How to think about trans people

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I'll start this out by including a post I made on Google+ after coming out to people there:

Now, as to why I feel I need to share this now.

The answer is that Chelsea Manning’s desire to transition has been in the news a great deal the last couple of days. Attitudes towards her situation are made incredibly complicated by peoples’ opinions about her actions and the recent outcome of her trial... and those ideas about transgender issues that people are forming now based on her situation are going to have an impact on the lives of many trans people for years to come.

This is not what this post is about, but for the record: I do not feel that Private Manning’s actions are supportable, and I believe that the verdict of her trial was fair, and that the sentence handed down was fair. I expect that she will serve her time as required by the law, and that this is the just outcome for her actions.

Nevertheless, she is a human being. And, as I said before, the ideas formed about trans people by folks who hear about her situation will have an impact on many many other trans peoples’ lives. (And there are a lot more of us than most people may believe. See this article from Lynn Conway for some analysis of the prevalence of transgenderism in the United States.)

I should be clear that I do not speak for all trans people—these feelings can be intensely personal. I am simply doing my best to broadly cover the situation.

So, let’s begin. First, the facts about Chelsea:

Chelsea Manning is transgender. This is absolutely not news to people who’ve followed the trial. It was widely known in the transgender community, and there was some debate over the right way to speak of her, until her lawyer shared her wish that she be referred to by her old name and pronouns. There was some speculation that this might have been out of a desire to avoid complicating things during the trial, but the trans community respected this wish once it was known, because we know how important these things are.

Before the action which made her infamous, Manning shared this information with her superiors in a piece of email which included a photo of her presenting as a woman. The standard policy of the U.S. military regarding transgender people is that they may not serve, and that if a servicemember is discovered to be transgender they should be separated from the military. She continued to serve and was discourage from seeking official recognition of her condition because her unit was understaffed. This information was detailed during the sentencing of Private Manning.

Before her trial began, Manning was officially diagnosed as having gender dysphoria. (Literally: a bad feeling caused by gender.)

Now that her trial has concluded and she has been sentenced, Manning has publicly stated that she now wishes to be known as Chelsea Manning and to be referred to by female pronouns, and that she would like to begin hormone therapy.

People who are not familiar with gender dysphoria who heard that Chelsea was transgender before her announcement may have been surprised by it—but the trans community certainly was not, because we know how serious gender dysphoria is, and that it pretty much never goes away.

Now, the things that I feel people need to understand:

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Since Chelsea made her announcement, there’s been a lot of talk in the press. Some press outlets have refused to use her new name and pronouns... and this really upsets trans people a lot. Why? Because this is a matter of basic respect: If someone is unwilling to do this minor thing, it indicates that they don’t believe that someone is being truthful about their personal feelings. Further, when it’s in a public context like this, it suggests to other trans people that their experience is being dismissed as well. This is really, really upsetting.

Adding to that upset is the fact that the most place most of us see this sort of treatment of transgender people is in reports of their murder. It is typical for a news outlet to report on the murder of a trans person using their old name and pronouns, and digging up a picture of them pre-transition... even if they haven’t gone by that name or looked at all like that for a decade or more. That’s an incredibly disrespectful thing to do, particularly to someone who most likely was murdered because they were trans.

And, of course, when this sort of thing is done in a widely public way, it suggests to people who don’t know better that this sort of behavior is acceptable (which it is not). To people who don’t care it provides an excuse for bad behavior. (Well, CNN is doing it!)

Most of us have experienced people intentionally “forgetting” and using our old names and pronouns when they are upset with us. This is an extremely crappy thing to experience.

Because of this, it is very important to us that other trans people be referred to by the name and pronouns they request, no matter what we think of them personally.

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Whenever this sort of thing comes up, there’s a lot of talk about the cost to the taxpayer, and should we be providing this sort of “optional” treatment to people who are in prison.

