Dealing with people who don't respect your existence

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HeroOfHyrule
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05 May 2021, 2:33 pm

(This is a thread geared towards the experiences of trans people. I would honestly prefer it if cis people didn't chime in for once, unless they're going to talk about an experience a trans friend or family member had.)

How do you deal with people that don't really respect your existence as a trans person, but insist they do?

I'm talking about the people who jump on the chance to spout "there's only two genders"/"you can't and shouldn't be allowed to change your 'sex'"/"if you want to change your 'sex' you're mentally ill"/"trans people just want special attention"/etc. whenever trans people get brought up, but then turn around and say they "respect" us and our desire/ability to transition.

I honestly intensely dislike and will avoid those people if I am able to. I have no desire to act buddy-buddy with someone who wants to restrict my rights and thinks I'm crazy because I'm trans. I don't feel bad for feeling that way, and no matter how many of these people whine over trans people not "respecting their opinion" I still won't feel bad about it.

Someone can't argue against my right to transition, the validity of my identity, and call me mentally ill/confused/whatever and then insist they "respect" me, because they don't. I wouldn't tolerate it if an NT person told me that autism isn't real, that I'm just choosing to be misbehaved and that I want 'special treatment', and then called me retarded, so I don't get why I would tolerate similar rhetoric from cis people?

I don't like how trans people are expected to just shrug off crap like this and to not argue against it, which is what prompted me to make this thread.

So, how do you deal with people who spout that stuff, but then insist they "respect" you? It's also fine to just vent here if you have an experience relating to this that you want to get off your chest, but don't have anything else to add.


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Fnord
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05 May 2021, 3:03 pm

HeroOfHyrule wrote:
... How do you deal with people that don't really respect your existence as a trans person, but insist they do?  I'm talking about the people who jump on the chance to spout "there's only two genders"/"you can't and shouldn't be allowed to change your 'sex'"/"if you want to change your 'sex' you're mentally ill"/"trans people just want special attention"/et cetera, whenever trans people get brought up, but then turn around and say they "respect" us and our desire/ability to transition...
You cannot deal with clueless people as well as you can deal with your own reactions to their cluelessness.  I suggest you work on that, because when people see they cannot get a rise out of you by being stupid, that will likely discourage them from further stupidity.

:) (BTW: I am a gynotropic cis-male, and my pronouns are "he", "him", and "his".  I went through the same clueless/stupid stage I described above, hurt a few really nice people, realized that I had hurt them, apologized, and have been trying to evolve my own attitude ever since.)


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ApricitiousRory
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05 May 2021, 6:10 pm

It depends? With the obviously insulting ones, I mostly eliminate them from my life. I have no patience for people who gaslight by using their words to say they respect me, when their actions clearly tell me otherwise. TBH, on two occasions with these kind of folks, I laughed in their face. Why should I respect them when they obviously don’t respect me? That seemed to confuse them, I guess because I was supposed to wilt at their micro aggressions? Not happening, at least not if I’m having a good day.

If it’s on social media, it also depends. How many spoons do I have right now? Is this a situation that benefits from me engaging such BS? Is the reading audience broader than just the people in the comment thread? Sometimes I respond to someone disrespectful just to show discussion lurkers that pushback is possible or valuable.

OTOH, my best friend of 30+ years has struggled to understand me being transgender. I’m a late bloomer and only started waking up to being trans in the past 5 years. He has certainly evolved, and keeps moving into more understanding. At least that’s how it feels to me. Sometimes he still will say or do something that feels like disrespect. Since I’ve known him so long, I’m usually comfortable expressing my discomfort to him immediately when that happens. Over time, he gets better. Actions speak far louder than words to me, and he’s been extremely supportive at times when I’ve been at my most vulnerable. He’s also the one who took me to the hospital when I had some bottom surgery, and then brought me home when I was discharged. I know he respects me, even in the rare moments when it might not seem like it at first.