THREE weeks ago I went to dinner with four friends, one of whom is a gay cis Vietnamese-Australian man.
The conversation invariably turned to politics, and one friend – a straight cis female – asked my friend, “is racism worse or better in the community these days?”
Why is this relevant to me? Because in the last 48 hours, I have been subject to the most vile, sickening abuse I have ever encountered, and that includes the media storm I had to endure after my assault last March.
And who was behind this abuse? Country rednecks? Trans exclusive radical feminists? Lyle Shelton?
No, gay men.
On Sunday, after hearing about the “Tranny Two Up” event at the Bank Hotel, I made ONE tweet expressing my concern over this event, and the possible negative outcomes from it. I also, politely, expressed my concern on the Bank Hotel’s Facebook page.
What followed truly made me sick to my stomach, and made me genuinely ashamed to be part of the Sydney LGBTI community – a community I have been part of for over 30 years. Here’s some examples of what was sent to me, in comments and messages, by gay men:
“Harden the fuck up princess”
“Tranny has been used forever, get the fuck over yourself”
“If I’d bashed you, I’d have finished the job”
“Fuck off and die you tranny cunt”
“Watch your back slut”
I could list another 100+ examples.
The most offensive comments of all referred to trans women as “people who were married straights 10 minutes ago”.
Well, I hate to disappoint you boys, but this woman has stood and fought side by side with the gay community since the 80s.
I was bashed by police, in two states, for taking part in pro-LGBTI rallies in the 80s and 90s, I watched six of my close gay male friends die of AIDS in the early 90s, I have spoken at Senate Hearings about safety for ALL LGBTI folks, and I have personally taken serious beatings defending my gay friends from violent homophobes.
So guys, next time you wish to make a sweeping generalisation about transgender women – don’t.
Like the gay community, we come from all kinds of backgrounds, and I sure as hell wouldn’t stoop as low as to use stereotypes that cis-het bigots use to attack us.
The other main issue I have with many of the comments and messages I received yesterday is the “but my tranny friends have been using that term since the 80s!”
Well guess what: it’s 2016, not 1985. You know what else was “OK” in the 80s?
Racism, AIDS jokes, gay bashing, bigots calling all gay men pedophiles, etc. Is that OK to still use/do guys? Of course it isn’t.
As a transgender woman, I have no right whatsoever to dictate to the gay community what should and shouldn’t offend them, nor would I even dream of doing so. So why is it then that this sickening transphobia, and threats of violence, always only seem to come from the gay community?
Not one cis lesbian (the people who you would expect to have a problem with us) sent a single derogatory message to me. Not one.
The Bank Hotel Newtown politely apologised, I gracefully accepted that apology, yet here I am three days later with over a hundred abusive messages in my inbox, most of which are from gay men.
Is this acceptable to you guys? Not just the transphobia, but threatening and abusing women?
You guys are behaving in the exact same way as the bigots who persecuted our community during the “AIDS Crisis” of the 80s.
Do you have memory loss? Or now that you are so close to achieving your goals (marriage), are the rest of us just to be left behind?
We fought for you, and still do. It’s time for a lot of you men to remember who and what you are.
You may see me, and those like me, as a “freak” (a common theme in many messages/comments), but even then, I’ll fight until I die for your right to be you.
I suggest some of you boys “harden up” and do the same, or shut up and get out of our way.
We’re here for good, we’re not going anywhere. And we will have the rights that we deserve.
You can be on the right side of history and support us, or you can be a bigot. It’s your choice.