparent repackaging of the “don’t worry parents of gay kids, your kid being gay is just a phase, he’ll shake it off in adulthood, see look at all these other kids labeled gay by their peers, not many of them ended up gay, did they” bullshit during the blatantly anti-gay days that I can’t fathom how so many can willfully blind themselves to the similarities. But also, because this is directly used to deny trans kids even the smallest forms of dignity and support because “why bother going through all that effort and social stigma, if you’re just going to grow out of this anyways”. And that lack of social support from parents and culture directly leads to dead trans kids and is a large part of why our suicide rates are so high.
And those performed at clinics (specifically clinics run by proteges of Kenneth Zucker, the aforementioned reparative therapy guy) counted those who simply did not return to the clinic as having “desisted” under the argument that “well, it’s the only clinic in the country, so if they didn’t go here they clearly didn’t seek out trans-related medical services. Which, given the aforementioned suicide rates of trans kids is gross negligence at the very least and painfully unscientific (like no, from a study design standpoint, no, just no, you never do that shit).
Also, probably doesn’t help that Singal’s essay literally only quote former mentees of Zucker, because that asshole is the cancer on trans academic literature filling it with this unscientific muck.
In fact, this desistence idea is one that Zucker was very fond of and used to justify his many horrible practices (all in the name of making sure those “80% of cis kids” were weeded out as quickly as possible because again, they are seen as worth more than trans kids [not to mention that to TERFs that quote these papers incessantly, trans kids literally do not exist or exist in such microscopic proportions as not to be worth considering. Because they don’t believe trans people really exist, that we are instead all lying for nefarious purpose]).
Which brings us to Singal
I’m gonna try really hard not to shit on Singal here, even though evidence is mounting more and more that his decision to alienate trans voices and curate a readership of self-identified TERFs is deliberate and intentional, but I feel it is important to talk about the what of what Singal is doing as that is monstrous enough whether he’s just got an academic blindspot or is willingly throwing his hat in with the TERFs.
First up, let’s talk about this desistence. The theory is bunk, but even among those who subscribe to that shitty shitty bunk theory, they willingly admit that their “desistence” numbers magically disappear once they start talking adolescent trans kids and those who actually go on blockers.
Jesse Singal is no exception to this:
The article he cites to argue that he’s not transphobic even spells out that close to a 100% of kids who go on blockers remain trans. And we know from other studies that trans kids on blockers report less dysphoria, suicidal ideation, and depression than trans folks who did not receive blockers.
Additionally, he’s aware of the impact having parents support trans kids before blockers identities has on a student’s mental health and ability to survive as well as the importance of letting a child explore their identities:
So, by this side of his position, he is in agreement with most trans activists. Gender expression =/= gender identity. Kids who actually state they are trans and make it to the age of the onset of pubescence are almost certainly trans, but there is no problem in supporting a pre-pubescent child’s gender exploration and in fact it can be critical to their mental health.
He supposedly gets that.
And again, I’m gonna try really hard not to go off on him, but his article and his statements since the article have largely consisted of demonizing blockers and scary “social transition” (i.e. calling your kid by the name and pronouns they prefer and letting them dress how they want and play with the toys they want to play with, ooooooooh so scary) despite even his awful broken evidence and supposed understanding of issues saying this is scientifically the wrong thing to do.
And he largely does so by raising the scary spectre of hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) and non-reversible surgeries (which is the thing every transphobe gets hooked on. Honestly, if I had a dollar for every transphobe weeping over the potential future of my penis despite my having no actual interest in seeking Gender-confirming surgery, I’d be a frickin’ millionaire) happening to your kids. And arguing that mean old trans folks are somehow against this idea that not every tomboy turns out to be an actual boy or not every effeminate little girl turns out to be a girl.
Okay, let’s break this down into sections, cause there’s a lot here.
1. Social Transition, scary stuff, right?
So let’s talk social transition, because that’s been the main way that Singal has tried to raise the demonization of trans children. Most of the “research” he cites focuses on pre-pubescent children, that’s where his numbers of “desistence” come from and its majority focus on gender non-conforming kids rather than trans kids. Additionally, it’s where he shows his inability to tell the difference between gender dysphoria (the feeling your body is fundamentally wrong, something that usually doesn’t hit trans people until puberty, because their body is literally becoming wrong during that time********) and gender-non-conformity (displaying social traits more associated with one gender than the other).
******** That being said, trans kids can experience social gender dysphoria from wrong names and gender pronouns being used. This is usually the experience that clues in pre-pubescent trans kids that they are who they are and is behind more trans kids feeling safer to come out and be who they are earlier and the source of Singal et al’s panic about “younger and younger trans kids, ohmahgod”.
In fairness, the studies he cites also have the same problem given they are largely based on the work of a man who genuinely believed you could get a kid to stop claiming they are trans by forcing them to play with toys stereotyped to their gender.
“Social transition” is all that’s available to trans kids under the age of pubescence. And for the scary title they try and add to it and how desperately his defenders try and make that indistinguishable from the ideas of surgeries************* that transphobes like to fixate on, all it really is is when a child says they want to go by a certain name or use certain pronouns or hang out with other kids of that gender, you let them.
************* Read that whole thread cause it really shows that rhetorical trick exploited to its full extent. “He’s talking about pronouns. Pronouns are easy to switch.” “How would you know, here’s some folks who regret ‘transitioning’ who are all people who regret surgeries“. The whole point of calling pronouns and names “social transition is to deliberately conflate it with surgeries*************** so as to make the freak out over kids using different pronouns for awhile or going by a different name or wearing a dress to school some week seem like something other than a transphobic freak out. Also, “how would you know if changing pronouns is hard…” Ugh. I’ve got some examples below of why this is especially galling, so I’ll just say, changing pronouns is only “hard” when transphobes create a culture of transphobia that punishes kids for asking. And that’s not “letting them choose”, that’s bullying the trans kids to remain closeted so you can go back to pretending everyone is cis.
*************** And of course it is. That’s the source of all consternation about trans people is the spectre of genital surgeries. If you’re trans you will hear no end of hand-wringing about your body parts as if they are public consumption and everyone gets a say about what happens to it. And for transphobes, including the pack of TERFs that worship Singal’s articles, everything a trans person does can be looped back to this primal fear in the same way that discussions about gay rights issues used to always loop back to anal sex. In that thread and in many of Singal’s responses to the article itself, you see the article writer talk about pronouns and blockers almost exclusively and the detractors response is to immediately bring up surgeries and those who regret surgeries (we’ll get to that can of words later). Because to them, all trans people are are surgeries and genitals. It’s all they can think about when they think about trans kids is the possibility that that kid may one day have surgeries or that their genitals might not match. And it’s genuinely disturbing. Not just because this dehumanizes trans folks to their genitals, not just because this presumes a lifelong control over a trans person’s body by scared cis people who will deny even social acceptance out of the fear that one day someone might work closely with doctors and therapists and decide a surgery is best for their needs after years of conversations, but also because it creepily sexualizes trans kids and gives adults an excuse to fixate about kid’s junk to an unhealthy degree. And that last one tends to be on full display when bigots start talking about trans kids in a very similar way to how it’s on full display in obsessions about queer kids. And all of this obscures the fact that “social transition”, i.e. using a person’s pronouns and not being an asshole about their identity is not actually all that scary and is only scary in the context of bigots freaking out and obsessing about surgeries and their own baggage about trans people at the expense of actual trans kids just wanting people not to misgender them all the time.
It’s quite literally THE LEAST YOU CAN POSSIBLY DO TO SUPPORT SOMEONE WHO IS TRANS.
And yet, it’s critically important. Trans people of all ages try and “socially transition” and its a literal fight for a lot of them, with schools resisting their rights to use the bathroom in accordance with their gender identity, with workplaces and housing discriminating against those who come out, with the high murder rate of trans folks, and with some places actively misgendering trans kids.
Zucker’s clinic was an active opponent of the idea of social transition, seeing it as a negative imposition on a potentially “normal” child and an unhealthy indulgence by a mother more interested in being liberal than doing what is right for their kid (Zucker was a great guy, salt of the motherfucking Earth).
And Singal echoes those fears by connecting them in the minds of his readers with “scarier” transition stuff:
Much of the controversy stems from questions of age: How young is too young to help a child socially transition — that is, to change their name and pronoun, and possibly the way they present themselves? To prescribe them cross-sex hormones to begin the process of physically transitioning?
In this model, if young children’s claims about their gender identity are “insistent, persistent, and consistent,” these claims are taken as face-value evidence that the child is actually trans, and should be socially transitioned with little delay. Zucker and his colleagues’ view was that since, in their theoretical model at least, gender is partly a matter of behavior and identity being learned and reinforced over time, socially transitioning a young kid is likely to reinforce their dysphoria. “I have predicted that we would see rates of persistence increasing overtime as more children engage in social transitioning in childhood,” Singh told me in an email. In other words, if kids who begin socially transitioning shortly after their first appointment at a gender-affirming clinic are more likely to persist and come to permanently identify as trans, and more and more gender-dysphoric kids find their ways into these clinics, the overall desistance rate may well drop over time.
Note in this last quoted paragraph that he literally argues trans kids remaining trans is a negative outcome. The goal, in Zucker’s mind and in Singal’s focus is to force trans kids through abuse and hell that actively harms them, because this might somehow convince them not to stay trans.
The prevention of trans is valued over the health and well-being of the children affected.
But “social transition”, i.e. not being an asshole about pronouns and identity and letting the kid explore with gender is not exactly all that terrifying except to transphobes who are appalled at the idea of their children somehow ending up trans.
And the best part of social transition is that its literally instantly reversible if that identity or pronouns don’t stick. Come to school saying you are a boy one day, a girl the next, to see which feels right to you, change your mind in a year or two? Yeah, doesn’t hurt anyone, in the same way as kids trying to figure out their sexuality and flitting between self-identifiers to find the best fit doesn’t actually hurt anyone.
And for all the hand-wringing of its “disruption”. It really isn’t.
I’m a trans teacher and I have trans students. And as main LGBT mentor, I am often in charge of best supporting these trans students and keeping them alive and safe. As such I was in charge of supporting these students in their gender explorations and pronouns and creating a safe space on campus for these kids to figure out what they were (even if that meant deciding they were cis all along). Two of my students first identified as genderfluid and had shifting pronouns*********. One of them, shifting pronouns that literally switched around from day to day.
********* Between they and the pronoun relating to their gender assigned at birth. Shockingly, despite being an evil trans activist, I somehow didn’t shame my kid every time they felt more like their assigned at birth gender or treat it any worse or less worthy of respect than when they identified with the they pronoun. Nor did I try and exploit their gender fluidity to push an agenda. Almost like we want trans kids and kids who turn out not to be trans to be comfortable in whatever gender identity best fits them… I know, shocking, right?
So, to ensure our teachers could not misgender them while they figured out what fit for them, I would send out daily emails just with the current pronoun the students preferred to use and which pronouns to use with parents until they were ready to come out. One of my students was genderqueer and wanted to explore using multiple pronouns at the same time, so correspondence with them involved switching between he, she, and they between each usage of a pronoun.
So we did that. We practiced. We got good at it. And it didn’t take all that much from us other than some specific focus to do our students right. Currently, the majority of our students have come out to their parents. And for many of them, having the freedom to explore and experiment with pronouns and identities allowed them the space to figure out what they are and have that remain consistent for months and years and find the ways that best helped them treat their dysphoria.
Those kids are also alive, something I’ve worked very hard to ensure, and many of them have thanked our campus specifically for giving them a single space where their identities don’t get them drowned in transphobia and denial of their identities.
This is not hard to replicate. All it takes is not being an asshole and deciding that you must know their gender identity better than them simply because you don’t value it. And that’s really all “social transition” and its assorted hoopla translates to. Not being a dick to kids over their pronouns, identity, or behavior.
So this panic over “socially transitioning kids without delay” as Singal states, is complete bollocks because why wouldn’t you let a kid “socially transition” without delay. It’s literally the least one can do and requires very little actual effort and is 100% reversible in a second assuming you have a system set up that doesn’t socially punish “freaks” for daring to explore their gender.
And to Zucker and Singh, that is viewed as awful, entirely because the idea of trans kids being happy and ending up trans and their precious 80% number not being accurate is a terrifying idea for them. They genuinely like the idea of trans kids going without care and pretending to be cis because it lets them sell to parents the idea of reparative therapy to get them over this “scary phase” without having to do anything so small as using a new pronoun.
And this gets used to deny actual trans kids respect. So many of my trans kids had to fight their parents for every pronoun. Had to build up courage for months and find what fit best for them before hand because they knew their parents wouldn’t support them exploring. Wouldn’t accept them as trans unless they could state a truth without hesitation. And even then getting them to use pronouns can be fights lasting years.
One of my students is a trans male and has known this for years. He is in his teens and his mom still refuses to call him by his preferred pronouns and we’ve had to use “she” in all correspondence home to her about her kid. And this is because she took him to a psychiatrist of the Zucker school who told her it was a phase and to actively resist the pronouns and identity in order to convince him to drop it, aggressively enforcing the “she” pronouns until he relents and accepts it and retreats back into the closet again. His fight to be seen as who he is continues largely because of articles like Singal’s.
And that’s the damage of denying “social transition” for these bigoted horseshit reasons.
2. Blockers and the golden snitch
First up, let’s be specific. Raising the spectre of “blockers”, “hormones”, and “surgeries” in pre-pubescent trans students is fucking bigoted and transparent. Largely because social transition at that age is literally all you can do. They aren’t in puberty yet, so there’s nothing to block. They aren’t in puberty yet, so giving them hormones would be bizarre. And no one’s going to be performing genital surgeries on them**********, because they are not finished going through puberty and thus not done growing. All fears about pre-pubescent kids facing any of those is thus based on literally nothing.
********** And here’s where I awkwardly cough and reference the genital surgeries performed on children born intersex which is somehow still the common medically recommended procedure and which is literally based on the idea of making the genitals look like one or the other default so that it’s less confusing or alienating for cis folks. Like, literally it’s done because doctors are worried “about the child not fitting in during puberty or when examining their genitals”. So again, we see the hypocrisy where even the spectre of genital surgery is enough to deny trans kids pronouns, but we’ll happily make it required for intersex kids to have their genitals surgically “corrected” in order to preserve our societal delusion that genitals = biological sex and biological sex = binary despite its noted harm to intersex individuals growing up. Yes, I am pissed at that shit and the cavalier hypocrisy this underlines.
So let’s talk blockers. Blockers are what is currently given to pubescent kids and really all that’s given to pubescent kids until the kid is around 16-18. Puberty blockers are frickin’ magical. Because all they do is delay puberty. Basically they are only prescribed when the person is starting puberty and is showing the first signs of going through a puberty that will likely induce dysphoria in them. And what it does is buy time for the person to figure out if they are actually trans***********.
*********** This buying time also conveniently marks the trans kids by their delayed or absent puberties at the same time as their peers, but who are we to suggest that this is working as intended. Especially when lawmakers and school officials are playing around with various ideas to identify and mark their trans kids.
That’s it, a big ol’ delay switch. If at any point the trans kid’s like eh, fuck this trans shit, I’m actually super cis, they can do so as easily as stopping taking their blockers.
The day they stop, their pubescence will pick off where it left off. The worst having happened is being a late-bloomer. And given that this is a medication, it has one of the fewest list of side effects, being safer for kids to take than even over-the-counter medication like Ibuprofen.
Not that this stops Jesse Singal panicking over this like its lead in children’s toys:
And this is where I have to stop myself from just straight up screaming at him, because this is willfully blind.
He straight up admits most kids assigned blockers don’t “desist” and remain trans. He straight up admits that the costs of not going on blockers is horrifying and terrible for trans kids. And he’s too smart an individual to not know that the only existing alternative in existence right now is forcing a kid to go through the wrong puberty and somehow survive that, unnecessarily. He has genuine sympathy for kids like many of my students whose parents struggle on the 1st step of social transition, much less letting them have publicly available medicine that could keep their kids from going through a puberty that is visibly making them more depressed and suicidal************.
************ And I speak from direct observation here. I had a trans male student who went through middle school into high school. As his body developed more and more into that which he didn’t want, he became more visibly uncomfortable, awkward and exhibited more self-harming behavior we had to put him on watch for. His parents were even supportive too. They used his correct pronouns and referred to him as their son. But they read a lot of pop science articles like Jesse Singal’s demonizing blockers and so denied their son them because “it’s probably a phase anyways” and “I’m really scared of the idea of surgeries” and a bunch of other nonsense completely unrelated to what blockers actually do. And I’m tired of seeing kids who didn’t have to go through the hell of the wrong puberty that I did forced to go through it anyways simply because a bunch of transphobic pieces of shit decided to throw whatever bullshit at the wall in the hopes that it would stick, because they want to deny that they are appalled and terrified at the idea that trans kids exist.
And yet, here he is, tsk tsking a critic, because “what, why would we dare medicate a child who might not need it”.
And to that, I say, what the ever loving fuck.
My school is specifically focused to serving an at-risk student body in general. Mental health, LGBT, drug addiction, debilitating injuries or disabilities, that sort of thing. Kids who’ve been through hell and need some support getting through stuff.
As such, a number of my students struggle with various mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and bipolar. And so for these students, every month is sometimes a medical carnival as their psychiatrists try and find the right dosages and drugs to deal with their pubescent body’s reactions to the drugs needed to get their mind to stop trying to kill them. Our bipolar students in particular tend to shift medications very frequently as the hormonal changes mess with what is and isn’t working at any given moment.
As such, this notion of “why bother trying a kid out on a medication if it might not work” is just… literally stunning.