First and most importantly: Prisoners are wards of the state. They are prohibited from caring for themselves, therefore the state must provide for their needs. Among these needs is medical care. What medical care is necessary is a matter for doctors to decide, not prison administrators, not politicians, not the general public. If a doctor in the state’s employ says “this treatment is recommended for the health of this patient”, then that patient needs to get that treatment.

That’s true for diabetes. That’s true for heart problems. That’s true for depression. And, it’s true for hormone therapy and even reconstructive surgery.

The doctor is going to measure the necessity of the care against the cost, and against the time the patient is going to be in prison. And, they’re going to make the best decision they can based on their professional understanding.

(For reference, the American Medical Association, the Americal Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Association of Pediatrics, and many many other professional organizations world-wide recognize only one effective treatment for gender dysphoria: transition.)

So, what is it going to cost? Well, in Manning’s case, she’s asked to begin hormone therapy. My own personal hormones are probably about the same as what she would receive.

They cost me $15 a month.

They’re not unusual medications, they’re not complicated. They’re quite safe, and they’re commonly available.

Surgery is more expensive—but not every transgender person requires surgery to treat their dysphoria, and many will spend years waiting and saving up for it. If a doctor says that it’s indicated, it still needs to be done, because that’s the law of the land and the ethical thing to do. But it’s not something that’s going to happen all the time.

And for the record, there’s already legal precedent that it is in fact required in the scenario that it’s necessary for the health and safety of the prisoner when the prisoner is incarcerated for life. Amortized across the entire life of a person, the cost is not much at all.

Again: In the end, it doesn’t matter if a prisoner is a reprehensible terrible person or not: we don’t torture prisoners by depriving them of medical care. If the consensus of doctors is that treatment is indicated, that’s what needs to happen.

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Finally: Why do other trans people care about this? Well, mainly because it reflects on all of us. We need you to understand what being transgender is like, at least enough to sympathize with our needs. When people attempt to pass laws that put trans peoples’ lives in danger by forcing them to go into the wrong restrooms, we need your help. When we meet you on the street, we need your understanding. When someone cuts into us with vicious slurs based on our appearance, we need to know that there are more people out there who don’t feel that way.

So, we need you to understand Chelsea Manning’s situation, because she is a human being. Because the hundreds of other transgender inmates in the U.S. who are deprived of proper treatment and who are placed in danger by being put into the wrong facilities and being mistreated by guards are human beings.

Because some day, you’ll meet one of us, like you have today, and we need you to treat us like we’re people.

Thanks, and sorry for being so long-winded. (I wrote... a lot more, but realized that would be way too much.)

KrazyTacoFO in the Manning thread wrote:
to act in accordance with their wishes, it demonstrates either that you lack respect for trans people, or that you lack respect for that specific person (and you lack respect for trans people, because you think it's OK to show disrespect by misgendering.)

Her name is legally Bradley Manning though. Characterizing someone as hateful towards all transgender people for calling her Bradley is painting with a pretty broad brush.

She was convicted of espionage and did horrible things in the eyes of so many people, it seems odd that people don't understand that lots of people do not talk respectfully about her. I personally have no respect for her and hope she serves her entire prison sentence without being paroled. I think it would be better for the transgender cause to find a different person to raise a banner behind.

I would also still call her Bradley if she stated she wanted to be called Steven. As a soldier, her name is Bradley Manning until legally changed.

If you refuse to call her by the name she asks to be called by, you are saying that you would do the same to me in the right (or wrong) circumstances.

There is nothing that demands you use the legal name for everyone, and in fact you probably don't. (Have you ever referred to Lady Gaga? Snoop Lion? Katy Perry? Do you even [em]know[/em] their legal names?)

