What happens when a high profile figure in the trans community makes a career condemning it?
Division, conflict, confusion and chaos runs rife when an elevated figure with a large platform finds an audience with the opposition. It’s become more glaringly frequent for transgender women to openly, routinely attack the transgender community with YouTubers like Blaire White leading the pack of caustic trans-agitators.
White, a self described Republican with over 700,000 subscribers centralizes her daily videos on criticizing the very community to which she belongs. The 26 year old California native has previously championed American President Donald Trump whose administration has placed startling focus on challenging the civil rights of LGBT people, especially transgender individuals, having implemented the infamous trans military ban earlier this year. White has spotlighted controversial- even criminal members of the trans community to hold up as an example of the rest of us via her channel, effectively fanning the flames of an increasingly hostile climate fueled by stigma, stereotypes and misinformation.
White has been embraced by anti-trans political activists and alt-right darlings like Ben Shapiro who appeared on her channel. White agreed with Shapiro that transgender women are not actual women and drew the comparison to adopted children saying “There’s no biological basis for calling them that kids parents, cause they’re not. There’s no link at all biologically.” She went on to add, “There is a social reason and a legal reason to do it, so for me that’s where it boils down to me with pronouns… I also agree with you also that if someone makes no effort to transition at all, it’s really unreasonable that someone expects they use pronouns they prefer… It really boils down to how they look like in my opinion.”
Her assimilation into right-wing politics means framing gender critics as harbingers of truth rather than conservative extremists who simply refuse to accept anyone who doesn’t fall between their goal posts unless they agree with them. Ben Shapiro told White he would refer to her on introduction as a transgender woman but then refer to her by her biological pronoun, claiming “biology is the nature of the pronoun.”
White uses her platform to host and be the guest to other vicious anti-trans figures while posturing the conversations as intellectual debates despite the rhetoric they espouse- often directed at her- which she eagerly approves of and agrees with. The conservative right-wing media adore her. How does this happen?
Why would a young trans woman campaign so strongly against transgender rights and willingly cast off any shred of self respect?
In an earlier video, White suggested that other high profile commentators with a large demographic adjust their opinions based on their viewers, even offering up faux outrage and expressing ideologies they do not actually subscribe to. She called them “Actors” who deliberately misrepresent themselves to maintain a status quo… and clearly a paycheck. Interestingly, as Blaire White’s audience of conservative, anti-trans activists who lock-stepped with her 10-minute sermons of intolerance grew, she became more heavily committed to anti-trans topics. Due to her consistent mocking of trans and non-binary identities, Youtube demonetized her channel. In response, she created a line of vanity merchandise and a Patreon account.
India Willoughby, a former transgender television news anchor announced on Good Morning Britain that she no longer identified as transgender due to her frustration with non-binary people who never plan to have surgery seemingly hijacking her identity. In a tirade delivered alongside host Piers Morgan levied at a gay journalist, Benjamin Butterworth, who happened to also be a trans ally, Morgan, who mockingly identified as a 2 Spirit Penguin last month to protest identities across the spectrum, argued that non-binary identities were “ludicrous,” with Willoughby saying “You have a real transgender person here, I’m telling you, you’re making my life more miserable saying what you’re saying (advocating for non-binary genders.)” She emphatically stated “Trans people don’t transition anymore! That’s the problem!”
Debbie Hayton, a scientist who has written for The Time in the UK has written multiple opinion pieces condemning transgender women and their right to self-identify without a physician to certify their gender. Allying with radical feminists who do not accept transgender women as women or wan them to participate in feminist activism, Hayton posted a photo of herself on twitter wearing a shirt that boldly stated “Trans Women Are Men.” Debbie Hayton is transgender herself, however she has contested transgender people participating in sports and, once again, declared that transgender women are men.
Hayton has coordinated with some of the most stanch anti-trans campaigners in the UK, including Mumsnet, which is a hotbed of transphobia, to see the rights and safety of transgender children squelched by lawmakers.
