I feel like I'm from an entirely different era of trans history as people even just five years younger than me. In grade school, college, post-grad not once was anyone asked for their pronouns. The word "transgender" was not mentioned in my health education.
For about five years before my transition I called myself "a transvestite," a word that's now completely obsolete. In fact I didn't feel comfortable calling myself a woman until a few months into medical transition, when people were already defaulting to "she/her" for me.
Whereas I've met 20-year-olds in full-on boy mode who are like "hi, I'm a trans woman, she/her pronouns!"
What happens every time I drag someone on Twitter (until yesterday the last one was what, Arielle back in April?) is I waste an entire day on it and then am left with this emotional hangover, feeling I've accomplished nothing but igniting waves of anger and pain.
I feel a need to reassure myself like wait, why did I do this again? I knew I had to say something about Singal when the Atlantic article broke, & on my timeline I saw 1 almost every trans person decrying it & 2 enthusiastic retweets from Blanchard, Dreger and a bunch of TERFs.
Like if I made a video about homosexuality and the majority of gay people hated it while it was enthusiastically endorsed by Ted Cruz and Pat Robertson, I'd have to look at myself and say, oh shit: empirically, I have fucked up.
If you're a cis journalist who writes about trans people, you have effectively appointed yourself our representative to the public, at a time when we are fighting for the most basic form of societal recognition. We didn't vote for you, but here you are.
If you aren't abnormally arrogant, you might expect some sense of humility & responsibility to the group you're representing to come along with that. If a large percentage of your "constituents" are critical of your work, you'd think that'd be a cause for reflection & self-doubt.
To instead reflexively insist, "No, it's the transgenders who are wrong," to block your critics, to go about publicly discrediting them—it's such an abuse of the position you've appropriated for yourself.
It's time to play the argue-with-Jesse-Singal-from-behind-a-block game. I think what I told Katherine was "I wasn't aware of the history of the Zucker clinic," which is true. Jesse's article was the first I'd heard of it.
This was summarized in the profile as me saying I didn't know Jesse had written about it. I did know he'd written about it, and from that article alone nothing appears transphobic. For it to be a red flag you'd have to know the reputation of the Zucker clinic. Which I didn't.
And no Jesse I'm not doing this to appease the Twitter jackals. I'm doing it because everyone thinks I'm an apologist for your commentary on trans issues, and I'm not. I'm very wary of it for the reasons stated—
I'm a conscientious objector to Twitter callouts. I think the less tweeted the better. But since my @verge profile is out and I'm already dragging Jesse Singal in print, here's a very Nuanced & Rational thread about why he's not a good commentator on trans issues.
Backstory: Singal is a cis journalist who's written several pieces on trans issues. Trans Twitter generally regards him as a supervillain, & they generally regard me as his alibi since I defended him from various accusations after he wrote a puff piece on me for NYMag last year.
If you're coming to this from Singal's side of the story you'll have heard that he's simply done his journalistic duty, bringing rational freespeechy nuance to difficult & complex issues surrounding trans children, for which he's been ruthlessly defamed by transsexual maniacs.
It's so self-evident to me that this man needs to be dethroned at once by any means necessary that it's truly difficult to wrap my mind around the fact that 40% of my country approves of him because of just this sort of behavior, which they see as "real" and "refreshing."
I remember ten years ago hearing about people like Kim Jong-Il, Putin, or Ahmadinejad making declarations like this and wondering how anyone could cope with living in a country with such a leader. Well, here we are.
What you do is drink more often and gawk helplessly.
Among transphobic LGBs (and the right-wing divide-and-conquer strategists who incite them) there’s this “drop the T” idea that’s justified by claiming that since being trans is not a sexual orientation, LGB(T) is not a “natural community.”
The opposite is true.
If “natural” means what occurs organically, then the natural communities are these:
1 Gay cis men, gay trans men, trans women who remain in their gay male social group
2 Cis lesbians, trans lesbians, trans men who remain in their lesbian social group
These are the communities that already exist. Both are much more “natural” than the L and G grouping, which is often largely a matter of political utility.
I can’t stand to watch even ten seconds of my old videos because gender dysphoria. So I’m now in the weird situation that my fans know my backlog better than I do.
Sometimes people will quote one of my own videos to me and I’ll be like, “that’s funny, who said that?”
