There is actually a chapter in Dreamweaver called “Hands of Hate.”
I was trying to keep my blog down to one post a day, but now this is on my mind, so I have to write about it, and then I’m going back to my life.
I think the real reason I gave up writing Dreamweaver — my story about a transgender woman with magical powers — is because I just don’t feel like dealing with all the shit that will probably come with being a cisgender woman and daring to write a story about a transgender woman. I just . . . don’t feel like being attacked, trolled, and harassed all because I created a wonderful transwoman warrior one day and decided to share her with the world while at the same time not being transgender myself.
One day, I was writing the story, and I kept thinking how if I didn’t do it right . . . I don’t know. I still intend to try finishing the story, but I don’t look forward to people’s responses. It’s something I’ll just have to face. If you want to tell a story, you have to face the consequences of telling a story. I swear writers are the only creatives who have to be punished for what they do, perhaps because there is so much power in words.
Which brings me to my point.
I wrote the post before this because I don’t want people assuming I’m someone I am not based on my writing. I don’t want people to think I’m pretending to be someone I’m not. I’m only pretending to be a dragon, folks. That’s where it ends.
At the same, I feel that saying I’m cisgender is just yet another way to open myself up to hate. I can’t escape the feeling that people seemed to want me to be transgender or queergender just because I write about non-binary people. I almost feel that by saying “I’m cisgender” there are genderqueer people who will turn up their nose and stop reading my work. Because, god help me, I’m am the “cisgender scum” who oppresses them.
And you can’t tell me that cisgender hasn’t become a slur. I’m well acquainted with slurs and hate speech, okay? I know what hatred looks like, to my great misfortune. Maybe cisgender was just supposed to mean “not transgender” at one point, but it has become a way to express disgust and hatred for cisgender people.
I’m not trying to act like cisgender people are oppressed or victims of transgender people because . . . we’re not. I’m pointing out the fact that a word has become a slur.
I see transgender people all over the internet saying “cis” is not a slur, but I was on tumblr for years and that’s exactly what it’s become. Maybe it didn’t start out that way. Neither did a lot of words.
“Bitch” used to just mean a female dog. Now it means any woman who shows anger and aggression because, somewhere along the way, those feelings became for men only. It’s a word used to shame women and put us in our place, while it is simultaneously used to shame feminine men. Because anything feminine is often sneered at as inferior and disgusting.
No. The word “asshole” doesn’t carry the same weight for men. But call a man a “whiny little bitch” and I bet he’ll see red.
Something that just meant “female dog” became a hateful word to demean people. And how did this happen? Through the repeated use of the word in a non-neutral sense.
“Nigger” was the word “black” in Dutch. Southerners couldn’t pronounce it, thus the skewed spelling. The word literally just meant black. Now it means something horrible, and so much negativity surrounds the word, people are still arguing about it 500 years later.
So yeah. “cisgender” is just supposed to mean “not transgender,” but it has taken on a hateful tone for cisgender people Transgender don’t have the power to oppress cisgender people (that’s just the truth due to oppressive power structures, not an insult) but they still have the power to use language to demean others. And that’s exactly what some are doing with the word “cis.”
Do transgender and genderqueer people have a damn good reason to be angry? Yeah, they do. Anger is a valid emotion we all experience and we all should be allowed to express.
But hatred? Hatred is never justified. Not in the form of words. Not in the form of physical violence. Not at all.