Roots: Banned

“If one’s different, one’s bound to be lonely.”

Aldous Huxley

I’ve been permanently banned from Twitter.

Why?

Because I dared to say something true in a conversation on trans ethics.

I was called transphobic for saying that I am transsexual and that as a transsexual, I live in a liminal state of being, where I’m no longer considered what you would call a man but am not expressly female either. I explained there are differences between myself and people who are female that I find value in celebrating for the betterment of both groups.

Following the accusation of transphobia, I responded with the following:

“It isn’t transphobic. It’s just facts of life. Sex is immutable in spite of the fact many sex characteristics are mutable and we do change them. It doesn’t erase our differences or make us actually female.”

And as you can see, this is what I was banned for.

This.

The truth… How dare I..?

Twitter never has been the bastion of free speech, but with this, I think it’s time we face the fact that Twitter’s misgendering policy has gone too far.

Let me make myself perfectly clear. I don’t support harassing trans people with misgendering or deadnaming. Transwomen are transwomen, not men. Transmen are transmen, not women. We are what we are, not what your ideology insists we are. To demand otherwise is to deny reality. We undergo rites of passage to become transmen and transwomen. Not only do we have to come out, but we change our names, lifestyles, bodies, etc. Our entire mode of being changes from one state to another and we transform, like caterpillars into butterflies.

You’d not insist a butterfly is a caterpillar after their metamorphosis. Why would you insist a transman is a woman after his? I get why you’d not want to call him a man, but a transman??

You gain nothing from calling him a woman, and you risk causing traumatic distress in the individual. What is the point? It’s simply rude and cruel to deny anyone their personhood.

That said, we also need to be willing and able to acknowledge the full depth and breadth of our own personhood and all the difference and nuance that comes along with it.

Many are not willing, and I understand why. For binary transsexuals, the goal of transition is invariably to become the opposite sex, but we simply can’t. That’s an inescapable burden for us. Current technology and scientific understanding doesn’t allow complete mutability of human biology. Even so, it can be psychologically gratifying to be understood as a man/woman rather than a transman/transwoman and I completely understand why any trans person would insist they are simply a man or a woman when in fact they are a transman or transwoman.

That much is fine in my view, but to be unwilling to acknowledge our differences to the point it becomes detrimental to others and we begin engaging with the cognitive fallacy of change, it’s time to re-evaluate.

We are well-past the point of re-evaluation. Allies are turning against us because they’re being called bigots for realistically and rationally opining about trans people and issues centered around us.

These conversations are so difficult and nuanced, and it’s never easy to have them, but they are so healthy when they can be had, especially when common ground can be found and agreement/understanding can be built between concerned parties. Concerns tend to build up and ferment in our hearts when left unaddressed, where they turn to anger, hate, and bigotry. Rational debate is a powerful way for human beings to come together, lay those concerns on the table, and work to address them. To deny it is a disservice to ourselves.

…But denying it is now all we’re allowed to do, according to Twitter.

Bigotry has taken the next logical step into fascism in social media. Our concerns have fermented for so long that they’ve now become this. Not only are many still unwilling to acknowledge the nuance of our complex realities, we’re no longer allowed to talk about it. True facts about myself and people like me are now being viewed as hate speech and we are being banned if we dare speak the truth.

I’m not the first trans person this has happened to, nor will I be the last, and as prevalent as our suffering in this is, it pales in comparison to the suffering of women whose hearts are filled to the brim with unaddressed concerns that are going to continue to ferment. If these trends continue, we’re heading toward a bleak future of subjugation. Either a rightfully angry public will turn on us and try to squash us out of society, or we will become the dictators ourselves. We mustn’t allow either outcome.

Twitter needs to re-evaluate this policy and take measures that will allow people the freedom of speech necessary to have these difficult discussions. It’s certainly possible to do this whilst still protecting trans people from harassment and defamation. All it takes is human moderation. As it stands, our behavior is being governed by algorithms.

If Twitter won’t change its policy, we find a new platform, but no matter what, the discourse must go on.

21 thoughts on “Roots: Banned

      1. I’m puzzled at the twitter decision. Seems like a thoughtful tweet, not abusive. Was your tweet part of an existing thread with all those people already tagged in, or did u initiate it? If u initiated, have u done it before and been warned about harassment/spam?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The person I was responding to initiated with me. I’d just been discussing things in a thread I’d been tagged in earlier when several new people showed up and started throwing weird ideas and accusations around that ended with that. I’ve been banned twice before. For a week after something I said about JY, and for 12 hours for something I said angrily and someone who had been harassing me for 48 hours leading up to it. Otherwise I’ve got a spotless history.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. There have been a few glimmers of good news recently but this is so weird. I support your cause and I can see you think deeply on these things. I think you make a few nomenclature assumptions on whether names apply to people and in some ways, using words assigned by this Trans thing has you hung out by the Trans police. I reject “Trans”. I reject “the Trans community” I reject transgender. I reject ‘transwoman’. I don’t need names and definitions. It is a trap set by self appointed activists that will bind you. I’m me. I stand as I am and where accepted by women I am grateful. I think it’s the only forward or yes we will find ourselves caught in a backlash. The crazies are speaking for us because we haven’t spoken out to say no. Good luck. Always happy to lend support if I can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, that’s a fair take. I’m a lot like you honestly. I’ve been hung up on calling myself that in reaction to everyone trying to shove themselves in the “woman” box in so many unrealistic ways. In reality it barely even matters. It’s just a weird battle of words everyone’s caught up in.

      Like

      1. I didn’t originally see the bear traps in the names and happily used them but it started to bother me. Rejecting the names has felt liberating for me and avoids the hell of labels and the war over them.. I will accept ‘transexual’ at a push. I saw all this crap about ‘that’s outmoded and offensive to the Trans community’. That hacked me off. Who bloody well says? lol. Stay strong. x

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is really awful, L. I had that convo muted for a while so wasn’t involved in that part of it (and I definitely did not report you FTR) but your statement was innocuous and in no way deserving of any punishment so permaban is ridiculously over aggressive. I appreciate what you try to do on twitter even though we often disagree. I’ve tried to be nicer in my debating (and sometimes succeeded!) since we’ve interacted. Hope this ridiculous thing gets overturned. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Teela. I appreciate you too and I’m glad you see it that way. I wish that you and I could hash all this out rather than vulnerable people clashing over it left and right. Honestly though, in a selfish way I kind of hope they don’t unban me, my life is much better without Twitter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Nella and Teela, I find it heartening that despite political differences there is common ground. As trans people it’s good to find it and cone together. Twitter’s decisions about Nella have been bizarre to say the least.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to say what motivates most of the madness we see on social media. Anonymity makes it impossible to trust anyone. Thankfully Twitter saw the injustice and did unban me, but they’ve completely ignored a lot of women who’ve been banned for saying exactly the same things. Seems like a double standard and a horrible mistake.

      Liked by 1 person

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