Legal name changes are not trivial in a lot of places, and because of that [em]many trans people spend years before they change their name legally, if ever, even after they start socially transitioning[/em]*. This causes all sorts of trouble, obviously, when a trans person attempts to use their legal ID or credit card or the like only to get the hairy eyeball over the name. Imagine you were working as a receptionist somewhere, and you had down on your sheet that someone uses the name "Karla", and also on the sheet for legal names that their legal name is "James". Do you think it would be appropriate to call out loudly "James" when that person's appointment came up? (This happens to trans* people. In doctor's offices, even. A lot. And it is [em]beyond[/em] sh*tty.)

(* Some extra-nice judges have [em]turned down[/em] legal name changes for trans people. You can imagine how fun that must be.)

As for speaking disrespectfully of her: I don't personally believe that it is appropriate to speak disrespectfully of [em]anybody[/em]. I've already noted numerous times that I think Manning's punishment is fair--I suspect she will be paroled, but that depends on how she behaves in prison. There are plenty of other disrespectful ways of speaking about people that I also avoid, and also think other people should avoid. There's a difference, of course, between respecting someone's actions and respecting someone's humanity. Denying them their correct form of address? That has nothing to do with your opinion of their actions.

If we want to compare this to something of equal repugnance, let's take a hypothetical situation where someone decides to call a gay man who is prominent in the media "her", or a lesbian "him". (Because, in that person's eyes, a gay man is really a woman, and a lesbian is really a man.) Would that be appropriate? At all? That's what you're doing--deciding that something in your opinion trumps the person's actual gender--that some behavior on their part, or some feature of their life is more important to you, and that you have the [em]right[/em] to ignore who they really are.

As for finding another person to raise a banner behind: If we are willing to not speak up for even one of our brothers or sisters or other, then we are doing exactly the same things we criticize others for doing. Failing to treat people with respect by not using their correct name (which is not always their legal name.) It is not that we raise a banner behind Chelsea Manning, it's that unlike all of the other people who are treated the same way, [em]you are talking about her[/em], and therefore I am in the position to correct you. If you were talking about CeCe McDonald and using her legal name? I'd correct you there, too. (Because her legal name? It's not CeCe.)

Yes, when you show your disrespect for a trans person by doing this, you are demonstrating that you have no respect for anyone who is trans. You think that this isn't a big deal? It suggests to us that if you get upset with us, you're going to throw the most painful thing about our past in our face, thinking it's no big deal. It suggests that no matter how long we live as our real gender, as soon as [em]you[/em] decide, you can throw all of that away in an instant.

Chelsea Manning may not deserve respect for what she did--and I don't think she does. But [em]no[/em] human being deserves to be treated without basic dignity for any reason whatsoever. That's the respect, and the disrespect, I'm talking about. It doesn't matter if they're a soldier, or an entertainer, or a homemaker, or anything else. They're still a human being.

Edit: And yes, I do see that you're using her legal name in combination with feminine pronouns. But, that still doesn't cut it. Let's say you have a rare and somewhat embarrassing name: "Archibald", say. On top of that, the name has some very bad memories for you. You've always gone by "Rick", but it's too much trouble to change things. You know that if you just ask people to call you Rick, it's all good, because they'll do that. One day, you're in a business meeting and suddenly your boss starts using "Archibald" repeatedly, despite knowing that you hate that name and that you prefer it never be used. Would that be disrespectful? Yes. Would that boss be acting like a giant asshole? Yes. Would people blame you for walking out of that job on the spot if he persisted against your stated wishes? No.

There's a reason for that.

Call her Private Manning, then. Because seriously, if you're going to call her Bradley around trans people, you're being an ass, because it will upset trans* people, and you've had that explained to you. Does that at least make sense to you, that hearing a fellow trans woman referred to by a name she no longer responds to except for legal reasons upsets us? And that if you do it even knowing that, you are disrespecting [em]us[/em]?

Maybe I shouldn't have started this thread. Not doing real well right now. Will try checking back when I have my sh*t together again.

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Hypatian wrote:

Call her Private Manning, then. Because seriously, if you're going to call her Bradley around trans people, you're being an ass, because it will upset trans* people, and you've had that explained to you. Does that at least make sense to you, that hearing a fellow trans woman referred to by a name she no longer responds to except for legal reasons upsets us? And that if you do it even knowing that, you are disrespecting [em]us[/em]?

