Via reddit. This is long, but I’m not putting it under a read more because you should read it. Seriously, it’ll take 10 minutes at most.
Fuck it. Time to bite the bullet.
Hi everyone! I wound up incensed to write about this today and I like what came out. This was in regards to a discussion on reddit about the phrase “die cis scum”. If it happens to be right about any one of you, that is purely coincidental, and totally my point. Because I feel I need to say this, and because nothing I say here will be enough to persuade you that I do feel this way, this is not an expression of hate. Really, it’s not. It’s gonna sound like it. It’s gonna feel like it. It’s not. I really do love y’all, but this needs to be said.
Beware, this is a hateful, vitriolic piece which will make each one of you think. It’s quite vulgar. Seriously, I’m chewing a bar of soap right now. It’s offensive. It’s a bit graphic. It’s a bit dark and a lot mean. This might make you cry. This might piss one of you off. This might piss some of you off. This might piss all of you off. This might irrevocably ruin the status of all trans* people in your eyes. This might get deleted. This might get me kicked from each of the groups I’m in, I don’t care if that’s what it takes. And if you have a problem with it, feel free to vent your frustrations. Yell at me in public. Use slurs, be creative! Use my birth name if you want, I mention it later on. Misgender me. Break my things. Steal my car. Steal my meds. Assault me, break my arms and legs and fingers and toes! Cave my skull in! Beat me into a pulp, so badly that I become unable to function as well as I do now! Do what you want if you are really, truly upset about this. I won’t even blame you.
Because if it does any of those things, if it causes you to do any of those things, I am right. And I need to say this, regardless of the consequences I face for it.
Please note that this is only a small portion of what we experience. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and there’s a whole lotta iceberg.
I didn’t get why people would say “die cis scum” for the longest time. I saw it as hateful, mean, pointless. I didn’t like it when people express their frustration at the group who oppresses them. I didn’t see the point. It was just anger, just rage, just spite. It was just as bad, wasn’t it? How are slurs ever good?
I realize now why people say it: it separates the wheat from the chaff.
“die cis scum” is a phrase that has shown to me just how two-faced our allies can be. People get so mad when they hear it. “Oh… how could someone say that about the poor cispeople… we don’t mean any harm… sob …I won’tstand for this aggression against cispeople!”
Oh boo-fucking-hoo. Cry me a river. Cry me a fucking river. Cry me the Po and the Thames and the Tigris and the Euphrates and the Nile and the Amazon. Cry me the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. Cry me rivers and oceans on planets humanity will never reach in a million years. Because that, right there, is the limit of how cispeople are mistreated for being cis. Look at it. Absorb it into you. We call cispeople scum. That’s it.
And not even all cispeople, just certain ones, yet so few of you are capable of not taking it personally.
Here’s another meme: “die trans scum”. Now you might be saying, “wait, Chloe, nobody says that except radfems and bigots!” And that’s close, but it’s not quite right.
You know when I hear “die trans scum”? Every time I see a trans* person come out to their parents or best friends and are harassed or disowned. Every time I hear the fact that a person is trans being a punchline, often literally. Every time I look at the media and see absolutely no positive representation of myself. You can fucking count on one hand how many decent portrayals of transfolk there are! Every time I happen to see Jim Carrey’s disgusting face on TV and remember that the sexual assault of a transwoman was played for laughs, and not only did nobody in a cast and crew of hundreds of people have a problem with it, but it was well-received by the majority of Americans! It’s disgusting and I can’t even begin to explain my revenge fantasies about that!
I hear it every time I shave. I hear it every time I inspect my face for missed hairs. I hear it every time I check the mirror four, six, ten times before I go out just to make sure I don’t look visibly trans, because that is so dangerous, and one of the fastest ways to be perceived as disgusting by the people around you. I hear it when I get to my destination, use the bathroom, and see some flaw I overlooked. I hear it every time I use tbathroom, because I’m so worried that someone is going to see that I’m trans and freak the fuck out. I hear it every time I don’t want to wear clothes that I have that I love because I can’t tuck quite well enough. I hear it every time I decide not to purchase clothes on that basis. I hear it every time I go swimming and have no fucking clue what I should wear.
I hear it every time I have sex and have sensations that I am literally incapable of satisfying right now. I hear it every time I have sex and have to bow out because my dysphoria flares up. I hear it every time I masturbate because it feels like a fucking chore, it feels sick, it feels wrong. I hear it every time I am afraid to kiss someone because I can feel the stubble on my chin. I hear it every time I second-guess telling other people I am a lesbian because I don’t want to “look like a creep”. I hear it every time I decide not to bother trying to cultivate a close relationship with other women for fear of being told I’m not a real woman.
