Thoughts: The importance of the internet as a transgender individual 9 replies

Please wait...

Silberio VIP Member

Bourée

392,819 XP

9th October 2007

0 Uploads

37,218 Posts

4 Threads

#1 2 years ago

So I was cooking stoned and had a few thoughts regarding the topic title. this leads me to a small disclaimer.

DISCLAIMER: I do not wish to start any kind of debate regarding this or anything (I mean if there's debate, there'll be, we're all entitled to free speech), I just want to share a few thoughts I had on this one thing that I can give a complete "from inside" account of a pretty big topic these past few years. I'm writing this for those of you who simply would like an insight on this from a personal account and possibly want to ask or know more. I don't say EVERYONE should be interested in it either. So ya, let's gittis' show on the road. And lastly, and I guess given for. but still, disclaimer: This is only through my own perspective, I don't imply everyone in the transgender community  feels this way either, although through conversation, I've personally met many with similar thoughts.

The first thing I can pinpoint is the irony, or actually the duality of the internet for me (And that I know is the case for many other trans people as well), and it's the way how the internet is probably the only place where one can feel completely safe in communities solely comprised by individuals of a minority like us. And I mean, it's not an utopic community, not everyone is full of love at each other (I've had cases of thinking "Damn, this a total bitch" and I'm very sure I've come across as a total bitch more than once, that's the way of life) but it's the feeling of at least being able to commisserate on that very basic level that makes it at least safe for you as an individual and not being judged by something that, for us, isn't our most defining trait (i.e. there's more to a person than that).

The irony is how the internet is also the unsafest place for us to be on. While there's no fear of physical assault as is the case of living in the outside world, there's still the fear of that constant, specific kind of discrimination that is really hard to put the finger on. You ask yourself sometimes "What is it I'm being affected by?" as the cliché motivational teaching, that at some point becomes apparent that it's the only logical thing you could do, says "Don't care what anyone says, you do you". It's the smart thing to do. That becomes problematic later on when the question comes again "What's affecting me of this?" and you realize that through the off-shrugging attitude of not giving a crap is probably not cutting it anymore.

And that attitude I consider a good thing (at least to me). It brought maturity, it brought security, self-esteem, it brought a sense of humor, and most of all, a sense of wanting to exist among the living, something you'd been stripped of years ago, so long you're convinced it's been there all your life. The feeling of wanting to exist as yourself. Not existing for everyone to see or for show, just simply exist in a much bigger picture.  Being part of a canvas comprised of 7.4 billion brush strokes.

That sense becomes something that feels like you've won it, like a prize or medal. It's strength as a human being, it's the armor Tyrion Lannister talks about. But even then, there's a point where something falls through, and it's only through a not-always so pleasant realization that the only thing that falls through and tightens your chest is finding out you're not very much human anymore. And it's a realization so strong it kinda just spins your head around. It's a difficult concept to grasp. One hears about wars in which the enemy is dehumanized, depicted as savages or dangerous in order to instill a view upon the friendly side to perceive themselves as heroes. And this is a fact, I'm not gonna say it's good or bad, but it is a tactic which has proven to be effective.

Although, that's not the case. Because there's not a huge majority of people actually spreading propaganda depicting transgender people as savages or cannibals. There's no persecution agenda as is the case during, e.g. dictatorships or kingdoms in history. Yet, it is there. The fact that there's multiple, very repetitive instances of having to explain what you are. You don't talk about your name, your nationality, your hobbies, jobs,  past experiences or talents. You talk about what you are, almost as a concept. You've learned specific word combinations from encyclopaedias and dictionaries to make it sound comprehensible. So that it makes sense.

It's when you realize that much of your new interactions with people is to explain what this species of humans are. And I guess, that's not a bad thing in it's essence. I love to explain what "transgender" means and answering questions about what it entails. But there's that certain element in it that at the point in which you realize that no one really has the need to say "Hi, I'm Steve, a caucasian member of the human species" (yet, because we'll have to once we find the prothean ruins ok) that makes it apparent at some point that you're not anymore a part of the species that we consider kin to us.

We've become this separate tribe that can perfectly coexist together without the slightest implication of that perceived dehumanization. Which is where the internet comes in. The being able to connect with people with hobbies in common, stories in common, openly talking about interests, routines, complain about jobs, share dank memes, etc. etc.

I hope this don't sound like a sob story or whining. I only intend it to be a introspective view of a topic. I'm very very interested in sociology, politics, history, everything that has to do with us as a society and frankly, being in this position is interesting as heck from this curious, always seeking more knowledge on humans kind of thinking I have. I love history and I know this will be another topic in history at some point, and I'm deeply interested in it and I'm part of the very insides of it.

plus my FIRST BIG THREAD IN THE PUB YOOO.

