Self care Saturday, Revisited: Cleaning out the gunk

I pushed myself a little too hard.

Between Thursday and Friday I woke up at 3 AM. I couldn’t fall back to sleep anyway. Knowing “Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best” had been aired, I briefly popped it into Google to see what the internet spewed forth. Obviously I found Sarah Ditum and felt compelled to respond.

Then I picked up some more evidence for another piece I’m doing on the judicial undermining of gender identity laws in the UK, USA, and Canada, and something snapped. Or shattered, perhaps. Like a dropped champagne glass, and suddenly the whole room went silent and turns to face you. All the areas of my brain which usually just bounce information around at a speed and volume that leaves me caught between “hyperfocused” and “disoriented” gave way to a single voice.

You monsters.

A flippant comment on a petition. I know the comment was based on a blatantly false assertion, and still the imagined voice of the commentator filled in the silence. Abominations. You’re all sick.

I’ve been examining a bit too much transphobia, lately, and now those positions are taking root in my head. Even as I know they are wrong.

It’s a feeling I haven’t had since I ended my relationship with my abusive ex, someone who routinely engaged in manipulation and emotional abuse. Like feeling that I suddenly can’t trust my own judgement, despite the great pains I take to fact check.

We know if Trump repeats something enough times to the media that the volume of people who believe him increases. Is this the strategy of trans-antagonists? Can they really repeat it enough times to make even an evidence-based trans feminist crack? It seems my clarity has finally left me, and all I can see is the trail of fog left in trans-antagonistic’s wake.

This is the “hyperbole” as it is often characterized by opponents to trans rights. This debate, that trans people are sane and worthy, ironically eats away at your sanity. Who could possibly retain a flawless psyche against a never-ending undercurrent from every fucking thing you open questioning “HEY YOU? ARE YOU SANE? ARE YOU SURE YOU’RE SANE? ARE YOU REALLY REALLY SURE?”

And it feels like no matter how confidently I answer, I get another round of “ARE YOU REALLY REALLY SURE?”

Imagine if that was all people wanted to talk about. Imagine you liked NASCAR and every day of every year some asshole somewhere on the internet is petitioning the government to intern NASCAR fans in psychiatric hospitals. Imagine the courts stripped your parental custody because they think liking NASCAR is child abuse. Imagine hearing story after story of police raping NASCAR fans. Imagine entire sections of the internet dedicated to both hosting and mocking violent videos of NASCAR fans being assaulted, raped, and murdered.

And then imagine a snarling asshole whose career is organized around telling you all these things are made up.

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can convince me I deserve it.

I’ve got a few posts left in the queue, but I’m gonna try my best to unplug for a few days.

-Shiv