Or, And other shit that makes me question whether I’m actually doing anything right Or, That post in which I uncharacteristically talk shit about people Or, What kind of responsibility do we have as members of a minority community to fellow members of said community? What about when we’re public figures?
Or, Thoughts on Blaire White, Milo Yiannonopoulous, being gay, alt-right mouthpieces, building a career on hatred, and other fun stuff to bring up at parties
YouTube, being the genius it is, has started recommending a weird set of channels to me. On one hand, I like when it does this, because then I find people like John Kuckian, who has become my daily dose of soap opera.
But then it went downhill. I ended up on that part of YouTube.
Not the part that tries to convince you that Beyonce is part of the Illuminati. But the other other part.
YouTube’s recommendations got weird
Suddenly, I was getting suggestions that basically boil down to a bunch of feminist-hating, “logical,” atheist-y channels that disagree with everything that’s too Tumblr-y. In particular, the trendiest thing to hate on these days seems to be what they call ‘transtrenders,’ or anybody who identifies as non-binary, genderqueer, gender fluid, etc. YouTube also recommended all the Tumblr-y stuff, because bipartisan or whatever.
Now, I don’t have a dog in this fight. Really. I don’t.
The very serious business of YouTube drama doesn’t strike me as worth taking seriously.
But it’s entertaining. Out of character for me, I know. I’m all about peace and love and staying in your own lane and minding your own biscuits.
But seriously. Cringe content is cringe no matter which side of the spectrum (see what I did there? No, probably not, but I promise it was hilarious. I’m not linking to any of these people or their content because I don’t want Google to associate me with them on any level, but it was a reference to a video, so do with that what you will xo) you fall on. So I kept watching.
Lumps of coal in the rough
I found some interesting, thought-provoking stuff. Blaire White, for example, is a hysterically funny trans-woman who has built quite the social following by essentially acting as the token trans friend to the alt-right. Kind of like Milo Yiannonopoulos, but wittier, less obnoxious, and less likely to stay relevant after the initial 15 minutes.
Her and her following and peers have essentially built their careers by ripping apart Milo Stewart, Ashley Mardell, and any other genderqueer personality who’s making a splash on YouTube.
But they won’t admit to ripping anybody apart. They say they’re calling out excessive playing of the victim card, asking for logic and calling for ‘science’ and whatever.
However, if you look at the series of videos as a whole, it seems to be a few condescending anti-Tumblr-user people who are super into attacking anyone who falls under the umbrella of “new trans.” And often that means arming people that are saying transphobic things with a wealth of talking points that show how not-at-all transphobic they are.
And more bullshit
They’re also prone to hating on things like the Black Lives Matter movement and using the word ‘triggered.’ One, in particular, tweeted at a relatively prominent public figure to mock him.
Said figure made a response video calling him ignorant and retweeted his attack. His audience also took to harassing said dude.
But said dude tried to respond with two videos that added up to literally one hour of content. He cried foul about the public figure’s audience attacking him and basically painted himself as the real victim. I’m not a fan of audiences ganging up on others. Nobody deserves death threats for voicing his or her opinions.
But I also don’t think you should red card people for being really angry when you’re (1) white (2) speaking out against Black Lives Matter and (3) tweeting it at a BLM leader with more than 3 million subscribers.
Coincidentally, half of his second video was made up of clips of his black friends responding in his defense. Which is great, because I think including black voices in a discussion about Black Lives Matter is kind of important. But it also feels a lot like him saying, “I’m not racist. I have lots of black friends.” Particularly since he didn’t actually include any input from black people until he was wrapping up the conversation. It feels super token-y to speak all your own points, voice your own opinions, and then say, “Plus, look, some black people agree with me.”
Another made a video complaining about a woman who promotes body positivity. She made a video that included a burn victim. The line was, “Oh, what happened?” with the subtext being illustrative of the fact that your appearance is nobody’s business.
In the response video, he said, essentially, that nobody in Auschwitz was fat (i.e. compared her to someone in a concentration camp) and then in the same breath gave her hell for comparing herself to a burn victim.
Real cool bros, right?
And that got me thinking.
I wonder how it feels to be beloved for helping degrade conversations
What I really want is to ask Blaire White how it feels to garner respect from the alt-right by justifying the hateful things they say about trans people.