And the answer is somewhat obvious. You medicate a child who might not need it, because that’s how you find out what is working or not and what is helping or not. You try an anti-depressant on a suicidal patient. Maybe that works, maybe that doesn’t. Maybe that’s the wrong drug because the patient doesn’t actually have depression per se, they have bipolar and so a different set of medications is needed to treat it.
You try things out because there’s already a noticeable problem needing adjustment (the patient is dysphoric and is starting to go through the wrong puberty).
To go, “why would we use medicine, maaaaan”, is to deny a kid diagnosed with diabetes their insulin shots because “hey, it might be a gland disorder or diet or something, so why don’t you do without this necessary potentially life-saving medicine for a bit while we make extra double-sure you’re not faking this diabetes thing for attention”.
It’s unnecessarily cruel. More than that. It’s medical malpractice.
We don’t deny people medicine that might help, that is approved as ethically safe by our medical institutions, that’s been heavily tested and vetted by the FDA, and which is therapeutically recommended for patients with that condition out of our personal ideas that we somehow know better than them what they need.
For Jesse Singal to state this is appalling and seems to hint rather strongly that he simply does not value the health and well-being of trans kids and their right to receive medicine that could help them. That can literally be gone off of at any time to resume their original pubescence if they so choose.
Especially when his literal next tweet was:
Which was then followed up with:
And ugh… where to even start.
Detransition and Ex-trans
Okay, so, first up, let’s note that we didn’t even get to hormones and surgeries because those don’t really occur until trans kids are forced to jump through hoop after hoop to prove that no really, despite the 90 billion times to turn back, I can confirm that I am truly genuinely trans. And as such, isn’t even offered as an option until late teenagehood at best and more like young adulthood. Even if the kid has remained consistent for years. Even if Jesse Singal admits that the rate of kids on puberty blockers who “desist” and change their mind is near zero.
Hell, he opens his article with a scare story about a parent who acquired their child hormones somewhat illegally or certainly without official approval:
“He had been on puberty blockers since the age of 9,” Helen Webberly, a general practitioner, told Lyons, discussing a 12-year-old patient to whom she prescribed cross-sex hormones. “He would have to now wait until 16 to get testosterone. This child has always been a boy, never worn a dress, always played with boys. He was so ready, his mates are starting puberty and he’s desperate to start puberty. I felt and the mother felt and the child felt it was the right time, so that child’s now on cross-sex hormones.”
12 years old, you’re supposed to cry! Why, that’s much too young! I must weep and worry about surgeries even though this boy just wanted to go through puberty at the same times as his peers and not be left out.
All to raise the spectre of this happening more frequently. The whole article is designed to raise the idea that this sort of thing is happening younger and younger and being “pushed” on kids even though he again, readily admits that the “desistence” rate of adolescents (i.e. the age of kids who’d be at around this example boys’s age) is near zero. And yet, when called on it, he’ll deny and claim that people readying a scare story about trans health care are “misreading things” and “showing their anti-science bias”. All while citing studies all from one single crew of people, peddling stuff his own statistics disprove, and here, straight up trying to recruit a group of ex-trans fuckers to harass a critic and references “gender detransition” like fucking Focus on the Family does, citing this and recruiting voices as if to pretend this is some grand number of people, when it really isn’t and those that do exist tend to artificially inflate their numbers by citing folks who “detransition” for reasons other than no longer viewing themselves as trans.
And this is the point where I’m just seeing red. Because this ex-trans shit and “you can change” garbage should not be being given a free pass after so much ink has been spilled on the horrible damage the ex-gay movement has done and how thoroughly they’ve fucked up so many kids. When we are now more aware than ever at the sheer awfulness of reparative therapy.
But somehow, it’s trans kids, so who gives a fuck, right?
And I’m even more incensed because he straight up overvalues cis kids and the fear he has of them possibly having regrets about thinking they were trans than trans kids being forced to go through a puberty they don’t want and don’t have to do. He readily admits the number of “detransitioners” is near infintessimal, and yet he amplifies their voices over trans kids (none of whom he actually quoted or interviewed for his articles on trans kids, though he certainly takes his time to reach out and recruit and highlight the stories of “ex-trans” bigots who’ve joined hate movements), even when their stories often have literally nothing to do with puberty blockers or social transition or even hormonal stuff************.
************ He cites one case in specific which is a woman who feels she was “railroaded” into transition, but she describes an endo who literally had no idea what trans people were and literally had to google care guidelines because he had no idea and the thing she says she regrets is a double mastectomy she had in her early adulthood. Oh, and she also deliberately kept quiet about adverse health effects because she really wanted to transition, so I’m not sure what the message is other than, hey, we need to force every kid to go through the wrong hormones and need to have later surgeries in their early adulthood, to prevent the possibility of one single cis kid having to go through with that. Oh and she belongs to a TERF network actively harassing trans folks, but let’s forget about that last part.
And of course, it’s not frequently about hormones, because hormones are pretty easy to get off of as well. You literally stop taking them and then, boom, back to your old hormone patterns for better or worse. And if you stop taking them within the first three months (which is usually far long enough for people to notice if this is suddenly inducing dysphoria in a major way), then it is completely redone and reset by your old hormone patterns within a few months. Again, as medical procedures go, it’s safer than most things, but regulated like liquid gold out of the fear that some cis kid could “irreparably harm their fertility” using them out of the “delusion” that they were trans (again, among TERFs who are Jesse Singal’s biggest fans, all trans people are deluded and secretly cis, so in their minds no one should be allowed hormones or surgeries or even “social” transitions because in their minds, we’re all ex-trans waiting to figure it all out.
And again, I’m speaking from personal experience here. My enbyfriend went on testosterone for a period of time, about a year actually, but had to drop it because the hair growth was making them feel dysphoric. They are not “not trans”, they are just non-binary. Since, they’ve restarted their old hormonal patterns simply by stopping taking testosterone. And that’s meant things reshifting back to how they were, with little overall effect and all the old dysphorias of the old system as they try and figure out their next steps to best address their dysphoria with the options available to them. The lasting effect is “their clitoris is a bit big and can serve as a small dick”, same as a person who did steroids for a period of time in their youth. And that’s with a full year of the stuff. Hell, they are even still fertile as much as they wished they weren’t.
And yet, Jesse Singal is peddling garbage from ex-trans activists and arguing that this undoes the evil trans narrative of “everyone who has dysphoria being trans” and buying their bullshit that gender identity clinics somehow don’t support “detransition”*************:
************* Okay, this pisses me off, because A) trans people get shit for medical care. So, some ex-trans acting like the mean trans people lobby somehow moved to block them from accessing “de-transition services” because all the doctors are focusing just so hard on giving trans people all their time and energy is downright offensive. We have to fight, beg, borrow, and steal every moment of health care, usually against hostile gatekeepers, but somehow we’re in control of a medical institution we can’t even reliably get to see us as human and using it to deny ex-trans folks care. B) It’s a transparent copy-paste from ex-gay narratives that argue that all the gay organizations and services discriminate against ex-gays and don’t affirm their “equal” “lifestyle” in their literature. And C) Most “detransition” care is simply going off of stuff. Want to “socially detransition”? Tell people you’re your Assigned at birth sex. Done. Want to “detransition” from blockers? Stop taking them. Done. Want to “detransition” from hormones? Stop taking them. Done. Want to “detransition” from surgeries? Well, no it’s actually taking effort, but here’s the dirty secret. It’s totally available and open to folks needing to do that, the only catch is that it’s just as difficult to obtain as transition related surgeries and ex-trans folks believe that as cis folks, they shouldn’t have to suffer the ignominy of that to get “restored” and so pitch a fit that they have to jump through the same shitty hoops as trans folks to receive the surgeries they feel will best serve their gender identity. And well, yeah, that’s the bed you created with all your wailing about how our existing system of bullshit isn’t nearly onerous enough for trans folks. You made it, so you get to lie in it, same as us.
And chiding folks for not seeing “both sides” like a fucking creationist or an anti-vaccer. All while accusing trans folks of not being more aware of the folks who gladly joined our oppressors and working against our access to health care and arguing that all of our kids have to go through unnecessary hell all to protect the glimmer of a thought that one cis kid might have to go through a fraction of what we regularly expect trans kids to go through.
And at that point, I find it extremely difficult to not conclude that Jesse Singal knows exactly what he’s doing. And for all he says he empathizes with trans kids, he simply does not value them even a fraction as much as cis kids.
Conclusions and side-note on trans folks being unfair
These mythologies, these scare stories, hurt real kids. And they hurt real kids, serve to deny them care they need, simply because the narratives that folks like Singal accuse trans folks of spreading “against science” just don’t get out there all that much.
Most parents are much happier to believe that 80% number means their child who’s said they are trans for years is one day gonna magically decide it’s all a phase and become cis that they straight up deny their trans kids care until they tragically end their life like Leelah Alcorn did.
I’m on the ground. I get to pick up the pieces of these types of clickbait horror-shows selling “you were right to be concerned about the trans menace coming for your kids” and “science totally backs your misgivings about supporting your kids” narratives. The one trying to keep them alive as their parents deny them care that could end their pain out of a misguided idea that this will somehow be a kindness to the cis kid hiding deep inside of them.
And I get to see how close we are at every minute we are to losing them to the transphobia in our culture and the pain that such untreated dysphoria causes. We want excuses not to deal with the reality of trans individuals and their medical needs. We want to make it seem terrifying for a trans person to use a bathroom, to use a new pronoun to refer to someone, or for a kid to use medicine to see if it helps a condition they have.
Because if we do that, then we don’t have to evolve. We don’t have to accept how this changes things and that the way we did things has changed.
Jesse Singal thinks this acceptance is against science and cites discredited articles from people literally stripped of their roles by scientific bodies who found their work distressing and harmful and folks in active hate campaigns against marginalized individuals as non-biased sources. And even then, he ignores what his biased studies say when they argue in favor of more compassionate and accepting medical care procedures. He thinks this is somehow an act of censorship against science itself, as if science was pure and virginal and never allowed to be wrong.
And well, it’s not. Hell, things exist in scientific parlance today that really shouldn’t.
One of the classes I teach is Forensics Science. And so, every time we get to hair analysis I have to give a talk about how slow science is to adapt to the existence of people who are not cis straight white men and how this can lead to science sometimes feeling painfully behind the times. I have to give this talk not because I’m an evil PC-culture lieberal destroying the ethical foundations of science, but because of how the existing science refers to the racial category of hair fibers.
Basically there are three categories: “Caucasoid”, referring to hair fibers likely orginating with a European origin, and then… CONTENT WARNING: RACISM… “Mongoloid” to refer to hair fibers with a likely east asian origin and “Negroid” to refer to hair fibers with a likely african origin. These terms are genuinely horrifyingly out of date and bring visible cringes to my students. And I feel genuinely uncomfortable teaching this section, because the terms of science were put down by racist white men and the field has not quickly adapted to this and fixed it.
This happens all the time. We’ve had to change how we study things like heart attacks, because we were for a time treating the white male as a default state for all humanity and thus simply overriding actual symptoms of heart attacks in women as “non-indicative” leading to an adverse survival rate.
And a lot of times, it has been the community most affected who has had to gently remind science to actually look at them and recheck the assumptions they have always gone by. Black folks were responsible for breaking through the horrendous scientific racism of the 1800s, women were responsible and are currently responsible for undoing a lot of our sexist myths, gay people had to create their own literature and studies to counter the hate machines of Focus on the Family and the American Family Association. And now, trans people are doing the same with the horrendous state of affairs that has been trans health care and science up to this point. With folks not connected in the Bailey, Blanchard, Zucker triumvirate actually contributing their studies and evidence disproving the horseshit that they peddled for so long. With trans folks putting forth their life experiences to counter universalist statements of who is “allowed” to be trans.
And this leads me at very very long last to my final point.
And that’s Jesse Singal’s very first framing and the central problem with his whole persecution complex surrounding the trans individuals who have critiqued his bad science, the very title of his piece:
What’s Missing From the Conversation About Transgender Kids
The “missing” is implied in the essay and in Jesse Singal’s tweets to be trans folks not wanting to talk about kids who are just gender-non-conforming but not trans. Who don’t want to talk about non-binary spaces or folks who don’t want all the transitions, or even folks that change their mind and don’t identify as what they did anymore. That we are so inflexible we can’t stand any critique of our orthodoxy and that and only that is the reason we are so unwilling to politely tolerate someone shoving harmful discredited “science” in our faces. Because of our inflexibility.
And it’s this essence that reveals that Jesse Singal truly has no clue what he is talking about, that he is bereft of trans people in his life, or if he does, that he lacks empathy and connection to their lives in a meaningful way.
Because trans people as a whole, and especially in the last decade or two have been incredibly accepting to diversity. And this “you’re not thinking about this” smacks of “you feminists aren’t paying attention to muslim women’s issues” arguments. Because yes, feminists were the ones to bring those issues to your attention. Muslim feminists in particular, the first to beat the drum of what had been happening to them. And it’s the same with trans folks.
Trans folks have worked tirelessly to try and reduce the amount of shit a gender non-conforming cis kid gets for their non-conforming behavior, in reducing the weight of gender norms because we remember thinking we were our birth sex and being brutalized for what we were into or how we were. Trans folks have worked tirelessly to try and value the voices of marginalized folks outside the binary and have worked with queer communities to help aid the rights struggle of gay, lesbian, bi, pan, queer, intersex,asexual, and so on communities. They have in many cases been an amplifying voice to intersex people and their fight to be recognized in scientific classes and to stop being mutilated in childhood.
And we might not always get it right, but we work harder than most communities to respect our diversity. We’re one of the few communities that fully supports genderfluid and genderqueer individuals and a lot of us came from gender-non-conforming movements like drag or the stone butch scene. And what we argue for is that every kid has the freedom to explore and figure out who they are and not have to defeat an army of gatekeepers intent on pretending they are all cis. What we argue for is to improve things so our trans kids can SURVIVE.
We’re not talking about “desistence”? True. We don’t often talk about hate terms designed to marginalize us and make us seem like a crime. But we do talk about how not every kid who plays with dolls is going to grow up to be trans or gay. We talk about how gender expression =/= gender identity. We talk about the freedom of letting kids figure themselves out and not abusing them for it. Our webcomics and art are full of this idea (comics below are from Assigned Male by Sophie Labelle):
This rhetorical trick where the marginalized are accused of the bad behaviors of their oppressors because their oppressors don’t want to change and adapt and accept what the existence of the marginalized people means regarding their assumptions needs to stop. And it is disingenuous to pretend that trans people are somehow undermining science by participating in science how it was intended to be participated with, finding their own studies, disproving old bunk theories, making the field of science more accurate.
And to Jesse Singal, I will point out three things to conclude.
1) The medical community agrees with trans people on what best serves them. You are free to disagree. But the onus is no longer on us to disprove the ideas and protocols that were shed. It is on those who want them maintained to defend their merit and prove the new ways are harmful. So, you can do that or you can whine about it, but if you do the latter, we trans people are not being the ones who are anti-science.
2) Your work is harmful to trans kids. When you imply their lives are worth less than the idea that a cis person might have to go through what we expect them to endure. When you sell disproven mythologies to their parents that reinforce their fears, that’s not on them “misreading your work”, that’s on you to check your framing and assumptions and make sure you are not reinforcing bigoted nonsense.
3) Fuck your word games with framing.
No, I’m sorry, but seriously, fuck the bullshit word games. Like, you’re a professional wordsmith. You know what you are doing when you frame a discussion about kids “socially transitioning” and use words and arguments echoed by hate groups to imply fear about surgeries. And fuck your “I’m just defending and talking about science” when right now trans kids are fucking fighting for their right to be seen and survive and when there’s little to no conversation about what they face and the actual safety of what services exist now.
And fuck your “I’m being technically accurate” bullshit, because it’s the same shit we’ve seen a thousand times before. Doing this “ooh, what about desistence, even though it doesn’t apply to the population I’m talking about” and “Oh, what about the poor ex-trans, you trans folks aren’t talking enough about them” dance is the frickin’ equivalent of chanting “all lives matter” to a “black lives matter” protest. Yes, it’s technically true, but it’s still fucked and deliberately trying to erase the fact that the other side does believe all lives matter, but that there own is not being considered part of that all.
And so with trans healthcare, to pretend we have actual power, that it is a heavier question to wonder about the ex-trans already receiving the same care as trans kids over the trans kids just trying to access any health care, you are saying you do not value the suffering and suicides of our children. That we are worth less, because we are not cis.
And for what it’s worth, we take care of the folks who are gender-non-conforming but cis. We ally with them. We’ve marched with them. We’ve let them come into our meetings and figure out if this trans thing fit them. We encourage them to explore who they are. We’ve done all we can. So fuck you if you’re going to pretend we don’t simply because we refuse to sit still and let poisonous garbage be spewed at us without response or let folks condemn our health care because they once thought they were trans, but now have aligned themselves with hate movements against us.
In the same way that gay groups are not wrong for not accepting the casual bullshit of Robert Oscar Lopez and their right to harm our lives and families based on their negative experiences and feelings surrounding their time identifying as gay. And for criticizing every debunked anti-gay factoid he throws up to try and argue legally against our rights and against treating gay kids like human beings.
And I’ll be damned if I watch my kids suffer or worse, kill themselves because some cis prick wants to believe that he’s a brave centrist seeing through the “extremism of both sides”.
Cause I don’t want to spend the next 10 years teaching watching kids who could have the blockers they desperately need or the social acceptance they so desperately need denied to them because of school officials and parents believing that some asshole still mourning the closing of a Reparative Therapy Clinic is telling the truth when he says the consensus of science is that most trans kids are going through a phase.