These women might be a small minority, but their voices are loud- they’re also the only voices received by our detractors as valid, reasonable or of beholden to common sense. It is unusual for an oppressed minority to go to extreme measures to seek validation and inclusion from their own oppressors with the hope of being accepted into their fold, even if that acceptance comes at great personal sacrifice. It seems to almost become a personal challenge; that of gaining access to a group of ideologues you know loathes your existence but believe you hold value as long as they loathe themselves as well. These groups see these women as “useful idiots” and push them to the frontlines of the propaganda intended solely to create harmful mythologies around trans and non-binary identities with the expectation it will have more impact coming from a trans person, as well as do the most damage to the trans community they claim to represent.
Sometimes it works.
White was recently cheered as an “Important and fearless voice” by comedian Ricky Gervais, a comedian and well known television actor.
Seeing Gervais amplify the signal of a trans-agitator was enormously disappointing to many of his fans who had no idea he held such toxic beliefs regarding transgender people, but rather than say these things himself and risk career suicide, he let an anxious-to-please transgender person do it so he can place his stamp of approval on it.
This demonstrates how far the reach high profile trans-agitators have, not just of conservative radicals who see their words of condemnation as validation of their own bigotry, but also of the trans exclusionary organizations and even celebrities who see them as serving only to give merit to their malignant perspectives believing it won’t be read as simple, unprovoked hatred if delivered on the backs of one of our own that they deem a fearless voice.
There is a concerted effort to divide trans and non-binary people, in the same way that we have seen a small but loud concert of some lesbians and gay men who advocate the removing of the T from the LGBT acronym. Another small coalition has aimed to remove bisexuals from the LGBT community believing they don’t suffer enough persecution and instead get to “choose to be straight.”
It is challenging to find yourself in a position where we must stand against people in our own community in order to limit the damage that they can do, knowing full well they are operating in collusion with our enemies. To be fair, none of us expect that our critics will use figures within our own community to achieve the devastating results fixed into their agenda. But, they have, and they do.
What they don’t want is people like me telling you that gender is a spectrum. We benefit from the understanding that non-binary identities reach back as far as time itself, historically. It is not new. What is relatively new is the social boxes we have to check for the pleasure of others. Those who built scaffolding around the meaning of and rules for exclusively men and women, males and females. Then, we told them how they must behave, what jobs they could have, what clothes they should wear, who they could have relationships with, how much money they could make and what role they must play in society if the rest are expected to accept them. That twisted logic is a social construct that we don’t have to abide by anymore.
They don’t want me, a transgender woman, to tell you that you don’t have to transition in order to be transgender. You don’t have to conform to societies mold on womanhood, you don’t have to fixate on ‘passing’ if that’s not your goal. There are no laws you must follow to achieve happiness in your own skin. You whole responsibility is to yourself, as one prefers to present to the world and as they wish to be addressed by the world. Seeing every color of the gender spectrum finally manifesting in all of its beautiful, radiant glory is empowering to all of us, enriching our community- it is not ludicrous.
Non-binary people are valued by us in the majority, and more importantly, valid, despite the protestations of those who can’t see past two genders. One would presume, as transgender people painfully familiar with the relentless wars we march off to every single morning as we navigate the rough terrain of work, school, shopping, dating and living as our true selves under immense scrutiny, that we would not want to contest the validity of another human beings identity or journey for the sheer fact that theirs does not explicitly mimic our own. However, I guess there are indeed some that have been hurt who only find redemption in hurting others, mostly by projecting their own insecurities outward in scathing forms of bigotry.
I’m a transgender woman who cannot medically transition. I understand to the Blaire White’s and the India Willoughby’s of the world, I am not a valid transgender person because I have a condition that doesn’t allow transition to be an option. To these folks, I am not TruTrans because the circumstances of my life and my own individuality do not adhere to their rulebooks that have a very specific definition of transgender and stringent requirements for who is allowed to call themselves transgender. You can keep your rulebook.
I’ll use science that gives far more peace of mind and personal understanding to trans and non-binary folks who deserve to be acknowledged instead of persecuted; Embraced instead of exiled.
I am glad more and more people are refusing to do that and instead are celebrating their identities and unafraid to announce their pronouns and I’m celebrating right along with them because that’s what communities are for; To lift each other up, not to spend your time on YouTube punching down as you stroke your hair and pluck insults from the air.