You’re the second person in two days to say this. You may not realize this and may feel you are offering me a well-intentioned compliment, but it is not flattering because it marginalizes other people.
I’m able to engage on the topic of trans representation in the way that I do because of my privilege as a cis person. I can talk about this issue at very little emotional cost or personal risk to myself based on my gender identity, and that is a privilege and luxury. Unfortunately, this is also a terrible side effect of allyship. Allies are applauded for being intelligent, respectful, and agreeable while the people who actually have to live with the consequences of being marginalized are stereotyped as angry, unintelligent, and not worth respecting.
I can’t accept your respect because by praising me you are dismissing the frustration (which you’ve handily labeled “anger”) expressed by members of the trans community.
To quote medievalpoc after receiving a similar “compliment”:
I’ll take a raving bigot any day over an insidious purveyor of backhanded compliment-slinging “You’re not like those OTHER [marginalized group of people], you’re admirable and use facts and keep cool and caaaaalm.”
The main information conveyed to me by this message is:
1. That you have said or done things that have caused harm to marginalized people or witnessed such an incident
2. and instead of listening, being respectful, and starting to consider other people’s well-being, mental health, and physical survival and how you (yes, you!) can positively or negative affect that
3. You decided that [other advocates] are…angry, unfocused, not-calm, do not explain, do not use facts, are unworthy of admiration, and these things cause you to close your tender ears to their “ideas”….
If you really think that I’m so starved for approval that I would accept and become implicit in the dehumanizing insult you’ve just levied at countless other bloggers who you deem “social justice types”, you’ve got an entirely other thing coming.
As I’ve just said, diversity of perspectives is important to show, and now you’ve shown yours: that marginalized people are only worthy of your precious openness to their “ideas” if they behave toward you in the manner you feel entitled to.
If what I wrote helped you reconsider or think more deeply on the issue of trans representation in the media, that is wonderful, but I don’t want to hear that it came at the expense of your respect for other people.
As Jacqueline, a genderfluid advocate who has been speaking out about trans representation in Dallas Buyers Club, stated to Autostraddle:
“It’s a form of silencing to call people from a non-dominant group “angry”. It’s a way of dismissing them as irrational… Yes, we are angry, and that anger should be empathized with, not dismissed.”