I hear it every time I tell my girlfriend (who is also trans) she’s beautiful and she disagrees because she feels she looks “too much like a man”. I hear it every time I am told I’m beautiful and I disagree on that same count. I hear it every time I apply makeup to hide those features I feel are manly. I hear it when I realize how fucking lucky I am to pass and fit within society’s bullshit standards of beauty. Isn’t that bullshit? “Thank Celestia, I look normal.” What a fucking bullshit thing to have to say. I hear it every time I see a trans* person who looks visibly trans and am a bit creeped because that’s what I’ve been taught to do since birth.
I hear “die trans scum” every time I realize I will never be able to have my own children. I hear it every time I worry that my boobs look a bit weird because my areola are puffy or maybe a bit too widely spaced. I hear it every time I think about just how many more years I will need to wait before I can afford facial hair removal, unless I get a serious windfall of cash. I hear it every time I genuinely consider taking a fucking lighter to my facial hair. I hear it every time I have difficulty finding shoes because I am on the fringe of what sizes are carried in stores. I hear it every time I lament my height and wish I were a bit more “tiny and cute”. I hear it every time I worry that my rib cage is too broad. I hear it every time people ask me if SRS-constructed vaginas are “as good as” “real vaginas”. I hear it every time I think about how much time I’m going to have to spend recovering from a rather invasive surgery, how long I’m going to have to spend dilating, how much of a risk it carries..
I hear “die trans scum” every time I hear about yet another trans* person being kicked out of their homes, being harassed at work, being assaulted, being killed. I hear it every time I look at the NTDS and see 41%. 27%. 51%. 75%. 79%. I hear it every time I decide not to leave my house alone at night because not only is that dangerous enough because I’m a woman, but also because I’m a transwoman. Because if someone tries to rape me and finds a penis where a vagina should be, they might just decide to kill me. I hear it every time I encourage people not to come out because “it’s just not a prudent decision right now”. I hear it every time that my girlfriend has to lie about who she is to her family because she isn’t as fortunate as I am, her family will give her an extremely difficult time when she comes out to them if they do not decide to just disown her outright.
I hear “die trans scum” every time I get misgendered. I hear it every time I have to present ID. I hear it every time I have to answer my phone and answer “this is he”. I hear it every time I go to the ER. I hear it every time I have to handle paperwork at college. I hear it every time I realize that I have to do perfectly in my classes, I can’t fuck up, because this is my second chance and if I blow it I will never complete transition. I heard it every hour of every day this summer because I was so worried I would get dormed with a guy again. I heard it when I wound up having to pick a more expensive room just to ensure I have some safety when I go home this semester. I still hear it now because despite the fact that all signs point to my assigned roommate being a cool person, I can never really know for sure.
I hear “die trans scum” every time someone hits on me because I’m trans and wants to do disgusting things with my genitals. I hear it every time I dare to look at porn and see “she*ale porn” or “t****y porn” as categories, as if it isn’t disgusting enough that my entire gender is sexualized to the extreme. I hear it every time I am regarded as a sexual curiosity. I hear it every time someone has no idea what to do with me when we get into bed. I hear it when I have no idea what the fuck to tell them, because I don’t really know either.
I hear “die trans scum” every time I have to walk on eggshells in my own safe spaces. I hear it every time LGB people tell me that I should out myself to any romantic partners because “they have a right to know”, which apparently trumps my right to protecting my life. I hear it every time I am afraid to speak up in my LGBT groups for fear of alienating trans* people. I hear it every time I am told that my problems aren’t important because they don’t affect many people. I hear it every time the key to my happiness is “marriage equality”. I hear it every time I worry that if I die I’ll be misgendered and buried in guy clothes as “Curtis”. I hear it every time one of my friends makes me promise that if they die, I’ll fight their family and friends tooth and nail in a futile attempt to have their identity respected by the people who claim to love them. I hear it every time I go to an LGBT event and realize there’s basically going to be no T there. I hear it every time I hear an HBSer complain about fake transsexuals. I hear it every time I doubt my identity and think “holy shit, is this my actual fucking life?” I hear it every time I hear of people of color and disabled people who are in my situation and have yet another dimension of difficulty, one which I personally can’t begin to understand.
I hear “die trans scum” every time people tell me I’m so brave. I hear it every time people tell me that I should just be happy being a guy. I hear it every time people tell me they know what it’s like to hate their body, they’re (twenty pounds overweight/have acne/don’t like their hair/too skinny). I hear it every time my family members misgender me because they remember me as their little boy. I hear it every time my cousins go “being a woman is hard, are you suuuuuuuuuuure you want to do that?” I hear it every time people tell me I’m just a gay man. I hear it every time I hear someone say we’re raping women’s bodies. I hear it every time I consider just saying fuck it to activism altogether because my body cannot handle this stress and I feel like I’m fucking dying because I said shit that needed to be said.
