First off, I need to address the possibility of negative reactions to this article. Over the last decade, I've seen online the ferocity and breadth of the backlash by the LGBTQIA community whenever anyone says there is the possibility that the owners of some genitals don't want to put them near the genitals of just any human person—save for age and consent. This is not a group I want to trifle with. To be clear, I do not care who anyone has sex with. As long as everyone involved is of legal age and has given consent, then go for it. I'm sure there are going to be phrases like "transphobic" or the like tossed around upon completion of reading this piece, just know I have no ill will.
Written By: Anton Sawyer
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In my last "full-time" job I had been working in a call center for four years that made it a point to have one of its core pillars be diversity. It wasn't just talking, they truly followed through. I can say I have worked with and had personal interactions with people of all ages, races, sexual orientations—including the transgender community. When I first started working there, my direct supervisor was in the early beginning of his transition, and by the time I left, he was waiting to have his bottom surgery done. We became friends, and he knew how nonjudgemental I was, so he confided in me many things that weren't common knowledge to the rest of his staff. We had conversations about different elements of the epic changes he was facing (both inside and out) and how they would dynamically shift his universe. The fear of the unknown was a big factor as well—both from the surgery and "getting used to how everything is going to work." It was because of this rapport that when I heard one person from another group of co-workers used my supervisor's dead name in an attempt to be malicious, I immediately reported it as harassment to our manager. So please know that I'm not happy to write about what is upcoming.
I have noticed a trend happening in the LGBTQ+ community that's been growing over the last few years where anyone who proclaims they are cisgender or have the belief that there are both genetic, and physiological differences between men and women, are met with swift retribution. Please, do not think for a second I'm pulling the "oh, poor me, straight male, life has been tough," card. In fact, it was that level of stupidity that leads me to where we are today—the "Super Straight" movement on social media. If you haven't heard about this, you're lucky. It's (mostly) men who make Tik Toks—but really any video-based social media outlet—videos about how "super straight" they are. It's pretty pathetic, and it has become a huge swing towards the LGBTQ+ community. In this case, because there is no apparent motive behind most of them, other than trolling, the backlash towards it is well deserved. But once I started to tread the warm waters of fact-chasing, I began seeing a trend that was mortifying—the attacks being used by the LGBTQ+ community are ones I'd heard decades before on conservative talk radio. I'm getting ahead of myself, let's look at what these arguments are.
YouTuber D'Angelo Wallace uploaded a video at the end of March called "'Super-Straight' TikTok exists and it's as bad as you think." After showing some of the Super videos (which were all cringey), there was a video he showed that was a direct attack towards the Super movement. A woman came on the screen and said mockingly, “‘I’m super straight, I don’t like trans-women.’ But … do trans women even like you? I mean, your entire sexuality is based on trans-women, and yet, I bet not a single trans-person has ever even paid attention to you.” She was inferring that because of how unattractive these men are, that trans-women are above them and wouldn't give them the time of day. Ignoring the fact that this person generalized that someone's ENTIRE sexuality is based on one sub-section of the population by not taking into consideration genetics or any other factors that may have impacted this person's view on human sexuality, D'Angelo's reaction was one filled with exuberant joy. He said, "That was iconic, she wins. Legitimately, that was the best one of this entire compilation." As much as I could see how this could bring someone so much joy to see such a "burn," to be honest, it had a bit more zip when Rush Limbaugh wrote pretty much the same thing in his 1988 Sacramento Union piece titled "Undeniable Truths." “Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society." If we've learned everything over the last four years with Trump, not necessarily the words, but their content and context are what matters.
These two ideas are basically the same. It's extremely disheartening when you see a group that you have been actively trying to help for over two decades take this road. I could understand how the GOP and their mouth-pieces could try to use such tactics to destroy their opponents. But with the whole "When they go low, we go high," mantra that was once held up in high esteem by the LGBTQ+ community—especially during the 2016 Presidential Election—and the fact that I do believe they are on the right side of history, it was so sad to see this. When I dug deeper, it only got worse.
Another thing that Limbaugh did many decades ago was coin the term "Feminazi" when it came to the same feminist group he had been disparaging for years at this point. The first time it came into writing (and the conservative lexicon en masse) was in his 1992 book "The Way Things Ought To Be." He wrote, "I Prefer To Call The Most Obnoxious Feminists What They Really Are: Feminazis." Of course, one would think that given the LGBTQ+ community and their history during the Holocaust in World War II, those who champion the gay rights cause would never take it to that place. Per Amnesty International "According to Holocaust Memorial Day, it is estimated that 50,000 gay and bisexual men were subject to ‘severe jail sentences in brutal conditions’, usually in police prisons, with around 10,000-15,000 being sent to concentration camps to meet their deaths from sheer exhaustion. No matter where they went, gay and bi men could be sure to expect medical experiments and castration." They continue, "Lesbians, on the other hand, accounted for fewer deaths and prison sentences," but the torture they received was no less brutal. These included "the use of sodomy with objects, female sex slaves, and forcing lesbians to perform sex acts, as a form of ‘gay conversion therapy.'" When you look at the numbers of homosexual people that were murdered in the holocaust by Nazis, it's an attack that would seem off-limits ... it wasn't.
British Attorney Rosa Freedman published an article in 2020 about the backlash she has received for her support of women's and transgender rights—yes, this includes people from America—and it is shocking. After spending hours in various courtrooms trying to advance LGBTQ+ rights, it was when she said in an interview that legally and biologically "women are women and men are men," that the entire tone changed. When this came out, the retaliation was swift. She wrote, "As a law professor, I have used my expertise on Human Rights to advocate finding a way to ensure that women's rights and transgender rights are upheld without one or the other group losing their rights. The attacks on me [over the last 2 1/2 years] have been varied." She goes on to state she has been repeatedly "called a Nazi," and "having my workplace contacted demanding I be fired." To her, and many, it was shocking to see this response. No matter what good she may have done through the judicial system to better the rights of women and transgender people because she spoke about her personal beliefs, none of it matters.
As someone who is heterosexual, maybe I'm in the wrong. Maybe I'm clueless. Because I have lived atop a male, cisgender tower for so long that I've become utterly misguided to where I really have no clue. To me, these attacks don't make sense. If a man says he will only sleep with someone who has been biologically a woman their entire lives, why are they wrong? If sexuality isn't a choice, isn't the entire argument to allow nature to take its course and let people be attracted to who they are going to be the whole point?
Yes, the Super Straight video guys are losers and weak of the constitution to the point where they need to make a big scene out of something. But if a cisgender male who is not trying to weaken or hurt the rights of the LGTBQ+ community is immediately pegged as being transphobic or a Nazi due to who he finds sexually attractive, then it destroys your credibility.
What I do understand is this: if you want to be taken seriously in your fight for justice, you can't rely on tactics that have been used by one of your largest adversaries, and then come out and talk about how misguided they are. To me, these attacks being used by the LGBTQ+ community is the same level of ignorance that's displayed when someone says "black people cannot be racist." The community is made up of humans. As we've seen humans are full of flaws. We can not only lie to ourselves but also believe those lies completely. We are capable of finding both love and hate in places we've never dreamed of. We are also capable of incredible hypocrisies; like doing everything you can to stop the conservative ideals in America that negatively impact your life, all while using the same arguments they do to perpetuate your own bigotry.
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