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While looking into somebody's "very public" stances on trans issues, I found a striking exchange between the individual and another correspondent on this site.

I'm not going to link to or screenshot it, it's old.

But it fits a general pattern I want to talk about.
It goes about like this:

Person 1: *shows example of homophobia*

Person 2: I don't understand why gay people get this treatment when trans people are worshipped as stunning and brave.

Person 1: In fairness, it's not like that everywhere. Real life isn't like Tumblr.
Now, "Person 1" in this case stands in for someone who's trying to strike a moderate tone on trans people while still supporting our oppression. And there's a lot to unpack there.

But I want to talk about two sentiments: "stunning and brave" and "Tumblr vs. real life."
The whole "stunning and brave" thing is one of the examples of just how lazy and reductive South Park reactionaryism is. It's a meme that was spread by South Park, about how supposedly no one is allowed to say anything about Caitlyn Jenner in particular except that she's that.
In the episode, the Wise Brave Children wanted to know why everyone forgot about the bad things she did before transitioning and why no one was allowed to criticize her.

Buuuuuut that literally never happened. There never was a time period when people stopped criticizing her.
If you've ever followed the ACLU's battles, you might have noticed that every once in a while they have to help a student sue or mediate with their school because the school confiscated a cross or Bible from them, "and you can't have those in schools."
In a number of those cases, the teacher or administrator in question who did it was Christian, or at the very least not antithetical to Christianity, but had bought into the idea that, oh, people like the ACLU would come after them if they allowed students to have a Bible.
The whole idea that people are forced to say that trans people are "stunning and brave" and prevented from criticizing us is another hypercorrection along those lines, but worse, because where as Christianity is the most powerful and socially important religion in the country...
...trans people don't have anywhere near the institutional power to silence critics nor force people to praise us.
Now, people will tell us that we're brave! Not all people. Other people will tell us that we're going to hell, and some will offer to help us along the way. But it's a thing people do.

It's not something we want, or seek out. It doesn't benefit us.
The trans agenda does not include seeing how many people can praise us for our bravery. It's not just meaningless, it's too often an empty placeholder for actual action. If we're brave, we don't need help. If we're brave, we can handle ourselves. If we're brave, we can overcome.
Separate from any fantasy where we go around forcing cis people to say that we're stunning and brave and nothing else, there is a thing called queer affirmation, which you might see here on Twitter dot com or over on Tumblr dot com.

Like: "Reminder: Trans girls are amazing."
People make general posts, people make posts to each other, reply chains, etc., telling each other how amazing and powerful and beautiful and eldritch we are. Trans people. Lesbians. Bisexuals. Queer people generally. It's a thing.
And in the mind of my learned correspondent and many people, this is a thing that separates the wacky, probably delusional, and unsavory depths of social media from the real world.

These folks would tell us: life isn't like that for a small town high schooler.
Except... who do they think is hanging out on the social mediums, looking for and receiving and giving and transmitting all this validation? Magical people from some faerie realm? Fragments of an artificial intelligence?

It's real people, like: queer kids in small towns.
Now, all of this ties into what I talked last week, which is that if your experience and expectation is that someone should be quiet, fold at the first sign of opposition, fade into the background... when that doesn't happen, you need an explanation.

To someone who's both homophobic and transphobic, this phenomena where we seem to wield outsized social power and can force people to fall in line applies to gay people and trans people both.

To people who are only transphobic, it only applies to trans people.
A gay person who is transphobic can be fully aware what their own bravery costs them, what it costs them to have to be brave, how much they have to fight to be heard, how important it is to be able to announce to the world "Yet, I survive.", and then look at trans people...
...doing the exact same thing and think that we're being loud for no reason, that we're being loud and silly and aggressive and taking up space just to show that we can, that if we talk about how awesome we are it means we're chasing a trend.
A transphobic lesbian can come straight from a discussion group about how powerful it is to be a lesbian, see a trans woman posting about how trans women are magical, and say, "Look at the play-acting fools. I'm oppressed for my biology, there's nothing magical about womanhood."
Hoo boy.

