[psst…read Sybil’s novel I’ve Got a Time Bomb]
DETRANSITION NOW!!! If you are one of the 1:12000 people born with GID, if your assigned gender is not your gender ID, if you are a fag who thinks dressing like a woman will get you more boyfriends, then you are crazy. Your head is all fucked up,…
the fuck is this
are you fucking kidding me. please don’t read this it’s a bunch of fucking virulent transmisogyny hiding behind the guise of “radical tough love” and one of the most awful and disgusting things i’ve ever read. fucking hell
i’ve read worse and been called worse this is baby level like did the person even try
all you baby trans girls who will never in yr lives face as much hell and violence as Sybil has have GOT to listen to older trans women!! Seriously, you are embarrassing. When a woman who’s been trans longer than you’ve been alive says something you find challenging, listen because **we don’t have many elders and some of them know a hell of a lot more than you**.
ETA: do y’all not get that it’s a love letter from an older trans woman to younger trans woman, putting all the toxic shit we hear about ourselves and some of the tough realities all together in her own words in one nice tight package for us to study and learn from and resist???????
Just a quick “so ya’ know,” this piece was written by a woman who was beaten with a pipe and left for dead in a ditch because she’s trans. I’m not being metaphorical. They had to put her face back together and it’s a miracle she’s alive. I get that there’s basically no reason you should just know that if you don’t know who she is, but yeah. She has permanent brain damage from when someone tried to kill her, tried to make her a part of the statistics that get tossed around like there aren’t real people on the other end of them. She has felt the blunt end of transmisogyny, been put through the violence that so many of us talk about all the time and legitimately fear, but will never so intimately understand. She went through hell and came out alive and is one of the most incredible people I know. I’m pretty much 100% not interested in anyone talkin’ shit.
ELL OH ELL.
Sybil’s deep snark is basically the only trans thing that is cool ever.
Also, Sybil is one of my absolute favourite people in the entire world. Not only is she an immensely talented artist and writer, she is also good in the sack (see the painting of her spitting in my vagina), and I’m pretty sure she’s the mouthpiece of God thanks to all of the brain damage.
I love Sybil Lamb now and forever. She’s one of the only purely decent people I’ve ever met.
Maybe I’m not quite getting this but racism and ridicule of aboriginal beliefs, and bold face lies aren’t cool. Even if they are from one of us. Estrogen, is commonly harvested from plants, most commonly soy.
mental illness is indeed influenced by being queer, but all evidence shows it gets better, not worse when you transition. The depression is a symptom of minority stress and the self hate associated with being trans.
Am I the only one here who thinks this kind of inarticulate, uncomfortably slurred and insensitive shit isn’t ok? I don’t give two fucks if this person has years on me. since when has age, in and of itself, command respect? The wisdom associated with it is what I value, and its not on display here. She is suggesting that I’m just gay and want to get boyfriends. news flash I am ‘gay’, I like girls. I get that this shit is meant as some sort of inoculation against trans misogyny. That doesn’t make it okay. I see someone pouring a thick layer of internalized transphobia on top of this ‘tough love’.
I could understand if she wanted to show the ugly face of the world, I can even understand not prefacing it to get maximum effect; although I wouldn’t think it’s worth it. but all she did was make a weak ass amendment to the end saying stop being mad, its just a writing project. Authorial intent is pointless shit. Don’t tell me to take an insult because you came up with some nonsense justification.
like, shit, we don’t let this kind of violent, hate filled bile stand when it comes from without, less so when they make weak take backs, but this slur speaking hateful, careless veteran says literally the same thing and its inspiring? because it’s some sort of sick lesson? Fuck off.
you know what? I fucking knew what I was getting into, I did my reading, I checked my statistics, I read first hand stories and I hide in fear of the world. I fucking know this is what the world looks like, but I just (finally) got some anti androgens, and for the first time in years I haven’t wanted to kill myself, SO fuck you because if I had read this shit before I had my footing I may have waited, I maybe would be opening my arm right now if that happened, so fuck you.
Maybe Veterans might forget what its like, to be new to this, but it sure as shit must be easier to tell people not to do it, as an a malicious exercise, when they are distant from the uncertainty and self hate. The hardest decision of my life, and she fucking plays with it? she should know better.
transcatharsis what the fuck? context can lend understanding to this vile sick shit, but it sure as hell doesn’t exonerate her. Yeah she had the worst thing I can imagine happen to her, I empathize. but i doesn’t erase that she is acting like an insensitive self absorbed hateful bastard.
You should all fucking know better.
I don’t care how many years Sybil has been a ‘respected pillar of the community’ or what personal pain she’s gone through because those things do not make this piece any better.
