A message for the last day of 2020: be kind to the anti-trans campaigners. Be kind to everyone, all year round.
This has been a hard year. Right now in England, with a new variant of Covid apparently 56% more transmissible than the original, the disease is spreading even where non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants are closed, and the schools will be closed for at least a week after the holidays end. We are a long way from herd immunity. The hospitalisation rate is as bad as any time in April, and while the death rate is generally less as there is hard-won expertise in treating Covid, the hospitals are full. The economy is shrinking, people are isolated, hurting, and fearful.
The death rate, 981 in the UK recorded on Wednesday, is likely higher because of delays in reporting over Christmas, but still frightening. In Milton Keynes, 1.5% of the population, over three thousand people, tested positive in a week.
Consider the anti-trans campaigner. She may have been in an abusive relationship. She will know women who have. She suffers unwanted pressure to have sex, and it is likely she has been assaulted, perhaps raped. In feminist spaces she meets other cis women and feels commonality and solidarity. And then, something happens and she feels alienated by trans women.
It is unfair that someone might be offended by one trans woman, and hostile to us all ever after. When someone compares trans women in women’s space to “poop in soup,” she is clearly using us as a symbol of all the causes of all she has suffered at the hands of men. Her anger is disproportionate, and may be hurtful to vulnerable trans women. If you are likely to be hurt by such things, avoid the places they are said, and be sure to drain every drop of nourishment from all the acceptance you receive. There are horrid things on line, but there is so much human love and acceptance.
Reacting in the same way will do little good. It hardly even relieves your feelings. Be kind.
I feel intense sadness that anti-trans campaigners, who are often far from gender stereotypes, should be pitted against trans people. Joining in the anger on line only inflames it, in the world and in myself, and can only add to my hurt. Remember that hard-right individuals and publications seek to pit us against each other to disrupt solidarity, and should be resisted.
I wrote this after my first visit to Ovarit to read their comments about me, pondering a second, when I read Ky Schevers’ thoughtful posts on retransitioning, after detransitioning into the gender critical community. People are confused and hurting. We should not be fighting. If a trans person tweets the Ultimate Putdown to some gender critical tweet, remember the person on the other end could be someone like Ky. Enough people are bullying us, and we should not bully each other. We need to make our “We” bigger.
I had that second look. They really did not like me looking at what they were saying about me. There is so much hurt around.