Why You Should Think Twice Before Sharing The 'Trans Gamestop' Video

Why You Should Think Twice Before Sharing The 'Trans Gamestop' Video

Bigotry does not open the door to personal accountability but instead slams it shut towards nuanced discussions of individual situations.

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I haven't been able to avoid this video. You've probably already seen it, but if you haven't, I envy you. The video depicts a woman reacting to constant misgendering from a Gamestop employee by knocking down some Gamestop displays.

As someone whose gender identity falls underneath the transgender umbrella, I understand her feelings, 100%. It feels incredibly invalidating that I will probably never "pass," even with chest binding or possible hormone therapy. I will almost always be seen as a woman, even by my closest friends. The same friends that constantly invite me to "women-only" events, who tell me "you look so pretty in a dress though!" when I express discomfort informal outings due to dress codes.

This woman probably has had years of emotional torment, and purely based off of statistics, most likely years of physical torment as well. I feel her pain. I understand it, although I don't agree with the reaction towards it. But that's not the point. The point: People throw tantrums, yell at employees, etc. ALL THE TIME.

I've worked primarily in retail and hospitality positions, and I can assure you that this experience isn't exclusive to any single group of people. I have seen grown men lose their shit at a fast-food place because we ran out of cheese. I have seen old ladies rip apart their vocal chords to harass high-schoolers about expired coupons.

People are emotional. People are volatile. Emotionality is part of the human experience. No human being is 100% rational, even if they pretend to be. I can almost guarantee that you have had an emotionally inappropriate outburst in public before. I have.

I've had customers come into my place of work, curse me out, and act like complete demons. I've had customers start crying in the checkout line. These same customers apologize later and explain their outburst. "My kid's in the hospital." "My cancer is back." "I'm adjusting to new medication." "Someone I love just died."

I'll be blunt -- I don't know what the fuck goes on in other people's lives. I can know their reactions may be inappropriate for the situation, but I'm not so self-absorbed that I think my opinion on such reaction even matters. I've learned that most emotional reactions to any social interactions often have less to do with the present, but rather are reflections of their past experiences.

That recording easily could have been staged with the purpose of perpetuating transphobia. That goal is easy to understand -- "Look at this immature, irrational, delusional person! (It's pretty likely that we don't know the full story since the recording suspiciously started mid-interaction.) There's also a possibility that Gamestop employee could have been anxious about the situation and unsure of how to respond. (Fairly likely as well.)

It is important to recognize that a common tactic of oppression is emotional gaslighting. When you dismiss a group of people as "dramatic", "delusional", or "sensitive snowflakes", you are dismissing their legitimate concerns, as well as their entire existence.

What transpired in this video should not influence your opinions of transgender people. Even if the interaction involved discussions regarding her gender, that should have no bearing on your perceived legitimacy of her identity, or your overall perception regarding the validity of transgender people. Such generalization is incredibly harmful to marginalized communities and perpetuates the violence faced by transgender individuals, especially transgender women.

We all have bad days. We all do stupid shit sometimes. I have seen some of the most rational, emotionally stable people I know have meltdowns over football games and TV show finales. It is unfair to everyone uses an isolated experience to justify your transphobia.

Does any of this excuse any possible damage caused? Absolutely not. You can extend empathy for the intent, and still acknowledge the impact of actions taken. The two are not mutually exclusive (and should never be.)

Shifting the blame onto transgender individuals for their identity removes accountability instead of enforcing it. Bigotry does not open the door to personal accountability, but instead slams it shut, denouncing nuanced discussions regarding actions taken by individuals.

Before you share that video and denounce your closeted transgender friends, before you make a joke towards a community whose average life expectancy is 23 years, think about the impact of your words. The words that you use can cause significantly more damage than some random woman knocking stuff off a display shelf. The words that you use can contribute to the invalidation and fear transgender people -- people like her, people like me -- experience every day.

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To The Soon-To-Be College Freshman Who Think They'll Keep Their High School Friends, Know This

You will maybe talk to 10 people back from your high school while your in college.

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I know what you are thinking "Of course I am going to still talk to all my high school friends once we graduate." "You just didn't keep up with your friends." "I am going to talk to them every day."

