I realise there is already a trans thread on the forum but I feel this topic is important on its own. In a lot of cases, people here tend to ignore threads which they feel are not relevant to their lives which I understand (sorry Indian club) but as progressives and liberals, you should read this. This thread is not only important to me, but to society in general and I'm hoping to get a few open ears and minds for this. I would greatly appreciate it.
When a slur against a person of colour or against someone's sexuality is used on here, people act right away. If we aren't victims of homophobia, or racism, we do not argue against the oppressed and that's good. People on this forum are able to acknowledge that in general, it's a pretty mean thing to speak for those who are being oppressed. We do not take away their voices because we don't know how those words may trigger them, we have not been what they have been through. Unfortunately, it is not quite the same when dealing with transgender rights. I've seen the word "tranny" being used here a few times without anyone batting an eyelid at it. There's no other way around me saying this - this is not okay.
Earlier in the year, I was both warned and suspended under the accusation that I was discussing certain issues where they weren't relevant and baiting other members into arguments. The issue at hand in most cases that I was told to shut the fuck up was about being transgender and when it is acceptable to bring this topic up. I'm going to start by telling you upfront, the topic is relevant in any issue that involves people. If you think it's okay to only mention cis women in an abortion topic, think again. If you think it's okay to talk about vagina power under the grounds of being a feminist, I urge you to think again.
I know that this one of the least understood topics in the queer spectrum and what genitals we may have, our sexuality, how we have sex etc. would spark some curiosity. But! Just like you wouldn't ask a gay couple how their sex life is, you do not ask a trans* person unless they wish to tell you. We are not textbooks, we are not google, we're people who share the same emotions. I'm really awful at writing things and not being lazy so here's an article that I think addresses this topic well:
Trans Etiquette 101: No Offense, But That's Offensive
I know, we're all lazy arses so here's a couple of highlighted points from the article:
- Ask permission to ask questions.
- Do not ask questions that in any way challenge the trans person’s gender identity or expression or could obviously lead to dysphoria.
- Do not ask what the person’s birth name was.
- Request specific permission to ask questions relating to genitalia
I'll add a few resources for anyone who is interested and you're all free to ask me anything if you wish, just please be respectful.
This is primarily a lesbian site although it has a good section on gender issues.
This is a pretty good tumblr on non-binary genders.
And this is a blog led by a lovely trans woman, who usually responds to many questions dealing with this topic and still manages to look fabulous in the process of doing so.
There's loads more all over the internetz and I feel I've already written enough so I'm just going..now..
Thanks to anyone who reads this.
To my GDC friends, acquaintances, and strangers:
Frank wrote this thread to highlight a very important issue we face here. I want to make clear one thing; this is not an issue of being "politically" correct, nor is the common decency to be reasonably educated about this topic all for the sake of one person. I know of at least 5 regular posters on this forum who do not identify with a binary gender or are trans*, and those only account for those who have openly stated so. Coming out is a courageous act, and it is no wonder some would prefer to stay silent when so few people care.
When even gays, bisexuals, and lesbians largely neglect to care about trans issues, when millions of people worldwide are marginalized, there is something wrong. Transpeople all across the world face perhaps worse discrimination than anyone else, up to and including being murdered or driven to suicide, yes, even in the Western world, and this epidemic of hate is ignored and swept under the rug.
I have decided this thread should be pinned for a week for all to see, after which I plan on it being linked to from a permanent statement of anti-discrimination. To all those with over 100 posts, the clubs forum hosts the Massive Acronym Club, where you can learn more (so long as you ask respectfully). We welcome people of all and no genders there, all orientations, and heterosexual and cisgender allies. The Massive Acronym Club will, so long as I am a moderator, always be a safe place where discrimination and hate speech will never be allowed.
Someone you know may be trans* or non-binary or any other of these marginalized identity; here or offline. They deserve respect.