For the love of dog do not touch other people’s mobility aides

I won’t say I’m “surprised” that this happens, because my faith in humanity has been utterly shattered for years, but I am severely disappointed. People with mobility disabilities rely–I mean literally, entirely, need–their mobility aides. Under no circumstances should you be touching these devices without the explicit consent of the people who use them. This includes wheelchairs especially. It is likely thoughtless ableism that makes people think the handlebars on the back of wheelchairs is a general invitation to push the wheelchair around, but seriously, if somebody looks like they’re struggling, use your damn words first.

o some people these ‘incidents’ may not seem like much but trust me they are. Since then whenever I go out in my wheelchair I think it’s safe to say there is a level of paranoia that is always there. This is much worse at times where I have been on my own or I am propelling my wheelchair myself. After these experiences I don’t find it surprising that there is a level of paranoia and anxiety around going out in my wheelchair. However, I shouldn’t have these feelings. Whenever I go out in my wheelchair now, if my chairs moves slightly in a different way to what I am expecting I panic. I quickly turn my upper body around to check behind me. I look to both sides of me and repeat. I have to try to switch off alarm mode in my head, to try to stay calm a collected. Now when I say if my wheelchair moves differently I mean, if there’s a slight slope or uneven service I think that someone has hold of me and my wheelchair. If I haven’t paid much attention to what’s beneath my wheels i.e. pavement, tar mac, cobbles, paving slabs, carpet or laminate flooring and I move differently and slightly quicker or with more force I panic and I believe that someone has a hold of my wheelchair. I should feel safe and comfortable in my wheelchair. I shouldn’t be concerned that free handles on my wheelchair are an open invitation for someone to push me or move me around.

Read more here.

-Shiv

Coerced into assimilation

Content notice: anti-fat discrimination.

Trans people being rejected healthcare options for specious reasons is just the background radiation we live in. Kiva Bay, however, has a more detailed report on how fat trans folks are seen as “less real” because of their weight, and how this links to their healthcare service denials.

Fat transgender people face significant barriers to medical transition, including HRT and GRS, often in the form of surgeons who refuse to work on them, or doctors who feel they won’t make “proper” men and women. For this reason, transgender people have the highest rates of eating disorders, even higher than cishet women, yet another life-threatening danger.

In their essay No Apology: Shared Struggles in Fat and Transgender Law, Dylan Vade and Sondra Solovay explain how fat and transgender people are coerced by the legal system to assimilate to cisnormative standards: “When attempting to overcome these barriers by using the legal system, not only are fat and transgender people expected to share a goal of assimilation, but they are coerced into reinforcing fat-phobic and transgender-phobic norms in to secure basic legal rights enjoyed by their non-fat and non-transgender peers. This is a cruel cycle: oppression necessitates the legal intervention, yet the person must participate in that very oppression to receive legal protection.” They go on to explain, “Winning cases generally adopt a legal posture that reinforces societal prejudices. Cases that challenge societal prejudices generally lose.” They illustrate this with two cases of fat discrimination in California, John R. of Berkeley and Toni C. of Santa Cruz.

Both were seeking damages for weight related discrimination in the workplace. John R., who talked about his fatness like it was a problem he could not cure, won his case. Toni C., who was unapologetic about her fatness, did not. Toni rejected a medicalized view of her fatness, and her argument was entirely unapologetic. Refusing to locate the problem on her own body, locating it instead in a fat hating society, Toni lost her case.

Read more here.

-Shiv

Louder for the TERFs in the back

I’ll signal boost the actual piece I want to share in a moment–I just want to focus on this one line of TERF fuckery so we can all appreciate it. I mean really stew in it, soak in it, like it’s a warm bath. This isn’t even artisinal TERF fuckery. This is gourmet TERF fuckery.

It is also worth pointing out that approximately two thirds of transgender people have reported undergoing some form of gender-confirming surgery, meaning that the majority of transwomen are in possession of a penis

You know, if I hadn’t seen it in the wild, I would have accused Heather McNamara of making shit up. But no. They are really this blinkered. This is the genuine article.

Without further ado:

Those of us who have been in the trans activism game for a while are familiar with the mental and linguistic gymnastics that TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) perform in order to justify transphobia while simultaneously pretending they’re not transphobic. One of their little terms, however, recently went relatively mainstream as blogger Claire from SisterOutrider leveled it at bestselling author (and one of my favorites), Roxane Gay. That term is “lesbophobia.”