Also, if it gets too pseudo-poetic or metaphoric at some points, fite me im a poet m8

Anyway, thank yous who took the time of reading through, I hope you found it somewhat interesting and whatnot =p


qjyUJrq.png



Serio VIP Member

The Dane

149,931 XP

11th November 2006

3 Uploads

12,511 Posts

38 Threads

#2 2 years ago

I'm not transgender myself, but I follow a lot of transgender people on Twitter, and I have a few friends who are transgender as well. Though it all felt like a very foreign concept at first, I took the time to actually do research and talk to people at varying stages. Nowadays, it's not foreign to me at all. It's just... people.

People that may be slightly more vulnerable, but also people that have incredible strength and courage. People that deserve every ounce of moral support I can lend. I think the internet is good for that; sure, it lends itself as a tool of discrimination, but it also allows activists and supporters to really band together, regardless of distance.

A few happy words may not speed up the undoing of the discrimination that transgender people face, but it can at least brighten some days, no?




Barbas

Hound dog

50 XP

2nd May 2016

0 Uploads

440 Posts

0 Threads

#3 2 years ago

I've never met a transgender possum before. So tell me, when did you know, what's involved and how has it been?

A comparison that comes readily to mind when discussing the internet is a huge library or archive, but, like life, it's also very much like a sewer - what you get out of it depends largely on what you put into it. It's much easier to find like-minded people on the one hand, but on the other hand I see plenty of groups of like-minded people entrenched in the same fights with their historic adversaries (and because they're on the internet they can do a good deal more damage than normal if tech-savvy enough). Someone once described it as "parochial".

I still frown when people say "hey, that's the internet", because it isn't. It's human beings doing what they've been doing since the beginning of recorded history. A few of the brighter ones decided to collaborate long enough to put together wonderful systems like this together, and it should be treated like a fresh start rather than a dumping ground. Machines do only what humans teach them; the only harm is a result of malicious human input. You don't blame a child for substandard parenting.


Calvin%2B%2526%2BHobbes%2Bsnow%2Bforts.jpg



Superfluous Curmudgeon VIP Member

AOE2 Addict

11,741 XP

22nd December 2007

0 Uploads

794 Posts

9 Threads

#4 2 years ago

I think sex, orientation, etc. has been a pretty touchy subject because the "proper" way to do it is laid out in essentially the same way by almost (if not every) major religion. And being of the "wrong" orientation isn't something that can simply be forgiven as a one-time sin like having sex with your best friend's husband/wife might be. By being the wrong orientation, you are effectively living a life that is incompatible with said religion, and because of this, most of the people of that religion can't do anything but shun you.

On the more secular side of things, the discrimination might be more of an offshoot of the religious culture that's been around for so long. Secularism has only really been on the rise at such a large scale in the past 100 or so years so we have a culture that is deeply intertwined with the religions that have been around for so much longer. If discrimination exists, it's probably more of a subconscious thing.

And to compound this, people of different sexual orientations are minorities, and them coming out openly about it is a relatively new phenomenon. Anything that is so new sticks out like a sore thumb while we might be so familiar and used to a part of life, regardless of how utterly absurd it might be, that we don't notice it. Technology is another example. In the first days of cell phones, if someone had a cell phone, that was out of  the norm, and it was a big deal. Not so much anymore because they've been around so long, and because so many people have them.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

298,365 XP

26th May 2003

0 Uploads

28,147 Posts

5 Threads

#5 2 years ago

I've often wondered how this sort of thing becomes an issue in the first place online. I've been on the Internet for well in excess of a decade now and I can count on one hand the number of times that my gender has ever been enquired about. Why would you have to explain it? Why would it even arise as a topic of conversation, unless someone chose to make it one?




Silberio VIP Member

Bourée

392,819 XP

9th October 2007

0 Uploads

37,218 Posts

4 Threads

#6 2 years ago

Very interesting to read your replies on this. I very much agree also on that it's, for today, still very norm-breaking and is probably something that'll shift at some point once it's out enough that it's nothing new anymore. I just personally would wish the process of that is fast enough I can live to see it. Sweden is pretty open in terms of LGBT rights and whatnot, but not the whole population is, specially in the outskirts where I live which is mainly populated by us from different, usually not-as-open cultures.

Religion plays a big part, as Superfluorous Curmudgeon (I'm sorry I completely butchered your name) says. I've met very, very few people with secular point of view, both IRL and on the internet who've been as discriminatory as a majority of religious people I've met are. Then again, there are exceptions. And then again, there's a whole bunch of non-judgemental religiouses I've met who keep slapping in your face that their god will judge, not them. But oh well.