Especially when he can’t even bother to believe that is true, except when convenient to escape the reality of how his arguments are being used to harm others.
So, as those of you who are regular readers of my main blog (Sadly, No!) know, the site has been down for about a week now.
Apparently the reason is one of the hard drives of the site crashed and so the site owner is trying to fix that as soon as he can so we can get back up and running.
I figured I should note that here as I know some of the people who followed at Sadly, No! periodically check this blog as well, so I figure this is a good way to get out the information about what’s going on at the site.
So, yeah, in the immortal words of the Creator: “We’re Sorry for the Inconvenience”.
I remember when I first stumbled onto the forums at the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN). I remember reading the stories of other asexuals who were in romantic relationships with sexuals. Many of the stories were tragic, detailing stories of asexuals trying to make mixed relationships work with standard monogamous models. For some that worked just fine, but for many, there existed a tension and a social pressure to perform, to make one’s partner happy, to fit the model that society quietly sets out for those who seek to date.
Sometimes the notion of polyamory would come up. Maybe as a suggestion from someone seeking to help, sometimes as a question from an asexual seeking advice. “What about polyamory? Does it work?”
Flash forward a handful of years later, I’m bringing my partner and her girlfriend to an AVEN barbeque. I’m not the only one who has. Conversations about dating spring up, the question is more common. The panel on relationship structures devotes a section to polyamory as a relationship model.
A little bit later now. Dan Savage is saying that asexuals shouldn’t date, that they do violence to their partners by denying them their core sexual needs. But at the AVEN conference, there are more happy romantic asexuals than ever before. No longer a whisper, polyamory has become the main relationship model for romantic asexuals. Every panel and discussion on relationship models includes a token part on monogamy because it’s assumed that everyone already knows about polyamory at this point. David Jay has a slide at the beginning of the conference showing his flowchart-like poly web of partners. The romantic partners of asexuals are happy and supporting their loved ones. They have been denied nothing.
I stated in the title that this is my asexual polyamorous manifesto. The emphasis is intentional, because it’s based on my musings and my thoughts in seeing how polyamory and the asexual community have danced together like salt on caramel and I would not presume to have the authority to speak for anyone else.
And I felt the need to create this, largely because there isn’t one yet. There simply isn’t a decent ace poly manifesto, which seems ludicrous seeing as how the asexual community has so quickly adopted polyamorous relationship models as their dominant dating models.
And that simple fact, that there are more polyamorous relationships by percentage in the asexual community than in general society begs a critical question.
What is it that polyamory gives asexuals that monogamy on average does not?
But before I answer that question, I must begin with some defining of terms.
Giving Words to Experiences
There is a trend sometimes in queer circles (which includes asexuals) for shying away from labels and terms because of their potential to wound or be used to exclude. But inclusive and accurate terms also have a power to define our experiences and relate just who we are in a world that seeks to ignore us.
Asexual: The definition on the front of the Asexuality Visibility Education Network website is “an asexual person is a person who does not experience sexual attraction.” Which is a perfectly serviceable definition for our experiences. But it’s not the whole story, for our gentle community also includes demisexuals (those who only experience sexual attraction with trusted partners after a long period of time and familiarity) and grey-asexuals (an umbrella term for those who experience very low levels of sexual attraction or intermittent levels of sexual attraction).
While diverse, all the people in the asexual spectrum face similar issues in general society, largely because, though our society claims it is a prudish and sexphobic one, expectations of sex and sexual performance are still paramount. Romantic relationships are still expected to have a sexual component, regardless if that is communicated ahead of time or not. Knowledge of sexual mechanics and a usual expectation of sharing in heterosexual attraction is assumed by a certain age. And unfortunately for too many, assholes feel entitled to “acquire” sex by force or coercion by those they feel have denied them their “right”.
Some of this will come up again, but for the specific benefits of polyamory, we must cover another important aspect, known as romantic orientation.
Romantic orientation: Romantic orientation is much like sexual orientation. It is the people one is romantically attracted to. In common parlance, these are the people you fall in love with or want to seek a relationship with, though you may not find them sexually attractive. Anyone who has met someone they’ve wanted desperately to fuck, but know they’d make a terrible relationship or met someone they’ve really liked and wanted to start something with, but there was no spark, has seen the way that romantic orientation and sexual orientation can differ.
In the asexual community, there are two major categories that dominate the majority of conversations about romantic orientation. They are romantic (those who do desire romantic relationships with other people, with orientations of heteroromantic (those who are romantically attracted to a different gender), homoromantic (those who are romantically attracted to the same gender), biromantic (those who are romantically attracted to men and women), panromantic (those who are romantically attracted to people all along the gender spectrum), and so on) and aromantic (those who do not desire romantic relationships).
While our conversation going forward will largely focus on romantic asexuals, it is worth noting that aromantic asexuals do not lack anything for not feeling that romantic attraction, anymore than romantic asexuals lack anything for not feeling lust or sexual attraction or a heterosexual person for lacking sexual attraction to those of the same gender. It is simply a way of being in this great wonderful spectrum of biodiversity that makes up our beautiful species.
Which brings us to the last important terms:
Monogamy or Monoamory: This is the dominant relationship model we inherit from society. We could all recite it by heart. Two people get in a relationship. They meet all their needs within the relationship: sexual, romantic, and intimate and if a compatible match, form a long-term and exclusive relationship. For many people growing up, this was sold as the only way a relationship could be. If a need couldn’t be met or if one person wanted more, you split up or dealt with the fallout in terms of cheating (one person having sexual interactions that are unknown to the partner and not approved of) or resentment.
While clearly, I and many other asexual people have found polyamory as a model that works well for us, it’s worth noting here that there is nothing inherently wrong with monogamy… for those it works for.
Much like with romantic or sexual orientation, some have theorized that some relationship structures are more suited to different people. For some, a monogamous relationship is not only the popular method of having a relationship, but is something they couldn’t do without. It’s a structure that fits them best.
And some of those people include asexuals, who despite the protestations of people like Dan Savage, are perfectly capable of forming long-term, stable, and certainly not abusive loving monogamous relationships with other people.
But as a model, it hardly fits everyone cleanly. And much of the problems in dating for a lot of people, asexual and sexual and everything in between, is when everyone is expected to fit into the monogamous relationship model as if it was the best fit for everyone.
Which brings us to the final word of our definitions.
Polyamory: Polyamory simply means many loves. And much like every other term, that covers a broad spectrum of relationship models. For one couple, that might mean a model where both are falling in love with multiple people who are themselves in love with multiple people, with each forming multiple relationships to encompass that love. Others may have a model much like a tribe, where multiple people love each other and live together, building shared lives. For still others, it may involve a single core, two people together who get other sexual, romantic, or kink (as in BDSM desires) needs or desires met outside of the core (and yes, that can even mean structures where the two are sexually exclusive to each other and have multiple non-sexual relationships to meet other romantic needs).
Some may have a relationship where it looks like a monogamous couple, but the one gets their sexual needs met outside the relationship.
But whatever the model, the real core remains the same, non-exclusivity.
Whatever the model, what makes it differ from monogamy is that those within it have an avenue that is non-exclusive. That avenue may be other romantic attractions that are acted on in additional relationships. That avenue might be other sexual attractions that are acted on in sexual encounters. That avenue might be both or mixtures.
The real point, and the real point for all relationships is a model that best meets the needs of those within it. That doesn’t put the structure of the relationship above those human beings within it and their needs and desires.
And that’s an important, critical point, because it’s something that gets lost in the expectation that everyone have a monogamous relationship that looks the same as everyone else’s, with the same “path” and the same “end goal”.
Which raises the big question: What needs is polyamory fulfilling for asexuals that monogamy isn’t?
The Global Appeal of Polyamory
Some of the appeal is the same appeal polyamory has for everybody.
Like noted before with monogamy, some people just naturally fit with a polyamorous model. They fall in love or lust with multiple people or find forced commitment destructive to their interaction with people.
And what polyamory can bring is a great deal of flexibility that a forced model of monogamy cannot. An ability to form a method of having a relationship that allows people multiple avenues to have needs met, whether sexual, romantic, or other.
And it’s important to note that, because I think polyamory often gets a reputation for simply being about sex and while there would be nothing wrong with it if it was (I mean, for the 99% of the population of the planet who are sexual, sex is often fun, exciting, and meets what feels like, to them, a basic human need), it doesn’t tell the whole story.
Cause at its most basic, polyamory is about communication. Its about talking with your partner(s) about everything, figuring out models that work best for everyone’s needs, making sure issues like jealousy are dealt with out in the open. It’s about talking with sexual partners about STD risks and preferred methods of sex. It’s about talking with romantic partners about ideal relationship models and what everyone is seeking from the arrangements.
Most polyamorous relationships involve a huge amount of conversation and focus because frankly they often need to to be successful. Unlike with monogamy, there is no “expected frame” or “one way” to do things. There isn’t a pattern one can fall into and become trapped by. Everything is out in the open, so everything must be figured out together and the effort of expanding things out can involve a lot of work and requires a lot of talking to successfully maintain and ensure that people aren’t being shut out or forced into roles they resent.
And while that may seem like a lot of work, that amount of communication also allows a lot of freedom that monogamy just doesn’t have.
If someone has a sexual attraction to someone, they can talk it out with their partner(s) and even pursue it and experience it without channeling that attraction into resentment or frustration. If someone develops a crush or falls in love with another person, they don’t have to leave their existing relationship or face a moral conundrum, they can simply date both and communicate freely.
My partner and I began being polyamorous a little less than a year into our relationship. It began with a story that would easily end most relationships and nearly ended ours at the time. My partner who is panssexual fell in love with another person, a female best friend of hers. At the time I thought I was a boy (I have since discovered otherwise) and I sort of drifted along with it. Eventually, the feeling was intense enough that that my partner decided that our monogamous relationship needed a break so she could pursue this intense romantic and sexual attraction.
I want to note here that my partner was not seeking to be cruel and in fact, in many ways, the issue highlighted here is a problem with the monogamous frame that dictates that the strongest feelings on a sexual and romantic level often take precedence.
Anyways, the story unfortunately took a turn for the tragic. Her female best friend, though she flirted constantly and had clear visible interest, was unfortunately deep in the closet and rejected the confession of feelings citing worry over negative reaction by her very religious parents.
My partner returned sheepish, approaching as friend. At the time, I thought little of the whole affair, other than I felt it was time to talk about being poly. I don’t know where I first got the thought. Somewhere online, possibly in the queer blogs I read, possibly even on the AVEN website. I don’t know, but I do know that I felt the recent events revealed that the monogamous structure just wasn’t fitting us.
We gave it a shot. And now 8 and a half years now, total, we are still polyamorous and still together.
While my story is unique and in the eyes of some, I would be considered unwise, it was what fit best for us and best alleviated the false dichotomies presented us. That I was owed exclusivity by my partner (when I had little interest in that type of ownership and have little jealousy of her external attractions) or that my partner had to sacrifice her attractions until they reached breaking points in our relationship (which was a situation I didn’t feel comfortable putting her in).
And what poly gave me in that moment was something that it gives a lot of couples, and that is a great deal of flexibility and customization to our relationship, able to patch up weak points or diverse interactions without it threatening the whole strong, committed, loving framework it was built around.
But the question still remains: Why do asexuals MORE often seek out polyamorous relationships?
And to understand that special extra bit that asexuals get, we must first explain one more thing about relationships.
Mixed Relationships and Polyamory
Man, are mixed relationships vilified in our society. Whether they be mixed racial relationships, mixed cultural relationships, or mixed orientation relationships, there is often an initial negative reaction by most people.
While things have improved in terms of public acceptance of mixed race and mixed culture couples, the same can’t be said for mixed orientation couples.
A gay man in a loving relationship with a straight woman. An asexual genderqueer person in love with a panssexual man. A monogamous person in love with someone more polyamorous.
In all cases, the societal view is one of sacrifice. One partner is going to go without a need or otherwise be taken advantage of.
Dan Savage, noted internet sex advice columnist, has often earned a large amount of deserved flak for his insistence that those of an orientation should only date those who share that orientation. That straight people should only date straight people. That gay people should only date gay people. And most infuriatingly, that bi people should only date bi people and asexual people should only date other asexuals. And more infuriatingly, that to do otherwise is to do an act of violence against one’s partner.
And as loathsome as that opinion is, it is unfortunately not an uncommon one. And a large reason for the why lies in this social perception of a relationship as a monogamous one and that monogamous relationship being one in which all needs (sexual, romantic, etc…) are met within the relationship itself. So if one person has sexual needs and the other doesn’t, then where will that person meet those needs? And what is being asked of a person to go “without”?
Which says more of the expectation than the relationships themselves. After all, we are what we are, humans in a diverse society and we have the ability to fall in love and lust with a variety of people, even one’s that seem outside one layer of our orientations. A lesbian woman and a gay man can find themselves genuinely in love with themselves. A heteroromantic individual can find themselves feeling intense sexual attraction for someone of the same gender.
And yes, most specifically to the asexual community, asexual people can fall in love with sexual people. In fact, that tends to be rather common. After all, the world is 99% made of those who are sexual and just by law of averages, those of us who are romantic asexuals are going to find ourselves forming intense intimate connections with those who have sexual desires and attractions to people.
Under the dominant models of a relationship as monogamous, all of these pairings are viewed as “doomed” or “unhealthy” or “prone to damage”. And perhaps in a way, they can be and often are.
But that’s only in a dominant form of forced monogamy.
In polyamory, mixed orientation couples can thrive.
A gay man and a straight woman can have alternate avenues to explore each others’ sexual needs without pressures being put on partners to perform or do without.
And it doesn’t just extend to those specific cases. Overall, couples with differences in libido or who like different types of sex than their partners or just happen to fall in love with multiple people, can explore those aspects without conflict and abrasion that can happen by trying to follow a model that stresses “every need met or break up”.
If you desperately want to get tied up and spanked and your partner is deeply ambivalent about rope, you can go out and get that need met. If you are bisexual and happen to want a model where you can explore sexual interactions with men and women, you can do that, even sharing those experiences with a partner. If you simply fall in love with multiple people, you can explore that with other people.
Whatever the circumstance, under polyamory, issues that would have been heart-rending and soul-confusing under monogamy can be as simple as simply giving one’s partner a good luck kiss before their big date.
And the best part about the structure of polyamory is that there is no required structure. If one is of the mindset that their partner is enough, but want to make sure they can explore their desires, one can do that without it being about “sacrifice” or “being taken advantage of”. If what fits your relationship is one person with a more monogamous focus and another with a more polyamorous model, then that can exist harmoniously without one person being robbed of intimacy or connection. In some ways, it can actually strengthen connection as you know that your partner is not suffering “on your behalf” out of a misguided obligation and you know that when they come home and spend time with you, it is with full love and understanding and communication of your needs as well.
When we started to be polyamorous, most of my partner’s dating habits were about exploring her attraction to women (yeah, looking back, it’s kind of funny to consider as a trans* woman). It felt strongly intimate, helping her uncover and feel more comfortable in her queer identity and who she was and what she wanted.
At the time, we had a model where I was pretty much monogamous and she was the one exploring other attractions. Which wasn’t to say I wasn’t allowed to explore, if I wanted to, but I was the type to very rarely fall in love with someone and as an asexual, I wasn’t all that interested in just going out and being sexual with a complete stranger out of a misguided sense of equality.
Having that split, therefore, was something that worked naturally for us and fit our relationship best. With the freedom to explore, we grew closer and were able to talk more freely about who we were by sexual orientation and in talking about her crushes or attractions, we were able to bond stronger than we ever had.
Being something of a massive tease, my favorite activity was to ramp her up before big dates, getting her a little turned on to help with nerves before sending her out the door to try meeting up with a new date. Her forays at the time weren’t often successful, but the freedom to explore and learn about what we both wanted was invaluable and still seems halcyon to consider.
Other Benefits from Polyamory
There are some who claim that polyamory necessitates a lowering of intimacy and connection. That there is only so much one can devote to a partner when one has multiple partners they are giving their energy to.
Which sort of ignores how people work. After all, outside really co-dependent relationships where every moment must be spent together, there are already moments where couples need time apart to explore other needs or simply recharge their batteries.
A couple where one partner is more extroverted while the other is more introverted may have a structure where the introverted partner has space to quietly do their own thing while their partner goes out with friends or other romantic partners.
Similarly, structures where there is a conflict in busyness. Where one partner needs romantic intimacy of a certain level, but their partner is swamped with work and other tasks and simply cannot provide that. Under a monogamous frame, this leads inevitably to conflict, where under polyamory, those needs can be met with a second partner, making those special moments less fraught with argument and more warm and connecting.
I remember myself the time I got a full-ride scholarship for a Master’s level program… in Denmark. Halfway around the world from where my partner and I had built our life. It was an opportunity I couldn’t let pass by, that I had no desire to let pass me by.
For many people, that sort of sustained absence is the moment a relationship ends. Two years apart with time zone differences that ensured that we only overlapped very early in the morning or very late at night, while I was going to be extremely busy working on grad school work and possibly even disappearing for months at a time during the thesis year.
Sustaining such a relationship might have been impossible under a model of enforced monogamy. But luckily we didn’t have to test that theory. My partner found multiple new partners during that time apart, closer in distance and willing to aid in the loneliness of the long nights. Once a week, at the least, we talked in early morning or late night, sharing our fond feelings for each other, how we missed each other, and how we looked forward to being together. I sometimes met her partners through the Skype. I sometimes only heard them described and talked about in our weekly dates.
