Trigger warning for the violent assault of a trans man.
From Tumblr, we have this lovely story of a trans man, James Alexander, who was violently assaulted for being trans. (Warning: link contains pictures of his facial injuries. They’re harrowing.)
James walked by the house of a girl whom he had once had a crush on. The girl had virulently rejected him, calling him a “faggot” and “not a real man” and saying that she would consider him if he had a penis. The girl’s boyfriend, who had nine inches on James, punched him in the face repeatedly while asking him if he was a “real man” and calling him a faggot. When James began to cry, they made fun of him for crying, calling him a “little girl.”
The disgusting intersection of transphobia and male gender-policing sickens me. The concept of the “real man” needs to die a slow and painful death, preferably while staked out in the sun with ants eating its honey-covered nether regions.
As long as the concept of the “real man” exists, men will be punished for their inability to fit it. Some men will be teased. Some men will be shaped by social pressure into denying who they really are. Some men will be bullied. Some men will be driven to suicide. Like James, some men will be beaten up. And, God help us all, some men will be murdered.
We have to accept, as a culture, that there is exactly one thing that makes you a man: identifying as a man. Just like there is exactly one thing that makes you a woman: identifying as a woman. And there is exactly one thing that makes you third-gender or genderqueer: identifying as third-gender or genderqueer. Every gender presentation or performance is exactly as valid as every other gender.
Sometimes I feel like creating a list of all the things that don’t make you any less a man:
- Having a pussy.
- Being mistakenly assigned female at birth.
- Crying when you’re being beaten up.
- Crying, ever.
- Not being a violent person.
- Being a “faggot.”*
- Being a gay, bisexual, pansexual or otherwise queer man.
- Wearing items of clothing typically assigned to women.
- Moving in a “feminine” manner.
- Liking My Little Pony, shopping or spending time with children.
- Not liking action movies, football or the smell of your own farts.
But I know that as soon as I create the list, some new sexist transphobic homophobic ass milliners will be along with a new idea about how some people’s taste in fucking toothpaste makes them really a sissy little girl. Bigotry is like Dracula: you just can’t fucking kill the bastard.
And as long as we don’t manage to put the wooden stake in bigotry’s vampiric heart, shit like this will happen. Men will be beaten up because they don’t fit some asshole’s idea of what a man ought to be like. A man will be beaten up for walking by his former crush’s house, just because he doesn’t have a penis and so doesn’t fit into someone’s narrow-minded ideas of what masculinity ought to be like. And, speak for yourself, but a world in which my brothers bleed over something that stupid– that is not a world I want to live in.
People who can provide references to legal counsel or other resources may contact James at ericjames1302 at yahoo dot com.
*I find it kind of sickly amusing that they acknowledge James’s gender identity, insofar as they called him a “faggot” and not a “dyke”, but are apparently too stupid to work out that men who are into women are straight and hence definitionally not faggots (unless, of course, they like men too).