This article is totally bad. I don’t care who it’s coming from but the textual version of someone screaming “you are not real! give up!” at me does not feel good. This is not tough love. This does not communicate anything resembling love.
If Sybil chooses to write shit like this in the future I hope to fuck that it is not published. Not online, not in print. I have read this article three times and I cannot figure out how this was supposed to be helpful for trans girls to read. Like, can you imagine if this was the first thing you ever read about transgender women? It regurgitates so much misinformation and bigotry!
Don’t try to convince me of the merit of this post because there is no way that I will come around. Fuck this article, I do not care what year it is from or what time machine Sybil came from.
So… this is a strange argument. I wonder if this disagreement actually comes out of a misunderstanding of tone. Like, it seems to me that people who are getting angry with Sybil are reading her very literally. Like, Sybil is 100% not, not even slightly, suggesting that trans people are just gay. Minervose, she is NOT suggesting that you, or her, or any of us, are “just gay”. She is taking a slur or criticism that has historically been thrown at us (and still is- see that awful thoughtcatalog piece) and taking it to its point of most possible ridiculousness. In doing so she exposes, not only how dumb this is (why the hell would we do THIS if we were “just gay”) which an explicit criticism would do fine, but also how much pain it can cause, which an explicit argumentative criticism wouldn’t do. ”Crying in the closet wearing your mother’s moth-bally prom dress and crying and fantasizing about a normal man holding you like a normal woman and crying???!? Cuz what the fuck was all that about anyways??? Why couldn’t you have just been a fag??” If you can’t hear how funny that is, how double-voiced, how it replays a source of pain and takes the idea causing the pain to pieces at the same time, and so shows, not just an argument, but all the complexity of lived experience, then you are not really getting this piece of writing.
I feel like the point in this discussion that most fully exemplifies this is when someone got all “but estrogen is made from soy!”. Like, ok, it used to be made from horses’ pee (heard of premarin?- a contraction for pregnant mare’s urine) but the point of what Sybil is doing is nothing to do with whether this is true any more or not. She is taking the worst people can say about us, and going through it in a way that, at the same time, also shows how bad that hurts us, and ALSO at the same time, mercilessly mocks it. “But estrogen is made from tortured horses” is NOT a valid criticism of trans people for all kinds of reasons, and Sybil’s laughter (c’mon, you can see it’s funny, right?) illustrates the ridiculous transphobia behind it when an attempt at factual denial would only accept it’s premises. Taking her as literally promulgating this slur is… well… I think you may need to go re-read it with an eye for irony, is all I’m saying.
Similarly with the question of love. If you can’t hear the intense love IN THE FACE OF EVERYTHING, the intense resistance to the badness of the world, the intense commitment to community, in a statement like “ I have a few hundred tr*ns friends and they are all complete, utter, damaged, head-cases”, then you are not reading it right. You are totally missing the humor and irony. This statement makes me stand up and cheer, because it insists our value lies, not in our being “alright after all” or “successful” or something, but precisely in our tough freaky damaged-but-surviving idiosyncrasy. Which, yes to that. Liberation not assimilation!
Throughout the piece Sybil is always saying at least three distinct things at the same time- what people say about us, how it hurts, why it is ridiculous. OK, four, or five, because she is also accepting that our passionate need to be whatever gender we need to be in the face of all the shit we get makes no sense, and laughing at us in our desperate shifts, and then coming to our defence in the face of her own laughter and vindicating us. Maybe that’s six distinct things. Look, there’s a lot going on here. It is seriously one of the most brilliantly tonally complex short pieces I’ve ever read. And as such, it demands a nuanced response, which, honestly, I don’t think you guys who are criticising it are giving it. As it stands, you are in danger of being like those people who read “A Modest Proposal” and got annoyed because they though Swift was saying we should kill and eat babies. Seriously, calm down, go read it again, and try to hear. Because right now you are missing, not only one of the best things ever written about being trans, but also just a really fantastic funny sad angry hopeful despairing tough amazing piece of writing full stop. And if you can’t hear it, and enjoy it, and be strengthened by it, that would be a real shame.
Okay, I’m going to reiterate that I got most of that. Your well crafted explanation was extremely helpful, and it throw into perspective some of the things that I did’t immediately understand about that. It renders a lot of my supporting point meaningless, I won’t apologize for them though. Its not my damn fault that I felt outraged about them, but I will get to that in a bit.
Sure I missed the irony of the bold face lies, for some reason I didn’t put together ‘sample of bigotry’ and ‘purposeful misinformation’ as natural allies. Thoughtless mistake. I’m the first to admit that I kind of made an ass of myself. I refuse to feel bad or self conscious about it. This shit’s caused me enough of an emotional toll for you asses to victim blame me in ernest,
So let me get to the points that still make sense.
