There’s so much to say in preface here that I’m not entirely sure where to start. I guess I’ll begin by saying that emotions are funny things, and all the rationality in the world doesn’t keep them from being felt. Self-control allows one to guard one’s behavior from the wild motivations of emotion, but this does nothing to change the emotion itself. A person feels how they feel, and no justification is necessary–or possible.
Tuesday night I was invited to the studio to sit and watch an episode of Freer Talk Live, an offshoot of Free Talk Live that is broadcast intermittently and only on Twitch. This was a very special episode where we were to be joined by none other than the Crying Nazi, Chris Cantwell. You can imagine my desire to be part of this, I’m sure, as a quick search of his site shows that the word “transgender” is mentioned an incredible fifty-nine (59) times on the first page alone. It’s entirely fair to say that transgenderism is his pet issue, and is what he perceives as the largest and most dangerous symptom of the shadows he’s imagined are conspiring to undo him and the society he craves. Moreso than Jews, moreso than immigrants, and moreso than Muslims, he focuses peculiarly on the topic.
To be clear, when I went on his show as part of my campaign for sheriff, I did not then know that he explicitly called for the execution of trans people. I still would have gone, because there is nothing from which I back down, but I want to note how I underestimated the raw hatred he would emit in our encounter. While he was cordial, there was an underlying hatred to everything he said. I knew of his vile indiscretions, but to be in the room with someone while they openly propagate such hatred is a different thing. Only a few minutes in did I realize, “Oh, god. This is an honest-to-god Nazi. A literal, dyed-in-the-wool Nazi.”
But I stayed, and we created what is still being praised as one of his best episodes, by his fans and by mine.
Despite then admitting that I did not fit into the mold he imagined for trans people, and despite his statement that “If trans people were all like you, I’d have no problem with it,” in the months since, he has doubled down on his anti-trans rhetoric. While I don’t follow him or the stuff he says, when he becomes a topic of conversation, for whatever reason, I give myself a quick refresher on what a dangerous person he is.
Oh, no, he himself is not dangerous. There has been much confusion in our libertarian circle whether people fear the man, and I have absolutely no fear of him. Nor do I fear his ideas. The worst he can do, and the worst that can come of his ideas, for me is death. Since I don’t fear death as a matter of course, I don’t fear individual things that could cause it. My fear of his ideas, should they gain widespread prominence, is for the innocent out there, the trans people who aren’t on the frontlines by choice in an ideological conflict and who are merely trying to live their lives, the ones who have thanked me for my efforts, because they see the greater vision I’m trying to portray: a world of peace and tolerance, not revenge and hatred.
However, I was not actually on the show, because another person, who hosted Free Talk Live that night, had the right to claim the chair. I’d be lying if I said I went for a reason other than the hope that a seat would open up. Seeing as we have no Jews at the station (though my boyfriend is Jewish), it was strange to me that we’d have on someone explicitly hostile to one of us while denying, rightfully or not, said person a seat at the discussion table.
I remarked to my boyfriend that I was concerned the optics of two straight cis, white dudes sitting down to talk to an actual Nazi were not good, and even then I didn’t anticipate how decidedly friendly they would be. I did not expect or want endless arguing, but anyone expecting or wanting to see a Nazi challenged by the FTL crew should avoid the episode in question.
As I said at the start, emotions are funny things. I’ve no right to be on Free Talk Live or Freer Talk Live, or even to be present when the discussion is happening, but emotions are what they are. I stayed for two hours of the event, and finally left, because it was stated to me that I was not on a mic, which is an in-studio, polite way of telling someone to shut up. Being uninterested in listening to his hate continue to go unchallenged, though certainly possessing the self-control to sit and be silent, I decided a moment later that my time would be better spent doing literally anything else, and I left.
This, while expected, has been the source of my ire through the last 24 hours. I’m emotionally drained, with zero desire to deal further with any of it, or to interact with the involved parties, but the event, much like the presence of a trans chick in the room with an actual Nazi, is an elephant, and I’m also not one to refuse my bite of the behemoth.
So two things happened that bothered me. The first was not having a seat offered to me to confront this person who loudly and unequivocally calls for me to be tossed into the ovens. The second was a firm but polite reminder of this.
Irritatingly, the person in the other chair was conspicuously quiet through the entire thing, and I’m pretty sure I spoke more than he did, simply by (wrongfully) grabbing the mic nearby and talking. Of course, and further grating my raw nerves on the subject, he stated today that he’d “probably” have given up his chair at some point.
Probably? At two hours in, it was pretty obvious he had no intention of doing so. He sat there on his laptop for two hours and never made any move to do anything, but if only I’d stayed for fifteen more minutes, no, everything would have been different…
This was a common thread today, with it repeatedly claimed that they ultimately challenged Cantwell, but that it’s “during the third hour”–after I’d left. They’ll have to forgive me for not believing this. I made an effort to watch the hour I missed, and not fifteen minutes after my departure did Cantwell go on an anti-trans, hate-filled rant that was met only by laughter. Laughter from this associate of mine, and not a word of rebuke.
Needless to say, under no circumstances will I watch the episode further.
Nor was there rebuke for his rejoicing in the death of the girl at Charlottesville, or for his open statement about using euphemisms to hide his blatant racism from Twitch censors. It compounded a feeling of already being wounded to see such hate go unchallenged, a gargantuan elephant in the room that was repeatedly and carefully sidestepped by the seated hosts.
There is nothing about Cantwell I find threatening, intimidating, or upsetting. I’ll gladly go toe-to-toe with him in any venue. Although suspected, I did not leave because I was angry, upset, or otherwise bothered by anything having to do with Cantwell directly. I left because there was no challenge to the hatred he expressed, other than myself, and it was made clear that my input wasn’t welcome. I’ve got better things to do with my time than watch a Nazi rant freely.