With a lack of frustration, the loneliness was present but bearable, and our physical reunions were more sweet than bitter for not having the taste of denial and confusion poisoning them. I didn’t have to compete against fresher attractions that were closer at hand and she didn’t have to do without in order to prove her fealty to me. And thus, we were able to ride it through and reunite, stronger than ever.
Another important aspect of polyamory is something called compersion. Compersion is a feeling of joy one feels in seeing one’s partner experience joy from a source that is not you. And it’s not just a joy that is exclusive to polyamorous people.
Monogamous people feel it all the time in the form of the soft smile you feel when a partner comes back from spending a long day with friends and is smiling and laughing. It can also be the glow inside when seeing your partner geek out about a hobby or interest that they have and you don’t share.
In poly, it can occur in all those places and also in seeing one’s partner having fun and enjoying themselves with another romantic or sexual partner.
Because seeing one’s partner happy and giggling and having fun can be, well, FUN and that’s an important thing to note in a society where the only depictions of seeing one’s partner with another person are depictions of dread and sadness.
Having an open and openly communicated polyamorous relationship where your partner is having multiple romantic or sexual partners can also be thrilling for yourself, simply because seeing one’s partner in joy, no matter the source, can often feel good. As such, that can be an additional pleasure that polyamory can bring and help bring two or more people even more together than they would otherwise be.
Some of my strongest bonding moments with my partner has been seeing her coming off a date or introducing a new boyfriend or girlfriend to me. Seeing the glow on her face as she is in the throes of NRE (new relationship energy or the way new relationships can make one feel on top of the world and giddy), is something that makes me involuntarily smile as well. Not out of sacrifice but out of sharing.
Another thing that polyamory can provide is the thrush of NRE (new relationship energy). Have you ever seen a romantic comedy or any depiction of love in a romantic movie? If so, you probably have seen NRE depicted as the beginning and end of love.
NRE is the rush at the beginning of a relationship when everything is new and your partner can do no wrong. Where you are giddy and enjoying being in love or being in lust and everything being fresh before things settle more into routine and comfortable familiarity.
Everything is intense and you feel like one’s partner is perfect and you could be with them forever and that you should make some grand gesture to celebrate this intense wonderful feeling.
In short, NRE is the drug-like high of dating and it feels awesome. But in the classical monogamous frame, NRE is something that only happens once, at the beginning of a relationship. And oftentimes, media depictions of love state that once you find someone who rekindles all that NRE passion, one is supposed to run from their current partner into this new fling so that one can feel the rejuvenating feeling of new love.
Because in a monogamous relationship, that’s the only way to experience that feeling.
In a poly relationship there are no such limitations. If one wanted to have at least one relationship always in a NRE phase at all times, one can. One can feel that refreshment and invigoration by simply going out and dating, while still enjoying the stability and comfort of a more long-term and settled relationship.
In fact, that long-term relationship is often healthier for it because that reinvigoration and freshness can often spill back into that longer relationship and make it feel fresher and newer. New knowledge from handling the structure of a new person can help make an established structure stronger and can help bring new focus to the things that have gone unsaid or been taken for granted.
And that can be the difference between a long-term relationship that slowly fizzles out and one that can consistently sustain itself and actually grow stronger over time.
But again, this doesn’t answer the question of What specifically do asexuals get out of polyamory that makes it so universal?
What asexuals get out of polyamory
As noted, a lot of what asexuals get out of polyamory is the same thing everyone can get out polyamory. It allows a greater freedom of relationship design. It promotes healthy communication and a better handling of issues that might threaten monogamous relationships. Just like the general population, some asexuals are just naturally more inclined to polyamory and find it a superior model for their needs.
And for mixed orientation relationships between asexuals and sexuals, where one is asexual and the other is sexual, it can greatly reduce sources of conflict and situations where one partner is either expected to perform sexually out of obligation more than desire or where a partner needs to do without sex because to do otherwise would be to put their partner in a dreadful spot.
And that leads me to what I think might not be the reason (as there’s probably not just one reason), but is most certainly a reason that so many asexual people are finding polyamory to be the relationship model for them.
Polyamory removes the pressure to perform sexually for one’s partner.
Cause, see, by the traditional model of monogamy, it is generally expected that a partner, a “good” partner is one that meets all one’s needs. It’s someone you get along with as friends. It’s someone who is a good fit in romantic interactions and intimacy.
And it’s someone sexually compatible. Who’s into the same stuff in bed and who is into you as you are into them.
And because we are a messed up society that doesn’t like to talk about our sexual interactions, relationships are just sort of expected to have a sexual component, one that is jumped into without much discussion.
And honestly, that’s a crappy model for a lot of people. Not everyone views sex as the same thing or wants to have it at the same time as their partner wants it. The model ignores that someone might have specific wants that are not generally expected or have different erogenous zones or turn-ons than what is seen in dominant depictions of sex.
And worse, it ignores issues of consent and triggers. It ignores the fact that people may be survivors of sexual assault or rape or domestic abuse or simply may be unready for particular forms of sex. And while people do their best to do right by their partners for the most part, it leaves even the best intentioned people following the “social guidelines” for relationships in a position where they often have to trip over the landmines to notice them.
But for asexuals, it goes beyond that. Because a big social expectation, one that is reinforced in countless media depictions of love and relationships, is that in a relationship, you have sex.
And not only do you have sex, but that sexual attraction and chemistry should be taken as a given or else there is something “wrong” with the relationship. The less sexual partner is presumed to have something wrong with them or forcing their loved ones to “sacrifice” because of their “hangups”.
In the old days, I used to weep to read other asexuals write of their romantic relationships. So many people felt the intense pressure from society that they “owed” their romantic partner sex, that that is what someone had to do if they loved their partner.
And polyamory cuts through the heart of that social bullshit.
Cause even if you have the most loving and respectful partner of your boundaries and your orientation, the pressure is constantly there in a monogamous relationship. Even if your partner is sitting there telling you that this is all they need or they are fine with the fact that whatever intimacy you feel comfortable with will lack the potency of mutual chemistry, there’s a little voice of society telling you that you are robbing them of a crucial aspect of being human. That you are providing them an incomplete romantic experience. One in which you can only fully meet their romantic and intimate needs, but never their sexual ones, not really.
And even if you can cut through that little voice, you’ll be suffering a veritable gauntlet of public assholes who will repeat the same loudly and clearly. A lot of the reason that Dan Savage is a name that is hated in the asexual community is because he insists that sexual performance is something critical to a relationship and that by denying that, asexuals are denying relationships themselves. That an asexual should be ready and game for a mutual chemistry sexual relationship or they should do without powerful romantic relationships with people they love.
And that’s bullshit, yes. Clearly that is just the accumulated junk that society throws at asexuals because it is unaware of how they are affected by this “model relationship” it sells.
But by being polyamorous, one can silence that little voice and those public critics. Or at the very least eliminate their power to wound and ruin one’s relationship.
Because, by being open in one’s relationship, allowing one’s partner to explore other people and meet needs outside one’s relationship, one can be reminded everyday that one doesn’t need to “meet every need” in order to have strong, real connections that matter.
And that is something that seems odd, but can’t be overlooked, because it’s so important for real intimacy.
One can’t access the trust and connection critical for intimacy when one is worried about performing a “role” successfully or worried their partner needs a very specific set of behaviors to be happy.
And having that whole business just swept off the table? Becoming an “option” instead of a “demand” socially speaking is an incredibly liberating feeling that is so critical I can’t even describe it.
Knowing that my partner could explore her sexuality, all of her sexuality and that I didn’t even need to be involved if I didn’t want to be, that despite the protestations of those such as Dan Savage that I was “holding her back”, means knowing that I am enough.
I’ve been reading a webcomic lately titled Shades of A, and there’s an asexual character in it, very similar to those old stories on AVEN, who constantly feels like a freak and that he needs to be sexual in order to make his partners happy even though that is not at all what his partners want.
And unfortunately that’s a moment that a lot of romantic asexuals have struggled with because of all those who have said that that’s what a relationship is. That’s just how they work.
And polyamory, fiddly, tinkering polyamory rips apart that engine of pain and self-critique and reveals it as the bullshit it is.
One can have a relationship where they get cuddles and intimacy from a partner, but the partner goes elsewhere for sex. Or one where there is a form of sex, but it is not viewed as less than for lacking mutual chemistry or intense passion. Or one where one has multiple partners to connect with with love and intimacy and have different dynamics with that meets different needs.
One can make a relationship serve them, can respond to their needs and their limitations, instead of one that proscribes a “correct way of being” and that freedom with regards to sex removes a lot of the judgement and fear that relationships (especially mixed relationships between sexuals and asexuals) can carry for asexuals.
Knowing that my partner can go off and get her rocks off at any time may seem odd from an outside perspective, but it was something that made it possible to feel comfortable exploring myself and being honest to how I express intimacy.
And the funny thing is, that knowledge and that freedom actually allowed me to find aspects of sex that were interesting to me (though I would stress here that these experiences are unique to me and are by no means universal to all asexuals. If you are hoping polyamory will make an asexual person suddenly sexual, then you are an asshole and you should fuck right away from us).
Cause, see, sex without social pressure, for me, can be like the ultimate puzzle game. I mean, here’s this body and I have absolutely no personal experience with how any of this feels, but by having the right complicated hand, mouth, and spoken actions, I can make that body feel amazing and have such a powerful physical action as orgasm and that is something that is just intellectually and emotionally amazing!
I mean, it’s like Professor Layton on Speed and makes my nerd circuits go woo.
And that’s not true for every asexual. Hell, I’ll go further and say it won’t be true for most asexuals. But I know for me and for those demisexuals, grey-asexuals, and romantic asexuals who do engage in some sexual activity, having an environment of zero pressure, where there is no consequence for fucking up or suddenly deciding that I don’t want to do it anymore, is the only way I can access that curious scientific joy of discovery in that way.
And knowing that that there is that safety net means that while assholes like Dan Savage would scream that I’m doing it all wrong, treating sex like a DS game, only being comfortable with giving rather than receiving, lacking chemistry and only gaining joy through the intellectual and emotional aspects of making my partner happy, it can’t drag me down.
My relationship model is made to work for me.
To meet my needs and respond to the aspects of myself that are immutable and which may very well be arbitrary. It means that if I just drift off from doing things that are sexual with my partner, there is no pressure for me to “pick up the slack” from society. It means that if I want a relationship that is all cuddles and kisses and nothing else, I can have that and I can have that with all levels of fulfillment.
I’m in every interpretation of the word, free.
And that liberation from those chains of expectation, that what a relationship is is one in which sexual and romantic needs are one and the same, is probably the only way I could ever have had such long-term relationships or felt such joy and fulfillment in them as I do instead of sinking into self-doubt and despair like the main character in the Shades of A webcomic.
In fact, in my story, I am now in a relationship with two women, having fallen in love with another woman who is now my girlfriend, while my partner is still with me and is still dating two other people herself (her boyfriend and girlfriend). I’m not always sexual with either and when they enter dry spells, I have happily gone about my business, just enjoying the cuddling and general intimacy.
I’m free to enjoy what I want out of a relationship, because I know my partners are free to explore all of themselves and still be with me. That I don’t have to meet every need all the time.
And that freedom is something not I, nor many other asexuals would trade for the world.
Addendum to the Manifesto
While clearly this manifesto is pro-poly (after all, poly has been very useful for me and many other asexuals for a variety of reasons), it is worth noting that polyamory is not a magic elixir that fixes all ills.
Polyamory isn’t for everyone.
As noted earlier, some people are more naturally monogamous or feel more comfortable in monogamous style relationships. If you are the type of person who needs one’s romantic partner to be romantically and sexually exclusive to you, then polyamory isn’t going to serve you well at all and is just going to force another form of sacrifice. Similarly, if you are a person who gets repeatedly intensely jealous at the thought of sharing your partner with other people in a romantic or sexual manner, even when they are out of your sight or find yourself sabotaging your partner’s other relationships, then polyamory is probably not a natural fit for you and that needs to be communicated with your partner.
I’m a firm believer that the relationship model that works best is the one that works for the people inside it and if what you need in a relationship is something that looks more like the dominant version of monogamy, then you should hold out for that kind of relationship and meet those needs for yourself instead of trying to force yourself for your partner.
And on that note…
Polyamory will not fix a bad relationship
Polyamory can remove a lot of social pressure to perform sexually. But if your romantic partner is actually pressuring you to have sex, saying that you owe them out of “love” or “duty”, then that is abuse and polyamory will not fix that.
A partner who does not respect your boundaries or seeks to minimize them or use social pressure to get their way will not magically become a better, more respectful, less rapey partner if you switch to a polyamorous model.
It will not save those types of relationships, nor will it save relationships with domestic violence or emotional or sexual abuse or neglectful partners who do not want to communicate.
It will also not save relationships with partners who cheat on you without talking about it. The act of cheating is about a heck of a lot more than just getting needs met and a partner who is cheating on you regularly will probably still cheat or fail to disclose crucial information as much in a polyamorous relationship as in a monogamous one.
If you find yourself in such relationships, especially one in which your partner is explicitly stating you owe them sex, you should get out of them as soon as you safely can, enlisting aid as needed in the cases of domestic abuse.
And I know it can feel like abandoning these relationships feels like it’ll mean never finding love again, but please believe me when I say there are a huge number of genuinely respectful partners out there who will not seek to violate your boundaries or ignore your orientation. And you will find one of them, a LOT sooner than you think you will.
Poly relationships will not fix a lack of communication.
The thing about polyamory (to the point where the internal joke in polyamory circles is that polyamory is defined by this) is it is about communication.
Polyamory needs strong healthy communication to thrive and be responsive to the needs of those within the relationship. That means that both parties need to be willing to do the work to regularly communicate their needs with each other and at least be willing to highlight problem areas.
It does not require one to be an extrovert or to feel to need to share every aspect of every day with every partner, but if you don’t feel comfortable at least communicating the basics with your partner on a pretty consistent basis, then polyamory is probably not right for you.
Similarly, if your partner is closed off and uncommunicative with poly, then that system is probably not going to work well for them and will likely cause problems down the line. If open communication seems like too hard or too scary a concept and a part of monogamous relationships that’s too intense, then poly will not fix that and it might be better to take a break from relationships altogether until you can feel more comfortable sharing that sort of thing. It may even be worth introspecting if you want relationships at all as not everybody does.
There’s not just ONE right way to do poly.
Additionally, polyamory’s strength is how it can be customized to meet the needs of the people using it. There is no “one right way to do poly” and what works for one person in terms of rules and regimented forms of communication will not work for another.
As such, if you let someone tell you that there is one way to do poly or just try and copy someone else’s relationship model without thinking about or talking about what you and your partner(s) need out of a relationship, then you’re probably going to find polyamory to be as poor of a fit as a force monogamous relationship.
It can be scary to pick and choose what you need or make edits on the fly as new issues come up, but it’ll help immensely in making sure that your relationship is healthier and has more of a chance to survive and thrive.
But for those that polyamory fits, it fits well, or at least much better than monogamy.
And I think for many asexuals, the model removes a lot of the issues and conflicts that the dominant monogamous model inflicts. For many of us, polyamory gives us freedom to make our own relationship models and allow us to form our own conclusions in how we want to participate in a relationship.
These days, I regularly have my girlfriend over to my partner and I’s house. Nearly once a week, we share our queen bed, cuddling in a little row. Sometimes my partner brings her girlfriend as well. All together in a little tribe.
Sometimes I can hear my partner and her girlfriend having sex. It is wholly different than how I do it. It’s passionate and intense and her noises fill our little apartment up.
And I smile, proud and happy to hear my partner in such joy. I have been robbed of nothing. This orgasm takes nothing from me and I know that this evening, we’ll be spooning in our little row, with smiles on all our little faces.
And I sleep soundly and content, fulfilled with a relationship that works for us.
And I wouldn’t trade that feeling for the world.
This is my ace poly manifesto.
And for those who this system works, I hear yours as well, in the soft smile as a partner cuddles with you, in the soft glow of seeing them come home from a hot date, and in the strong commitments free of fear and societal intrusion.
And I no longer weep to read the stories of my fellow asexuals who are in romantic relationships.
Because we all know a way to be free.
(FOREWARD: This is a rambling mess of a post. I wrote it raw and will probably not edit it before I hit publish. I may from time to time put up raw reactions like this simply to let things out that would have no place on my regular blog at Sadly, No! But that means I will not spend the amount of time or care on these works that I would something I was putting there.
So don’t say I didn’t warn you if it turns out to be a half-coherent slog.)
In the course of my day, I read things, usually a few silly things, like webcomics or a few snark sites in order to begin my day. And in the course of reading such things, I sometimes encounter things that just sort of needle under my skin.
I mean, they aren’t badto be exact. I mean, the authors who write them are sometimes people whose work I usually respect (as is the case this time) and let’s be frank, in my usual blog I frequently encounter way worse.
But it’s annoying in its own respect, because these small little annoyances. These things that aren’t so bad, nonetheless can be as illustrative as the great big examples the modern right gives us on the socio-political landscape that we call home.
So I dust off the musty covers of this old journal and allow it some small use in covering something that I would never in a million years use for a post on the main site.
And it’s quite probable that this won’t be the last post to revive this dead journal.
Today’s post is about a tumblr post. This tumblr post, to be exact,, which is part of a tumblr blog I like called Shittiest Editorial Cartoon of the Moment that usually rips into hacktacular editorial cartoons. Which yeah, small target, easily glossed over, completely forgettable.
But it needles and so we are here.
Read the rest of this entry »
What has TV Science wrought?!?
We tried to warn you.
