It Would Be Cool If You Would Refrain From Just Making Shit Up About Me and Trans Issues
I only learned this after the fact, but apparently a podcast called Citations Needed recently stated as fact that I have argued that Democrats lose elections because of Democratic support for trans people. This is, in fact, an absolute fabrication, a fucking lie. This was apparently brought to their attention and they corrected it, so it’s whatever. That a podcast called Citations Needed said something so inflammatory with no reference to evidence, well….
I don’t care about that incident, but I definitely do care about the trend. I am accused of holding views on trans issues that I’ve never said all the time. And I just am so tired of it. I have perfectly conventional progressive views on trans rights. I affirm the equal dignity and rights of trans people. I support protecting trans people from harassment and violence and normalizing trans lives. I work with many trans people in my housing activism and I have known dozens of trans people throughout my life. I have always respected their self-identification and used whatever pronouns they desire. I do not believe that supporting trans rights is a distraction or bad priority for the Democratic party or the larger left-wing project. I believe that trans rights are an important part of any progressive or left political movement, as trans identity is equally valid as any other and trans people are a vulnerable population. Yes, I have some readers who would prefer I do the anti-trans thing, but I also have plenty of readers who support trans rights, and indeed I have trans readers as well. My audience is large and varied and weird and it’s bizarre to think that I can or should answer for all of their opinions.
I don’t know what’s right when it comes to children transitioning and when it’s appropriate for them to receive any kind of medical intervention, as that seems like an immensely complicated set of questions. I’m not trans, I’m not a child psychologist or a doctor, I don’t have any special insight to bring to bear, so I stay out of that stuff. Indeed, that lack of any unique perspective or knowledge is why I just generally don’t talk about trans issues much at all; I have nothing of particular value to say. I also don’t write about climate change, Congress, the stock market, or a whole host of other issues, not because I don’t care about them because they’re not in my wheelhouse. But my support for trans people and trans rights is not a secret and it’s immensely frustrating that I have to perform this ritual once again.
I think this happens because people like to decide that I’m a type of guy, then project a bunch of positions onto that type of guy, and then operate as if those are my opinions. It makes it easier to dismiss and exclude me. But even after 15 years in this business and its constant cycle of misrepresentation and dishonesty, I still demand the right to determine my own goddamn opinions, about this topic or any other. For fuck’s sake.