Not saying it's the right thing but many folks when looking down/judging/dismissing someone will tend to refer to someone as their pronoun or if they use their name it will be the one that person doesnt like. That act of disrespect is directed at that person NOT whatever moeity/group/class they belong to.

I was thinking about how very difficult it is for me to change someone's gender in my head, and how absolutely reflexive it is to refer to Manning as a 'he'. This stuff goes way, way deep, and it looks extremely difficult for me to internally recategorize someone in that way. I mean, I understand that it's basically that they've developed the brain of the other gender, and that it causes them great distress. I have no moral or ethical qualms about the transition, but at the same time, that gender distinction is wired into me as about as deep as anything ever could be.

So, I kept thinking, and then I realized a shortcut that I might be able to use for doing that recategorization: "Aha, she was pretending to be a boy all along! And now she's come clean and admitted the 'deception'".

I think, in other words, I might be able to use that ancient cliche, drilled into us from stories, to do what simple willpower would have a monumentally difficult time accomplishing.

Dunno if it'll actually work, but I've had practice with that trope, so repurposing it feels promising.

Malor wrote:

I was thinking about how very difficult it is for me to change someone's gender in my head, and how absolutely reflexive it is to refer to Manning as a 'he'. This stuff goes way, way deep, and it looks extremely difficult for me to internally recategorize someone in that way. I mean, I understand that it's basically that they've developed the brain of the other gender, and that it causes them great distress. I have no moral or ethical qualms about the transition, but at the same time, that gender distinction is wired into me as about as deep as anything ever could be.

Agreed.

I don't mean any disrespect but everytime I see Manning referred to "her" or "she" the gears in my mind seize up for a moment before that computes.

So, I appreciate the attempt you are making and I want to ask a potentially terrible question. I want to preface this by saying I know when we talk about social issues such as feminism, inevitably there's always someone who brings up some weird, invented-sounding extreme case as if they're trying to prove that particular instance is wrong, thus the whole idea is wrong. What I'm about to get into might smack of that, but I am honestly asking a very narrow question about what I realize is an extremely rare situation. It was just one that bothered the hell out of me because I had no concept of how to even begin to unravel this thing.

In my lifetime, I've known five transgendered people that I'm aware of. Four of whom were pretty unremarkable in the sense they were not anything to me other than people who were transgendered, had to cope with the massive social and emotional burdens that can cause, and were pretty good card players (edit: this is to say that their transgender situation had little impact to me or my assessment of them, not that I only saw them in this fashion). The fact they were transgender folks never really factored in much, except two of the four were going through the process as I knew them, so it was sometimes a little surprising to see some of the physical changes.

And then there was this fifth person. Started off as a boy, was very loudly and constantly proclaiming to everyone how they were getting gender reassignment and finding their true self and on this path of personal discovery and... well, I'll be honest: It was very much "let me tell you about my roleplaying character". This person wanted very much to let everyone know all the time about their dramatic background in the whole situation, why this was happening, their motivations, and so on. This person very clearly wanted an audience. Fine, whatever - every social circle has one or more of those people. The real problem eventually came when it was figured that this person was seeing a counselor and going through some of the pre-transitional stuff (I say "stuff" not to minimize this, I just really don't understand the whole process or what stage this person was at really)... but not really sticking with it. Not taking hormones, skipping counseling or doctor's sessions, wearing their "boy" clothes instead of the "girl" clothes this person had chosen for themselves as part of the whole thing, I dunno. Like I said, I don't know the ins and outs of the whole thing, they just weren't "sticking with the program".

