"You're NOT crazy"
Trans radicalization volume #98437
r/asktransgender asks: “What do transphobes want us to do? Relocate? Detransition? Die?”
The answer is simple—and not nearly so dire: just keep your wacky, pernicious belief system to yourself. You’re free to hold any beliefs you want about sex and gender. But don’t enforce that belief system on the rest of us: don’t indoctrinate children into it. Don’t rewrite laws around it. Don’t bend medicine to it. Don’t punish the people who refuse to submit to it.
But that’s not a very satisfying answer to a movement that’s going through an intensive process of self-radicalization. If the trans movement is to excuse its own radicalization and violence, then the real beliefs and objectives of its political opponents—opponents that include lifelong feminists, tree-huggers, children’s authors, poets, worried parents, medical providers, people of faith—won’t do. Instead, we must be remade in a monstrous image.
So, what do way too many members of online trans communities believe “transphobes want [them] to do?”
“To be honest us dying wouldn't even accomplish their goal since even if we die it wouldn't erase the knowledge of people like us existing so they would still get confronted with it in regular media and social media. Literally the only way for them to be happy with us is if they could brainwash the world back into a mindset that we gladly left behind already.”
“Bold of you to assume they won't try to erase our presence from history.
For a brief window from the late 1940s to early 2030s, some people believed people could change their sex and their gender. Some of them would undergo dangerous surgeries to more closely resemble the bodies of their obsession. Many if these troubled souls would fall into despair, and resort to self harm. Today, we know better, and the disease can be treated with the right anti-psychotics.
Push the narrative, ban (or burn) the books, defund and discredit the researchers who don't support your story, and wait.”
“Die, detransition, relocate, in that order of preference.
If they can't kill us, they will try to "save" us, and if they can't "save" us they just want us gone.”
“I think its Die, relocate, detransition. If they cant have us dead they want us far away from them, and if they cant have us far away they dont want us to be trans.”
“I feel like if transphobes got their way it wouldnt be too long until detransitioners also started seeing the gates to the death camps tbh.”
“Bear in mind that the same people who want us to die, want our entire existence in culture to be erased. Relocation doesn't satisfy that, it only prolongs and shifts the theatre of the "culture war". Mass detransition is a stronger victory for them, because it would confirm their presupposition that we aren't real.”
“And I question how interested they are in the "relocation" part. If they wanted us to move (in lieu of having us die or detransition), you'd think they'd support subsidies for moving costs or out of state job placement services. But, nope: it's totally trans folk more-or-less running for their lives as refugees.”
“They want us to not exist.
And/or insist we don't really exist. That nobody is really trans and that we are just sick and weak minded people being brainwashed into a degenerate sex/mutilation/death cult.
They claim we didn't exist at all until recently, that we are a product of an evil social contagion that turns normal, healthy (read: cis, straight) people into repulsive predatory monsters.
We aren't even human to them. We are basically the mushroom zombies from The Last Of Us. Human-like things that used to be people until they were infected, and now are grotesque dangerous creatures who have to be isolated and destroyed before we infect the entire world.
Their goal is to make transition impossible, and expel/destroy everyone who has already transitioned to the point that they can no longer pass for a cis member of their assigned sex.”
“While some of them have denial so deep it keeps them from admitting it outright, their end goal is always genocide. They want us stomped out completely and deeply believe that if they can do that, then there will be no more trans people in the future.”
“Mostly die but some are ok with us just being in the closet our entire lives and never talking about it”
“They want us to die. There are an awful lot of parallels that can be drawn between terfs and nazis.”
“They'd have us all killed if they could. Human history is full of movements like GCism. Don't underestimate what humans will do to other humans when they buy into hate campaigns.”
“Gender-criticalism has a clear end-goal: a world without trans & nonbinary people - they're not picky about how that is achieved &, in practice, they pursue a wide variety of alternative strategies simultaneously. Their approach is, basically, to do us as much harm as possible, in as many ways as possible, until we give up our weird fixation with this whole "existing" business.”
“Not exist. The exact method to get there isn't specific.”
“Die, and if not that the next closest thing (detransition then relocate)”
There's been a push—within progressive circles in particular—to listen and demonstrate empathy while scrupulously withholding judgment, with the result that conversations about how our society should be sometimes sound more like a beginner psychotherapy session: "I understand why you feel that way."
Like so many questionable things, I think this comes from a good place. But civic life is supposed to be a process for working out what's true and false and what to do based on what we know. And that means challenging and correcting erroneous or irrational claims, not reinforcing them.
Attempts to prioritize empathy over reality backfire. Sometimes people overreact. Sometimes somebody sincerely feels like the world is coming to an end when it isn't. The right thing to do when an individual or a movement loses all sense of proportion isn’t to nod along politely. Seriously, how did 'reassurance' come to sound like this?
A: "I’m terrified that there's a campaign to eradicate trans people."
B: "Yes, you are definitely NOT crazy, therefore your assessment is totally valid."
In what world is that a compassionate and sane response, given that no such thing is happening? This is nonjudgmentalism run amok. And leaving wild claims unchecked is supercharging radicalization in a community that has long shown a worrying affinity for violence.
When it comes to trans activism, we have a group of people who are (understandably) touchy about the suggestion that they might be crazy and the social pressure to reassure them that they're not crazy is heavy.
This has led to a lot of well-meaning people going along with a lot of things that are just flat-out bonkers, whether that's "I'm a woman because I say so" or "not amputating healthy body parts on demand at government expense is one of the early stages of genocide."
It's uncomfortable to say: You may sincerely feel that way but that feeling is not based in reality. We wouldn't be here now if more people had been willing to tolerate a little discomfort along the way. And I happen to think everyone would be better off for it, since nobody benefits from adopting irrational beliefs that terrorize them or lead them to mortify their bodies.