HEY IT SEEMS LIKE SOME OF YOU NEED some transmisogyny literacy, so here's a technique that gets used on queer twitter to isolate and brigade transfeminine people all the time, that depends on YOU not recognizing you're enabling it:
1. They pick a victim. Any transfeminine person will do, but it works best with a trans woman of color, preferably one with whom they've had so few interactions that she barely knows who's attacking her: Bewildering and impossible to redress. This is stochastic harrassment.
2. They comb through her history looking for a problematic tweet. Usually this is EITHER something nuanced about intracommunity conflict that they can willfully misinterpret, OR a rude response to a previous wave of harassment that can be taken out of context.
3. They QRT the problematic-looking take, framing it with language that *seems* judicious, but is actually coded in a way to take advantage of transmisogyny.

A TOTALLY RANDOM EXAMPLE: "I noticed I have mutuals who still are following and interacting with this person. Why?"
Seems innocuous, right? But let's look closer:

The QRT degenders the trans femme ("this person") to erase her position as an oppressed person and create artificial privilege. All transmisogynistic attacks absolutely depend on ascribing nonexistent privilege to the victim.
The QRT also carries a note of disgust aimed not at the TWEET, but at the TRANSFEMININE PERSON. They don't comment on the bad take.

The QRT also communicates a disgust-by-proxy: "If you interact with this person, their uncleanness is contagious."
4. Having encouraged their followers to spread the QRT, the attacker will often also DM it to the victim's followers directly. "Are you sure you want to be associated with this person?"

(The objective is to isolate her entirely, and especially to cut off her livelihood.)
5. By the time the victim realizes what is happening, she's already underneath the avalanche, and she knows she can't stop it.

Every. Single. Transfeminine. Person. Has seen this happen to others.

Nevertheless, she'll usually try to be reasonable and do damage control...
Usually she'll reply to the QRT (or sometimes DM the attacker) to ask why they've dredged up an ancient tweet out of the blue, and whether she can clarify her position.

The attacker will always refuse to engage. Remember, it's not about whatever take they dredged up.
All further engagement is a trap:
-Ask why this is happening, and she's a sealion.
-Point out that this is transmisogynistic attack, and she's "doing DARVO"
-React in an imperfect, traumatized way, and she ends up giving them more ammunition for harassment next time.
Because this is intra-LGBT transmisogyny, it's wrapped in a blanket of social justice language.

As the pile-on continues, vague accusations of abuserhood fly freely. When talking about a transfeminine person, "abusive" can mean as little as "she seemed rude once."
❗️ This is not to say that transfeminine people are never abusers!!! ❗️

Only that we are deeply, deeply stigmatized. Virtually everyone is culturally programmed to view us with suspicion and disgust, even other trans people. It can shortcut past your critical thinking skills.
Ultimately, transfeminine people usually survive targeted ostracization (although sometimes it can escalate to organized OFFLINE harassment). But aside from cutting us off from support and possibly pushing us deeper into poverty, it's also a traumatic event. It leaves scars.
After the first few times *I* was brigaded (in my case first by bi-exclusionary lesbians, then k/w/f/rms), I started noticing I was experiencing PTSD-like symptoms when I saw it happen to others.

Which is unfortunate, because it happens virtually every week on this website.
So how do we reduce the harm being done?

This technique, like I said at the top, is dependent on your credulity and your lack of transmisogyny literacy. If the community can start recognizing the technique and transmisogyny in general when we see it, it stops working.

Any time someone QRTs a transfeminine person to voice disgust, be suspicious.

Even if she's unambiguously wrong, ask yourself: does her tweet merit ostracization, rampant misgendering, accusations of abuse? That's what the QRT will do to her.
If someone DMs or @'s you about a transfemme with nebulous rumors of abuse or toxicity, use your judgment: if it's a personal warning, it might be legitimate, but if it's part of an organized ostracization attempt without a specific, proportionate offense, it's likely malice.
If they imply that *you're toxic too, if you don't block her,* recognize that that is NEVER not a hamfisted manipulation attempt. I've had people tell me they're "not comfortable following" me unless I unfollow someone-- in which case, bye, weirdo! What a bizarre ultimatum.

The queer community is really, really bad at recognizing transmisogyny, even other trans and nonbinary people. Like any other axis of marginalization, if you aren't subject to it, you're incentivized to pretend it doesn't exist.
The most key components of a transmisogynist attack are, I think:

-Erase the victim's gender expression & marginalization
-Attribute false privilege/power to the victim
-Paint the victim as deceptive, aggressive, or disgusting
-Paint the victim as overtly sexual/predatory
When the attack is coming from another LGBTQ+ community member, these elements can be covert, but they're still there.