So I don’t know where I stand or even why I’m writing this, except that it’s a notable thing that happened, and I skipped out on The Call to Freedom yesterday because of it–and am likely doing so again today. This is the way I handle things; I retreat and lick the wounds. But, to be clear, there are no wounds in any way caused by Cantwell. I’d even say they’re self-inflicted, due to how I had no right to be there anyway, but, as I said, emotions are what they are and can’t be rationalized away.
But I’m now exploring the possibility of beginning a show called “She Talk Live” with Jackie, who has quit Free Talk Live. Many people seem interested in listening, and I think we’d be fools not to pursue it. So stay tuned for that.
I don’t know very much about Islam, but that’s okay, because I don’t claim to, and so I generally stay pretty quiet about Islam and what it teaches. I know enough about it to know that it’s very close in tone to the Old Testament of the Bible, and I know that, from the point of view of an atheist, it’s pretty much just a different flavor of Christianity. So I generally don’t have any conversations about sharia or what it is, because I don’t know (or particularly care) what it is, just as I don’t particularly care to know exactly what parameters food must meet in order to be considered kosher. All religious systems have codes, laws, and layers upon layers of teachings. It’s both ridiculous and unrealistic to expect someone who doesn’t believe in the religion to know every detail–or even many details–about the layered teachings. My knowledge of Christianity is a result of my upbringing in the south, and not out of any desire that I felt at any part of my life to explicitly find out what is in the Bible.
I want to quote the Bible for a moment, though, if you don’t mind; Mathew 5:38-40:
You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.
Now let’s get to the point.
Recently, an anti-Muslim bigot was hospitalized, and libertarian vice presidential candidate and Muslim Will Coley started a campaign to raise funds for the guy, quoting various teachings of the Quran and actions of Mohammad to show that this sort of behavior (turning the other cheek) is perfectly in accord with Islam and should be encouraged. At first, this went exactly as one would like: people saw the wisdom in the teaching. After all, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, or so goes the saying. It’s similar to things I’ve talked about before, regarding being transgender in the south–it was not whining and screaming about victimization and bigotry that caused my landlord to change his mind about evicting me; it was my willingness to shrug and acknowledge that he was perfectly within his rights to do so. There are a few other people I know of who hated transgender people and the very idea of transgenderism until they came face-to-face with me, a real person who is simply trying to exist in peace and is very much against the idea of forcing anyone to do or be anything.
Then came the SJWs. And, oh man, did they come.
Suddenly Will was their enemy, despite having the approval of many prominent Islamic figures, and the reason that Will was their enemy?
Because he’s white.
I’m not even kidding. That’s what it all boils down to. It’s often said explicitly.
You cannot defeat sexual orientationism with sexual orientationism.
This is the mistake the alt-right makes. They’ve attempted to meet the left’s increasing racism, sexism, and orientationism with racism, sexism, and orientationism. I’ve directed this message at leftists and rightists. I don’t care who is being the racist–it’s never going to end racism.
That’s where I went after three prominent alt-right youtubers: Atheism is Unstoppable, The Non-Believer, and Autopsy87.
Here’s where I went after the left doing the same thing:
Now, this post is more than just a way for me to collect together various applicable things I’ve made on the subject.
The bottom line is that Will held up a mirror for Christians and Muslims alike to look into, and very few of them could stomach what they saw reflected back. When faced with this situation, they had no recourse but to either self-reflect (something most people are simply unwilling to do, because so few people are willing to acknowledge their flaws and mistakes) or to attack the messenger. Enter the cries of racism and the strange remarks that Will has no business teaching anyone about Islamic teachings… because he’s white.
Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus, and Mohammad would all be shaking their heads in sadness at what is going on, and I can only commend Will for staying on track. When I released my video about the Liberal Redneck, I faced similar criticism, though Will is obviously facing it on a larger scale (though, it’s worth mentioning, the scale of criticism that I faced for that absolutely dwarfed the attention that anything else I’ve created has received anyway), and I remember how difficult it was, when one comment after the next rolled in calling me an idiot, a traitor, a racist, a Biblethumper, and other similar things, to stay on point and not stoop to their level. In the end, I caved and pulled down the video. I really wish I hadn’t, but… c’est la vie.
I don’t think I’d cave today.
Maybe this is just meant to be a collection of other things I’ve said on the matter. Otherwise, I’d just be repeating myself. But it’s sad that podcasts that I released a year ago are equally applicable to things today because, if anything has changed at all, then it’s only been for the worse.
I recently wrote an article attacking the notion of LGBT Pride and Outright Libertarians. I’m going to repost it in the future, but not until the shit with Cantwell has died down. It’s rather similar to how I defended Gary Johnson with the “What is Aleppo?” thing. I’ll criticize someone “on my team” when no one else is, but if someone outside that team starts to criticize, I’ll have their back–assuming they’re right.
When they’re wrong, I’ll gladly tell them so. If they’re wrong and are rightly being attacked for being wrong, then I will at the very least hold off my attack until the attack from the outside is over (after all, you won’t find me defending Outright Libertarians from Cantwell and his people).
I find that I just can’t say much on this matter with Will. I’ve already said it all–and that, I think, is the sad thing, because I’m far from being the only person saying it. Jesus said it. Mohammad said it. Gandhi said it. MLK, Jr. said it. If people won’t listen to these esteemed leaders, why in the world would they listen to me or Will Coley? Christians, Muslims, Jews, and atheists alike have all had these wonderful ideas thrown at us from every corner for centuries and thousands of years. Yet we only pay them lipservice. Whether it’s Bill Hicks or Mohammad isn’t important.
Through the last year, I’ve been working on a book titled What Steam Greenlight Teaches Us About Anarchy. Since I was also writing (and completing) Dancing in Hellfire, which had a higher priority, as well as daily articles, thrice-weekly podcasts, and weekly videos through most of last year, SGAA (Steam Greenlight and Anarchy) didn’t get much attention, but I did make a fair bit of progress with it–it’s about 100 pages. I’ve actually got several documents that are around that length and in some state of “needing to be finished.”