"Nemmerle"I've often wondered how this sort of thing becomes an issue in the first place online. I've been on the Internet for well in excess of a decade now and I can count on one hand the number of times that my gender has ever been enquired about. Why would you have to explain it? Why would it even arise as a topic of conversation, unless someone chose to make it one?

It's usually in the form of "invasion" of said safe-spaces that we create for ourselves, mainly trolling. And like sure, trolling can be ignored and blocket, you can delete comments, but that's sort of what the point I was making was. Even if it can be controlled or ignored to some extent, at some point it still hits you.

And then, the whole thing about choosing to make it one, well... We do want representation in order to reach that point of normativity, as Superfluous puts it in the example with the cellphones. I for one tend to introduce myself as transgender because otherwise everyone just assumes I'm male, which I'm not (and then again, there's always someone pointing out what chromosomes or genitals I have) and then it usually just kinda snowballs. Many of us choose not to use voice chat for example because it tends to be a dead giveaway, so a lot of online playing which requires voice com is kinda out of the question unless you find an all-trans or LGBT team you can roll with.

As you say, our gender is not a topic that comes up just because, but it does. And it usually just kinda comes up one way or another, mainly when we try to assert ourselves as who we are. This isn't something non-transgender people have to do very often, which is why it might not come up as much as in our case.


qjyUJrq.png



Superfluous Curmudgeon VIP Member

AOE2 Addict

11,741 XP

22nd December 2007

0 Uploads

794 Posts

9 Threads

#7 2 years ago
"Silberio" ...Superfluorous Curmudgeon (I'm sorry I completely butchered your name)... ...mainly trolling...

Speaking of trolling... :rolleyes:




Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

298,365 XP

26th May 2003

0 Uploads

28,147 Posts

5 Threads

#8 2 years ago

"Silberio" It's usually in the form of "invasion" of said safe-spaces that we create for ourselves, mainly trolling. And like sure, trolling can be ignored and blocket, you can delete comments, but that's sort of what the point I was making was. Even if it can be controlled or ignored to some extent, at some point it still hits you. 

And then, the whole thing about choosing to make it one, well... We do want representation in order to reach that point of normativity, as Superfluous puts it in the example with the cellphones. I for one tend to introduce myself as transgender because otherwise everyone just assumes I'm male, which I'm not (and then again, there's always someone pointing out what chromosomes or genitals I have) and then it usually just kinda snowballs. 

Many of us choose not to use voice chat for example because it tends to be a dead giveaway, so a lot of online playing which requires voice com is kinda out of the question unless you find an all-trans or LGBT team you can roll with. As you say, our gender is not a topic that comes up just because, but it does. And it usually just kinda comes up one way or another, mainly when we try to assert ourselves as who we are. This isn't something non-transgender people have to do very often, which is why it might not come up as much as in our case.

Hmm, bit of a square the circle sort of thing perhaps? If one is accepted as the appropriate gender that seems like the sort of thing that would obviate being accepted as different from that gender. Bit of a bugger to say the least :/




Silberio VIP Member

Bourée

392,819 XP

9th October 2007

0 Uploads

37,218 Posts

4 Threads

#9 2 years ago

"Nemmerle"

Hmm, bit of a square the circle sort of thing perhaps? If one is accepted as the appropriate gender that seems like the sort of thing that would obviate being accepted as different from that gender. Bit of a bugger to say the least :/

What do you mean if I may ask? (I'm having difficulty understanding the wording)


qjyUJrq.png



Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

298,365 XP

26th May 2003

0 Uploads

28,147 Posts

5 Threads

#10 2 years ago
"Silberio"

"Nemmerle"

Hmm, bit of a square the circle sort of thing perhaps? If one is accepted as the appropriate gender that seems like the sort of thing that would obviate being accepted as different from that gender. Bit of a bugger to say the least :/

What do you mean if I may ask? (I'm having difficulty understanding the wording)

It's pretty much a rephrasing of what I take you to be saying WRT advocacy to try and fit it into my terms.

Say I was an MtF individual. If I were accepted; everyone just thought 'Ah yes, her' - and that was all they thought on it; then that would seem to eliminate the possibility for personal advocacy for transgender issues. The experiences and concerns that would go along with being transgender don't form part of the background for most women and consequently they wouldn't be available to talk about. 

I mean that wouldn't be a problem for me, because I don't take the opinions of people who don't know me too seriously, but insofar as one wants that capability it seems that one would have to reject part of that acceptance. It's the 'otherness', for lack of a better term, that one would seem to need to be able to draw upon for advocacy.

It may not be a logical problem - there are ways to phrase things to make transgender a process for instance that wouldn't involve an X and !X problem - but it feels like there's a tension between those two things. So I can see how it would be a bit of a pain.