Chelsea Manning

Alright fellow cis people, gather ’round cause I’m about to lay some knowledge on you. First, “cis” is short for cissexual, which means that your own experience of your gender matches the gender that other people generally attribute to you (which could be different than your biological sex, which is also a whole new landscape of shades of grey, but we’ll stick to gender for now).

OK, with that out of the way, I have some bad news: your carefully considered position on whether or not Chelsea Manning is “really” transgendered is not only irrelevant, but also super condescending. Seriously, you should be too ashamed to even show your face in public after delivering such a pronouncement from behind your keyboard. I know that it is hard to hear that your opinion about Manning’s reality is not wanted and that it will make “those people” mad. After all, you are used to society deferring to your thoughts about gender (and everything else if you are also white and male). This is called privilege and it is really scary and uncomfortable when you first are informed that you literally cannot understand the experiences and reality that another person inhabits and that you therefore have nothing of value to add to the conversation. But I know that, deep down, you are a good person. You want the world to be a better place. You can do your part by shutting the hell up and listening to actual trans* people without injecting your opinions, at least for awhile. After you start to get a handle on the actual issues at play in the debate, maybe then you can take some positions. But I think you’ll find that you don’t think that pontificating on whether Manning is faking it for some cockamamie reason is even something worth taking a position on. Hopefully you will have learned to empathize with trans* people, who are after all PEOPLE.

And that is the key: think of Chelsea Manning as a person in distress, aside from what you think about the information she leaked, and imagine that you were in a place where millions of random strangers felt like they should comment on whether you are really a man or a woman. You should feel like those strangers are kind of assholes because they *are* kind of assholes. But this is the assholery of ignorance and you can learn to do better (see what I did there? You are one of the assholes from Chelsea’s perspective). Just remember that you are a good person who doesn’t want to cause unnecessary pain for other people, even when you don’t intend that to be the effect of your words.

Of course, those of you who are actually trying to make things worse can just fuck right off. Our species is finally starting to outgrow you and your petty small-minded hatreds. We neither need nor want you, so crawl back into your troll cave and rot.

[Originally posted on Facebook]