Way back in the very first Mangotime!, we tried to warn you all about the scourge of the Canadian teen soap opera Degrassi: The Next Generation. How its depiction of a handful of LGBT characters have erased all non-LGBT characters from all other programming.
Well, you didn’t listen!
Now, Degrassi has committed an action so heinous and unconscionable, that a devoted mother was forced, forced I say, to catalogue it for all posterity as a warning to others.
That’s right. It…I can hardly find the courage…
It brought up the acknowledgment of bisexuals to her and her son (despite the fact that Degrassi doesn’t currently have any out-as-such bisexual characters). Thus forcing them to have to discuss the existence of people he will encounter in real life.
If you don’t understand the horror of this, you’ve never been a mother…while certifiably insane.
As such, this week, we must take you deep into this woman’s personal hell caused by the unending rampage of… Degrassi!
Latest Tween Fad… Bisexuality is Hip by the blog Education Knowledge
So Im watching spongebob on Nickelodeon final week with my thirteen yoa son
Your 13 year-old watches Spongebob? I mean, no judgement, people enjoy entertainment meant for a different age group all the time, but seems a bit…
Wait, this is about a 13 year old? I.e. starting high school or a year before starting high school? I.e. you really should have had the fucking birds and the bees conversation by now? I.e. your son probably already personally knows at least one out LGBT person by now?
A point? No, I wasn’t making a point, please go on.
and I see a business promo spot for Degrassi as I see two girls professing their deep need and adore for every single other in breathless, very grown up ways followed by a super slow camera shot of a romantic kiss of sizzling intensity and I must saymagnificient cinematography.
My neck felt hot as I instinctively moved to rub it, my other hand, slipping across my chest as I found my legs suddenly warm and chafing together. I’m not sure what caused this, but I’m guessing Satanism.
And in shock, Im thinking to myself undoubtedly that wasnt what I thought it was ? Not an openly lesbian lead storyline in one of the most significant pre-teen television displays on Tv ?
Queers? On my TV? And they allow this? My pearls have never been clutched as tightly as now. My word, don’t we have people to prevent this sort of thing from happening? Some sort of closet arrangement so we can keep our children in some sort of LGBT-free bubble so that they don’t think our bigoted responses to the concept are “sad” and “archaic”?
I mean, what do good christian women pay their taxes for?!?
10 minutes later on I see it once again and once again the promo runs of a romantic lesbian scene with the newest awesome new music packaged as quite as can be no accident, no mistake now.
Girls kissing other girls chastely on the mouth is only a big deal if you’re so repressed you force your 8th grade child to only watch Nickelodeon cartoons intended for children half his age?
Sorry, forgot my manners there. I meant, “my word no, obviously Nickelodeon is peddling in smut”.
Teen Nick has moved from their role of empty entertainers to sexual education and learning.
Okay, that was sarcasm, but we’re going to need several responses to encapsulate all the wrong packed into this one sentence.
1) Yes, how dare Teen Nick cover issues teenagers might be dealing with. What’s next? Shows with kids in high school?
2) Sex education has a definition and unless Degrassi has moved away from its soap opera style and started doing informational displays on proper condom use, it’s definitely not meeting that definition.
3) Yes, everyone knows that acknowledgement of lesbian romantic connections is the same exact thing as sex, because… well, it’s all she can think of when she thinks of lesbians. Hot sweaty lesbians, pawing at her pants buttons and… clutch the pearls, this too will pass. Pray away the Gay wouldn’t have lied to you (hint: they did).
4) It’s fucking Degrassi! Degrassi has covered abuse, rape, sexual harassment, assault, violent bullying, suicide, cheating, open and frank depictions of sex and sexuality, and so on. And that’s usually in one season. It’s a soap opera for teenagers. Complaining like it showing a girl-girl kiss is “crossing a line” demonstrates that this “watching Nickelodeon with my kid” “ritual” isn’t one that happens very often, because otherwise you should be VERY aware of what Degrassi is.
No longer are they just focused on making shareholders much more cash, or launching the worthwhile careers of its tween and teen heart-throbs.
Um, I think your mixing Nickelodeon with the Disney channel and its unholy factory of pre-packaged pre-teen virginal stars who magically start selling themselves as sluts around legal age.
And Degrassi is part of the “making money” thing. Its relatively popular for a teen show because its relatively good for a teen show. And that’s despite all the various wingnuts who’ve blown a gasket over how it doesn’t hide away the issues teens face for the sensibility of professional “moral guardians” crying to high heaven about “Teh Children”.
Teen Nick has moved well beyond just making mindless candy pop kids shows that outline the well-known and stunning. Their reveals have extended been the rabid fare of pre-teens, desperate to grow up faster and watchful to emulate the ideal hair designs, whitest teeth and latest fad fashions of their stars
Again, Disney. Not saying Teen Nick is free and clear of that trend. Hell, most teen programming probably isn’t free of it, but you are complaining a common argument against the pre-teen-marketed Disney shows.
But, no, continue. I’m sure your arguments will retain gravitas and seem to be coming from a position deeper than “ew gays, make them go away”, despite failing to understand Degrassi’s regular programming or teen programming in general.
Or really much of anything.
Well, that shouldn’t be a problem, it’s not like your blog title consists of two words relating to knowing…
now it seems they are actively advertising bi-sexuality as being a far better way of encountering teen really like and coming of age life lessons for todays kid.
SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! THIS WEEKEND ONLY, SEE THE AMAZING BISEXUAL JUMP THROUGH THE FLAMING HOOP OF FIRE! RIGHT AFTER TRUCKOSAURUS!
Also did you know that acknowledging that bisexuals (well, actually a single lesbian kiss by a character who’s an out lesbian, so don’t no where all the rants about evil bisexuals are coming from) exist, means forcing their superiority on others?
Those of us who dig through the muck of homophobes are often accused of being overly willing to attribute closeted attractions to such people (making jokes that all homophobes are gay and so on).
Well, it’s because of shit like this. Because we are constantly ripping through a post where a writer is saying the only thing keeping us from a world of endless bisexual orgies is the fact that people are kept ignorant about the existence of bisexuals.
When the leap is “I saw a lesbian kiss” to “Going bi is the superior lifestyle”, it’s hard not to assume that her bookmarks tabs are filled with sites she is “researching” for a “new article on girl-on-girl pornographies effect on declining moral values”.
But I digress!
Fellow parents out there, you need to know the scene I noticed is just a sampling of the adult media that has now moved into the mainstream teen tv planet
And you thought I was kidding when I said Degrassi’s single trans character has erased all cisgendered characters from all entertainment every where. Silly fool, the LGBT takeover is nearly complete. There are token characters on literally dozens of shows and occasionally a long-running series will devote whole ones of episodes to talking about LGBT issues.
If we don’t stop the creeping homofascism, the chance of a wingnut having to acknowledge that LGBT people exist and aren’t actually demonic phantasms that exist only to taunt them with their smoking hot bodies may approach double digits.
And then where will we be?
and they are becoming amazingly good at glamorizing bi-sexuality as the newest wave of pop culture to our most vulnerable age group tweens. (little ones among the age of seven-thirteen)
Evidence of this glamorization?
Hell, evidence of bisexuality (seeing as her one example so far is a lesbian character she just assumed must be attracted to guys as well)?
Fuck, evidence that these shows are being marketed to tweens (shows like Glee and Degrassi are marketed to teenagers with themes chosen to match those realities)?
Why would we need that?
Think of the children, oogedy boogedy. I had to talk to my near-high-school level child about the existence of gay people! Think what could happen to your seven year old? Why looking at two ladies sharing a chaste kiss is far more traumatizing that sending them to a Catholic Church or anything run by Jerry Sandusky.
And no, we’re not even going to get into the massive fail of assuming that one can “catch” bisexuality simply because it is “trendy” or that it’s “trendy” simply because it is occasionally acknowledged in media.
We will briefly get heavy serious for a moment to knock the idea that it is inherently wrong to talk about bisexuality or queerness to high schoolers and middle schoolers. A good number of kids are going to grow up in the hell-hole of hormones that is middle school with attractions that don’t match up with the “normal” of their classmates. Kids who have been violently bullied for those attractions, necessitating projects like It Gets Better to try and address and reduce the number of kids who kill themselves over it.
The precious artifact children of people like this lady do not need to be “protected” from the knowledge that gay kids exist, but those bullied queer youth sure as damn well need a positive role model in their media. A fellow young queer kid on their programs to remind them that they are not alone, that it’s worth holding on through the pressure hell of middle school and high school.
They fucking need that all-too-rare token character on shows like Degrassi because that’s all they fucking have.
No one else wants to acknowledge that people like them exist, because of disingenuous parents like this who hide behind their children to try and legitimize their own desires to erase certain people from being acknowledged in our culture. To keep all of our entertainment white, straight, able-bodied, cisgendered, and centered entirely on frivolous middle class issues, because they don’t want to be exposed to the realities that the rest of us experience. Because they don’t want to be educated and think that they can get the whole world to get behind helping them keep their children as ignorant as them, simply because they raise a ruckus “for the children” at the drop of a hat.
And I’m sorry for the seriousness of that in a post that has already veered serious quite a few times, but it’s something that really needs to be addressed more in our culture.
Now, let’s return to the mangos.
This latest episode of Degrassi should serve as a warning for all of us who are seeking to preserve any semblance of a biblical entire world view for our people of faith.
Damn you real world with your insidious facts and their unbearable liberal biases! Why must you mock the poor people of faith, just trying to retain a biblical world view where the world was 6000 years old and unicorns and dragons totally did exist.
It’s just like those fascist cops who tried to infringe on my “deep personal beliefs” with all their blather about “how I wasn’t allowed to drive my car through crowds of people” just because I wanted a closer spot in the movie theatre. I mean, my 13 year old son needed to see the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. You didn’t expect us to have to walk to our seats where poor people and anti-Christian folk might assault him at any minute, did you?
We can no more time assume the stuff on mainstream Tv is secure.
Me speak english good.
The shows my little ones used to observe on Nick or Teen Nick at least respected the balance of getting a moral neutral value for usage those days are gone.
Little ones? The earliest kid you’ve mentioned was a 13 year old and no offense lady, but you don’t seem the type to show restraint when it comes to hiding your bigotry behind a child.
How old is the other “little one”? 29?
We cannot presume any more time that the stuff on Nick or Teen Nick can be watched un-supervised or at all.
Thats a frightening issue when you quit to feel about how effectively Nick Jr. and Nickelodeon have educated and entertained this very same era for a long time, starting out with the innocence of these reveals as Dora the Explorer and Spongebob Squarepants and then as our kids expand older, they begin to insert the tremendous awesome teen show Degrassi with all of its rot.
And comic books. Sure, you get them started on Donald Duck books and then all of a sudden there’s Watchmen and Preacher.
Or movies. You start them on Disney princesses having perfectly innocent adventures giving up their entire identity for a man and squelching any individual ambition and then all of a sudden they face movies with actual plots and maybe even an acknowledgment that people fuck.
Or life. You start them out on the bottle and yelling Bible verses at them about how much God hates their sinful naked body and then they go to school with people who aren’t like them and learn tolerance and respect and don’t view Harold as a sinner just because he’s gay or Ahmed as a terrorist just because he’s a muslim.
And even if you can prevent that, they still grow older and start having nasty mean teenage problems like sex and drugs and dealing with suicide and can’t we just preserve them for all time, unblinking statues of childhood preserved.
Come here children, mommy’s going to fix everything now. The Taxidermy book will make it all better. Now children will be with mommy forever and ever.
Like God intended.
It would seem on newest episode of Degrassi the producers decided the greatest storyline possible for our pre-teens and teens would be to highlight the newest in point for our youngsters, exact same-sex connection for tweens and teenagers.
It’s almost like they were trying to address teens who have same-sex attractions and euphemistic “connections” with them. With one single lesbian character on the main rota amidst a sea of heterosexual characters dealing with their various heterosexual relationships, having or deciding not to have heterosexual sex and that’s on the “daring” show Degrassi that’s got all the wingnuts in a tizzy.
Cause once that’s in, bam, nothing on TV but endless reruns of L Word and Xena Warrior Princess. It’s not so much a slippery slope as a wormhole in space-time.
Soon after observing the episode on the internet I felt the core concept of this show appears to sayfor you to be as great as the youngsters on Degrassi, its time to acknowledge you want to be openly gay with your girl good friend.
It must of said that. It said that to me. I recorded it on the Tivo, pushing away that spoiled brat who complained about things like “I was watching that”, “when are you making dinner” or “Mom, you’ve been watching that same clip for 24 hours straight now”. I could think of nothing but Michelle’s perky breasts poking out of her tank top as she collected her kid from a play date. Our kids actually hate each other, but I don’t care. Her smell intoxicates me, drawing me ever closer into her web.
And that’s why we need to stop Degrassi. It puts these wrong naughty thoughts into the heads of
me our most impressionable young people.
They dont skimp on the guys becoming into men on this show possibly, but for now this is adequate. Ive copied the storyline summary from the episode in question for any parents who treatment to go through it. Its not even delicate its sick.
Just thinking about it has drained what little writing ability she has left. To be fair, it must be hard to write a post semi-intelligibly when one hand is jammed so far down your pants it is legally in another county.
She then quotes the Degrassi episode synopsis in its entirety. Because I apparently hate you all, I’ve reproduced it in its entirety. Please feel free to skip over it.
Degrassi: In As well Deep Recap: Season 10, Episode 42 “Chasing Pavements, Component Two” (04/09/2011)
A lot more Degrassi: Recaps | News and Forged Interviews | All Tv Recaps
Fiona arrives out. Fiona has effectively finished rehab, but up next on her plate is going through the vicious Bobby, her physically abusive ex-boyfriend. But Bobby delivers the family $a hundred,000 to not go to trial. Fiona is completely in opposition to taking the settlement, but her mother is concerned about how the trial may emotionally affect her, and thinks she should consider the cash. But with Holly J’s support, Fiona convinces her mother to allow her push ahead. Fiona surprisingly retains her individual on trial, but can not take again the simple fact that she embellished the bruise in the photo she took of her scar, and after Bobby’s testimony, she commences to doubt her determination, and considers turning to alcohol, until her coping methods arrive in excellent handy. But when an additional girlfriend of Bobby’s arrives ahead and confesses that Bobby has abused her as well, Fiona’s circumstance is manufactured. She wins $250,000! In her happiness, she kisses Holly J on the lips!
Fiona has a romantic dream about Holly J and realizes her emotions for her greatest good friend. Holly J and Fiona strategy a sleepover collectively, although Fiona reconciles with Adam about their previous and sets up a movie date with him. She confesses that he wasn’t a issue in her life, and she nevertheless likes him. But while they are hooking up, Fiona tries to compliment him for becoming “the greatest of the two worlds”, and Adam storms out, telling Fiona that she just wishes a woman. The next day, she confesses to Holly J that she does not like Adam any more. In turn, on their sleepover, Holly J realizes she loves Declan in a way that she does not feel for Sav. When her mother comes property, Fiona confesses to her that she’s gay, and she’s in really like with Holly J. Her mother completely supports her, and tells her that it won’t be straightforward, but she can get through it. She comes clear to Holly J that she’s gay, who also isn’t the least bit bothered by it.
You didn’t need to read it all. But if you did, you probably noticed one big thing. “Gosh, that sounds like a soap opera aimed at teenagers”. And you’d be demonstrating your ability to prevent lesbian kisses from melting your ability to process information.
Thus proving you are part of the Dyke Cylon Force hellbent on enslaving America. We’re on to you vile Robotic Wenches! You will not get our children with your hypno-rays!
Seriously if you have taken the time to study this far you are recognizing what I did, the culture our little ones are residing in and around has been teaching them to abandon the standard views of faith and family and sexuality for some thing a lot cooler bi-sexuality is the way to go if youre as hip as they are.
Again, where is all the “bisexuality is hip” coming from?
Especially seeing as how she messed up the cardinal wingnut rule and actually quoted the original source of the thing she was complaining about, thus demonstrating that she’s freaking out over a lesbian coming out story.
Apparently it goes:
Step One: Tell a story of a fictional lesbian.
Step Two: REDACTED for reasons of sexy
Step Three: Everyone’s a bisexual!
How a lot of thousands and thousands of teen and tweens living in the chaos of their individual confusing and un-glamorous lives are currently being swept into this deception ? I imply this display is openly suggesting that if you care for a good friend, and they are the identical-sex it extremely properly could be that your attracted to them because your gay or bi-sexual. And not only is that o.k, but its really very awesome to do.
And it’s not ok. You should rot forever in the closet, holding that secret shame deep inside as you force yourself to ride the cock of a man you don’t love and stay in a loveless sham marriage always dreaming of that person as you cry into the pillow and violently shrug off your partner’s attempts to hold you.
Because that’s Jesus’s plan for you.
Also, she’s totally not gay, why would you think that. It’s just that bisexuality is so very seductive and trendy and other kids, female kids could get sucked into those obviously fictional media-induced attractions that could never exist in reality.
What are you staring at?
Mothers and fathers, Im begging you WE ALL Want TO WAKE UP!
Our planet is changing the principles and its happening on our watch. Our little ones are getting fed a developing diet regime of sexual storylines, pictures and role modeling that is influencing an entire era of little ones with a various gospel and a various fact than the one they listen to from us.
The world was filled with black people who refused to quietly suffer in the background and insisted on living full real respected lives, so we packed up our things and moved to the suburbs. The world was filled with women refusing to suffer silent as homemakers and spoke up about sexual consent, female sexual desire, desire to work from home and other things so we spent decades trying to dismantle the sex education programs they created and block almost all depictions of real female empowerment from media because it was “a higher rating level”. But now the walls are crumbling. “Those kids” are in the suburbs, going to the schools that were meant to keep them out. Bullying is not keeping the queers and the weirdos quiet, people are having to talk. And the internet, that demon-spawned device connects them to everyone, anyone.