Unfortunately, Valve is shutting down Greenlight, which immediately made the book obsolete. By the time I finish it, Greenlight will be little more than a bad memory for people, but it’s also eerily pertinent that Valve has, due to community pressure, shut down the anarchic Greenlight to replace it with an alternative that is, without irony, much more state-like, with more power concentrated in Valve’s hands and with Valve employees unilaterally making the decisions that the wider community once made democratically. It basically parallels the rise of the state, and what we would expect to happen in an anarchic society if the underlying mentality is not first eradicated.
The underlying mentality is two-fold:
“I don’t approve of this, and therefore it shouldn’t be allowed to exist.”
“We have to take these measures to protect ignorant/naive/stupid people from themselves.”
These statements are never said so bluntly, but those are the hearts of the position that we need Valve to intervene in the process and implement some quality control.
I Don’t Approve
It hardly needs to even be pointed out that “I don’t approve of this” is a subjective value statement, and isn’t an objective truth. Even if there is 100% agreement that the item in question is of extremely low quality, it remains a subjective value statement, because widespread agreement doesn’t turn a subjective value into an objective one. We can go back fifty thousand years and find 100% agreement that the Earth is the center of the universe, but that wouldn’t make that an objectively true statement.
As far as I can tell, this mentality is limited pretty much to Steam, as I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say something like, “This movie is shit! What is it doing in Wal-Mart, where some unsuspecting person who doesn’t know any better might buy it, believing it to be a good movie?” or “This music album is terrible! What is it doing in this record store? It has no business being in this store alongside Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason!
Yet when it comes to Steam, we do hear these sorts of arguments.
In a lot of ways, I agree with the premise. I no longer even check Steam’s weekly sales and specials, because it’s never anything more than page after page after page of bullshit games that no one has ever heard of and are on sale at 19 cents from 99 cents. Here is a screenshot I took a few months ago of exactly this. It has actively discouraged me from browsing Steam’s special, which, in the longrun, hurts Valve because it means they aren’t selling games.
What is all this bullshit?
I would have rather seen more advanced filtering options, though. Even something simple like being able to filter out all indie titles or all “games” smaller than 100 MegaBytes would have gone a long, long way toward fixing the problem that is an overload of what I consider to be bullshit, crappy games that aren’t worth 99 cents by a long shot. I wouldn’t download and play this shit if it was free. I don’t want to look at it, I don’t want to look through it, and I don’t want to see it.
So… I don’t.
Rather than demanding that what I consider to be bullshit is prevented from landing on Steam altogether, I find it vastly preferable to check my ego and entitlement and to remind myself that there are billions of people in the world, and that my opinions aren’t objectively right. Rare though they may be, there is surely someone out there who genuinely likes Pajama Sam and wouldn’t have found it if it wasn’t on Steam. There’s surely someone out there who likes Temper Tantrum, The Slaughter Grounds, and all kinds of other games that I consider to be bullshit trash. I consider Rise of the Tomb Raider to be bullshit trash, too, and Mass Effect 3. Not to mention Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Basically, what I’m saying is that I have my preferences and you have your preferences. We all know this to be true, and people only get butthurt when they mistake a reviewer’s word as objective truth. But despite the tendency of some misguided people to interpret my or Jim Sterling‘s reviews as irrefutable fact, the only fact is that reviews are opinions and opinions are, by their very nature, subjective. So we need only apply this to our assessment of games on Steam to realize that just because we dislike a game–despite probably never having played it–doesn’t mean that no one likes the game, and that any attempt to remove the game simply because we and 99% of other people like it is nothing more than an attempt to spit on, ignore, and overrule the 1% who do like it.
Some would say that “We’re only talking about video games! C’mon, and chill out!”
But we aren’t just talking about video games, because this same pattern plays out in the real world in very real, damaging ways. It wasn’t terribly long ago that homosexuality was illegal because this minority of homosexuals was overruled and forced to go along with the majority who felt that homosexuality was bad. And while we might say “Yes, but we’re enlightened! We’re on the other side of that argument!” it would be wrong to say that, because right now exercising one’s rights to act in accordance with their religious beliefs is being universally spit upon by the majority. The minority of people who want to live their lives according to their moral values and choose with whom they do and do not associate are being spit upon and, once more, forced to go along with the majority.
The attitude hasn’t gone away. It’s just a new majority tyrannizing a new minority. Nothing has changed beyond which side of the aisle has the power. Tyranny today remains alive and well, such that this woman has lost the right to choose with whom she associates, simply because she is in a minority of people who would choose not to associate with people who partake in behavior that she doesn’t approve of. Of course, we say that we don’t approve of her behavior, don’t we? We don’t approve of her lifestyle choice to not associate with LGBT people, and therefore we won’t even allow her to do it. It’s no different from fifty years ago, when the majority didn’t approve of the lifestyle choice to be LGBT, and therefore wouldn’t even allow people to be LGBT.
Same shoe, different foot.
It’s my contention that this mentality has to be assaulted and addressed everywhere that it appears, because we do readily see it playing out in the real world. It’s not the application to LGBT issues or to video games that is the problem; the problem is the underlying mentality that connects both, that arrogance and ego that suggests, “I don’t approve of this, and thus it shouldn’t be allowed/shouldn’t exist.” How can we say we’re just talking about video games, when we see exactly the same thing happening in the real world, and real people being demonstrably tyrannized and prevented from being free to choose the people with whom they associate, simply because they are in a minority?
