Diversity Matters

This is primarily for the benefit of the UK SF&F community, and in particular someone I spoke to at Alt.Fiction, but the rest of you may find it interesting too.

As far as I am concerned, it is not OK to tell me that my trans identity is acceptable, because I happen to conform to your preconceived notions of what a “woman” is, and then denigrate and make fun of other trans people because they don’t conform to what you think is “normal”.

This is partly just sisterly solidarity. I know that the trans community is notoriously fractious, and some of them don’t approve of the way I live my life, but for my part I try to be understanding and accepting of people as they say they are. I hope most of them will do the same for me.

But it is also a very visceral reaction. If you call someone “not natural” or a “freak”, well you might not be directing those insults at me, but they are exactly the same insults that other people have levelled at me. Seeing someone else get bullied in exactly the same way I have been bullied is no fun, I can assure you. The fact that I am occasionally able to escape such taunts is no comfort.

This is probably a very good time to post my review of Elizabeth Bear’s Jacob’s Ladder trilogy. Here it is.

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3 Responses to Diversity Matters

  1. Martha says:

    I’m sorry that you had to meet and deal with another individual who can’t accept the idea of gender diversity (full stop) as acceptable and good. Maybe some day they will realise the ‘us against them’ diminishes everybody.

  2. Aishwarya says:

    I’m sorry it’s still necessary for you to have to say this.

  3. Steve Cooper says:

    Unfortunately attitudes like this permeate society and should be challenged when you encounter them, and it’s not exclusive to being targeted at people in the trans community.

    There was one guy I knew off – notorious in the local gay community – who if given the opportunity would argue that “queens” and “bull dykes” would be better off getting their gender re-assigned as that’s obviously what they really want to be. His definition of being gay was two guys or women coming together that matched his stereotypical views of how a guy or women should look and act.

    But even the most liberal people can have the queerest blind spots. I new one person who would never think of denigrating and making fun of someone because of the sexuality, gender identity, race, religion. But was perfectly happy to make fun of my size.

    There is possibly less of this in society than there was, but it will only shrink more if challenged, and not just by those with a personal interest, but by all of us.

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