There is no where else to hide. No where else to retreat to to raise them ignorant and contained in insular little communities.
They are looking at us with eyes mixed with hate and pity, wondering why they were denied life because of their parents’ hate.
Liberals will pay for that.
Make sure you take the time to talk with your little ones, block the teen nick channel if you dare on your house cable or satellite tvs and make clear your beliefs and values with your little ones These days. tomorrow may possibly nicely be also late.
Sorry for the lengthy and ominous blog nowadays, but it frightened the crap out of me when I began to study this a bit.
Yes, I totally believe you’ve “studied it”. Your writing demonstrates that thoroughly.
God, help us lead this generation back into the fact and hope of our faith as Christians. Heres to people who are determined to keeping their people on the road and in among the lines of daily life Im encouraging you to discover out far more, evaluation what your little ones are watching from the Pc, to the iPod to the televisions in your property. Consider an Energetic Part and Presume nothing. Its a scary time to be a father or mother, but I feel God has a method and a plan for people of us who take the time and pay attention for it.
Consider the time right now.
Holy Bob, Guardian of Stuff, forgive me for laughing my ass off over pleas like this. It’s just it is so damn funny when someone is literally begging God to try and make history and reality stop so they don’t have to grow and acknowledge reality.
Well that’s some egg on my face. From the entire pearl-clutching freak-out and overproductive nature, I totally assumed a mother and you know what? That’s bad on me.
I fight hard for the right for people to be themselves regardless of gender norms and I cheer this man’s brave stance even as a hyper-repressed Christian to live the gender stereotypes of a hyper-repressed Christian of the opposite sex.
Strike a brave blow, Peace Out brad, for all of us*.
This concludes another Mangotime!
*Which also changes the interpretation immensely. Sure, he’s assuming that a lesbian kiss will make all the girls bi because it’s personally irresistible to him. But that’s because he’s a giant egotist and assumes that just because he finds two young “Hollywood lesbians” locking lips the hottest thing ever, any woman watching will do the same and be unable to resist the brain-washing. I think I preferred the version where he was just a repressed lesbian.
They’re like the Musketeers if instead of famous swordsmen they were guys with douchebeards who thought Austin Powers was a How-to guide on how to pick up women.
*In the Sadly, No! commentariat, there is a long standing meme that when dealing with wingnut articles, it is always best to stay on the boat of the site instead of venturing out for the rotten mangos of the original posts of the nutjobs and psychotics. We here go into that depth of that insanity and bring it all back. Welcome to Mangotime!
Today’s example is shameless nutpicking and so should be read as such. It is an old post by a person on a Pick-up Artist Forum and it received absolutely no attention from the other bottom feeders and that’s since it was originally posted in March of this year.
So why pick it for a complete ripping apart? Because Pick-up Artistry is a really sad and abusive system. Not so much for the women. I mean, it sucks dealing with douchebags who are intentionally douchebags playing off social niceties in order to trap you like a rapist, but it’s more a crime against the men who get sucked up into the world.
Pick-up Artistry is all about selling men a “manly” means of getting “pussy” that sells to lonely or insecure men the fantasy of a suave “player” persona that once they master the art of making themselves a worse person, that they will be getting laid every which way.
When it doesn’t work (because the techniques make you the type of douchebag that many women have learned to stay far away from), you double down on more techniques, being trained to blame it on “cockblockers” (i.e. non-targets who tell you you’re being a douchebag and need to lay off) or “stuck-up bitches” (i.e. targets who refuse to be wowed by the “guaranteed tactics” of being a giant douchebag to her face), because you’re lonely and you are even in more need of a “technique” to have faith in to end the loneliness. When it does work (i.e. when a woman would have slept with the person based on mutual chemistry or appearance), it’s used to justify the “Game” and the techniques and erase all the times it failed, even though the assholic and inherently disingenuous methods make impossible any transition from “prey” to long-term sex or relationship partner and limit what could have been the start of something before you revealed yourself to be an asshole. Not to mention that sex with a partner you’ve inherently trained yourself to view as lesser than you will always feel worse than with someone you view as a mutual partner you are exploring with together.
And since what attracted them to the program is often harder loneliness than “I want to get laid”, they end up getting more and more committed to being worse and worse people because they’re always still lonely even if the techniques occassionally don’t fuck up a hook-up that was already going to happen.
What the programs do offer is homosocial support, and that’s the carrot of the situation. That you will have “bros” who will support you when you make yourself emotionally vulnerable, by demanding you give up any emotional vulnerability thus making relationships and most good sex impossible but getting in return assurances from other men that you are “manlier” than “beta males” as long as you keep fronting your successes as if they were real.
In short, it’s entirely a high school comedy made real where a circle of virgins brag about the earliest and most porntastic way they lost their virginity in order to score points with the other virgins in the circle, each feeling shamed for not being as “successful” and thus more desperate for a “guaranteed technique” to get laid.
But I’ve given enough intro. Let’s jump into our mango:
“How would you game an Asexual?”
Is that like one of those zen riddles? What is the sound of one hand clapping? What is the sound of a handless man fapping?
This thought was born after a friend of mine told me her best friend was asexual and I shouldn’t even try anything.
Respecting orientations is for fags. If he was manly enough then lesbians and asexuals would just be all up on his cock.
Haha fuck that! I’m doing this in the name of Gaming Research! xD
How would the game work on a HB with a low sexual drive?
That’s what I wanna find out.
He has this annoying habit of making every
I’m quoting it here to demonstrate it and will condense them back down in future paragraphs. Also, I’d like to see the Experiment Notes.
Day 25, Balls still blue. Apparently sexual orientations don’t mean should be ignored suggestions.
Though I personally don’t believe I’m experienced enough yet to make this 100 % fair to the Game.
Ah see here the way that the suckers who get sucked into the PUA world learn to self-justify the failures. It’s okay if they didn’t work, it’s not the programs fault, I’m just not good enough yet. After all, Douchey McNeckBeard says it’s guaranteed and if I can’t trust random douchebags who can I trust?
Don’t make me laugh.
But you guys will help me with that So a lil back story: It all really started last year. I had a gig with my band. And when we were backstage I loudly talked about The Game as I had recently discovered it.
Some circles of male friends are douchey enough to be impressed by it. Others smirk at you and laugh at how many more women the bassist is dating by being a strong feminist and being active in the kink scene. Sadly without self-awareness on the part of this man, we’ll never know what this Schroedinger’s Band contains.
I said a pretty stupid thing on my way out to soundcheck, and she heard it. I said “It’s basicly how you fuck a chick in 7 hours” That’s not at all what the game is, I know. But my slow friends didn’t get it so I dumbed it down a lot.
Ah, so it’s the latter. Yes, “not get it”, openly disagree, note the inherent flaws of, notice that this is the person who already isn’t getting laid, such similar concepts. And yeah, I have a lesbian friend who somehow fell into this pit of vipers and she also complains about how we “don’t get it” when we note what a giant bag of fail PUA is and has been for her.
But HB9 was sitting outside when I walked out of the door and said it pretty load and I think she heard. And I thought to myself: “haha fuck, I guess I wont be gaming her anytime soon”
HB9 stands for Hot Blonde 9. See, in the PUA world, the way to get women to like you is to reduce them to numbers and objects. As such, women are ranked from 1-10 in terms of attractiveness (would the man rank himself honestly or be okay with a woman creating a similar ranking system and seeing himself fall crater like to the bottom? Oh hell no, but that’s patriarchy for you) and also reduced to things like hair color. Because if you want to get together with someone, all that really matters is the color of the hair you plan on pulling and how hot the tits you plan on slapping are. And since you apparently get all of your sex advice from pornography and douchebags who think women are numbers and have been trained never to listen to what a woman says she actually wants, I imagine that even if you got a woman into bed, you’d find out damn quick how quickly that was cancelled.
Didn’t really talk to her. But I did find out that she was friends with the person who got us the gig. This person is now a friend of mine and the manager of my band. So through her lately I’ve been spending more time with HB9.
Pissing off the manager of your band and the only person to have pity on your talentless cover band to try to prove that the game can overcome sexuality in pursuing her best friend?
Brilliant business decision.
But no seriously, Pick-up Artistry fucks up people’s lives like this.
We met 2 times after that first gig, where I barely spoke to her at all. But now these 2 last times I started talking to her more. First one was before/after another gig I had. But it was on our way home where I tried to make her open up. Was quite hard actually. I went home with 2 other friends from my class who came to see the gig so I talked with them also. I tried to get her to comment on stuff, and I asked her a few things and I said that she would do something random when she got home
She seems completely not interested in my presence and only tolerating my douche ass because her best friend is directly connected to your less douchey band and this is a way to see her and support her.
Of course, she hasn’t learned to hate all men yet, so can we fix that?
And she said “no i wont do that” and it made her laugh. During the way home I noticed her laugh at what I said and my friends but she was very reserved.
Nervous laughter, feeling less safe, hoping that the man will get the hint?
Bah, why would he notice any of that, he got a laugh reaction, now it was time to bring the hammer down.
She didn’t know us so well so I can understand that. But I wanted to chagne that so I talked to her more and got her to talk and eventually she was talking as much as we were.
Woman not into you? Stalking solves everything. They will truly now what you are about if you keep trying to dominate her space and reveal every nasty mole of your character until she starts researching how restraining orders work. It’s a PUA guaranteed technique.
Seriously though, this is one of the biggies on how PUA techniques make you a worse person. A lot of it is about exploiting social niceties (i.e. when you are talking to someone or they are talking to you it is rude to simply tell them off or call them a dickbag, especially if you are a woman). So when someone tries not to be rude to you and gives you a pity laugh and starts looking for their friends or tries to move away from the person or show disinterest in the conversation, the PUA is urged to dominate the conversation or the space or try and loudly make themselves a constant presence around the woman so that they do not feel they have an escape route. So the woman either is forced to be rude (and thus be a bitch proving the inferiority of the female sex) or politely tolerate the douchebag until she can be rescued by friends that pick up on the subconscious distress (and thus prove that she was totally in his power and that PUA techniques work).
Worst of all, the techniques often stress pressing hard on consent until it becomes non-consent, asking men to ignore deliberate statements and look for “subconscious signs she wants you” that are more based in social niceties and to otherwise try and isolate a woman where she feels less safe to say no and more pressured to just go along with things to make the person go away. This naturally leads to both rape by manipulation and rape by opportunity when things like “she didn’t say no” or “she implied consent when she got drunk at the party after flirting with me” come into play.
And any system that makes anybody less respectful of consent and more exploitative of other people’s good natures is a system designed to make one a particularly vile type of sociopath. And that’s the big problem. How it takes people who are simply privileged and turns them into sociopathic dangers women actually have to develop a self-defense system to and that’s no fun for anyone trying to have a dating scene/hook-up scene that’s actually worth a damn (and why bars with a PUA infestation tend to become guy bars pretty damn fast).
And I hugged her goodbye when her train came and went home with ma buddy. The first thing he said to me when she got on the train was “Man she was hot! I had difficulties not staring!” and we laughed.
This is who PUA is for. Not for the ladies, not even for the man who is lonely. It’s so the PUA can bond with that one douchey friend and be raised in their esteem. And we all know who that one douchey friend is. They’re the ones who every time someone in the friend circle gets into a long-term relationship makes constant jokes about the person being “whipped” and “was being made her bitch”. The ones who constantly ask creepy questions about what it is like to be fucking their girlfriends. The ones who call anyone who is in a relationship a fag pansy who’s lost their balls and constantly berate their fellow members for not being enough of a man.
You know, the eternal virgin who is going to come out as gay in 10 years? Yeah, well, thanks to male social conditioning, that one guy has a lot of power in any friend circle and can be a strong incentive for a man to start really upping the douchery around their main partner so that they won’t lose the respect of a douchebag.
Ah well, at least they’ll have each other to cuddle next to and yell “no homo” at.
The second time was yesterday at this other gig I had. I noticed her in the crowd when I was getting ready on stage and I made a little nod with my head to say hello and continued with what I was doing. It was a fun gig and I think being on stage with my band served as a DHV and that I help with the screams this time might have added some DHV as well.
DHV is a PUA term meaning “Demonstration of Higher Value”. You may know it better as “that thing a douchebag shows off to demonstrate they have a small penis and are over-compensating. Such as an SUV, fast sports car, or in this case a band who is actively planning to replace a certain member as soon as they find a replacement.
Remember, PUA is an equal-opportunity program. It dehumanizes men and women alike.
After the gig she walked past me to go up to the second floor and gave me thumbs up. I went up later and spent some time with the band and our friends She was sitting at this table with our manager and drinking some beer and
She showed basic courtesy and hung out with her best friend who is probably the only person she really knows at the bar? Why doesn’t she just drop her panties like the slut she is?
I stood there a little behind her.
Not at all creepy.
Hello, little girl, your hair smells nice.
Not creepy at all.
I was just relaxing and not really talking to anyone when she opened me with “You look happy and lively”
Polite small talk? My words, if there wasn’t a stronger sign that she wanted to suck your cock, I have never heard of it. Go man! Fly like a proud eagle cock first down her throat!
I take that as an IOI. I answered. Don’t remember what I said though. But not much time after that I decided to start Gaming.
Oh my fucking Bob in Himmel, I was joking!
And for those of you not fluent in douchebag, IOI means indicator of interest. If you turn everything into a TLA then everything is 5 by 5 and official sounding as if there was some actual science and gravitas to the proceeding rather than a bunch of douchebags trying to make stalker/rapist tactics seem legitimate.
There was a girl standing next to me aswell. So I started talking to her and slightly turning my back on HB9. I made her laugh and I DHV’D quite well. I noticed HB9 laughing also, I was talking pretty loud. It was my intent for her to hear what I said. I then suddenly remembered a trick with a pen I had learned from something the other girl said, so I asked if she had a pen. She did, I then showed her the trick and asked if she could do it from only seeing me do it. It looks easy when you observe, but when you try it yourself it’s really hard!
She was laughing in my presence, possibly at my obvious lameness and the fact that I was talking to a chick really loudly while occassionally pointedly looking back at her like some 9 year old throwing a passive-aggressive tantrum.
And yes, why would you throw this douche away, he’s part of a band and he knows a single magic trick. Why he’s shown absolutely no negatives other than being a massive tool who thinks he’s god’s gift to women now that he’s mastered the art of being a dick (with acronyms!).
I decided to turn around and make HB9 try I aswell.
Do it! Or else you get the hose again!
Oh, PUAs, how you wonder why “uppity women” look on you with the same fondness they would have for serial killers.
After that I ran the ESP gambit(other girl), 5 Lies game (HB9), “How many 9’s between 1-100” (both) Kino Gambit (both)
This is just sad. This is how deep in the hole he is. He’s not getting laid, but he’s learned so much of the Douche Lingo, that he’s rattling it off like a pro. This is a man slipping down in the spiral and unaware of what’s going on. By the reactions of those around him, his band, his manager friend, the asexual woman, and a number of others around him are aware of the self-destructive system but haven’t felt like wrestling with the beast to really try and get him to wake up.
This is a man who is being trained to be bitter as his “cool factor” fades and the women become less and less willing to give him social niceties because of the few non-douchey connections he hasn’t scared away yet. And I doubt any of his friends could save him out of it, because only PUA techniques will give him what he needs, at least that’s what he’s convinced himself.
But this is a humor deconstruction, so let’s consult the douche to human dictionary to see what he said.
ESP Gambit- A party trick where you “guess a number” in someone’s head between 1-10 and it being either 3 or 7. This will usually give you polite laughter especially if the person has been drinking and to the PUA, laughter might as well be a request for the PUA to rape you the next time you need to go pee.
5 lies game- Oh boy, how to explain the dumbassery in this one. You bet a girl a drink to play a “5 lies game” where everything they respond needs to be a lie. So you ask some questions and then ask “how many questions did I ask” or “have you played this before”. Basically, the less interested the person is, the less likely to put up with it and thus the more likely you can claim you “won the bet” asking them to buy you a drink and thus demand more of their time as they wait for the bartender to give them their drink or as they argue with the douchebag that they never agreed to the bet. So it sets up a debate in the woman over if it’s worth it to try and argue with a dangerous idiot and risk them turning violent, obsessive, or just dominating your time arguing about a stupid thing and thus blocking your ability to enjoy your night out or to just give in, give him the drink and hope he’ll go away but thus giving him an “in” to monopolize more of your time, because “you showed interest”.
If you think these “techniques” seem to be arguing that a woman should never speak to a man at a bar they don’t want to talk to just in case they decide they want to monopolize and ruin their entire evening. Well, then ding ding ding, you’ve won our grand prize.
This naturally sets up rants about the “stuck-up bitches at the clubs” “who think they’re better than men” and “need to be taught a lesson”.
This is how PUAs simultaneously make nights-out less fun for everyone while also turning the PUA into a worse person who blames women for all their problems.
But we’re not done with the dictionary.
How many 9’s between 1-100- I bet you never knew that puzzle book trick-questions could be weaponized did you? Yeah, same deal as before. Make a stupid bet, make them decide if it’s worth debating with a moron instead of getting back to their evening. Ask a question designed to lead to a 10 answer rather than a 20 answer especially if it’s loud and you’ve been drinking. Pout if they get it right, but turn that into a sign of interest because they cared enough to pay attention to you. If you think these are the tactics of a 5 year old demanding the family pay attention to them more and threatening to cry if the answer is “mommy’s busy trying to keep your daddy from bleeding out”, then congratulations, you’re smarter than any of the people who got sucked into this system. And yeah, all of them are designed as “win-wins” if the “win-win” is they are forced to spend more time in your presence absorbing just how much of a collosal tool you are.