Pay attention to degendering language, like "this person," above. Degendering, for us, can often be a precursor to dehumanization.
Painting someone as deceptive or aggressive is a common argument tactic, so it's tough to distinguish when it's a truthful observation VS. when it's taking advantage of transmisogyny.

In general: Investigate your gut reactions for prejudice. Account for our powerlessness.
What I think is a little easier to recognize is when the victim is painted as DISGUSTING. It's not a tactic used in normal debate. It's a red flag.

If they go on to imply that that pariah status is CONTAGIOUS, that should be a jolly fucking roger.
It's 3:30 AM and I'm heartbroken from watching this unfold, ghoulishly, on Trans Day Of Remembrance.

PLEASE be vigilant about this kind of harassment. If we can inoculate ourselves against it as a community, maybe some day we can tackle the bigger stuff. 🖤

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More from @NightlingBug

5 Nov
"Poor time management skills?" Please, I'm transfeminine, I have poor time GIRLagement skills
"To err is human?" Please, I'm transfeminine, to err is huGIRL
"Just playing semantics?" Please, I'm transfeminine, I'm playing seGIRLtics
Read 4 tweets
1 Nov
There's a cute meme going around where trans women share pre-transition and current photos with the text:

"I'm just saying, if you don't think you can - you can."

And I want to drill down on the truth in that caption, minus visuals.
The temptation for me, in the closet, would've been to discard those words as a platitude and dissect the before-and-afters.

With many of us, transition is visually astonishing, and the world badly needs more evidence of trans beauty.

... But that wouldn't have been my focus.
Closeted M would have scoured those before pictures, highlighting every advantage that made transition accessible to them-- often thinness & related traits, hairlessness, youth, or some inherent facial femininity that I couldn't pin down but was certain I did not possess.
Read 10 tweets
24 Jan
People keep talking to me about "that trans thread" that I wrote, and at this point I never know which ill-conceived twitter manifesto they mean, so it's time for a THREAD OF THREADS to be my new pinned tweet: 🧵
Everything you culturally absorbed about trans people, how they realize they're trans, and what their treatment consists of? Is wrong:

An older thread about my hairline, the conflicting information about estrogenizing HRT that's found online, and how cisnormative medicine demonizes it:

Read 9 tweets
10 Jan
Fish don't notice water. It's all around them. Most fish have never left it.

And often, trans people in denial don't notice the gender dysphoria that suffuses their daily lives.

I'm just going to list some idiosyncrasies and discomforts that I didn't realize were dysphoria:
(My perspective is going to be that of a transfeminine person, but if you're transmasculine or some stripe of nonbinary, feel free to chime in with your own.)
When you get ready to go, you just roll out of bed and throw on whatever. You don't really do any self-grooming, or care about what's on your body. You're a little proud of your lack of vanity, your deeper, non-appearance-level existence.
Read 22 tweets
6 Sep 19
One of the things I found so overwhelming about coming out as trans and transitioning is that there were so many "well first you have to" steps, legal and medical and social.

I just want everyone to know that, if there're informed consent clinics near you, you can skip them all.
So, if you're realizing you're trans, but don't have a plan of attack, I can't tell you exactly what to do-- not every element of transition is for everyone.

But I can tell you what was right for me!

(What I have to say is gonna be focused on transfeminine transitioning.)
A lot of folks will say to take baby steps at first, and try makeup or dressing up as your gender, and see how that makes you feel.

Sounds reasonable, right?
Read 25 tweets
15 Aug 19
The understanding of

(a) what constitutes gender dysphoria
(b) how to recognize it
(c) how trans people know they're trans
(d) what transitioning entails
(e) what hormones can do

that you absorbed through cultural osmosis?

It's all wrong.
(a-c) my personal experience:

I didn't recognize my perpetual misery and discomfort as gender dysphoria. I'd absorbed the narrative that most transgender people "know" they're transgender from a very young age. I thought that, if I was transgender, I'd have already transitioned.
(a-c) my personal experience:

The longer I'm out of the closet, the more repressed memories, feelings and signs I can add to the jigsaw puzzle.

But I could have passed a polygraph test claiming that I was cis.

How do you learn something you're hiding from yourself out of fear?
Read 22 tweets

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