I recommended that short story by Isabel Fell, “I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter” to you all because I liked it. I liked it a lot, actually; it made me think. I didn’t see it as an attack on transgender people at all, but instead as a pointed repurposing of a right-wing meme to create a better perspective on the complexity of sex and gender, and it was effective at that, and that was also the intent of the author.
You can’t read it now, because the story was pulled by the editor to protect the author.
Yesterday, I removed the story “I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter” by Isabel Fall from the current issue of Clarkesworld Magazine. The recent barrage of attacks on Isabel have taken a toll and I ask that even if you disagree with the decision, that you respect it. This is not censorship. She needed this to be done for her own personal safety and health. It does not rule out the possibility that the story will be restored (changed or unchanged) at some future point, but that’s not our priority right now.
There’s a lot of explanation at that link, but this one jumped out at me.
Isabel’s bio is intentionally short and internet presence negligible. I understand that to be a common practice for trans people who are wary of attacks from anti-trans campaigners. Unfortunately, the same shield used against them opened her up to an unexpected attack from others. Furthermore, Isabel was not out as trans when this story was published. Various claims being made against her pressured Isabel into publicly outing herself as a defense against the attacks. That should never be the case and is very disturbing to me.
Yeah, disturbing to me, too. Apparently there was a lot of foofaraw in comments there that were accusing the author of being anti-trans or some such nonsense (the comments are gone now, too) by, I presume, people who didn’t actually read the story and leapt to conclusions from the title. This is ghastly and unforgivable.
The retraction of the story has also been written up in The Guardian.
Have you noticed how some shitty male comedian can make unfunny, superficial jokes about trans people, and they get rewarded with a Netflix special or an HBO series, while a trans woman can make a serious exploration of the real issues behind the joke, and they get outed and their story erased? That’s the real cliche here.