I hear “die trans scum” every time I pray to gods I don’t believe in to “fix” me. I hear it every time I flip a coin into a wishing well and wish I was “fixed”. 11:11. Shooting stars. Birthday candles. Wishbones. Four-leaf clovers. Because maybe my wish will come true this time. I hear it every time I go to bed hoping I’ll wake up “fixed”. I hear it every time I hear about body-switching or gender-swapping stories and I wish someone would invent something to do that so I could be “fixed”. I hear it every time I think about how much worse life must have been for a trans* person 1000 years ago, 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago, 2 years ago, last year.
I hear “die trans scum” every time I realize this is my life, and the lives of so many others: a constant struggle against 7 billion people who don’t understand us, who don’t believe us, who force us to jump through hoops just to receive basic care, who insist they know us better than we do. And my entire fucking life is going to be that fight. I won’t get a break. I won’t get time off. I will die abnormal, a wart on the face of human society.
So, oh, someone told you “die cis scum” and you didn’t like it? Fucking cry about it. I’m sure it must hurt so goddamned much to hear it every minute of every hour of every day. I’m sure it must hurt your poor widdle feelings because you’re “just trying to be a good ally”, and it hurts so much to “feel betrayed by the people you’re trying to help”.
To each of you who are upset by hearing “die cis scum”, because it hurts you SO much, I have this to say: Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you!
You, the people upset by that phrase, are what’s wrong with humanity. You are the people holding us back. You are shitty allies. You are shitty people. And it pisses me off to know that I have considered not saying this so many times (and I will have quite a few more times before I post this here) because I’m afraid of alienating shitty people. Because I have been told over and over that shitty allies beat no allies at all. Because if I wasn’t trans, only a lesbian or a gay man, writing a similar block of words, people wouldn’t mind nearly as much. Because people are going to be mad because they don’t agree with my methods or my tone. Because “this isn’t the place for this”. It’s exactly the place for this.
Here’s something to know, and each of you should write this down so you can apply this to your own struggles: shitty allies are worse than none at all. Seriously, write it down. Desk. Pen. Paper. Move those muscles. Use your best handwriting, so others can read it. Or type it up. I don’t care. Do it again. And again. And again.
So, to you, the people offended by “die cis scum”, even when it’s not pointed at you, let me tell you what I want.
I want you to pore over this. I want you to spend a not-insignificant portion of time reading this. I want you to analyze every sentence. I want you to memorize every last letter. I want you to recite this from memory, with feeling, again and again until your throat hurts. I want you to know what it’s like as well as I can tell you. I want you to feel bad. Not like, upset or unhappy. I want you to be crushed. I want your soul to feel like it’s being torn apart. I want you to cry until your eyes bleed and you shrivel up and poof into a pile of sand. I want you to be depressed and hopeless and unloved. I want you to want to fucking die just so your pain will go away. Because that is our pain.
I want to hope so goddamn bad that when you die, you are reborn as a trans* person, so you can see what it’s like to actually fucking be treated like scum. Not lesser people, not second class people, but scum. I want to hope people look at you and make loud gagging noises. I want to hope they make you feel like the scum that trans* people are so often told we are. I want to hope you are reborn as a trans* person in a third-world country who has no hope of ever being treated for your dysphoria. I want to hope you have to turn to sex work. I want to hope you have to eat out of a fucking dumpster again and again and AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN. I want to hope you never forget what that was like, how humiliating, how disgusting it was. I want to hope you never forget the taste of half of a rotting McDouble with condiments you hate, soaked in soda and picked apart by flies, left out for a day and a half. I want you to stifle the urge to gag every time you smell garbage, or be so used to it that it doesn’t cause you to gag at all. I want to hope you get disowned, insulted, harassed, attacked, raped, killed, because people see you as a blight on humanity. I want to hope you have to pick between HRT and food, between shaving and bills, between being yourself and being loved. I want to hope you can’t get a job because people look at you and see a freak. I want to hope you don’t pass and will never pass and will never have anything resembling an okay life. I want to hope that HRT just doesn’t work for you and you will never stop feeling like your brain is being poisoned. I want to hope you cough up tens of thousands of dollars for a surgery that still won’t give you what you truly need. I want to hope you have horrible stories to tell about your lobotomy, your mastectomies, the times you were raped, the times you were abused, the times you tried to kill yourself, and I want to hear all of those horrible stories and respond “Uh-huh. That’s nice. I guess trans* people have it rough too”.
But I can’t hope those things. Because I am human, not scum.