I’ve watched her in a couple interviews where they took her words, twisted them, and echoed them with a healthy dose of true hatred. They’re drawing truly gross conclusions from what she’s saying. And they’re sharing those conclusions with their audiences. And she kind of pauses, takes a deep breath, and then just nods and smiles.
Honestly, I don’t disagree with her opinions on what she calls ‘transtrender’ people. Some of them are probably super-confused and genuinely have no idea what they are or want to be. Others are probably super young and like attention a little bit too much and read too much Tumblr. And so they appropriate transgender issues.
I’ll accept that. Hell, I still think it’s an improvement over how it was when I was in high school. If I could have called myself genderqueer, I may not have been bulimic. Maybe I could have had fewer friends cutting themselves and popping pills.
I also don’t think that trans people are obligated to speak out for trans issues (or genderqueer people). Just as gay men aren’t obligated to fight for gay rights, women aren’t obligated to be feminists, and black people aren’t obligated to support Black Lives Matter.
Nor are public figures responsible for the actions of their audiences. If you’re voicing your opinion and the alt-right uses it to justify their positions, that’s fine. Especially if you consider conservative values in line with your own.
But White has to understand that straight, cis people who watch Fox News all day aren’t going to get her perspective. She’s hearing the perspectives of genderqueer people from the view of a trans woman. Her audience is hearing it from the perspectives of hardcore transphobic (and homophobic) people who are looking for literally any justification of severely harmful shit like the First Amendment Defense Act.
She’s giving this loud, angry, hateful group of people one more reason to ignore anybody who doesn’t agree with them.
And do we really need even fewer reasons to listen to each other at this time?
I have seen some videos about her, in which members of the alt-right praise her as being their first exposure to a “cool” or “sane” trans person. They’ll support her and have supposedly abandoned their transphobic views because of her. She gives them a reason to listen to trans voices.
But is that really who you want to support you? Are these really the people that you want to think you’re cool? And that’s when I realized it.
Why it’s okay for you to hate me
My video from today is about meeting someone and immediately knowing that he or she absolutely can’t stand you. In it, I said it makes me feel weird when people don’t like me. Because everybody likes me.
But not everybody has to like me.
I’m realizing that I never want to be in a position where people are using what I say and do to justify their own hatred, ignorance, and general grossness. I never want to be a Blaire White or a Milo Yiannonopoulos. I’d rather talk into a virtual vacuum than ever have my words twisted to shut down conversation, compassion, and empathy.
And I’d rather be one of those uncool, outspoken feminist faggots than one of the people that someone ignorant, privileged bros can relate to.
Thinking back, I can remember several times of my life when I was told that I wasn’t “one of those gays.” You know that moment when a straight guy says “faggot” in front of a gay guy, and then takes 30 seconds to explain how he didn’t mean to offend said gay? And that he was referring to you know those other ones that walk around all queeny and that “I’m cool with you though.”
And you’re kind of sitting there gradually starting to legitimately get offended, because even though you didn’t care at first, now, after 30 seconds of listening to how clueless and ignorant he actually is, you’re starting to question why you’re friends with him in the first place?
So I’m just throwing this out there:
I don’t care if you say “faggot.” I don’t care if you call other people “faggot.” I don’t care if you call me a “faggot.”
Calling someone gay isn’t an insult. The way I see it, getting offended after being called gay is a sign of internalized homophobia. And coincidentally, some of the most homophobic people I’ve ever met are gay guys. From my perspective as a gay man, I’ve been treated way worse by my fellow gay men than I have anybody else.
And if you do feel bad about saying “faggot” in front of me, you can always apologize by saying, “Whoops, it slipped.” In which case my not-giving-a-fuck will be upgraded to respecting you for caring about me and owning up to a mistake.
But 30 seconds of apology, explanation, and disparaging anything that’s stereotypically gay starts to grate at me. It bothers me. It bothers me that you not only have a problem with stereotypical gay men, but also that you feel a great and urgent pressure to separate me from them. I can’t tell if it’s because you’re afraid you’ll start to hate me, or if you just want to make sure I have as much of a problem with them as you do.
But here’s the thing: I don’t.
I love everybody. It’s a problem, I know, and I’ve had it checked out several times, but the doctors say there’s nothing they can do for me. I’m sorry. But I will continue to love everybody.
Even the queeny faggots, even the homophobes, even the trans-appropriating social justice warriors, even the trans people being used by the alt-right to justify transphobic behavior, and even the alt-right.
But I’m okay if some of them don’t like me.