We find ourselves arguing opinion against opinion. Bob is a fundamentalist Christian who hates LGBT people, believes they are the product of Satan, and believes they’re going to hell. Tim is what we’d call a Social Justice Warrior, and as such Tim hates fundamentalist Christians. Bob thinks that being LGBT constitutes “abhorrent behavior.” Tim thinks that hating LGBT people constitutes “abhorrent behavior.” Bob wants to make it illegal to be a practicing LGBT person, and Tim wants to make it illegal to be a practicing fundamentalist Christian*.
Once upon a time, the majority agreed with Bob, and homosexuality was illegal and transsexualism was a mental illness. Today, the majority agrees with Tim, and fundamentalist Christianity is illegal in practice. There aren’t too many people who are more impacted by this than I, since I’m an openly transsexual lesbian resident of the state of Mississippi. And yet I stand, and will continue to stand, for people’s right of free association, even when I am the person they don’t want to associate with. It would certainly suck to walk into a gas station and have the owner tell me that I wasn’t welcome there, but it’s the owner’s business and property. At what point did we forget this?
We have to separate ourselves from the situation and recognize that we are arguing opinion against opinion and that neither side is objectively right. Bob isn’t objectively right to say that being LGBT is evil, and Tim isn’t objectively right to say that wanting to disassociate from LGBT people is evil. Why? Because morality is a set of subjective value statements built from assumptions. Even something like murder can’t be definitively stated to be good or evil, so how can something infinitely less destructive be objectively good or evil? The only exception to this might be rape, because, despite many attempts to do so, I have yet to come up with a theoretical scenario wherein rape would be considered morally good. It doesn’t matter how far-fetched our hypothetical scenario is; if we can come up with even one example wherein murder would be the morally right thing to do, then the conclusion must be that murder is not objectively wrong. So, to reiterate, with even murder being morally ambiguous, how could we ever attempt to make the argument that something with consequences considerably less dire and permanent can be absolutely morally clear?
Right now, you and I are on the wrong side of historical morality in countless ways. Two hundred years from now, people will look back on us and will decry us as heartless, immoral fiends, just as we do today when we look back at the ubiquity of slavery, sexism, and racism. We shouldn’t delude ourselves into believing that the set of moral values we currently have are eternal and will never change, because they will, and I can point to at least one specific area where, in a few centuries, you and I both will be known as evil barbarians.
We are horrific to our non-human brothers and sisters. Not only do we kill them and eat them after they’ve lived their lives in abysmal conditions that we would quickly identify as torture if a human was forced to endure them, but we actively consider animals to be our property. Does that sound familiar? It should, because the arguments people use today to justify their treatment and perception of animals are exactly the same arguments people put forward 150 years ago to justify their treatment and perceptions of non-white people. Even though we know now, scientifically and beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt, that animals think and feel things, we continue to largely treat them like unthinking, unfeeling automatons who are our property.
“‘My’ pets,” people say, claiming ownership of these living, breathing, thinking, and feeling creatures. Even I say “my cats,” though my position on them is clear, and I generally use the expression as shorthand–“my” cats are mine in the same way that my friends are “mine.” But even without going into how we commonly have to do things that animals don’t want “for their own good,” the fact remains that we participate in the widespread enslavement, torture, and murder of, if I recall correctly, eighty-five million animals a day, just in the United States. Society will one day look back on us, having ruled that eating meat is immoral, and call us evil barbarians.
My position is almost identical to Richard Dawkins’ position on this. Strictly speaking, yes, the vegans are absolutely right. It is unconscionable, and it is unjustifiable, yet I continue to do it. I eat meat. I passed through a vegetarian, and even a vegan, phase, but today I eat meat. But they’re right–the vegans are right, and their logic is unassailable. I’m not trying to convert anyone to vegetarianism or veganism, but it’s simply true that there’s no way to justify it in the modern world, and that a rational evaluation of the situation leads inexorably to the conclusion that eating meat and using animal products are immoral things to do.
We Have To Protect People From Themselves
I noticed last year that a scary number of people want to speak for me, to the extent that if I dare try to speak for myself, I was frequently slapped back down and told to shut up. The most jarring example was my video about the Liberal Redneck, where I criticized him for criticizing a fundamentalist Christian woman, and criticized him for asserting that she was a racist, simply because the woman was a white Christian. The response to this video was so bad that I actually took the video down. The video had like 5 likes and more than 80 dislikes, and one comment after the other, it was just “Uh… He’s speaking up for you, you idiot!” and “He’s on YOUR side, dumbass!”
It was one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever experienced, because there I was, speaking for myself and expressing what side I was on (neither the Christian’s nor the Liberal Redneck’s), yet people were disregarding that and telling me to shut up so that the Liberal Redneck could speak for me. This continued through all of last year. I remember seeing one Facebook post from Occupy Democrats that I remarked, “This had better have been written by a black female Muslim lesbian. If not, whoever wrote it needs to seriously re-evaluate why they think they have the right to speak for so many people.”
We have divided ourselves into these groups, and these groups demand our loyalty, to the extent that if we dare speak for ourselves or show any disloyalty, then they will turn and hang us alongside the other group. It’s an attitude that is rampant in the United States: “If you aren’t with us, then you’re against us.” Take, for example, how I repeatedly attacked Hillary last year, which led to countless people assuming that I supported Trump. This is especially noticeable on my Quora profile, where nearly everything I said about Trump or Hillary led to someone calling me a Trump supporter. I don’t know why. I have never supported Trump, and never would. His positions are contrary to almost everything I believe.
The recent women’s march showcases this, too, because it wasn’t a “Women’s March,” was it? No, it was a Democratic Women’s March, but no one is allowed to say that. When a Pro-Life group of women expressed the desire to join the march, they were told that they couldn’t. So it couldn’t possibly have been an All Women’s March; it was a Women’s March As Long As You Side With Us Politically. It was the same thing I experienced with the Liberal Redneck–neither he nor the dozens of vicious people who attacked me were interested in LGBTQ people. They were demonstrably only interested in Liberal LGBTQ people.