Kino Gambit- And here’s where we move from dumb party tricks to the actual rape level stuff. Basically, kino gambit and kino in general means unwanted touching. It’s where you touch a woman without them giving consent and if they don’t fight back, you escalate until you are pawing their breasts in public. If they do react and fight back, then publicly chide them for being a crazy bitch and go back to publicly molesting them at a later time. There’s no getting around this one. It’s a fucking rape technique at best, and public molestation at worst. I’m sure the person who publicly molested me (I froze at the time) was just Kino gambiting to the point where he was rubbing himself against my leg (I had no idea what was going on at the time, but my friends seemed to think it was okay, so…yeah, I was an idiot, but I didn’t receive the same training most women go through at adolescence to passively escape and signal escape and so was mostly left confused).
And no, it’s not designed to do jack shit other than freeze a woman who isn’t used to being publicly molested in front of her friends. Like think about the logic of this man here. How was touching her, hell, touching this random woman he wasn’t even interested in, going to make this asexual want him. Ooh, the way you put your hand on her thigh even though she’s trying to slide away and she never gave you consent is making me panties melt with the sheer power of how wet I am?
Fuck no, it’s about establishing dominance and the unstated threat that shit can escalate in a nasty direction if she puts up a fight.
And sadly, there’s nothing funny about that.
But since he luckily struck out as most PUAs do, let us laugh at the blue-balled wanna-be-rapist.
They laughed so much and it all went really smoothly. I felt good and the vibe was nice.
Yes, their nervous laughter and on guard body language told me I was in like flint.
Note to douchebags, this:
is not interest. Nor a “good vibe”. And that warm feeling in your gut is just booze, not top secret “she wants me” rays.
I continued talking to both but giving HB9 a little more attention now. I had kino’d her from the start, but escalated further. I remember when I first started kino was when I reached my hand over to take something. My hand brushed over her and she quickly withdrew her hand. But later on when I had continued with the kino touching her hand wasn’t a problem. She had something written on her wrist, so I took her wrist and asked her what it was. I noticed she wasn’t “giving” her wrist away 100 % but enough atleast. I negged her a few times. Had her friend sit in my lap while talking to her and making her laugh and being playful with small negs.
I’m trying to imagine this scenario and having it look anything like a combination of a molestation and the worst date of most people’s lives (this one’s still worse though).
So he starts molesting her from behind, touching and leaning all over her. Bitching at her constantly about not letting him paw all over her like a drunken buffoon and demanding to see the notes written on her wrist. Forcing his manager to sit on his lap and negging her (real world definition insulting, specifically in calculated ways to undermine self-esteem often with deniability of “I was only kidding” so that she’s the “bitch” if she raises a fuss).
I really don’t see how this wouldn’t end in her practically draping her panties over his head. Why for it not to work, women would have to be actual people rather than malfunctioning sexbots who feed on douchebaggery and the Neckbeard Quartet assured me that could never be the case.
That is… (duh duh DUH!!!) Unless we let the feminazis win!
After a few hours we were getting hungry so we left to find some food (not only HB9 and me, but about 5 others). On the way I was walking a bit from the group with her by my side. And we talked and the conversation was quite smooth. I noticed she was quite the talker after all. I was thinking about if I had recieved anymore IOI’s because I caught myself not even being aware if I got any.
Yes, the terrified woman planning to never again see her friend anywhere near the band she’s promoting did indeed “talk”, well around him, with the 5 others and while he’s been looking for any sign of laughter or anything he can interpret as an excuse to molest her further he can’t “remember any”. It’s almost like he’s terrified the soul right out of her and she’s quickly forgetting what joy even felt like.
I remembered that her pupils were dilated when she spoke to me. But that could easily be because of the dim light. I felt stupid for not watching out for IOI’s, I easily forget to do that. But I remembered her holding eye contact with me for long times. Even if we weren’t talking.
Oh my god, this is so horrible and I am so horrible for laughing at it.
I mean, it’s godawful. This is the most obvious visual sign for straight up, balls to the wall terror and he’s reporting it verbatim like “hey, maybe this was a sign she was interested in me, she was looking at me with wide fright-filled eyes to make sure I wasn’t going to try and sneak up behind her and molest her again, maybe that means she’ll fuck me.”
But I can’t stop laughing. He’s been so trained in this world of complete douchery that he can’t even recognize the most obvious of body language anymore. Even human concepts like fear pass him by, but no he’s going to prove that the Game can breach the sexuality barrier. Puh-leez.
I decided to stop talking to see if she would start the conversation again. She didn’t. But it felt more like she had already said everything on her mind and were struggling to come up with something to say.
She felt “please God let me go” would be too rude and she had long since learned that any small talk would just make the creepy guy more interested in her. So she’s been trained to respond to nothing. To sit there in utter fear, not responding to anything and giving as little possible human interaction as possible in the hopes that that would stop the asshole.
Geez, why must these bitches be all frigid and coy with their feelings, amirite douchebros? Hi-oh!
I asked a friend infront of us where we were heading. He answered and then looked back and said “Haha look at those two. They look so great together. You’d think they were a couple!” And the others agreed.
And then we all high-fived and they said I had a giant penis and get laid like 50 million times every night and then I rode off on a rocket ship to Mars, but it wasn’t a rocket ship it was Optimus Prime and he was giving me a blowjob, but not in a gay way and it was awesome! And totally happened.
I said “I doubt that” (was this the right response? Maybe I should’ve laughed while I said it.)
Is this a human moment?
Some last vestige of humanity struggling against the PUA brainwashing?
But then I grabbed her and pulled her towards me and held her a bit while we were walking like we were couple and made some silly sounds that made her laugh. Then I released.
And no points for guessing that both her hands were pushing hard against him as he was doing this.
Almost everything was closed. But we found one place, but only 2 in the group bought anything. So while we waited for their food I chatted with her and the others. And man, did I make them laugh. Watching a beautiful woman laugh so hard and you know it’s thanks to you sure does feel nice.
Then you’ve learned to take pleasure in the only pleasure you’ll ever bring women.
The joy of laughing at your immense and unsubtle douchebaggery.
Also, has any PUA anywhere acknowledged that getting drunk people to laugh has to be one of the 3 easiest things in the world to do. I’ve made a drunk person laugh simply by looking at them with a blank face. Ain’t fucking difficult.
After a while all of us went home, she and I took the same train, but only one station. And this time I said something like
She actually lived 10 stations away, but that one station was the longest station of her life and didn’t want to risk re-enacting a Japanese hentai.
Wait, he said something, didn’t he. Well, how bad could it b-
“I know what you’re going to when you get home! You’re going straight for your computer, then 4chan, then you’re going to search for nasty shit all night”
Also remember this is an asexual woman.
Words cannot even begin to sum up the douchery inherent in this sentence. So I’ll leave it up to the commenters. I’m counting on you people!
She laughed and said she would go straight for bed. Then I said something and hugged her goodbye. I barely had the time to finish my sentence before the train had arrived at the station.
Her night of horror thus complete, she retired to her bed, thankful to have escaped intact.
Immediately after I thought “Ah man! I should have given her a kiss on the cheek”
Keep it classy, douchebro.
Which I earlier that night had touched gently with the back of my hand, It was when we were “fightning”. It was very playful. I also flicked her off at some point. Flicking chicks off never fail to give me the reaction I want. It opens up for kino a lot!
Flicking off chicks is an opening for publicly groping them and otherwise unwantedly touching them?
What is the atmosphere like on your planet? Is it green? I’ve always wondered what a green sky would be like.
Also, I said keep it classy.
I’ve never tried flicking off someone i’ve never spoken to though. But I just flick them off with this kinda “Oh! did i just flick you off? I think i just did” expression on my face.
Well, that sold me. I’d fuck him. Flick me off my Romeo! Flick me off so well!
They usually respond like “You messing? Huh? come on I can take you” And then we “fight” and I can kino a lot.
And then she begged me to let her suck my cock, but I was “bitch, please, you’re only an 8” and then she said, “well what if I got my hot friend and we double teamed you” and I swear it was a true story Penthouse!
But about that kiss on her cheek. Should I give her one the next time we meet? Or will it maybe show to much interest of be bad in some way? I’ll continue with how it goes with HB9 in this thread in the future! Cya later!
Why wait, let’s look now!
Okay update time! I talked with my friend yesterday about HB9 and got to know some interesting things. One thing was that he thought that if i’d kiss her on the cheek she would never talk to me again and cut off all connections with the band.
Well, seeing as she was being razzed the entire evening to treat her light molestation as joshing between drunk acquaintances, yeah, I can see that. What with that continued escalation into “no shit he was trying to rape you” that being the only way she’d be able to call the dick off. Fuck, she’s being pretty well natured not doing that already after that metric fuckton of douchery.
I felt like that was to drastic. Even though I also learned that she has never been in a relationship or even kissed someone it would still be to drastic.
Shyeah! Drastic buzzkill dude! I mean just because I knew she was an asexual, monopolized her time with her best friend like a creepy stalker and have shown a strong willingness to escalate is no reason to try and escape my presence, brah! I bet she’s like a dyke or something!
He said we looked great together in the name of game btw. He didn’t really think so, but he’s natural gamer so I guess he knew that would be a good thing to say. He also told me that the best friend of HB9 was really surprised over the fact that HB9 was walking alone with me a few meters away from the group and that she took the subway alone with me. Apparently she has never done something like that except for one time with the friend I just spoke of (the guy not the best friend) and he told me that he heard that HB9 did find it extremely awkward.
And like he slapped me on the back and called me a real man for believing in the Game and becoming a douchebag…even though everything he said was about how his creepy douchery had made the woman in question whether or not she still wanted to hang out with her busy friend and a band presumably made of people who didn’t suck.
Self-awareness. Do you has it?
He told me that she trys to avoid being alone with guys she doesn’t know, but she didn’t avoid me. Wich suprised her best friend alot. I take these things as great IOI’s!
Of course you did.
She took out a restraining order. This means I’m even closer to getting her panties!
Also, why do women treat guys who approach all creepy like like potentially dangerous stalkers/rapists. That’s really unfair. Women should be more trusting of guys good intentions and treat them kindly and with good cheer! (/elevatorgate)
But that she would cut me off if I had given her the kiss of the cheek worries me. Seems to drastic, but he made it sound like he was so sure that was how she was going to react. But I will not think about that. I’ll label that under cockblock.
If others warn you you are a creepy douchebag who’s scaring the ladies and risking your non-romantic connections, label it under cockblock and devote yourself more fully to the PUA. People trying to save you from the spiral are just trying to push you out of the Game, brah! Don’t let them, only by becoming Master Sociopath will you finally reach the pinnacle of the man-heap and thus be allowed to touch the breasts of the hottest women which will totally make worth it all the blue-balled nights alone and becoming the type of person that women have to warn their friends about.
But now that I know that she never even have kissed a guy I will try to build up alot, I mean alot of comfort before I do anything. If I even do anything. I know that building to much comfort and then not escalating might put me in the friends zone, but with this girl I don’t care. Apparently she’s going to start working for the band so if her relationship with me is weird the whole band suffers.
Oh I don’t think you have to worry about being put in the “Friends Zone”. I’m pretty sure, you’re never going to be in the “Friends Zone” with that woman ever in your life. But if you’re lucky, your lame cover band won’t lose it’s manager and maybe if you can keep from perving over the ASEXUAL then they might not throw you out of the band immediately rather than right after they find anyone else to replace you.
And yeah, given this guy’s (and all PUA’s) ideas of subtle, I’m looking at a train collision in the near future of that post between what he had important in his life and his douchery.
So i’ll be careful. What do you guys think?
I don’t know. He didn’t post much on the forums and he had no more “updates” on his plan to change a person’s sexual orientation through molestation/stalking, so maybe we can dream of a better world.
A world where his non-douchey friends staged an intervention, where they really hit him hard with how much his douchery nearly ruined it for everyone and cost him good friends. Or maybe he lost that band position and everything with it and it humbled him into questioning the Game and actually being a decent person instead.
I like to imagine that maybe he escaped the self-destructive spiral and began rebuilding his potentially Asperger’s level of empathy into something resembling a human. That maybe absent the reinforcing habits of other PUA true-believers, he learned how to see women as people and respect their orientations and bodies as something other than a possession to perv over.
I like to imagine this more than the more likely contrary. That he simply sunk deeper into his behavior and blaming his alienation or likely rejection from his band on “vindictive women” and has merely graduated to more bitter PUA or MRA threads to vent himself on. Or that he has sadly been kept on and the band, the asexual woman, and the manager simply are having less enjoyable and more guarded lives for having to deal with the douchebag. Or Bob forbid, some poor woman decided to take pity on him and tried to “fix him”, thus being dragged down and emotionally abused and drained for being in a relationship with them (my partner learned that lesson the hard way).
Let us instead imagine that he escaped. Is less douchey now, is no longer being encouraged to become an even worse person, to let women be themselves rather than trying to find a way to take shocked silence and small talk as an invitation to molest.
Perhaps it’s even true.
See, not every Mangotime! has a sad ending*.
*There’s a cute kitten somewhere in the world who has cancer. Damn it! I was so close!
If you can’t trust a supposedly straight man with a gay porn stache, who can you trust?
*In the Sadly, No! commentariat, there is a long standing meme that when dealing with wingnut articles, it is always best to stay on the boat of the site instead of venturing out for the rotten mangos of the original posts of the nutjobs and psychotics. We here go into that depth of that insanity and bring it all back. Welcome to Mangotime!
Today’s example is h/t Substance McGravitas and is perfectly tailored for me.
Let’s dive in shall we?
I have the utmost sympathy for men and women who feel they are trapped in the wrong body.
Nuh uh, I’m not a bigot.
At the same time, Western society is heading in the direction of what can only be called transgender insanity, or transanity for short.
I just play one on TV.
Consider these recent examples.
Oh goodie, an idiot who doesn’t fully want to seem like a bigot grossed out by the very notion of transgender people is going to show us what he considers to be “bridges too far” and examples of transgendered insanity. Be afraid, people, be very afraid.
1) In England, two married men (and fathers) divorced their wives and began living together as a gay couple, after which they decided to identify as a transsexual “lesbian” couple (yes, male “lesbians”), after which one of the men had sex-change surgery, which makes them eligible to be married as husband and wife, even though the husband still identifies as a woman
You’ll notice first off that wingnuts hate citing the things they reference or if they must, they’ll cite other wingnuts’ reactions. Likely because they fear that exposing their readers might accidentally make their arguments look like the complete idiocy that they are.
Luckily for us, he is a talented enough moron to do the job for us. Yeah, two people divorce the partners they weren’t actually sexually or romantically attracted to and went with themselves, escaping the bigotry keeping them from acknowledging themselves until kids had already gotten into the equation. Most people would see this as a strong reason for greater acceptance so people could acknowledge who they are earlier and start living that sooner instead of dragging people into a lie of a life.
But not Brown, he’s down with Medieval-era Catholic Church. Once you marry, you’re married for life, and he doesn’t care if it isn’t what you really want, that’s what stableboys are for!
Also, Michael, Michael, Michael, talk about screwing up your initial front of “understanding the transsexual” and not being a bigot, when in the first example, you show yourself completely unable to understand transsexuality 101 (hint: they aren’t male lesbians, they are lesbians and transwomen).
And yeah, trans people end up exploiting all sorts of loopholes in the desperate attempt to keep the queers from marrying, loopholes that make a mockery of your “no queers” allowed stances on gay marriage.
No sense getting mad at the queers for that. Don’t want to be made to look like an idiot supporting stupid laws? Don’t support stupid laws.
2) Chaz Bono recently received criticism from the transgender daughter/son of Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, born Kaitlyn but now, at age 19, known as Stephen.
Your second example is something a 19 year old said?
Also, why is this so shocking it needs to be the lead? My word, did you know that the transgender community is not monolithic like the bigoted community?!? And that liberals have internal debates and criticize each other?!? Have you heard of anything so unseemly?
(Remember that Chaz, who remains female from the waist down, danced as a male on Dancing with the Stars, raising the legitimate question: What constitutes male or female?)
It’s almost like the state of your genitals has nothing to do with what sex you are inside or what your mental sex says you are. Hey, if you didn’t want to be mocked for not understanding Trans 101, you shouldn’t have opened like you were some friendly old pal to the trans community just shocked into gobsmackitude by these kids today, donchaknow.
After Chaz had explained that being transgender could be likened to having a “mismatched” brain and body, similar to a “birth defect like a cleft palate,” Stephen wrote on his blog that, “Chaz is a misogynist. He is a trans man who seems to believe that his female-assignedness and his female socialisation makes him immune from being a misogynist, and he is manifestly wrong.”
Yeah, that’s the amazing thing about quoting two disparate statements with no links, you can make it seem like someone is just leaping down someone else’s throat with no reason.
So what went down?
Okay, not going into it fully, here’s the link to Steven’s actual long post explaining his views on Chaz Bono.
Overall, despite it’s inflammatory title, it’s basically about the nature of conflict about having imperfect “spokespeople” be the “public face” of a little known group. A) That it’s good that they’re out there and how we want to defend them against the bigotry that gets hurled at them for being who they are and support what they get right, but B)that they can be imperfect and unfortunately reinforce other horseshit.