Eventually, it came out that this person really just wasn't going to go through with it. For whatever reason - snarky people said it was a big attention grab, more sympathetic people figured it was a big, scary thing that was difficult to really commit to. But the end was that this man didn't do it, but still insisted on talking about when or if he would, insisted he was going to counseling when his close friends and even a cousin of his all admitted no, this was mostly just a big lie for whatever reason. He had quit whatever program awhile back and was just talking a good game at this point. He was dressing up as a woman now and again, talking about how he would feel so much better as a woman, but would head to bars and go hang out with friends in his general "male" ... uh, "persona" I guess is the right word? I have no idea. None.

So, the question is not "how horrible of a person is this", and more "how do you even handle that sort of thing?" Do I call this person he or she? Do I refuse to participate, because the general feeling I got was he was making a mockery of what others were going through? Eventually, I just decided on calling her by her chosen female name and female pronouns. It seemed like an easy enough thing to do. But it also felt a little insulting to the people who actually go through the whole process and stick with the gender change. So, I've always been at a bit of a loss on this.

For me, it is a contexual thing, not disrespect.

We refer to entertainers by their stage names because that is the context in which we know them. And, in most cases, we stick with what we know because we don't care enough about the individual to shift gears. Snoop Dogg to me is Snoop Dogg, not Snoop Lion or whatever the hell he wants to call himself today. Prince has always been Prince, not the weird symbol or whatever. And Bradley Manning entered onto the scene as Bradley Manning, which is her legal name and in a legal context. I'll respect her gender pronouns and now that I understand gender dysphoria a little more, I'm fine with a prisoner getting the hormones or whatever else is needed. But honestly, I don't care enough about an indiscrimnate traitor to respect that she wants to be called something else.

It isn't a trans thing. It's a context and respect (or lack thereof) of the person thing.

There is one possible trans person in my life (that I'm aware of). If she decides to make the transition then I will call her whatever she wants because she is a friend and I respect her as a person. The same would go if I were to ever meet Hypatian in real life, I would call her "Kat" or "Katherine". People in the news and entertainers...I just can't be bothered.

ranalin wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

Call her Private Manning, then. Because seriously, if you're going to call her Bradley around trans people, you're being an ass, because it will upset trans* people, and you've had that explained to you. Does that at least make sense to you, that hearing a fellow trans woman referred to by a name she no longer responds to except for legal reasons upsets us? And that if you do it even knowing that, you are disrespecting [em]us[/em]?

Not saying it's the right thing but many folks when looking down/judging/dismissing someone will tend to refer to someone as their pronoun or if they use their name it will be the one that person doesnt like. That act of disrespect is directed at that person NOT whatever moeity/group/class they belong to.

A thought on this:

When you do that to a person's face? It's still a pretty awful thing to do. If you're cis, you seriously have no idea how big a deal this stuff is.

But when you do it and the target of your ire isn't around... what exactly are you trying to accomplish? Because that person isn't going to be cut by your words. In a situation like this one, Manning isn't ever going to hear about it. So the only people who can possibly be hurt by these actions are innocent bystanders, people who have nothing to do with how you feel about the person you dislike.

The direction of the disrespect doesn't matter, because being willing to wield misgendering like that means you think it's acceptable to do that to people. It means you don't think that their identity is valid. Be honest: How likely would you be to misgender somebody who [em]isn't[/em] trans just because you're ticked off at them?

Intention matters, but only up to a point. I wince when I get called "sir" by people, even though they have every reason to believe that I would want to be respectfully called "sir". Even though I know that it's not a slight, it's not an attack... it still hurts. Why? Well, clearly not because I'm sad that they don't like me. No, it's because it hurts to be seen as a man, even though I look like a man. Because that's what being trans is like.

When someone is attacked this way, any trans person who hears it hears "No matter how long I live, my gender will still be a target. No matter how much I fit in, people will continue to dismiss my identity as 'not as good'."

Malor wrote:

So, I kept thinking, and then I realized a shortcut that I might be able to use for doing that recategorization: "Aha, she was pretending to be a boy all along! And now she's come clean and admitted the 'deception'".