The only “group” I speak for are the lesbian shemale anarchists, and, the last time I checked, I’m the only one of those.
More to the point, a few years ago the Russian government made gay pride parades illegal. The reason they gave was that they had to protect children from being corrupted. While I’ve no doubt that the person reading this disagrees with the Russian Government about what constitutes “corruption,” the fact remains that their desire to protect the “innocent children who don’t know any better” from things they deem to be bad is what led them to do it. Again, that should sound familiar, because it is precisely what people have argued in regard to Steam Greenlight–it is necessary, they say, to protect the people who don’t know any better from being exposed to these things that they deem are bad.
If you haven’t seen that mentality playing out in the United States, then you haven’t been exposed to what we call the Social Justice Warrior. This isn’t an insult aimed at anyone who advocates social equality–I’m an egalitarian, after all. No, SJW refers to a specific type of person, like the kind of person who would say something like “I can’t wait for all these people who disagree with me to hurry up and die.”
That’s fucking scary.
That should fucking scare you.
And these are the people who say that their positions come from empathy! This guy honestly and truly believes that he came to his beliefs because he’s just so filled with empathy toward Group A–and all this empathy that he feels with Group A just accidentally leads him to talk like a fucking psychopath about the people in Group B. I can barely imagine something more psychopathic than “People who don’t agree with me need to hurry up and die.”
And it’s got a like!
This is the long-run result of the extreme divisiveness that has characterized American society for the last several decades. “If you’re not with us, then you’re against us. And if you happen to have any of these characteristics by which we’ve divided ourselves but you still don’t agree with us, then you’re an idiot who should shut up and let us protect you from yourself and your stupid opinions.”
* Many would instinctively reject this assessment, but they would be wrong. It is currently illegal to live according to fundamentalist Christian values, as the previous link about the flower woman shows. It would be illegal for someone to tell me that I wasn’t welcome in their store because I’m transsexual. We are willing to allow them to quietly believe these things, but the moment they attempt to act in accordance with those things they believe, they are committing a crime, and we will prosecute them. So yes. It absolutely is illegal in the United States to practice fundamentalist Christianity.
Stay tuned for Parts 2 through 5, which will be posted over the next week and are from the actual book What Steam Greenlight Teaches Us About Anarchy, instead of this precursory explanation.
I’ve seen a lot of hatred unleashed in the past few days, spewing forth from people across the political spectrum, including Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians. I, for one, refuse to rejoice over someone’s death, and I would urge you not to, as well, because love starts with you.
You can love the person while hating what the person does and has done.
In fact, you must love the person. No matter how great the injuries they’ve given others and no matter how much blood is on their hands, if you don’t love them then you’re hardly any better than they are. The libertarians and self-proclaimed anarchists celebrating Fidel’s death–the only difference between them and Fidel is that they waited for nature to take its toll, while Fidel, being part of nature as we all are, took matters into his own hands.
Fidel killed an estimated 7,000 Cubans, tried to get the USSR to nuke the United States, and tortured and imprisoned countless. This is why you hate him? Has it not occurred to you that, by this criteria, you must hate more than 90% of the world’s population? The United States, supported by a huge chunk of Americans, has killed way more people than that, just in the last fifteen years. We incarcerated far more people than Fidel ever did, and our reasons were every bit as empty and political as Castro’s–he might have incarcerated people for protesting, while we have police and quasi-military agencies lining up at Standing Rock to abuse American citizens. We have the highest percentage of prisoners in the world, and most of them have done nothing wrong by any rational standard. This is true in Europe, as well, and the Middle East, and Asia, and India, and Russia, and China. No matter where you go, these things are true.
And, let me just fill you in, if you are hating more than 90% of the world’s population, then you can’t possibly be any better than the people you hate.
Yes, condemn the murder of people, the incarceration of people, the robbery of people, the torture of people. Absolutely, but…
Whoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
1 John 3:15
It’s an irony that’s not lost on me, that despite being an ardent atheist I sound more like a follower of Christ than the overwhelming majority of Christians out there. I wouldn’t agree that you’re a murderer, but if you’re thinking in such literal terms then you’ve completely missed the point, and–
Holy hell, did I just say that?
Forgiveness isn’t easy. Forgiveness isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to require a lot of restraint, compassion, and focused, intentional reflection on your part in order to forgive someone, and, the more harm they have done, the harder it is to forgive them.
But when you’re looking at the legacy of a bloody tyrant, that is when it’s most important to cling to your humanity and consciously choose love over hate. That’s the moment that matters, the moment when it’s most difficult; that’s the moment when the infidels are separated out from the rest. This is when the rubber hits the road, when the going gets tough, and when the people who simply talk shit are separated from people who walk the walk.
Whatever else is true, this is a human being who did love people and who was loved, and this human being is now dead. His brief moment of existence in the cosmological clock of the universe is over, and he will never exist again; a piece of the universe, a piece of reality, has been irretrievably lost forever.
Meanwhile, the ideas that this man embraced live on. While you’re over there rejoicing in his death, to the observer you look no better than he. I hate everything Castro represents. You won’t find very many people in the public eye who represented the diametrical opposite of my beliefs, worldview, and ideology as much as Fidel Castro did. For fuck’s sake, I’m a transgender anarcho-capitalist. Castro would have hated me if he knew I existed, and he would surely have put me to death if I lived in his country.
But you know what? I was a disgrace to the LGBT community long before I went after the Liberal Redneck. I would spend some time talking about how this commenter had literally nothing to say but “You’re wrong,” insults, and blatantly inaccurate off-the-wall bullshit, but, honestly, that’s really not worth addressing. I would go into how it’s not my responsibility to look into the Liberal Redneck to see if there is context that justifies a video that he uploaded wherein he is demonstrably racist and intolerant, with the key distinction being that this is a video that he uploaded, thus one that he supports, and thus not taken out of context. I would point out that it’s not my responsibility to look to an external source to see if there is anything that justifies such bigotry and intolerance, and that we wouldn’t walk up to a group of white people about to lynch a black dude and say, “Well, maybe there’s some context where this is okay…” either.