Okay, so, I just completed my survey of my learned correspondent's public statements about trans bathroom bans, and I found something even worse than real life vs. Tumblr.
So, there's another meme like "stunning and brave", and that is that we trans people just loooove talking about bathrooms, and that we force everyone to talk about bathrooms, to the detriment of our rights, queer acceptance overall, Democrats' chances in elections, etc.
In actual fact, we hate talking about this stuff. Just like we hate having to correct people who misgender us, we hate having to argue about pronouns, etc.

We don't start the bathroom conversation; when other people do, though, we *have to* participate, because it's life/death.
Banning us from public restrooms is an attempt to mandate us out of existence. That's not exaggeration. It's an existential threat.

But it gets labeled as hyperbole. I know, it *sounds* hyperbolic. The right to pee is the right to be? Sounds like we're obsessed with urination.
Think about how often you need to use a bathroom. Imagine if you had to time *all* of your activities so you were not outside the privacy of your own home beyond that interval. Can't go shopping if you can't get back in time. Can't go to a movie if you can't get back. Work?
A workplace's bathrooms aren't necessarily "public", per se, but they're not *not* public. If there are laws governing public restrooms and these laws are predicated, supposedly, on concerns for privacy and physical safety, it's hard to argue employers wouldn't be bound by them.
A trans woman I know, after her transition, had to leave her workplace on her break to go to 7-11 to use the restroom. The private company that employed her claimed there could be concerns of a hostile workplace if she used the women's restroom; 7-11 didn't know her or care.
Note that many trans women are prescribed drugs that are (incidentally) powerful diuretics as part of medical transition. So if your stance involves "Well, if you ~*go all the way*~ and medically transition, then you can use the restroom." - you're blocking people from doing so.
"But no one's saying you can't use the restroom, we're just disagreeing on what the *right* restroom for you to use is. If you have to use public restrooms or die, if it's really that important, you could suck it up and use the men's room."
The last time I tried to use a men's restroom was, geez, almost ten years ago, probably. I was traveling, and at that point I tried to streamline my way through the TSA by just dressing androgynously. Slacks, blank t-shirt. No makeup or jewelry.
I also tried to get by as much as I could by never, ever using a public restroom. Even while flying across the country. But this time, I misjudged things and realized I was going to have to go, so I sucked it up and headed for the men's room...

And got stopped going in.
I got stopped going in by a woman, who was waiting outside for her husband who had gone in just in front of me, and she was ANGRY. Like, histrionically angry. Ridiculously angry. Search me what she even would have said she was angry about, if you'd asked her.
But she saw someone she clocked as a woman going into the men's restroom, and she wasn't going to let me pass.

That was the incident that made me realize there was no safe medium for me, no "suck it up" that would work.
From that point forward I stopped changing how I dress to try to "fly under the radar" - now I optimize my airport clothes for my comfort and utility, not other people's.
And I was a non-medically transitioning trans woman with no visible breasts and what we may call a very male-coded hairline. Trying to pass myself as a man should have been a slam-dunk, according to the "trans isn't real" crowd. Yet I failed at it.
Before that, even before my transition, the number of times I've been asked if I was in the right place when I was a men's bathroom or locker room was more than 0.

So was the number of times I was assaulted in one.
SO FAR my trips to the women's room have been without Incident, knock on wood. I still avoid it when I can, especially in unfamiliar places. If I'm not feeling like 110% safe I plan my days and my trips around avoiding having to use a gendered restroom.
And it costs me time and opportunities and energy, to do this. It impacts my health in that sometimes I'm not hydrating the way I should, and rarely I wind up holding it past the point of discomfort.
The ridiculous human being who sent me down this rabbithole of bad-faith memes about trans people snottily told someone that access to public restrooms isn't specifically a human right under the UN declaration of such, which is no doubt true, I'm sure.
But public sanitation is a public good, and public restrooms replacing everybody peeing in the street or in alleyways or in bushes, is part of public sanitation, and in a sanitary world we all have to have consistent access to public sanitary facilities.
Turning bathroom access for a class of people into a minefield of "Do you want to risk getting beaten up and maybe arrested, or do you prefer getting arrested and maybe beat up?" is an assault on those people's right to exist in public, which is an assault on the right to exist.
This whole long thread isn't about one person, it's just that one person managed to brush up against a bunch of repeating patterns that crop up in the "moderate" and "reasonable" transphobic camps.
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