Of course, you may be the lucky ones that go on to the same college and university, but if you follow your best friend to college then have you ever thought to yourself. "Did I choose my school based on if my friend(s) would go to college together." Obviously, it could be coincidental that you end up in the same place, but my argument is more on the idea of having friends that go to the same college on your list of important things once you move away.

Now if you are still reading and still in denial with what I am saying then continue.

Since moving away from home I have broadened my horizons and met more people then I could ever have imagined. I have met people that if I have not kept an open mind to them I would not be friends with them now. You will most likely choose the same type of friends that you had in high school if you do not keep an open mind when finding friends in college.

You also do not want to be that person who refuses to make other friends besides their high school friends. I hate to break it to you, but your high school friends will find other friends beside you when they leave for college/university. This time in your life is supposed to be "a new chapter" if you do not branch out of your comfort zone then you will be stuck in a little bubble for the rest of your life.

Not only will your friends in your high school class be making friends, but you need to make friends that are in the same stage of life that you are also in. Still talking to high school aged friends will limit you from conversations due to distance, lack of relevance, and just not going through the same stuff as you.

Sounds daunting? I know.

I am not saying that you can not be friends still with your high school friends. From time to time I catch up with mine to see how the school is going for them, and how they are doing, but I am building and forming relationships with my friends at college because you have had to start up from ground zero, and will be forming a foundation until we graduate.

Even when you have broken it is nice to hang out with your high school friends and talk about the good old days. My point to you is to keep an open mind and to not get upset when high school friends have moved on and found their new friends from school just like you.

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How Nazis Destroyed The Early LGBTQ+ Movement

Berlin was once the center for the LGBTQ+ movement. Was.

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Many people are unaware of the LGBTQ+ movement before Stonewall. Broad accusations of queer identities becoming "trendy" are often debated without an in-depth discussion of life before the nuclear family.

There is a reason for this lack of contextual factors. And it's not a happy one. Simon LeVay, neuroscience known for his work with gay men, claims that "America was not the birthplace of the gay-rights movement." Berlin was. Was.

The erasure of LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender people, has been amplified through historical revisionism and censorship throughout the years. An example? The Berlin book burning.

The Berlin book burnings occurred in May 1993, by German university students. This was the largest of the orchestrated burnings, but many occurred throughout the nation. These burnings targeted literature that did not fit within Nazi standards or had "un-German spirit." Many of these works were written and published by Jewish authors. The propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbels, claimed: "The era of extreme Jewish intellectualism has come to an end."

Magnus Hirschfield, a sexologist, was one of the many authors who would see the flames of censorship seize his work. Hirschfield formed the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee, dedicated to the social recognition of LGBTQ+ individuals. It was the first queer advocacy group, ever.

Hirshcfield, along with Arnold Kronfeld, also ran the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft, or loosely translated, Institute of Sexology. Hirschfield pioneered the term "transsexualism," and many transgender people were both clients and employees of the Institute, and presented at conferences. The Institute also provided gender-affirming surgeries -- The "Danish Girl," Lili Elbe, underwent surgery here.

In early Berlin, LGBTQ+ magazines existed. LGBTQ+ bars, bookstores, and travel guides existed. Berlin was the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ movement, and many individuals thrived despite laws against homosexuality.

But this all changed when the Nazis came into power.

On May 6, students broke into The Institute and stole the archives of the library, including 12,000+ books. Only four days later, they were destroyed in the burning.

After Nazism took full reign in Germany, life changed completely for LGBTQ+ individuals. An estimated 100,000 men were arrested for homosexuality under Nazi Germany. Up to 15,000 of these men ended up in concentration camps.

We have lost countless, irreplaceable research due to Nazism. We have lost countless, irreplaceable lives due to Nazism.

And we can't let this happen again. With the rise of the far-right, with the passage of laws targeting LGBTQ+ people under the Trump administration, we are losing the progress we've made over the past several years.

So educate yourself on LGBTQ+ history. Speak out against bigotry.

The more education we provide, the less power bigotry will have.

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