The world is very hostile to trans people. Fascists call us a social contagion virus, the news carries their lies uncritically, our rights are under threat whenever, and nothing changes. In fact, it feels like it's getting worse, but there's very little a transmasc like me can say to stop it. My voice never floats, when it used to chart for miles before I came out.
Maybe silencing transmascs is the point. Maybe that's a feature, not a bug.
To explain this, let's imagine you have a smartphone. Now imagine your smartphone is tied to a trash mobile company that has a monopoly on all smartphones. It's so trash, in fact, that it keeps installing junkware, deleting your texts, cutting off your internet, and stuffing your microSD with viruses in exchange for making any calls at all.
Many of your friends do not have these issues, though they may sympathize. Others do but think it's normal and some seem convinced only their phones are impacted. That sort gets very nasty when you disagree, so you stop being friends.
The friends that do have smartphone issues, don't think it's normal and do get that others share their plight...have another set of problems. Trash mobile company shreds their personal texts through a rewording algo, attaches viruses to them, and puts them on blast to the entire internet.
This trash mobile company bullshit has gone too goddamn far! You and your pals arrive to the same conclusion: it's time to jailbreak your phones. You just can't use them in this state—and because there's no other smartphone company on the planet—that's what you did. You hacked them and they became workable. Delightful, even. You and your buddies make your own fun apps, share them, call each other whenever, surf the net and weed-whack viruses when they crop up.
But trash mobile company doesn't like that. Trash mobile company decides to put its foot down. Your smartphone is recalled. Trash mobile company decrees it will replace it with a baby monitor that will be installed in your organs. Should you complain, you will be legally muzzled. And if you physically resist? Trash phone company has doctor friends. You're removed from all arenas of life with implicit violence.
Your buddies? Trash phone company has named them the real hackers behind all smartphone viruses. In fact, the news says your buddies are the reason why smartphones, the economy, and even gas prices suck. They're now on the run from the law and anything they say can and will be DeepFaked. The government is run by trash mobile company. Your friends are removed from all arenas of life with explicit violence.
To make matters worse, the people who think only their smartphone problems exist now spend all day making you and your friends out to be mental infants, dangers to society or both! They stalk and harass your friends and sob about your organs! This is crazy!
You and your pals don't want this hell, but instead of working together with your big beautiful brains, you start fighting. "They want my organs!" is maybe something you yell. Your friends? "We're literally being headhunted! Have some fucking perspective!"
One of these is worse, but both of you are under attack: implicit violence and explicit violence, and sometimes both. All because you dared to make your phones usable for you. The final icing on the smartphone dystopia cake? Other phone jailbreakers are now attacking each other. They play watchdog for trash mobile company because it buys them time. But not forever.
You don't know how to stop this, but you know you need to try. You send paper letters as a signal flare. Something, anything. It works, you get like-minds together, rally and prepare to shout at trash mobile company and...silence. Try as you might, your actual mouth glitches. This can't be!
Surely, if you send letters to news outlets, that will work! They have to know what's happening. They can't all be owned by trash mobile company! But they are all owned by trash mobile company and that means your letters go in the garbage. And as much as the news outlets appear to amplify your friends, they twist every single word to make them into villains peddling world-destroying viruses. You are all silenced.
Your phone is not your phone. Your words are not your words. Your mind is not your mind. Your body is not your own and don't you dare forget it. This is trans existence in 2022.
Implicit or explicit, the problem is the same: violence, silence, eradication and subjugation of people who do not conform to their assigned gender. That's what all the fuss is about. Systemic outrage for daring to exercise self-autonomy.
When you're trans, there isn't a business law being broken like with jailbreaking smartphones—it's just not conforming. There isn't a cultural law being broken either, as records of trans people existing date back thousands of years.
What does actual science say? Psychologists? Doctors? All reputable experts agree that trans people exist, gender isn't sex, sex is a wildly complicated spectrum and transphobes are wrong.
What about God's natural laws? Angels were non-binary and covered in eyeballs. Eve came from Adam's rib which means she was a trans woman. Jesus had a side-vagina—a trans man. I can dive into any scripture and point out countless ways ancient people and religions transmuted gender, and none of this makes a difference to any transphobe on the planet.
So. What's the point of this article? Empathy, sharing my opinions, screaming about transphobia? I'll do you one better: the cure for transphobia-fueled fascism lives in the smartphone analogy.
Think back on our smartphone jailbreakers and their "sin" of autonomy. How trash mobile company wages war in different ways against one group with material and digital tools. How jailbreakers were pitted against each other. How everything goes back to viruses and who's to blame.
The way fascists treat trans people is exactly how we handle threats to digital devices. Strangely enough, it's also the very same language transphobes use: we're a social contagion, a virus that comes from the internet.
"But how does it benefit fascists to use this framing?" I wondered. Primarily muting one group and demonizing the other must have a reason they understand that helps them, right? All of this feels strange. So strange—in fact—that the language can't be accidental.
Pondering, I thought it must be transmisogyny. But what if it's transmisogyny, plus something else? What if the language and framing of this synthetic war against trans people is a clue to stopping it? What if transmasc silence is necessary for fascist success?
You see, I'm pretty handy with computers. Antivirus software only quarantines files it can't scrub while the machine is running. Going with this metaphor, transmasc silence is a key part of how fascists believe they can remove the "transgender virus." The problem is that trans people are a feature —not a bug—Fascist Norton's is wrong, and we're still under attack.
What if we flipped this dynamic on its head? Transmasc megaphones means snapping out of file quarantine. Transfem protection means removal from the deletion queue. We can absolutely do this for one another. There is nothing real stopping trans+ people from working together and truly protecting each other. We can do more than survive. We can win.
Trans+ liberation is not about individuals, it's about the group. It's not ideas, it's actions. It's not theory, it's 2022 reality. It's not schisms, it's a collective thwarting the tactics of fascism by pulling radical moves, together. It's about war.
Trans+ unity terrifies systemic evil enough to call us viruses, split us up, and set us at each others throats. If the real villains think we're a bug, I say we let them, merge branches and throttle their broken machine until they submit to our very reasonable request: Let us live as ourselves and nothing less.