Q: So, when you say you’re a “transwoman”…?
A: I am a woman, but was born in a male body. I intend to take steps to correct that second part. My boyfriend, friends, coworkers, and other associates know me as a female, and address me as such.
Q: Why don’t you want to be a boy anymore?
A: It’s not that I don’t want to be a boy, it’s that I’m not a boy. I didn’t decide it, I discovered it, or realized it. My body just doesn’t match my identity, unfortunately.
Q: Why do you use the word “queer” so much? Isn’t that a gay slur?
A: The term has been reclaimed by people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities as a more inclusive term. There’s a tendency in the queer community to use the word “gay” when that actually leaves quite a few of us out. The “alphabet soup” model (LGBT, LGBTQ, etc) also has serious drawbacks as it picks and chooses which sexual minorities we’re going to include. “Queer” can apply to pretty much any identity that isn’t heterosexual cisgender.
Q: Why do you blame men for everything?
A: I don’t. I do, however, blame a lot of relevant things on patriarchy, and you should, too. Patriarchy is actually bad for women, men, and every other conceivable gender identity.
(Hegemony in general is actually pretty awful. This also applies to things like race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc)
Q: Butbutbut I have a completely irrelevant anecdote about an incident that mildly inconvenienced me! This proves that women/minorities are the real oppressors now!
A: I’m sorry, but it’s unlikely that we’re going to be able to have a productive discussion on this subject. I would recommend some serious reading on the subject, but I’m not going to play Gender Studies professor unless you want to pay me as much as I paid the University of Illinois. Long story short, you’re probably not aware of the myriad ways in which you’ve benefited from privilege (white privilege, male privilege, straight privilege, etc) because that’s kind of how privilege works.
Q: Why do you think you know everything?
A: I promise you, I most certainly do not. My academic background in literature (including film analysis) gives me a certain amount of authority when I make interpretive and evaluative claims in my reviews. Likewise, when I comment on social justice issues, I have both an academic background and have invested personal time in them outside of academia. This isn’t to say that my word is the Be All End All, just that the opinions and arguments I advance are informed ones. You will find similar language in any serious academic argument, and by no means does this suggest that anything I say isn’t wide open to debate.
Q: Where does the title of your blog (“Love. Think. Speak.”) come from?
A: Narnia’s Creation Story, depicted in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew. That portion really jumped out at me, and has more or less become the approach I strive for in life. I try to come from a place of love (for myself, those around me, and the world) always, then carefully consider the ramifications of my words (or actions) for myself and those around me, then speak (or act.) Obviously I frequently fall short of this, but it really is my goal to always follow this three step process.
(Yes: as far as I know, this wasn’t what C.S. Lewis had in mind when he penned those words. But words are very powerful, and oftentimes can bear unintended fruits.
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