I think, in other words, I might be able to use that ancient cliche, drilled into us from stories, to do what simple willpower would have a monumentally difficult time accomplishing.

Dunno if it'll actually work, but I've had practice with that trope, so repurposing it feels promising.

In essence, it's also the truth. We spend years and years and years trying to pretend to be something we're not, until we just can't do it any more. The only difference is that it's society who wants to believe the deception, even if we don't.

Sometimes it's hard to change the way of thinking of someone's name. It's easy for coworkers, friends, and family to change from James to Karla, but someone who has not met them and has no idea may decide there's been an error ("An admin must have put his wife's name down, maybe she called in the appointment") and go with the legal id. One person I knew who went through this was very used to that by the time she actually started physical changes, and seemed to take it in stride when it was a situation where the person was not familiar with her situation. After all, she knew that it just a matter of time before people would start visually identifying her as female, so she could take a long view. (And frankly it was not nearly as bad as some of the stuff she'd already been through.)

YMMV, Hypatian, but it's not always the result of someone disagreeing or not able to process trans people, it can often be the result of simple ignorance and confusion on the part of someone running into this for the first time.

Institutional attitudes, especially in areas that are socially dysfunctional like prisons, that's a way different environment, and I think we can expect that they will be among the last to change. At least in the military, you can order people to behave like they've changed. But that order does have to come down first.

ranalin wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

Call her Private Manning, then. Because seriously, if you're going to call her Bradley around trans people, you're being an ass, because it will upset trans* people, and you've had that explained to you. Does that at least make sense to you, that hearing a fellow trans woman referred to by a name she no longer responds to except for legal reasons upsets us? And that if you do it even knowing that, you are disrespecting [em]us[/em]?

Not saying it's the right thing but many folks when looking down/judging/dismissing someone will tend to refer to someone as their pronoun or if they use their name it will be the one that person doesnt like. That act of disrespect is directed at that person NOT whatever moeity/group/class they belong to.

That doesnt always work. For example, if you use a racial slur to insult an individual you're still insulting the whole group. Same concept here.

Except no one is making a qualitative statement about the relative worth of either gender.

SixteenBlue wrote:
ranalin wrote:
Hypatian wrote:

Call her Private Manning, then. Because seriously, if you're going to call her Bradley around trans people, you're being an ass, because it will upset trans* people, and you've had that explained to you. Does that at least make sense to you, that hearing a fellow trans woman referred to by a name she no longer responds to except for legal reasons upsets us? And that if you do it even knowing that, you are disrespecting [em]us[/em]?

Not saying it's the right thing but many folks when looking down/judging/dismissing someone will tend to refer to someone as their pronoun or if they use their name it will be the one that person doesnt like. That act of disrespect is directed at that person NOT whatever moeity/group/class they belong to.

That doesnt always work. For example, if you use a racial slur to insult an individual you're still insulting the whole group. Same concept here.

No it isn't. A person's name isn't a group slur. I can't think of any trans-specific insults at the moment (and wouldn't post them anyway out of respect to Hyp) but those would be insulting the group. Not calling Snoop Lion by that ridiculous name isn't an insult to African Americans.

So you're just not reading Hyp's posts where she lays out how its insulting to the entire group then?

Bloo Driver wrote:

So, the question is not "how horrible of a person is this", and more "how do you even handle that sort of thing?" Do I call this person he or she? Do I refuse to participate, because the general feeling I got was he was making a mockery of what others were going through? Eventually, I just decided on calling her by her chosen female name and female pronouns. It seemed like an easy enough thing to do. But it also felt a little insulting to the people who actually go through the whole process and stick with the gender change. So, I've always been at a bit of a loss on this.

Well, what I would say is this: Gender is complicated, and not always either-or, and the social pressures that come along with not conforming to gender expectations are pretty large. So, there are a lot of possible reasons for things.

