So, being pissed at the time, I wrote a comment on slap upside the head saying as much (and explaining that it was angering to have her misgendered and having the struggle of trans* people coopted and erased by queer/gay people).
The comment was in moderation (it was technically in a "guestbook" area since the blog doesn't have commenting enabled), so I went to bed.
I check my email last night and get:
Hi there!So I wrote back in INCREDIBLY even tones. I didn't call him on the tone argument, or the "but be nice to the 'allies' or else we can't possibly be allies,"-ing or the fact that the story isn't that the "mainstream" media is reporting badly, but that ALL MEDIA (other than explicitly trans* friendly media, and frankly including lots of "GLB, supposedly T" media) has been doing this, OR the fact that maybe he needs to learn to read trans* friendly blogs to learn true information about trans* people (dude, if you want to be an ally, GO TO WHERE THE OPPRESSED ARE).
Aw, give me the benefit of the doubt before you chew into me, alright? :)
I do trans* stories whenever I see them, and certainly would have
mentioned that Tiwonge isn't a man if I had known. As it stands, I've read
multiple mainstream news stories about the couple, but your angry letter is
the first I've heard of this, so I think it's unfair to say that I'm
"misgendering" or "falling into the erasure" of anyone. I haven't met the
two, after all. :)
I'll look a lot more into this tonight; having the mainstream media
misidentify Steven and Tiwonge's relationship is a story in itself!
Nope, I recommended a blog post that would clear up his misconceptions and then wrote:
It's great that you're interested in doing perhaps a post about misgendering by the mainstream media (and just about all the activist orgs that publicized this in the first place).This morning I awake to this piece of flaming pile of nonpology crap:
However, you did misgender Tiwonge (since you said she was a man, and she isn't), and you did contribute to the erasure of trans* identities/people (since she's a trans woman and you implied she was a cis man), even if you didn't intend to. It sucks (I'm sure you're not someone who likes to think you're contributing to oppression), but it happened, and saying it was unfair of me to point it out doesn't make it better, and ignores that truth.
I will say that my tone last night was angry. It was angry because yours is one of the few explicitly queer/gay blogs I read with any regularity, (since I generally enjoy it, and generally don't enjoy many others for their explicit and implicit transphobia), and it was a big frustration for me to realize after seeing this "gay marriage" narrative played up in Every Single media report on the topic of Tiwonge that you were doing it too, and that all the gay media seemed to also be doing it. So I suppose you could see it as unfair that *your* particular blog became the "straw that broke the camel's back" but I see it as far more unfair that even on a blog that I normally feel comfortable on, I (and presumably any other trans* person who knew about the truth of the story) was made to feel unwelcome.
In other words: you stepped on my metaphorical foot (and quite a few others), it's great that you didn't mean to, but that doesn't make it stop hurting.
Thanks for listening,
The Deviant E
Hey there,AND I go to check the website and find that
Factual errors happen now and then on the site; particularly ones like this which are present in multiple, reputable news sources.
Blogging is not terrifically rewarding for the amount of work involved, especially when it involves original full-colour illustrations, paid hosting, etc. I admit there was an error, but the accusitory language is unfair.
I do welcome all factual corrections, and unfortunately there will be opportunities for more, but please be friendly about them and give me the benefit of the doubt. (At least until I prove otherwise. ;)
A) my initial comment was not approved from moderation, so no one knows that he was called out on this
B) he has posted another post about Tiwonge, this time burying her gender till the end to make a dramatic reveal about "mainstream media"
C) he has not posted an apology or acknowledged that this was information he could have had weeks ago, had he *looked*
D) he has said that "word has gotten out" that Tiwonge identifies as a woman, without mentioning where possibly such word could have come from (it's like magic "word" that appears on it's own)!
Contrast that my friends with something from Shakesville:
On a blog post about a study finding that children raised by lesbian couples are more well adjusted then their peers raised by straight couples, someone wrote something talking about how fundies would hate it because there needs to be "penis owning person" in the house.
I wrote a comment reminding people that penises and xy chromosomes do not a man make (and lack of penises and xx chromosomes do not a woman make). It was published.
TheDeviantE:Thanks,for the privilege check,comment fixed now.-;-@ a rose to say sorry.And what do you know, but the comment has been changed (to indicate cis-male manly man man-ness as opposed to "penis having"ness) but the person very explicitly put in there a tag saying "Edited for gender-essentialist language"
There was no foot stamping, no "but we're on the same side, [smiley that feels really insincere because I'm rejecting your points]". The comment *went through*, it was fixed! and in a way that acknowledged the fuck up in the first place.
It's almost like... on this *other* blog, people are actually allies and respond accordingly when called out.
So, what to do folks?
I've already posted in public some of the private correspondence (not that the email address of his is secret or anything), which some might deem a breach of ettiqutte. I do so because slap upside the head won't acknowledge his own culpability in his blog either by posting my original comment or by acknowleding it in a post of his (oh, in my comment I asked him to please post a *retraction*, you know, something that acknowledges information was wrong by saying "we done screwed up"?). So I really feel like any ettiquette breach is a tiny little piss beside his ocean of othering.
So question time: Do I continue trying to dialogue being OH SO FUCKING REASONABLE? Do I remain silent and stop reading his blog, since I doubt he'll acknowledge my reasons if I give them? Do I tell him off in an email, getting angry again and telling him I'll not be reading his blog (and a whole other set of things), in the hopes of giving him a parting shot of information and a reminder that it isn't all just peachy? Do I juggle elephants?
You tell me.