Jokes Made At The Expense Of Transgender And Non-Binary People Are Never Funny

Jokes Made At The Expense Of Transgender And Non-Binary People Are Never Funny

Enough with the "I identify as a toaster" comments.

One of the reasons I love going on Twitter is because I come across countless tweets and videos that make me laugh, but every now and then I see a tweet where the joke being told is offensive. The creator then goes on a tangent about how the joke should not be taken so seriously and that you can make fun of anyone or anything with comedy. There may be a grain of truth to that statement, but I strongly believe that you should not use a group of marginalized people as the punchline for your joke. Right now it is popular for people to make those kinds of jokes about gender identities.

These past few years there have been an increasing amount of conversations about how there are genders beyond male and female and that there are many pronouns that people identify with that are not he/him or she/her. They have educated thousands of people and truly made a positive impact, but some see these discussions as laughable because they refuse to acknowledge that the gender binary is a social construct. The idea that someone’s pronouns are they/them or ze/zir is ridiculous to them and this leads to harmful jokes being made about non-binary and transgender people.

A common joke I see is that people will say they “identify as a toaster” and that they must be addressed as a toaster or you are discriminating against them. The justification for those kinds of jokes is that there are so many gender identities that it is hard to keep up with all of them and that if you slip up for even a second, you will permanently be seen as problematic.

Accidentally misgendering someone once will not get you stoned. The only thing that matters is that you listen to that person correct you and then you apologize and address them by their correct pronouns from then on. What is actually a problem is when you belittle their identity and their experiences by saying you identify as an inanimate object and claiming that it is just as reasonable as someone saying they are non-binary or transgender.

And as far as the argument of it being too difficult to keep up with the different types of gender identities, that just proves you are lazy. I am sure that those of you that think that way are more than capable of remembering the names of most of the people you interact with, so why is it “so difficult” to remember their pronouns? A person’s pronouns are an integral part of their identity, just like their name, and shrugging it off and choosing to call them by the pronouns you have deemed fit sends the message that their existence is invalid.

If you think that refusing to take the time to learn what each person’s pronouns are makes you edgy and hilarious, then I feel sorry for you. Basing your humor on the struggles of others is pathetic and shows your lack of creativity, but more importantly than that, it can be detrimental to the people that are at the brunt of the joke. It takes strength to tell the world that you identify as a gender that is outside of the binary, and being met with insensitive “jokes” can have adverse effects on the mental health of those people. Transgender and non-binary people are more likely to attempt suicide than the rest of the population and further ostracizing them by making jokes at their expense can aggravate any mental struggles that they are already facing.

For those of you that have decided to make an effort in learning about non-binary pronouns, below I have linked a helpful article written by Sassafras Lowrey, a genderqueer person, that includes a chart explaining how to use non-binary pronouns.

Go here to read Lowrey's Article

Cover Image Credit: taedc / Flickr

Popular Right Now

20 Rules Of A Southern Belle

It is more than just biscuits and grits.

These unwritten rules separate the people that move to the South and were born and raised in the South. If you were born and raised in a small southern town, you either are a southern belle or hope you get to marry one. Their southern charm is hard to dislike and impossible to be taught.

1. Adults are to be answered with "Yes ma’am" and "Yes sir."

Whether it’s your parents, grandparents, or the person that checks you out at the grocery store, always say yes ma’am.

2. Always write a thank you note.

For any and everything. No gesture is too small.

3. Expect a gentleman to hold the door open and pull out your chair.

Chivalry is not dead; you just need to find the right guy.

4. All tea is sweet.

Below the Mason-Dixon Line, tea is made no other way.

5. Don’t be afraid to cook with butter.

I’ve never met a good cook that didn’t giggle a little.

6. “Coke” refers to all sodas.

Here in the south, this means all types of sodas.

7. Pearls go with anything — literally anything

And every southern belle is bound to have at least one good set.

8. "If it’s not moving, monogram it."

9. Pastels are always in fashion.

And they look good on almost everyone.

10. And so is Lilly Pulitzer.

11. Curls, curls and more curls.

The bigger the hair, the closer to Jesus.

12. If you are wearing sandals, your toenails should be done.

13. Never ever ever wear white shoes, pants, dresses, or purses after Labor Day or before Easter.

Brides are the only exception. Yes we actually do follow this rule.

14. Never leave the house without lipstick.

A little mascara and lipstick can work miracles.

15. Always wear white when you walk down the aisle.

Weddings are taken very seriously here in the South, and they should be nothing but traditional.

16. Southern weddings should always be big.

The more bridesmaids the better.

17. Saturdays in the fall are reserved for college football.

Whether you spend it tailgating in that college town or watching the big game from your living room. You can guarantee that all southerner’s eyes will be glued to the game.

18. Sunday is for Jesus and resting.

19. Learn how to take compliments curiously.

20. Have class, always.

Cover Image Credit: Daily Mail

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

An Open Letter To My Dysphoria, Please, Let Me Rest

If this is hell, then I am living it.


I lie in my bed.

I cannot move.

I cannot speak.

If this is hell, then I am living it.

I want to shed my skin, I want to get rid of these old, hollow bones, this world is a place of torment and I am in the devil's playground.

I am taunted day and night by the blood that flows from me to remind me that I need to be reproducing, I need to be creating a life — ironic, when I never even asked to be alive.

I stick a needle into my skin and watch as thick fluid runs from the tip of it into my body, but I feel no real change. The blood still flows, it has been one day and my voice does not sound like my father's, like my brother's, like my lover's. To say I am jealous is one of the grossest understatements. I am beyond jealous. I want to hit a button and to awaken as the man I never knew I couldn't be.

Maybe in death, I could finally get some sleep. It feels over now. I have no use here really, even if I convince some doctor someday to take this bleeding organ from me, I will never be the boy I desire to me. I got unlucky. I got handed a life that is a poor excuse for much of anything.

I need rest, I have my friends read to me over the phone. They sing sweet poems in my ear and lull me to a sleep where my mind can escape my body even if only for a little while. In those few seconds, few hours, few minutes, I am allowed to leave myself. I can never escape myself.

And I hate myself so this is indeed one of the cruelest fates I am forced to endure.

I want no children, if I were to have a son I would hate him. I would hate that he was genuinely born with everything I could have ever wanted. He stole the life that I should have lived. My brother, the second born, stole the life that I could have lived. So many people around me are nabbing the life that I want and that I deserve to have. Please, let me rest. I deserve it.

I will never be OK. I had a 50% chance of being born into the right body. But I was not.

I just need help. But there is none.

Please help me. There is none.

Please, voices, in my head, be quiet.

Please hammer pounding on my heart, be still.

Let me breathe.

Let me live.

Related Content

Facebook Comments