The only rule you can come back to is this: Only one person can know exactly how a person experiences gender, and that is the person themselves. Even if you have doubts, even if you don't understand, the only right answer is to accept what they're saying at face value, and to do as they wish in terms of names, pronouns, and the like.

Even if it doesn't make sense to you, just go with it. Treat them like you would anybody else.

If you suspect that they have problems and need help, try to separate that from the gender thing. (Like, the lying about stuff is kind of weird, for example—and would be no matter what was being lied about.) And figure out what you think of them and what to do on that basis.

If you find their gender expression especially confusing, maybe sit down with them some time and say "Hey, I can't really figure out what you want. Could you clue me in?"

And yeah, if they're just too hard to be around, it's OK to be annoyed by that (I may be reading into things a little—I think this person would annoy me more than a bit. :D) There's a difference between acting in a gender non-conforming way and acting in a way that's annoying.

Anyway... sounds a bit messy, but life often is. Still, can't really do anything except respect how people describe themselves.

(Note: I'm quoting Robear, but this response is not all directed to Robear personally.)

Robear wrote:

Sometimes it's hard to change the way of thinking of someone's name. It's easy for coworkers, friends, and family to change from James to Karla, but someone who has not met them and has no idea may decide there's been an error ("An admin must have put his wife's name down, maybe she called in the appointment") and go with the legal id. One person I knew who went through this was very used to that by the time she actually started physical changes, and seemed to take it in stride when it was a situation where the person was not familiar with her situation. After all, she knew that it just a matter of time before people would start visually identifying her as female, so she could take a long view. (And frankly it was not nearly as bad as some of the stuff she'd already been through.)

YMMV, Hypatian, but it's not always the result of someone disagreeing or not able to process trans people, it can often be the result of simple ignorance and confusion on the part of someone running into this for the first time.

It can be... but in contexts where charts explicitly have one spot for "legal name" and another for "preferred name to be addressed by", and the person in question refuses to stop after being corrected? Nope, sorry.

There's a lot of just honest messing up, it's true. But there's also a lot of intentional messing up. And when somebody asks you to change what you're doing... and you pointedly ignore them and keep doing it, that's intentional.

I don't expect cis people to understand, for example, why this is a big deal. I try to explain, but I don't expect true understanding.

But I do expect people to accept that when I say "it is incredibly upsetting to hear someone misgendered", that they will believe that I am upset. When I say "It doesn't matter that it wasn't directed at me personally, I still feel it, despite your protestations that it's only [em]really[/em] about that one person who isn't even here", I expect people to believe that I am upset despite what they're saying.

And that's why I expect people to do better: Because I have told you all now, about how this is upsetting. It doesn't matter that it's not directed at me personally. It doesn't matter that you don't intend it to be an attack on trans people. It doesn't matter that you think I shouldn't be offended... because I [em]am[/em] hurt, and I [em]am[/em] offended. And so if you do it again, you knowingly hurt and offend me.

And now? Now you [em]are[/em] showing intent.

SixteenBlue wrote:

So you're just not reading Hyp's posts where she lays out how its insulting to the entire group then?

I would suggest then that trans people pick a new poster girl than a disgraced traitor. There isn't going to be a lot of sympathy to Manning's situation or feelings from the general populace.

SixteenBlue wrote:

So you're just not reading Hyp's posts where she lays out how its insulting to the entire group then?

Hypatian wrote:

Even if it doesn't make sense to you, just go with it. Treat them like you would anybody else.

Some people see Manning as a traitor which is about as low as you can go except for a pedophile. I know that when someone is that despised all polite forms of classifications tend to be tossed out the window for that person. People i know that are peaceful and accepting of everyone else differences no matter the range will say the nastiest things about a traitor. It's all directed at that person and not at any group they belong to.

And yet, I haven't heard any other traitors be called a different gender.

It's fair game... but only if you're different.

It is treatment that only trans people receive.

Do you see the problem here?

Nevin73 wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

So you're just not reading Hyp's posts where she lays out how its insulting to the entire group then?

