Actually no: it is worth tweeting the whole thing I think. So idk, get your unfollows ready! (1/10k)
When someone says something negative about me, the time from "but wait, that's not true" through "but what if it IS true? Let's entertain this!" to "that's always been true and I'm bad" is at most 72 hours. Therefore: safety only comes from total consensus.
But this is at cross purposes with being a trans woman at all, because to be one is definitively to take a position about yourself. You can't exist as a trans woman without inherently asserting something about yourself and needing to defend it.
Thus I've spent a lot of time talking with my therapist about TERFs. The conflict between me and TERFs can't be resolved. But there has to be some way to listen, I tell my therapist! To meet in the middle! That way there'll be no danger!
And her constant reply: you can't meet in the middle when someone asks you not to exist. And I'm trying to learn this lesson, and that the existence of any conflict, ever, is not somehow a sign of personal failure. That this is in fact an impossibly arrogant thing to think.
Solidarity helps. It's easy for me to assume I'm wrong but hard for me to assume people I care about are. If a TERF calls me a deluded predatory man, part of me will be like "well gosh, I'd better mull that one over!" If she calls a friend that: WAR.
And listen: believing that safety only comes with total consensus is not just at cross purposes with transness, but at cross purposes with all adult relationality. It's part of my personal inheritance from patriarchy. I want to throw it away.
We want to "reach out to the right" because we view irreconcilable conflict as a sign of *national* failure. It's baked into the Constitution: all conflict can OF COURSE be resolved with sufficient reasoned debate! It's the end of history! There is no danger, none!
Again, the antivenom to this is solidarity. I can be dubious about my own beliefs, but not my friends'. Thus feeling your constructive anger--your wish for different things--and caring about you helps me connect to my own, leads to some kind of growth.
I know this is humanity 101 but this is where I'm at. And maybe you are there too, so maybe it's helpful to spell this out. You can be angry without hating. You can also honor your friends' hate because it's legit. These are ways to find the ground you have to stand on.
Saying this out loud makes this easier for me to believe and sustain; if you needed this, I'm glad; if this made your day worse, I mean, so be it. This conflict, at least, we can get beyond. 🔥
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