But, more interestingly, I won’t to focus on the allegation that I am a disgrace to the trans community for going after this guy who is just trying to help bring awareness to transgender issues. First of all, I’ve addressed that conceit before: no one has the right to speak on my behalf. Here is a podcast about it. I would ask who the fuck the Liberal Redneck thinks he is to spew hate speech and bigotry on my behalf, to propagate intolerance and ignorance for my sake, but I think we already have the answer to that, don’t we?
I would discuss the accusation that the Liberal Redneck is “dumbing down” his statements and being crude (which is entirely unrelated to anything I had to say about the matter) because his audience is full of rednecks (aka, white southern people) and how they’re evidently (according to the commenter) rather stupid. I would point out that it doesn’t matter if he’s a comedian who is phrasing his message to be funny or not; the core of his message is still one that is demonstrably bigoted, disrespectful, and racist.
I would rather focus on how I am a disgrace to the “trans” community. And to that unusual insult, where this guy calls me an insult to a community that he’s literally not a part of but chooses to speak for anyway, I have this to say:
If calling out bigotry, intolerance, hatred, and racism, where I see it makes me a disgrace to a community, then I don’t want to be part of that community. But you know what? I’ve long not been a part of that community. Do you have any idea how many times just in this post I’ve talked about “the LGBT community” as something separate from me? It’s the way that I talk about all groups–white people, transgender people, atheists, whatever. I don’t consider myself to be a part of any of these groups, and I don’t speak on behalf of any of these groups. The only group that I speak for has one member:
I speak for the anarchist shemales.
If I was trying to be enshrined and idolized by the LGBT community, would I do or say any of the shit that I do or say? Would I call myself a shemale? Would I still do more than half of my podcasts in my male voice? Would I antagonize Caitlyn Jenner? Would I speak out against the racism of the Liberal Redneck? No, no, no, no, and no. I know exactly what I am, dude, and I champion one cause and one cause alone:
So why would I care if I’m a disgrace to this group that, as I’ve argued in the past, seeks to oppress? I know full well that I’ve been antagonizing the LGBT community for months, and I know damned well that the vast majority of people like the commenter will never hear what I have to say–his comments prove it. Just look at how his brain is literally closed to information.
“The Anarchist Shemale” is staring him straight in the face, but even that didn’t penetrate the walls of selective bias and cognitive dissonance. He comes from a place of agreement with the Liberal Redneck, of agreement with liberals of “fuck Christians” and “It’s okay to be racist against white people.” He will never hear what I have to say. His mind is closed to it.
He did everything in his power to completely ignore what I said. He ignored most of it, by his own admission and by skipping my commentary. So when I call him ignorant, you know that I mean it–I don’t mean “naive” as people so often do. I mean that he had the opportunity to learn something, and he willfully ignored, and that makes him ignorant. Contrary to popular belief, ignorance is not about lack of exposure; it’s about willingness to ignore information.
He also disregarded what he did hear, by throwing insults at me and offering my statements up as shallow and pedantic–a Family Guy quote, by the way. Rather than actually countering anything that I said, he simply, again, ignored it, and called me stupid, moronic, etc. I really don’t care about his insults–I’m more than used to it. And the irony of coming into a discussion where there have been actual arguments put forward, and actual counters and actual explanations, and saying “That’s shallow” is hilarious. However shallow my critique may have been, his statement that my critique is shallow is, by definition, infinitely more shallow than anything I said.
When all that failed, he turned to his last resort: a wild accusation of how I’m one of those crazy politically correct nutjobs. Yes, me, the Anarchist Shemale, as it said on the title of the freaking video, wherein I actually referred to Milo, the transtrender person, as “that THING.” That video wherein I accused a white guy of being racist arbitrarily against white people, which is itself politically incorrect to accuse someone of. Me, the person who made this:
I’m a “politically correct moron.”
That, more than anything, should highlight how closed this guy’s mind is, and how he rejects all information that disputes what he already thinks. He called me one of those wacky politically correct people. It’s a truly shocking degree of close-mindedness. To accuse the anarchist shemale, on the video where she refers to a transgender person as “that thing,” of being a politically correct moron…
The cognitive dissonance is strong in this one.
I’m probably transphobic, too, I guess. I imagine he would have thrown that one at me, and that’s probably a test I should run some time. In fact, I might rename the video “A White Christian Responds to the Liberal Redneck” just to see how it changes people’s responses.
But as I said in the podcast that I’m not going to post, have you seen the LGBT community? Have you seen the United States? Have you seen our society? I better be a fucking disgrace to that. You tell me I’m a disgrace to that, and you know what that says to me? It tells me that I am right on track.
George Washington was a disgrace to Benedict Arnold.
So let’s get this straight.
Some white dude made a disrespectful, intolerant, and bigoted video attacking a Christian family as fat, stupid racists hung up on white privilege because they spoke out against transgender people using restrooms of their choice, and for daring to speak out against the disrespectful, intolerant, bigoted, and demonstrably racist behavior… I’m a disgrace to the LGBT community.
Disrespecting people, being intolerant, being bigots, and being racists… These are the things that should be disrespectful to the transgender community. Pointing out how FUCKED UP it is to be intolerant, racist, bigots should never, ever be a disgrace to a community, and if it is a disgrace to a community, then that is a community we do not need to be a part of.
I believe we–the LGBT community–can accomplish the goal of equality without disrespecting people, without being intolerant, without being bigots, without being hateful, and without being racists. And obviously, we can accomplish equality without those things. We do not need intolerance, bigotry, and disrespect in order to secure equality.
