Thursday, March 26, 2009


Oh man, I just had my hackles raised. I read Andrew Sullivan's blog over at the Atlantic, and while some of his conservative politics make me roll my eyes, I generally appreciate his insights; it can be quite refreshing to see the world through a perspective not aligned with one's own. Anyway, there's been a rather casual thread of posts in the past few days (see here and here) about trans athletes, and whether we (specifically trans women, actually) ought to be allowed to compete. Nothing wrong with that, until I read the most recent post.

A reader wrote in to correct something he'd said, and Andrew wrote: "I'm grateful for the info. I'll note merely the tone. If the trans community really does want to help educate, inform and guide public policy, as they should, a little less fury, derision and anger might help. Especially with respect to people generally deeply sympathetic."


One of the most infuriating things in the world, regardless of what issue is actually at stake, is when a self-righteous 'ally' tries to tell a member of a minority group that the group should be quieter, not so loud in their complaints, grateful for what help they get, etc. It's a patronizing position that comes from privilege. Only someone with the luxury of being outside a struggle can say what amounts to "Stop being angry that we're oppressing you!"

It's such a defensive posture, and I'm sick of it.

Come to think of it, it's a very conservative, assimilationist viewpoint, one that I shouldn't be quite so surprised to hear Andrew espousing.

And this post plays right into that same trope of the Angry Transsexual (or Angry Black Man, or Angry Feminist), naturally.

Update: Ha! I wrote to Andrew, and got back the following:
my point proven.
jeez you guys need to lighten up.

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