I guess I’m uncomfortable that people still watch my old videos alongside my new ones. New viewers sometimes watch the backlog in no particular order, leaving them with the impression that I’m a genderfluid genderfuck rather than a trans woman.
The minute Trump was elected most of us knew that whole groups of people would be treated as less than human, that there would be internment camps, that families would be ripped apart. Well, it's happening now and we're watching it happen. time.com/5314826/border…
Are we just going to watch? What else can we do? I feel so helpless but I also can't stand not saying something about it.
Here's all the ideas I have:
1 Start by posting and reposting the footage. At the very least let's not let them pretend it isn't happening. Everyone should be reminded every day.
Got my new ID today with my real name and updated picture!
Looking forward to not being gawped at/laughed at/puzzled over every time I have to show ID. Seems like a little thing I know but it's a big confidence boost. I won't have to pregame drinking anymore. And that's the difference.
So when I fly to VidCon next week I'm gonna walk into the airport purse first, whip out that new ID and say ONE TICKET FOR NATALIE PLEASE CAUSE I'M A MOTHERFUCKIN WOMAAAN
When I was playing Adria I realized, huh I could probably actually pull off the futch look if I wanted to.
It doesn't feel right for me though. It makes me feel useful, dressing like that, like I could get things done. I don't like feeling useful, I like feeling ornamental.
She was a fun character to create though. Originally I had written her more like Saul—impotent, flustered, victimized. But I decided the video was too grim and needed a badass transbian rhapsodizing about girldick to sustain audience morale.
I regret that thread I posted yesterday. I keep promising to stop but I never learn. The problem with Twitter is you're constantly faced with the dangerous temptation to philosophize. Fuck that. IG is good clean fun, let's all move there.
If I were a better edgelord I wouldn't cycle through these ridiculous loops of recklessness and remorse. I'm not a "fuck your feels" person, I get upset when other people are upset. I can't handle confrontation and I hate arguing on the Internet. Wait why is this my job?
I don't know what is with this spasm of reactionary conformist angst I've been experiencing the last few months. I feel bad because I know a lot of you guys actually like me because I'm queer and just fucking weird.
Disclaimer: Ok so yes, I am aware that "pizza" is a code-word for human trafficking victims according to the right-wing "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory. I renounce this theory, which I did not intend to reference, and I apologize to those who were hurt and/or confused.
I'm also aware that pizza consumed in the US is a bastardization of indigenous Neapolitan culinary tradition, and that the domination of big American chain restaurants is a form of cultural violence that is erasing this tradition along with many others.
Now that the video's been out long enough for people to watch it and interpret it in their own way, I want to say what I think about Tiffany Tumbles. Who is she and why is she like this?
A lot of people interpreted her as a parody of one specific person. And while obviously there were a couple digs at Blaire in there, Tiffany is not Blaire, and to me she represents a totally commonplace pattern of thinking and acting.
Someone sent me this IG post from a trans woman who recognized her own behavior in the video. And in my experience this is actually so common it's basically a stage a lot of trans women go through (a few never get over it).
[CW transphobia, dysphoria, general human folly]
I've been experiencing a pretty severe return to dysphoria lately, and I know I'm not supposed to tweet, but I don't see many people talking about this outside Dark Side spaces, and that makes me lonely, so fuck it, I'm tweeting.
My dysphoria now (at 8 months full-time trans & HRT) is the worst it's ever been. That seems very discouraging at first, because isn't transitioning supposed to fix this? Well, yes, but there's a reason it's gotten worse.
In order for me to start transitioning in the first place, I had to get to a point where I was comfortable with goals that seemed achievable at the time. So my thinking was: "I just want to be more feminine, I don't have to look female to feel good about myself."
Thread 2: The real purpose of having the "dating preferences debate" is often to disguise transphobia as a phony concern for sexual autonomy, feminism, or protecting homosexuality.
This is evident by the sheer volume of people drawn to this discussion who cannot conceal their intense hostility toward trans people—let's name them: TERFs. They're all over my mentions right now like sharks drawn to blood.
Here's how such a person raises this topic to a trans woman:
"How typical of ＭＡＬＥ ＥＮＴＩＴＬＥＭＥＮＴto make the ＲＡＰＥＹ demand that lesbians like ＢＩＯＬＯＧＩＣＡＬ ＭＡＬＥＳ. It's telling of the ＰＡＴＲＩＡＲＣＨＡＬ attitudes inherent in trans ideology."