Steven’s main trigger is that Chaz called being trans a birth defect to explain it which maybe wasn’t the best word, but hey, different people take it differently and unlike the right, when you say something potentially offensive, people will comment on it. But the reason he calls Chaz a misogynist is related to other comments of Chaz’s where he basically argues that all men are hornier than all women, and that women are talkative gossipy stereotypes that the T! (duh duhduh!) has made him unable to deal with now that he’s all manified.
Basically, I’m losing the comedy flow here, because it’s all about holding our spokespeople to a higher standard on the left and trying to improve them out of wallowing in whatever privileges they do have and supporting the full community. Each person has their own tolerance for that in what they forgive or focus on. I won’t say that Steven is wrong, he’s actually correct, though I would argue that it’s more an issue of privilege fail (i.e. unconscious absorption of cultural narratives).
Anyways, so one transman criticized another transman for some unconscious misogyny and this is insane because…?
And how does Stephen describe “himself”? He is “a gay trans man for whom both identities are equally important, a white anti-racist, a feminist, and a poet.”
That’s not really saying anything-Oh, right, wingnut land, sorry. I’m sure, he just saw the words gay, anti-racist, and feminist and his mind clouded pink with random rage. Grr, my readers have been trained to hate these things and forget they have actual meanings, this will make a great example.
So, rather than remain Kaitlyn and be a young woman attracted to men, Stephen (who is still female) identifies as a gay man
Yeah, that’s how it works, trans 101. It’s almost like it’s about what people are internally and being true to that, rather than what would make your life experientially easier. A man with a brain might suspect that this might argue in favor of transsexuality being a real thing rather than something trans people invented to piss of wingnuts, but Michael Brain is not that man.
as well as a feminist.
I love this little end to the line. “As well as a feminist”. He identifies as a gay man AND a feminist, but how can this be? You can see his mind reeling in horror as he has to confront that the real world has nothing to do with the straw-man of feminists as man-hating women just trying to be bitches and that feminism might actually really be about the treatment of women as full human beings. No! That can’t be! His identification must be a contradiction for not following our straw-men! Also, he’s a girl, he’s got girl parts!
Keep it classy, Browny!
3) Dan Savage is a gay sex columnist and a vocal critic of traditional Judeo-Christian morals, best known today for spearheading the “It Gets Better” campaign.
Oh, oh, no, you really didn’t want to combine your slam against Dan Savage with acknowledging his role in one of the most inoffensive anti-bullying campaigns out there right now. Yeah, he’s against judeo-christian values like telling gay kids to kill themselves now, because it’ll never get better!
Juxtaposition, how does it work?
Recently, he became the target of trans activists who glitter bombed him twice in November. He was branded a “transphobe” for using terms like “shemale” and referring to “freak tranny porn” (although Savage, on his part, claims that he was simply repeating words used by a questioner in his audience).
So, two of his examples are basically his shock that liberals don’t march in lockstep with each other like conservatives? Really doing your case proud there Browny when you show yourself more out of touch with reality than Marie Antoinette. Yes, liberals argue with each other and strive to improve their heroes rather than fetishizing them and hailing their fuckups as the standard we all must aspire to. It’s almost like we aren’t authoritarian tools just looking for a Leader.
Oh, right, the Dan Savage thing. Dan Savage is a great activist for a number of issues, his “It Gets Better” Project is fantastic. He also frequently fails on issues of sexism, asexuality, transsexuality, transgender issues, ableism, and so on. He’s imperfect and he fucks up, people call him on that, some people have written him off entirely because of that and have demonstrated directly.
One of his critics, writing on the Bilerico Project, is Tobi Hill-Meyer, whose bio states, “Tobi Hill-Meyer is just about your average multiracial, pansexual, transracially inseminated queerspawn, genderqueer, transdyke, colonized mestiza, pornographer, activist, writer.”
(Whistling softly while I look at my own header).
Also love the wingnut consistent shock at people having long descriptions. Yeah, that’s part of explaining where you come from. If we didn’t assume that everyone was a white straight man from default, Browny would have to regularly identify himself as a “caucasian, monoamorous (with regular non-negotiated trips to the truck stop), transracially inseminated (and how), but with hardworking repressed parents, cissexual, cisgendered, transvestite (only at parties), publicly heterosexual, American supporter of colonialism, pornography customer, “activist” for cash, and proud recipient of wingnut welfare for “writing” often with a big black dildo up his butt”.
But he doesn’t, because unless you say otherwise, you are assumed, straight white male family man, no matter how many bathroom dicks you suck.
And yeah, all those words mean something, you could look them up and learn, or you can pretend long descriptions make someone an unperson.
Ah, I see you’ve chosen the latter.
Does this qualify as transanity?
Two internal community critiques and a transsexual lesbian community who had to stagger their sex changes so they could marry by British law, yes, truly the height of the horrors that could happen with transsexuality.
All that rampant child molestation, regular molestation, murder, and insanity we regularly argue would happen if we gave trans people any rights? Um, well, look at that long list of self-descriptors in that one girl’s blog! Isn’t that silly?
(And yeah, I swear half of the reason for conservative resistance to minority rights is based around having to learn and respect that everyone isn’t just a white male default. How dare other people than me exist, this must not stand!)
Before you dismiss all this as totally fringe, remember that Chastity/Chaz Bono is a very public figure
Yeah, but Chaz Bono was the subject of that one article, or are you arguing that one person noting that he wasn’t a perfect spokesman somehow just cancel him because we are apparently working by Calvinball logic.
that in 2006, New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority ruled that men who identified as women could use the ladies bathrooms at all subway stations
Women can use women’s bathrooms? In certain limited areas, depending on state or specific institution law and how willing they are to risk potential harassment from bigots?
Will this violence against straight, white, cisgendered people, never end?!?
Also, yeah, the argument against is always that said women are somehow a threat to the “regular” women, yet it turns out that transpeople just want to shit and the signs on the doors don’t really keep out people who plan on raping or assaulting someone in a bathroom and so most bathroom pervs tend to just dress normally rather than risking being beat up as a tranny. But hey, why let reality ruin a great scare tactic?
that more and more TV shows are normalizing (and even celebrating) transgenderism
DEGRASSI! Where will fans of cisgender characters go now that this show and the handful of others with trans characters have apparently eliminated all non-trasn characters from all television and movies? Where?!? Tell me!
and that, in one high school, a male teen was voted class queen while in another school, a female teen was voted class king.
MASS HYSTERIA! Why it’s almost like people are starting to notice that some of the strict enforced gender horseshit is kinda stupid and it’s almost like your real issue with transgender people is how they make a mockery of your view of gender essentialism. Where women are women BY NATURE and men are men BY NATURE and both follow 1950s gender stereotypes BY NATURE and only are attracted to each other BY NATURE.
Also, seriously, why do you care about what one high school does and… fuck you’re probably talking about two transpeople being elected queen and king and are doing that annoying little “if I refuse to believe they are their correct gender, then they aren’t and thus are silly for thinking they aren’t what I think they are and acting the way I think they should act” thing again, aren’t you?
Keep it classy, Browny. Keep it classy.
And let’s not forget that Massachusetts just passed a radical transgender bill
DING DING DING.
We have the source of butthurt, people. This here is the reason for the entire article.
So what’s this “radical” bill that is so nefarious he can only really talk about how radical and wrong it is?
It’s a Non-Discrimination Bill. Pretty standard too. Can’t fire a trans person for being trans, can’t throw them out of their lodging for being trans, can’t deny them public education they would have otherwise qualified for for being trans, etc…And yeah, it’s all about public spaces and public law.
So yeah, the evil insanity of transpeople thinking they can be out as transpeople without being fired and discriminated against.
according to which, “’Gender identity’ shall mean a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.” (Yes, this is now the legal definition in Massachusetts.)
And you know, the accepted legal definition of a transgender person. You know, how to legally define an umbrella term for all those who fall outside the gender binary or present themselves as a sex other than their birth whether or not they identify as such or not.
It’s also about gender identity in general so it protects cisgendered people from being harassed for being cisgendered by roving bands of genderqueer thugs or fired from their jobs for their filthy cisgendered habits by their bigoted transgendered bosses.
Huh, why don’t these staunch defenders against “minority overreach” never cheer those much needed protections from the “attacks” against them.
Is it all just bullshit to try and make their desire to see “weird” people punished for not being “standard” sound like a principled self-defense rather than naked bigotry?
That’d be unpossible! No conservative would ever stoop that low!
The MassResistance website
SPLC recognized hate group says what?
explains that that the bill, “Forces charter schools to allow cross-dressing and other transgender behavior by students, and to include that in their published non-discrimination statement.”
And you sent them to charter school to be away from filthy poor, non-white, non-straight, or non-cisgendered people!
And yeah, shock of shocks, the recognized hate group with the long history of lies is lying (I know!). Like with every non-discrimination bill known to man, “charter schools” are “forced” to comply if they accept government money. The deal is simply, want to be a bigoted private institution? Then don’t demand government money or government preferential treatment for it! But of course, they are protesting for their god-given right to take government money while giving a hearty fuck you to state and federal law.
Fly proud brave segregation supporters! Fly proud!
MassResistance also warns, “You could soon see your day-care provider, second-grade teacher, waiter, school bus driver, store clerk, etc. be a man wearing a skirt and lipstick, possibly with hormone-enhanced breasts” (their emphasis).
Be scared. Be scared. Be scared.
Yes, if we don’t bury all transpeople far out of sight and prevent them from getting any jobs and surviving in the world, ideally until they die of suicide, hate crime, or starvation, then we might not have to acknowledge that they are normal people, capable of doing the same jobs as anyone else and may even be people you end up knowing and respect.
Also, love how the hate group lead off with “we are so dogwhistling ‘transpeople are child molestors’ and then backed off into looking like an idiot”.
My word, they could be a store clerk or a waiter? Why those could be occupations I have momentary interactions with and should have no damn concern if they are employed there other than a desire to have knowledge of real people hidden from me at all times!
I especially like the “waiter” one. Yes, they could infect YOUR FOOD with their transgendered waves, causing you to become inherently queerer by the second. Why you might even start wondering if your ultra-macho front isn’t just a sad attempt to hide your flaming homosexuality or the fact that you don’t think feminine pursuits makes your balls fall off.
And then where will we be, people?
WHERE WILL WE BE?
But why this should surprise us? After all, the mayor of Silverton, Oregon, Stu Rasmussen, was first elected as a fairly typical, heterosexual male, but then, after “acquiring cleavage,” he was reelected as a heterosexual, cross-dressing, cleavage-flaunting man (who has a girlfriend too).
My word, it’s like people don’t inherently fit in the neat little boxes we proscribe for them and such people refuse to hide themselves away from polite society.
And there’s not enough bigots around to keep them hidden and denied! They’re even getting political offices, what’s next? Forced sex changes for conservative pundits? It would be irresponsible not to wildly conjecture like a paranoid crazy person!
No seriously, it’s not his argument, but a lot of wingnuts seem to be unable to grasp that something not being “banned and unacknowledged” doesn’t make it “mandatory for everyone”.
He did come under criticism for one specific incident, though, and in August 3, 2009, he was censured by the city council after making an appearance at a children’s meeting in an inappropriate outfit, specifically, an open-backed bathing suit, a mini-skirt, and high-heels. Yet those criticizing Mayor Stu were careful to point out that they had no problem with him dressing as a woman at this children’s meeting. They only had a problem with him dressing immodestly as a woman.
Yeah! They should have censured him for being a freak! In front of children no less! Won’t someone think of the children!
What you say? Spending over 30 years using children as a thinly veiled tool to argue that most of human experience be hidden from the entire public because “children might find out” but really because you want certain people and things hidden has made people less sympathetic to that argument?
Well fuck, conservatives sure are fucked now. That’s pretty much all they’ve got.
Oh and Stu’s “scandalous miniskirt”?
Tame. As. Fuck.
And not actually complained about by the children, but rather a single parent who probably was already freaking out that her child was learning that transpeople don’t have horns and the smell of sulfur like her mommy told her.
This is nothing less than transanity.
Okay, so now we have more definitions of this word. It now refers to two accounts of internal liberal arguments trying to improve our spokesmen, a couple working through the stupid ban on gay marriage so they can get married and thus reveal the attempts to block it as the dumb bigoted nonsense they are, a transgendered mayor getting hassled by a skirt that wouldn’t be looked twice at if he was a cisgendered female teacher (my eighth grade teacher wore shorter miniskirts), and of course, trans people thinking they are allowed to exist in public without being denied jobs and housing and otherwise being discriminated to death.
I do not think this word means what you think it does.
In fact, it seems to be suggesting a definition of:
“The act of reducing a wingnut to babbled half-thought out objections to the very notion of transpeople living lives without official state-level rebuke for daring to exist and thus demonstrate the fiction of their views of gender essentialism”.
Okay, Mikey McBrownington, you’ve aligned yourself with one of the top anti-gay hate groups in America, one which has been listed as an official hate group and you’ve basically bitched about trans people not acting like authoritarians and daring to exist.
Let’s have a huge finale. Drum roll.
When the MTA made its 2006 transgender bathroom ruling, Gloria David, a retiree from Connecticut, remarked, “I would not like that. I have nothing against gay men or drag queens, but they can use the men’s room. I just don’t want to go to the bathroom next to a man.”
Nice. Good strong start. We’ve got a random quote likely fisked from a newspaper article from the time you’ve got stored on your desktop to remind you of when the anti-gay racket was booming strong and bringing in the sweet sweet lucre and using it like the random nutjob they brought in to “show both sides of the debate” was an actual authoritative voice. This is the pure wingnut insanity we crave.
Today, Ms. David’s perfectly understandable comments would be labeled transphobic.
Yes, keep it up! Beautiful demonstration of complete lack of self-awareness. Why yes, the bigoted ramblings of an old woman from another state whose confused and scared reactions to things she’s been trained by people like you to fear would be labeled transphobic. In fact, that’s kind of why she was quoted, because newspapers aren’t allowed to say, “trans people want the right to pee, but some random assholes are preventing it because they want to dick with them and make money promoting fear of The Other”. Instead, every article nowadays must be “X says X, but Y says Y, this issue is hotly debated, who is right? Who knows? We’re not here to step on toes by figuring out the answer”. If the modern press tried to tackle lynching it would be:
“Mother of the victim said it was a travesty of a crime and the perpetrators brought to justice, but a local spokesman for the KKK said that uppity negro boys need to know their place, surely this is a hot issue that will not be resolved any time soon”.
Should we have compassion on those who feel there is a “mismatch” between their body and their brain? Absolutely.
But should that extend to letting them have jobs, places to stay, basic tools so they can survive, or really be allowed to exist anywhere where others may become aware of their existence?
God no, that’d be crazy talk.
Also, love the attempt to try and play “friend of the transsexual” again. I know I just spent an entire post failing Trans 101, deliberately getting the genders of everyone mentioned wrong, mocking the very notion of people not identifying as white, straight, and cisgendered, and arguing that a standard non-discrimination bill was an affront to good decent people, and the only citation on my page is a link to an official hate group committed to eliminating all rights for transgender and otherwise queer individuals, but I’m not a bigot, I swear.
I have compassion for you.
Hell, I may even step over you as you’re freezing to death outside after you’ve been kicked out of your housing and denied employment rather than kicking you in the chest.
Because I care.
But we should devote our energies to understanding the causes of their mental and emotional conflict with the goal of helping them from the inside out.
A divergence between their mental sex and their biological sex and/or inherently not fitting within cultural models of masculinity or femininity or cultural or sexual designations of man or woman, because like much of biology, things exist on a spectrum rather than a clear cut binary.
Oh. You were dogwhistling “send them to an ex-gay facility to scare them back into the closet ideally with the threat of open discrimination and public bigotry”. Sorry, didn’t mean to step on your toes there with my mean old reality and its vile liberal bias.
Otherwise, if we craft laws and embrace social categories based on how people identify themselves, we had better get ready for more and more “feminist gay trans men” along with “pansexual genderqueer transdykes” – and that’s just the beginning.
Yeah, if we acknowledge that not everyone is a straight white male, why that will totally “create” these demonic beings out of the Aether to suck upon our life essences and force us to acknowledge the existence of people who are not us… and that is scary…somehow…and somehow a threat to people.
Listen, the reason is long descriptions are scary, because you have to do reading to understand what they mean and some of the words don’t even have scare tactics in place to tell you the strawman reason you should hate them beyond “it ain’t nat’ral”. So just shut up and hate on queue and send me some money to hate on the trans people because the gay hating racket is looking dry as bone these days.
And yeah, love that “feminist gay transman” made a comeback. I know you want to believe in the strawman of the man-hating lesbian, but men can be feminists too, even the men not trying to sleep with women. Because it actually has a definition and isn’t just a scare tactic for the right to trick conservative women into thinking basic dignity is synonymous with Satan.
Also “pansexual genderqueer transdyke” means a transsexual woman who is part of the lesbian and queer communities, but identifies personally as bisexual. If you spent time learning who the people you hate were rather than just trying to self-justify why it’s okay to hate them, you might not look like a complete tool.
In a word, get ready for transanity.
I heard repetition is good for creating a new meme. So I repeat the repetition of the term that is repeated so you know its repeated over and over so that you go out there and don’t even have to think when some trans person is like “blah, blah, blah, you’re a goddamn idiot”, you just go “well, that sounds like transanity to me” and laugh to yourself and don’t listen to the trans person going “um, do you realize that you just sounded like you were calling my arguments sane and reasonable and thus your own the unprocessed horse feces that they are” and you don’t even have to process that because your brain is safely on vacation.
Take that, transfolk! Conservatives win again!
Oh, Michael Brown, your insipid failure has given us much to work with, but it is time to say goodbye.