I don’t give two fucks about authorial intent. You may think its brilliantly subtle, well good for you. You didn’t get tortured by reading this. But get this, some things aren’t about you. I don’t care that you read it in a tone that made you happy. Because that isn’t what is reflected in the writing. Now I didn’t touch on this last night because I was rather tired, but subtly is not an admirable quality in spoofs. If you can’t tell its a spoof then it’s just fucking mean. This would all be terribly funny, In context; context which Sybil didn’t establish. you think my criticism is literal, yes, because thats how I read it at first, because there was no written indication to establish that I shouldn’t. I put two and two together, partially, while reading it the second time, but only with the help of the fore knowledge of the other people’s comments.
You can feel all self assured that I’m just some kid that wasn’t bright enough to psychically know the authorial intent, but the writing is still sloppy enough to cause me pain. Thats why I’m angry. However, Im laying my misunderstanding at her feet. I shouldn’t have to be told the inflection of the writing by you. When you write a spoof you need to establish it as a spoof, same with satire, that’s easy to establish with tone if you are speaking aloud, or if there is an entire book in support of trans people around that section and you preface the entry with something along the lines of ’ hey here is some stupid shit!’. Thats not what I got, what I got was a confusingly hate filled rant by a trans woman, which, if taken literally, as it has been by a lot of people, would trigger us or at least cause us to feel extremely unsettled by the self doubt that comes from being badmouthed by a vet.
My writing about being new to this is still true, and what I said was also true when I said that this kind of (not malicious but grossly irresponsible) crap is probably easier to write when you are distant from the mind crushing self doubt, self loathing, and fear that people like me are experiencing. She has a god damn responsibility not to fuck us over, and she failed that so that it could be subtle, or because she’s incompetent, or maybe some other trivial bullshit. I get that all you folks are having a great laugh and clapping yourselves on the back and thinking ‘we are so preciously smart because we didn’t get fucked over’, but the people who are most likely not to get it are the people who are the most vulnerable. It’s fucking irresponsible. you shouldn’t punish bad reading comprehension, or a cursory skim, or a tired lack of intelligence, with, extreme mental anguish, and you sure as shit shouldn’t blame us for it, just because you wuv her so very much.
So, yes all that stuff does indeed make her inarticulate, uncomfortable and insensitive. She is, for all intents and purposes acting like a self absorbed hateful bastard. Fuck her, and all the rest of these people that think think that it’s fine to justify and defend someone who is causing all this pain, just because it was stunningly brilliant and meaning full to you. I don’t give a fuck about the hypothetical world where this isn’t a misery lottery. I live in this fucking world where This is hurting us. Open your fucking eyes, this isn’t theory, or semantics, stop feeling so damned smug. You all should fucking know better.
Minervose, well first, thanks for admitting you misread Sybil. It’s not easy to de-escalate when things have become an argument, and I appreciate this gesture. It’s big of you.
I don’t think anyone is blaming you for misunderstanding. I’m certainly not. And I’m not sitting here feeling smug or looking down on you in any way. If I’m involved in trans literature and trans community, well, its partly for myself, because this is what I need, but it’s also for and because of people like you, young trans women who are hurting and who are in need of the kind of reassurance which books and community can give. I know when I was coming out, I had neither of these things, and I needed them so badly and I couldn’t find them and it was awful. So I am very invested in trying to make sure they exist for other people. So my concern here is not to put you down or make you look bad. What I want to do is communicate with you, to share something that I think is very valuable and powerful.
And actually look! This is amazing. Not only did you get to read something about being trans by another trans person (there is actually something to read! For years this seemed unimaginable to me), something which hit on and allowed you to access a lot of your (our) most intense fears and hurts, but even better, when you had strong feelings about it you were able to enter into a conversation about it with all these other amazing clever trans women and figure this stuff out a bit and maybe even learn something!
This is why community is so great and important. It is also why anger is dangerous. Like, I would never blame you for your anger. The way the world is, people like us have a lot to be angry about. But if we want to have a good welcoming community for all of us that makes things better and allows important conversations to actually take place, we need to be really careful about where that anger is directed. When dealing with anything other trans women say, we need to take a deep breath, read carefully, and be as generous as possible in our response. There are a lot of people out to get you (us) in the world, but other trans women usually aren’t among them.
Sybil is not the one causing you pain. The thing causing you pain is the world, and the shitty ways it treats girls like us. Sybil is just talking about it, and actually, we need to talk about it, because it is only if we talk about it that we can (as a community) begin to deal with it. Which, I hope, is what we are doing right here. Beginning to deal with it. So please, don’t feel like we hate you or judge you. We don’t. At least, I know I don’t, and I’m pretty sure the same goes for most of the women who’ve been involved in this conversation. Like Sybil says, we are worried about you, that’s all.