We only need those things to secure vengeance. We only need to disrespect people if our goal is to disrespect them. If our goal is to make them kneel, to make them subservient to us, to place ourselves above them, then disrespect, intolerance, and hatred are necessary. If the goal is to foster an “Us versus Them” mentality where Us wins, then yes, disrespect, intolerance, and bigotry are the way to go.
But if we want equality, then they have no place in our fight.
If speaking out against intolerance, hatred, and bigotry makes me a disgrace to the LGBT community, simply because the guy expressing intolerance, hatred, and bigotry was “Pro-LGBT,” then sign me the fuck up to be a disgrace, because any group that chastises and admonishes someone who stands against bigotry is a group I do not want idolizing me.
If I’m a disgrace to the LGBT community because I dared speak out against intolerance, bigotry, and racism, then the LGBT community is a disgrace to humanity.
I’ve gone out of my way in the past few weeks to keep in touch with my nephew, to go out when he is home and hang out with him–even if I’m just sitting there watching him play the latest Call of Duty or something–and I did that as recently as Saturday morning. He wanted me to take my PC out there, too, and I did try–it just wasn’t feasible though. The simplest way to explain that would be to say that my PC is pretty much wired into my house. Given that I have speakers implanted in the ceiling that are fed from a receiver that is fed by my PC, that’s not terribly off the mark. So I told him that he could come out some time.
He texted me yesterday (obviously, I removed where he said his name):
He knew the reason I asked if everything was okay. His parents fight a lot (almost daily, in fact), and he knows that I hate him being around that, especially when they yell. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. My ex-wife and I fought, sure, but the majority of our arguments were civil, and they never came anywhere close to violence. When we did yell at one another, it was an occurrence that didn’t last long and didn’t happen more than once every six months or so. I think in the 6-7 years we were together, we yelled at each other maybe three times.
Anyway. He knows that the very moment he says that everything isn’t okay, I’ll be on my way out there to pick him up. And one of the main points of this is the heart-breaking second text that he sent me–I’m going to come back to that.
He also wrote this note and gave it to me:
“You need three.”
Again, I just removed his name.
That deals with Minecraft and something he saw in a Youtube video. I have no idea what he’s talking about, but apparently you need sand, dirt, and a bucket of lavathree blocks of sand, dirt, and buckets of lava. He said this will let you walk on walls and stuff, and I pretended like it was really useful information, despite not really having any idea what he was talking about, because he took the time to write me a note about it. He even had his mom put it in an envelope and seal it for him, and he gave it to me today.
I don’t have any kids, and I don’t envy people who do. I spend enough time worrying about my nephew and just relishing little moments like that, where all I can do is tear up and think “Oh my god, I love this little dude.” Parents undoubtedly become desensitized to that sort of thing. They forget what it’s like to have a kid do something like that, because for the first few years it happens all the time. Mothers take notes like that and put them away the mundanity that accompanies routine, and they think no more about it. But that note to me is an indisputable sign that my nephew loves me.
Well, of course he does! you might be replying. He’s your nephew, so… duh.
I hope you’re not saying that, because I don’t want to live in the world of a jaded, where the love of a six year old is so taken for granted that it should be considered trivial.
Even my cats aren’t afraid of my nephew. He’s one of the few people they aren’t afraid of; they love him to death, too, because he’s also spent time with them. It says a lot to me that my cats like him. They barely tolerate me.
That’s not true. My cats are deeply fond of me.
There are two reasons that I’ve made more of an effort recently to spend more time with my nephew. The first is pragmatic. It’s my hope that my sister (who is increasingly impossible to predict about me being transgender) will accept the reality that it’s not going to affect him one bit when the time comes. As it is, there is the unspoken rule that I can only spend time with my nephew if I’m a male. In fact, I can’t go anywhere near any of my family as a female, but that’s not really the issue I want to get into.
If you remember, her main response about me being transgender is that it will destroy my nephew’s innocence. It took me more than three months to come up with the resolve and fortitude to offer a rebuttal to that, but at the moment it’s somewhere between an elephant in the room and an unspoken agreement. But around the time I’m sporting C cups, that unspoken agreement is going to fall apart.
If she does go through with her plan to keep me away from my nephew, in spite of how much he clearly loves me and vice versa, then I want him to be able to remember, in ten years, all the great times we had. While I don’t think she would attempt to poison his mind against me, it’s quite possible that too many replies of “I’ll explain it when you’re older” will leave his imagination twisting me into some sort of gnarled bogeyman that his mother had to protect him from. If he can remember these great memories, then he can look back one day and say, “No… There’s nothing wrong with my uncle. Or Aunt. Or whoever the hell she is–she’s fine. It was my mom’s prejudice and turning away from her sibling that was the problem.”
Not that he should turn away from his mother by any means… I don’t mean that, and I’d never want that. But I don’t want him turning from me, either.
Let’s return for a moment to the fact that she’s worried that knowing I’m transgender will affect his innocence, his carefree childhood life. And then look back up to his second text:
Ok but we don’t have gas to go there
Why–Dear fucking YAHWEH, will someone tell me WHY–does this six year old child have any knowledge whatsoever about money, gas, and the reality of not having those?
I remember being a kid and having my mom tell me, “No, we don’t have the money for you to get that.” “No, we don’t have the gas for us to go there.” “No, we don’t have the money to do that.” And I remember having my dad tell me the very same things. 99% of the reasons my mother ever gave about why she couldn’t come see my sister and me… were gas. From the age of 7 to about the age of 14, I hated the idea of gas. I didn’t really even understand what it was. I just knew that people needed it for cars to work, and for some reason neither of my parents ever seemed to have any.
If we want to talk about things destroying a carefree childhood, money and gas have to be at the top of the list. And if those don’t make the Number One spot, then parents fighting all the fucking time will.