If lesbophobia charges were in good faith and meant lesbian phobia where “phobia” is used in line with its colloquial meaning to describe aversion or hate, perhaps it would apply to these sorts of behaviors:

  • Exclusion of lesbians from events or social situations
  • Exclusion of lesbians from discourse on sexuality or gender
  • Preference of straight or bisexual women over lesbians
  • Insistence that lesbians are actually straight or bisexual and erasing their identities
  • Violence leveled at lesbians for being lesbian

These are the sorts of things to which we refer when we discuss homophobia, so naturally it would follow that “lesbophobia” being used in good faith would apply similarly, with the exception that the target was exclusively lesbians. Roxane Gay’s words, however, fit absolutely zero of those descriptions.

Read more here. Content notice for TERF nonsense and evangelist dog-whistles, because of course a TERF would use evangelist dog whistles without the slightest hint of irony.

I swear to Dog.

-Shiv

 

And then what?

Suppose I were to accept one of the common rallying cries of trans-antagonism: “Trans is a mental disorder.” I can completely sidestep the semantics of what should qualify as a “disorder” simply by replying “Sure. And then what?” There’s never any clear roadmap. “Therapy.” Well I went to therapy. That’s why I transitioned. >_>

It’s a simple and superficially appealing line of reasoning. It’s also completely wrong.

Those making this argument seek to apply the expertise of psychology and psychiatry – yet they wholly disregard the expert consensus of those fields on the treatment of gender dysphoria. The American Psychiatric Association, publisher of the DSM, stated in a 2012 report that “Overall, the evidence suggests that sex reassignment is associated with an improved sense of well-being in the majority of cases”, and “Gender transition can foster social adjustment, improve self-esteem, and relieve the anxiety and mood symptoms that can accompany gender dysphoria” (Byne et al., 2012). In a position statement, the APA concluded that transition is beneficial and medically necessary (Drescher, Haller, & APA Caucus of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Psychiatrists, 2012):

Zinnia Jones discusses more here.

-Shiv

What the fuck, BC Liberals?

All I want for xmas is for privileged politicians to stop shitting on people.

The British Colombian Liberal government rolled back two programs for disabled BC residents, resulting in their bus passes going from $45/year to $625/year.

Clark’s BC Liberal government just made it harder for 55,000 British Columbians living with disabilities to get around – despite facing a greater likelihood of unemployment and poverty.

That’s because Clark’s government cut two programs helping disabled British Columbians cover transportation costs, presenting the changes as a net-increase in benefits even though they’re likely seeing a net-decrease in benefits.

The changes, which have led to 3,500 disabled British Columbians giving up their bus passes, is being described as “cold hearted.”

No shit it’s cold hearted. Public transportation is critical for the empowerment of disabled folks, as transportation barriers bleeds into so many other civil sectors like employment or recreational opportunities.

Why on fucking Earth to these program cuts keep happening to put budgets in the black? Start taxing your absurdly wealthy instead of kicking the people who are already struggling!

Enough with austerity. 

Jesus christ. Fuck you, Clark.

-Shiv

Didn’t “Try Self-Love Hard Enough:” Transition Reactions p4

=AtG=

Guys, why can’t people ever just be regular wrong? No, they always have to be fractally wrong. *defeated sigh*

Content Notice for all the usual cissexist shit, plus some naturalistic fallacy and aggressive ableism.

Your transition displays a lack of self gratitude and/or is unnatural.

Yes, people have said this to me. This is actually transphobia occurring on the far left. The far right sometimes invokes “natural order” nonsense too, but there’s a special brand of transphobia that is present among otherwise left-leaning cis people: a sort of condescending and ableist pity, where trans folk are understood to transition because they, and I quote an actual chat I’ve had, “failed at loving themselves as they are.”

Gee, that horse is awfully high. How’s the weather up there?

So, let’s address the shepherd’s pie of bullshit made by our high-and-mighty White Cis Saviour. Typical disclaimer: My transition reactions series only addresses my experience of transphobia and gender dysphoria on a more-or-less anecdotal basis and does not constitute some kind of monolithic commentary on gender variance in general.

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