I often like to classify myself as though there’s some sort of personality taxonomy that can pinpoint exactly who I am and why I feel/act/do the way I do.
(Do the way I do? That sounds like the refrain from a song played at a sock hop.)
(Which I’m way to young to have ever actually experienced. BUT STILL.)
ANYWAY. Personality taxonomy.
Or some such taxonomic descriptor of my combination of traits.
I like breaking down my personality like this so I can explain why I am not a certain kind of person. I’m not going to poop on your joy if you loved the movie CATS because I love every movie with Dwayne The Rock Johnson in it and he’s made some doozies.
(WHO AM I KIDDING? HE HAS MADE NOTHING BUT PERFECTION IN HIS ENTIRE CAREER)
See? I’m an empath and a fangirl so I know your affection for your pop culture because I have my own and so I would never discount your faves. I would simply say: That’s just not for me. But I would quickly try to find something that I love that YOU don’t so you can feel better about the thing I don’t like that you do. EMPATHIC FANGIRL…it should go on my tombstone when I die because it explains so much about me.
(At first I said “EMPATHY FANGIRL” but then I realized it sounded like I was a fangirl of empathy which…I guess? But not what I meant.)
ANYWAY…I am trying to circle around to the topic I’m working towards in as lighthearted of a way because y’all? This Empathic Fangirl shed a lot of tears yesterday for the Harry Potter fandom.
If you haven’t heard by now, JK Rowling tweeted her support for a woman who lost her job for her transphobic tweets. Now, if your first instinct is to defend Jo or the woman fired for her transphobic tweets in some way, then this is not the place to do that. I have done my research and I have read responses from many respected members of various trans activist communities and I stand by their hurt and I stand loudly next to them and say: TRANS WOMEN ARE WOMEN. I believe in intersectional feminism and most importantly, I listen to voices in the community of target when they say to me: THIS IS NOT RIGHT and I stand by them when they say it.
(Updated to add: I am a cisgender woman and I don’t write about Trans rights or Trans experiences regularly so I don’t want to try to be the Voice Of Calling Out JKR On Her Transphobia when so many better qualified people have done it before me. I suggest you read We The Mudbloods (which is written in several parts) and Andrew James Carter’s twitter thread if you want to see some well-documented responses to her Transphobia.)
The point of this though is that I was just so very sad yesterday. I said on Twitter that I felt like I was grieving. Because first I went through denial and then pain and then guilt because evidently this is not the first time she’s supported other transphobic messages or anti-trans feminists.
It also felt like a break-up because my heart was literally hurting.
But the thing I learned about my personality taxonomy yesterday is that there is another thing that some people do that I do not do and it also relates to my own classification. I don’t laugh or roll my eyes or get irritated at other people’s pain in this kind of situation. While a lot of the people I follow on Twitter were hurt and trying to wrap their heads around the situation while also trying to figure out how to counter the messaging to their own fans, there were the periodic responses of: There is REAL news going on about an impeachment and my feed is full of this dumb shit.
That’s where my taxonomic classification separates me from those assholes.
Just because you do not feel the hurt does not mean the hurt is not real.
There were so many trans kids in the responses of tweets speaking out agains Jo’s transphobia…it was the one time I felt like I needed to dig into responses because there were trans teens and young adults just thanking voices for speaking out agains her messaging. People saying, “I’m a trans HP fan and I’m heartbroken so thank you for condemning her messaging.”
Those kids were WANTING these voices with these big platforms to focus on this for a second…instead of the impeachment…because one of their idols basically invalidated their existence and/or identity and they were desperate for other idols to fight back and defend them. I would not shame people with the platforms for doing that, whatever other news there was in the world. I was actually proud that so many other people who I follow did just that, took their platforms and promoted pro-Trans messaging and love.
And I know my platform is small but it felt very important yesterday that I use mine to denounce her support. I’m a huge HP fan. I have an HP tattoo. I have an advanced reader copy of the first book. I planned my 40th birthday celebration at a trip to Harry Potter world. And so just in case there’s anyone out there who worries where I stand.
I stand with Trans men and women, Non-binary men and women, and I fight for the rights of ALL women. And as soon as my friend Chelsea gets back in town I’m going to order a batch of her Intersectional Feminist stickers to make sure everything I own carries the message of inclusion.
And I’ll never roll my eyes at your sadness when one of your heroes falls.
P.S. I’m keeping the comments closed on this post because I don’t have the time to make sure people aren’t using my comments to push more damaging and Transphobic responses. I know too many young Trans and GNC (gender nonconforming) people that I want to protect from more proliferation of toxic ideas. If I can’t monitor the comments to protect from that, I don’t want to leave them open. Feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any responses.