Twitter thinks transphobia is free speech, it’s not & it’s another White People Problem.
I am not a great petitioner. But we have a real problem on Twitter and relatively few avenues with which to explain it. So, from the top. Let’s ask Twitter to ‘address’ the proliferation of white rhetoric and the global expectation of First Amendment privilege of idealogical violence on ‘social’ platforms… again.
Why we even need another petition…
1. Twitter is where transgender community face an increasingly vocal counter-culture. It feels like it has always been so. But, as shown, it turns out the last decade’s torrent of abuse was a mere trickle.
Twitter is where I find my family, my people. My people are noisy, and scared, and often distressed. But Twitter is, unfortunately our home. We can’t leave.
If any of this is novel to you…I would explain it thusly.
2. It’s complicated.
Where would I be without strangers writing to other strangers in digital ink amid dynamic representations of data only seen with specialist equipment? The internet is full of awe and also awful. The internet made me, after the British made it illegal to teach me, and society made it impossible, and, not knowing what to ask… I did not know to ask at all.
Trans-opposed Twitter is in an idealogical battle. The cost of entry is low.
Trans-actual Twitter is in an existential battle. Our daily lives are in play.
Trans-allied Twitter is, um, busy? I don’t know…
3. The “Transgender community” does not experience Twitter communally.
We read the word ‘community’ but we each still read it on our own. Likewise the Community is attacked, but I am attacked alone. We don’t all live in the same suburb, or go to the same cafes. Each of us experience hatred online alone, normally with only a screen for company.
4. Hate never feels like ‘one person’.
I know that thing you say, the helpful things — the words. Yes, it is just one person. You might know how I feel. But I see the ‘likes’, shares, comments and I feel attacked by the world. It feels like a movement, a mass, a mob. I am alone feeding my self-hatred and mulling old doubts hammered home by a platform of ‘one person’s opinion’.
* Did I mention I don’t read twitter around a kitchen table surrounded by loving friends and life-long transgender and/or queer siblings? Am I doing it wrong?
5. A FWIW…Fwiw these ‘opinions’ are still an actual human person’s opinion.
They are scared enough by what I am to devote all this emotional energy to a hashtag. imagine that! Even in the middle of a global pandemic with the world boiling over and melting down at the same time they sincerely feel the best use of their time is to campaign online; to lobby for the restriction and legislation of transgender people. Because of the ‘valid concerns’.
6. Trans-opposed Twitter has no real strategy. I imagine that’s true for most fear-based hate campaigns. There is no plan after “something must be done”. No plan after government introduces stringent measures to accommodate all the “valid concerns”. No long-term plan except for the trans to follow their world view and for us to disappear again. Hide.
7. Trans-opposed Twitter has few tactics.
Mainly it is to pursue, shame, and reveal us for “who we really are”. They like to define the trans community as deluded, dangerous and perverted. To do this they normally cite individual cases. Other people. Like the existence of British jewel thieves makes us all the pink panther. On my Twitter we become violent predators with paedophilic qualities and we groom future trans in the bathrooms of Marks and Spencers. We are a threat to you and we must be stopped. Save the little children etc. And that’s it.
8. Trans-opposed Twitter wants peace and love.
When you engage, or ask, especially before they know you are trans.. a person will say that all they want to do is “to talk” .. and they mean to talk until we stop disagreeing and accept that they are right and that all transgender people are mistaken, that we know less, understand little, and cannot be trusted, that we are miserable. They want to talk until I convert. Until I am who they describe and as they fear.
9. Trans-opposed Twitter opposes self-ID
The nameless ideological position hasn’t got a catchy name, like Marxism, Nationalism, or Feminism. It nearly did. Their first attempt at a self-definition was the too-specific trans-exclusionary radical feminists shortened to ‘Terf’. Then people used that acronym as a substitute for other short words and they changed how they identified to ‘gender critical’ [GC] which is both vague and palatable. This is ironic because it is the act of self-identification by trans people that seems to trouble GC people the most.
10. As with Trumpism, Twitter is optimised to share ‘gender critical’ disinformation and a dangerous narrative and once again, despite mountains of evidence, Twitter “cannot” prevent an army of humans around the world feed each other lies and half-truths and make us their enemy and an infection that no one will treat.
If radical ideas are catnip to social media, radical ideology is cocaine.
The people love it. The Twitter loves it. So Jack loves it.
Twitter is the most accessible marketplace of ideas for transphobic recruitment — the world’s biggest BULLHORN as the American’s now call it.
I have lost friends who have decided on this path. Won’t accept who I say I am, or how I feel, what gender is, how nature works, or think I am sick, depraved, or confused. Their confidence in their belief has come from social media.
Oh, and, I guess in the UK a LOT is from newspapers and TV as well as social media because on Twitter and in the UK transphobia is acceptable.
If you don’t think transphobia is acceptable don’t accept it.
Say something. Act. Do something.
At least, sign the petition.