I would suggest then that trans people pick a new poster girl than a disgraced traitor. There isn't going to be a lot of sympathy to Manning's situation or feelings from the general populace.

Here, let me quote from myself in a post I presume you already read:

As for finding another person to raise a banner behind: If we are willing to not speak up for even one of our brothers or sisters or other, then we are doing exactly the same things we criticize others for doing. Failing to treat people with respect by not using their correct name (which is not always their legal name.) It is not that we raise a banner behind Chelsea Manning, it's that unlike all of the other people who are treated the same way, you are talking about her, and therefore I am in the position to correct you. If you were talking about CeCe McDonald and using her legal name? I'd correct you there, too. (Because her legal name? It's not CeCe.)
Nevin73 wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

So you're just not reading Hyp's posts where she lays out how its insulting to the entire group then?

I would suggest then that trans people pick a new poster girl than a disgraced traitor. There isn't going to be a lot of sympathy to Manning's situation or feelings from the general populace.

Let's imagine Manning was a gay man instead. Should the gay folks on the site just sit idly by while people use the word "baggins" throughout the discussion thread until someone the general populace found more acceptable came along?

Whatever disgust you have for Chelsea Manning, the people you're hurting are the multiple trans members in the GWJ community. Continuing to refuse to use her name and preferred pronouns intentionally because you don't like the individual is making this forum an unwelcome place for those members.

Hypatian wrote:

And yet, I haven't heard any other traitors be called a different gender.

It's fair game... but only if you're different.

It is treatment that only trans people receive.

Do you see the problem here?

But most of us have been refering to Manning as "she". We just aren't caling her Chelsea because (in my case) I just can't be bothered to make the mental shift and I don't care what Manning wants to be called. Manning has gender dysphoria. Therefore Bradley Manning's gender should be female. Fine. But the name change? I just don't care what Manning wants to be called. It has absolutely nothing to do with trans people.

RoughneckGeek wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

So you're just not reading Hyp's posts where she lays out how its insulting to the entire group then?

I would suggest then that trans people pick a new poster girl than a disgraced traitor. There isn't going to be a lot of sympathy to Manning's situation or feelings from the general populace.

Let's imagine Manning was a gay man instead. Should the gay folks on the site just sit idly by while people use the word "baggins" throughout the discussion thread until someone the general populace found more acceptable came along?

Whatever disgust you have for Chelsea Manning, the people you're hurting are the multiple trans members in the GWJ community. Continuing to refuse to use her name and preferred pronouns intentionally because you don't like the individual is making this forum an unwelcome place for those members.

Exactly. I don't care about sympathy for Manning. I do care about sympathy for everyone else and ignoring the fact that it hurts other people because you want to hurt Manning (which you're not even doing) is just awful.

Farscry wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

So you're just not reading Hyp's posts where she lays out how its insulting to the entire group then?

I would suggest then that trans people pick a new poster girl than a disgraced traitor. There isn't going to be a lot of sympathy to Manning's situation or feelings from the general populace.

Precisely. If someone has a crisis of conscience and does what their internal moral compass tells them is right, rather than what the law says, then they are completely undeserving of basic human dignity and respect.

Sorry, did the discussion switch to Snowden? Because I know you're not talking about Manning here.

Does it matter? There's a reason they chose the phrase "basic human dignity and respect."

SixteenBlue wrote:

Does it matter? There's a reason they chose the phrase "basic human dignity and respect."

This. This is my real point. And why I 100% back Hypatian in this thread.

Nevin73 wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

So you're just not reading Hyp's posts where she lays out how its insulting to the entire group then?

I would suggest then that trans people pick a new poster girl than a disgraced traitor. There isn't going to be a lot of sympathy to Manning's situation or feelings from the general populace.

Precisely. If someone has a crisis of conscience and does what their internal moral compass tells them is right, rather than what the law says, then they are completely undeserving of basic human dignity and respect.

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