i lied to you

I actually am hurt. I do think your reacting to my gender identity. I do think that’s what this is about. I lied when I said otherwise.

I believe you that you want to be an inclusive and open person. I believe you that you think it’s horrible to mistreat people for things they don’t choose. I believe you that you don’t want to be a jerk.

But you’re not being honest with yourself. So let me tell you what really happened.

When you heard my pronouns and some of my story, you thought oh, okay, they’re one of those oppressed people who get offended by things people like me don’t think about. I don’t want to offend them and look transphobic.

And then you got kind of stressed because you didn’t know if things you said or did would offend me. And then you just felt uncomfortable around me in general. And then you felt bad for feeling uncomfortable with me. Being uncomfortable with me makes you think you’re transphobic. But you don’t see yourself that way and you don’t want to.

You saw a conflict between the way you felt around me and the way you saw yourself, and the conflict stressed you. So you choose to get away from the only thing outside yourself you could blame for the stress: being around me. And that’s why you’re leaving.

So no, it’s not because you hate me nor because you hate trans or nonbinary people. You don’t. It’s because you aren’t willing to or are afraid of putting in the effort to learn how to be comfortable. And it’s because you’re afraid you’re going to make a mistake and I’m going to find out that you’re ignorant about people like me.

Here’s the thing though. I already knew you were ignorant about people like me. The moment I learnt you were cis I knew you would be ignorant about people like me. You don’t have to hide that. I expect you to make mistakes and if I were too sensitive to handle any mistakes I wouldn’t have come out. Make mistakes! But more importantly, choose to learn. If you don’t know how to treat me, ask! If you don’t know how to use my pronouns, ask! If you don’t know what else to do differently, ask! I’m going to notice that you don’t know the answers whether you ask or not, so I’d much rather you give me the opportunity to help you.

I tried to tell you you could ask me anything, but by then you’d already made up your mind. You’d already decided that understanding my identity is too hard for you. You’d already decided that that part of my identity was the only one that mattered to you. You’d already decided that the discomfort of unfamiliarity wasn’t worth it to you.

So no you’re probably not a jerk. But you’re trying to feel good about being inclusive without putting in the effort to learn how to actually be inclusive, and that’s never going to end well.

I’m just going to let you push me away and go along your merry way and enjoy the comfort of a society that sees gender your way.

But meanwhile I wish you saw that not all of us have that choice. Not all of us have the option of rooming with someone our gender, or who even sees gender in a way that actually for real includes us. Not all of us have the option of refusing to learn different ways to think about gender. Not all of us have the option to be comfortable. Not all of us have the option to push someone away instead of understanding them.

So go ahead and enjoy your privilege, I don’t care. But know that’s what you’re doing.

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