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.
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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

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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I'm Proud That Transgenders Are Being Protected  In The South

Transgenders are human also!

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Having Gender Dysphoria isn't something that we take lightly and it can be a scary thing to deal with. The Transgender Community doesn't need hate on top of the treatments that they are doing through their doctor. The treatments that a Transgender person take will last for the rest of their lives if they continue the transition. I'm so thankful that Tennessee became the first state to implement protections for Transgender people. This is a win for the stereotypes surrounding southern people as well. This shows that southern people can be progressive.

Being Transgender isn't an easy journey for a lot of the community. They have to go through treatments for the rest of their lives and that can be a pain. My Husband, who is transgender, is one of the strongest MEN I know. The fact that Tennesse implemented protections for his community is amazing and inspires us to leave Florida for traveling purposes. This would be the beginning of dissuading people from attacking people because they are who they are. With these protections in place, the next step to continue to educate those who are ignorant. It truly puts a damper on things when they get attacked on top of doing their treatments.

Tennessee doesn't have an exclusive "hate crime" charge but there are factors when sentencing individuals who've committed crimes based on race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry. They added gender to the list just recently in order to extend protection to those of the transgender community as well as the cisgender community. This is a big win for the community because it adds protects and inspires tolerance. The fact that we keep attacking those based off of physical attributes shows that we are still backward in thinking.

I'm sure the majority of us have an idea of stereotypes surrounding southerners and the south. Most people think we homey, traditionalist and backward folk that drinks sweet tea and eats BBQ every day. Growing up in Florida with my family, I had the best of both worlds. I had a forward-thinking mindset but traditional southern values. The fact that Tennessee being progressive with their protections of the Transgender Community brings the south more into progressive thinking. Mind you, Tennessee has been progressive for a while now but this puts the icing on the cake.

The fact that the south is becoming not the homey traditionalist region that it used to be is a cause for celebration. There are transgenders in every part of this country and we should protect them. They are human and deserve to be 100% themselves. Tennessee doesn't have an exclusive "hate crime" charge but there are factors when sentencing individuals who've committed crimes based on race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry. It inspires my husband and me to continue to travel in places that he wouldn't be generally accepted and it's a blessing. Traveling to Tennessee is now on my husband and I's bucket list.

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