So recently I’ve been a bit quiet on my blog. Mainly because I’ve been caught up with other things. I revisited my old Twitter account. I’d started one years ago but didn’t get on with it and left it. Now I have several people I’m following and it’s been a good platform for me to interact with trans people and to come a bit more out. My profile pic is my Supergirl one.
Of course by doing this I have got caught up with much of the ‘debate’ surrounding Trans issues especially in light of the consultation of reforms to the Gender Reform Act regarding self I.D. A move I am in favour of. To be honest I was a bit unprepared for the amount of hate coming from those who not only oppose it but in some cases even oppose Trans women. It is truly horrifying. That is to say that some people opposed to self I.D don’t have reasonable concerns but in many cases are ill informed on the subject.
My own reaction to any attack levelled toward myself is to talk back. Not shout and argue or get into arguments but just to answer back and in many ways in an unexpected and possibly weird way. A trick I learnt from the comedian Joe Lycett. For an example:
Recently I was embroiled on a thread mainly talking about Labour. Of course it wasn’t long before some people who didn’t agree with me changed from bashing Labour to bashing me, attacking me simply from my profile photo. One such individual actually posted ‘Does he really think he’s Supergirl. I want to vomit.’ Now despite my powers of being able to make a woman I’ve never met or spoken to apparently physically sick I know I’m not Supergirl. Now I could have simply told her where to go but I didn’t. Instead I wrote back ‘Of course I don’t think I’m Supergirl’. Followed by this gif.
Weather it was meant sarcastically of because she was confused or simply she wanted to still try and get a rise out of me her response was. ‘But I guess you want everyone to think you’re a woman.’ Now there is nothing on my Twitter profile that mentions I’m Trans or questioning. I believe I mention that I’m questioning somewhere in the thread but I’m guessing that she hadn’t read this. And at the moment as I am only questioning and that I may only wish to do this in an artist way my response was ‘Personally I don’t give a shit’ followed by how I do want to get better at passing. This was then followed by her giving me make up tips and advice on how to get a better look to pass better as a natural woman. She’d gone from vomiting at the thought of me to trying to help me pass better.
While I take great delight that I managed to turn this women’s viewpoint around and count it as a victory I’m aware that I wasn’t really standing up for Trans rights in this way. It is something I try to do though. Not long after this incident the news came out about Trump trying to effectively erase Trans people. Its timing was also coincidently with the airing of episode three of the new series of Doctor Who, Rosa. (Look if you don’t know about Rosa Parks, go look her up and then come back) One reviewer of the show, who is also genderqueer, mentions that one problem with the episode is it shows no one else standing up for Rosa on the bus. It’s a valid point. Of course the Doctor and friends can’t interfere on this occasion no matter how hard it is for them. But now there is a comparison between then and now and quite rightly as this You Tuber says people do need to stand up for those being discriminated against. It can’t just be down to the victims.
I had to remind myself of this very recently as some of the hate on Twitter nearly made me give up. A report on a woman, a mother, who abused a twelve year old in America came to light and immediately comments were made on why there was no mention of her being trans, on how it was obvious a male. The usual transphobic crap and do you know what. There was no official mention of this person being trans. Nothing mentioned in reports, just transphobic people deciding that a woman let alone a mother could do this so they changed the facts to fit their narrow minded views. And they say they can always tell. Huh.
Right deep breath.
In many ways the whole Trans thing has reminded me of the X-men graphic novel. God loves, Man kills. I recently dug it out of storage to re-read as events sparked memories of the story line. A story line where there is a movement out to eradicate mutants, such is the hate towards them. There is no attempt to try and understand mutants and the leader of the movement even turns on his most loyal follower when it’s indicated she too might have mutant genes. In the end it’s not only the X-men that stand up for their rights but one solitary police officer doing what is right, protecting one young mutant when she is threatened.
It’s not the only X-men comparison I’ve made. Two weeks previous to writing this I tweeted about how maybe there should be a registration of Trans people so they can be policed before pointing out this was a plot of the X-men which didn’t work out so well in the end. It was a joke showing how absurd the idea is and yet this week the idea of a register was suggested. It is truly scary times we live in and I fear for those people across the pond. Certainly the X-men comics contains at its core the issues of hate against a minority. Currently the new season of Supergirl is also dealing with these kinds of issues, using aliens as its metaphor. They have also added a new transgender character. Hopefully a positive step in the right direction.
So regardless of what I decided about myself. Regardless of how I ‘protect’ myself on Twitter I will continue to stand up and fight for people’s right to be accepted for who they are. Rosa reinforced that in me and indeed the Doctor in general. In doing so I rewatched the twelfth Doctor’s speech to the Master and Missy. Because fighting a battle (even on Twitter) is not about winning, it’s not about beating somebody. It’s definitely not because it’s easy. It’s because it’s right and above all its kind. It’s just kind.