It breaks my heart to think that one day he’s going to ask, “Can I go to <Uncle MyName’s>?” and that she’s going to answer, “No. You can’t hang out with him anymore.” And why? Well, it’s not because she thinks all LGBT people are rapists and child molesters–she at least knows better than that. In fact, she snapped on someone for making that accusation not too long ago.
Someone she knows fairly well became convinced that someone had “touched” her son. And this person immediately pointed the finger at me with no justification other than “Isn’t your brother kinda… you know?” Happily, my sister lost her cool on this jackass, because there were so many things wrong with the idea that it was hard to even know where to start. How about the fact that I’d never been alone with the kid? How about the fact that transgender doesn’t mean child molester? How about the fact that the majority of child molesters openly identify as straight–even the men who rape little boys call themselves straight. How about the fact that I’m an extremely principled and moral person and have always stood against all forms of child abuse?
So I can at least say that for my sister. But why, then? Because she thinks my nephew will care? Because he won’t, and we all know that’s true. He’s six. He’s at the exact age where he would say, “Okay. Can I play Smash Bros.?” He has seen pictures of me in female clothing and it’s never struck him as odd or even something worth noting. He’s before that age where such things can even affect him. But I’ve pointed out this already. I don’t want to do it again.
It just frustrates me, because I know my sister isn’t going to change her mind. At least I’ll have these memories to get me through the next 50 years while I become that one family member that everyone forgets about and never mentions because they’re too afraid to face their own inner demons and my presence and mere mention would force them to.
Oh, and what about my dad? He texted me yesterday and said:
I kno u miss ur mom but u could tell ur gma happy mothersday
I didn’t reply. How could I reply? What could I possibly say to that? He had basically just said:
I know your mom was murdered, but mine is still alive.
Obviously, he didn’t mean it in such ridiculous terms, but that doesn’t change what he said. It’s still a fucked up thing to say. My mother is dead, dude. Probably. I say “probably” because no one knows where my mother is. No one has ever recovered her body, and no one has ever been charged with a crime. It’s pretty much indisputable that my aunt’s ex-husband (someone who you might call an uncle) murdered her, since he has been to prison for another murder, but without a corpse it’s worse than speculation. It’s baseless speculation.
All I want is my mother’s body. I would love nothing more than to be able to strike the deal with this man “You tell me where my mother’s body is, and I will remove the knife from your throat, and I will let you walk away and will never press charges.” But the justice system won’t let me do that. Rightfully–in regard to the knife but I’m not a violent person anyway and wouldn’t try to handle it like that in the first place. But I couldn’t even peacefully make this agreement with him, because the justice system denies me the right to forego pressing charges in regard to murder. You can’t kill someone and then have someone not press charges; murder doesn’t work that way.
Would he even do it? I think probably, if he knew there wouldn’t be any consequences. And why would there be? My mother has been dead (allegedly) since I was 12 years old. For more than half of my life, she’s been dead. There is no conceivable way for her to be brought justice at this point, and revenge is something I long ago released the desire for. It’s a simple matter of closure for me. I want to know that she’s dead, and not screaming in some basement somewhere…
That’s undoubtedly the worst part. Because I don’t know that she’s dead. There are plenty of places in the Ozarks to hide a body that will never be discovered, but even so–how possible is it to hide a body and it not be found in the modern world? It’s entirely possible that he is telling the truth, that she did vanish with a truck driver named Tim, and that she has spent the last 17 years trapped in a basement with a broken psyche and battered body, tortured and mutilated and barely clinging to life. Who the fuck knows? No one. And humans have done worse than that to one another.
I would be more than willing to face obstruction of justice charges for refusing to say how I got the information. I’d attribute it to fucking psychic visions; I don’t give a fuck. No jury in the world would convict me for doing whatever I had to do in order to recover my mother’s body after nearly two decades, and I doubt a competent DA would even try. Besides, after two decades even with a confession the killer wouldn’t serve any time–even with a prior under his belt.
But it will never happen. Eventually I’ll be able to rest assured that she’s dead. And, realistically, I can do so now. She’d be sixty years old now. Far too old for someone to be interested in raping, and far too old to still have any will to live after nearly two decades of imprisonment and torture; her spirit would have given up by now. That is the only solace I can find on the matter. “Even if she was tortured in a basement, she would have given up on life and died by now.”
That’s my mother, man. That’s the woman who gave birth to me that we’re talking about. The woman who I loved so deeply and in whom I found such beauty that it more or less made me transgender. And the only definitive thing I can say about her is that “Even if she was tortured in a basement, it has been two decades and she’d be sixty by now, so she would certainly be dead by this point. She’s no longer alone and screaming now.”
To end this with something that will make you laugh:
I’ve written an article at Cubed3 about how gamers are often demonized by mainstream culture and the mainstream media for using slurs like “fag” and “nigger,” when the reality is that the application of such slurs leaves one to conclude that, far from being homophobic, misogynistic racists, gamers are the most tolerant and accepting people out there. I’ve had countless people react horribly to learning that I’m transgender, but none of them were gamers. I’m not saying that gaming itself is responsible for that openness, but I would venture the postulate that the kind of people who wouldn’t care about such things gravitate toward video games.
The article can be found here: http://www.cubed3.com/news/25746/1/critical-hit-demonised-gamers.html
…and I just want to clarify a few things.
First, I’m neither condoning nor excusing the use of slurs or the hostility that gamers often project. I’m explaining, not rationalizing or excusing. There is enormous difference; explaining why Charles Manson murdered people is not the same as excusing those murders.
Secondly, no, I don’t think gamers are universally wrong to use such words. They can be, though, and I have full appreciation for how damaging such words can be. But it’s not the WORDS that are damaging. It’s the mentality and sociological reality surrounding those words.
Third, I’ve already received the response that “nigger” is a special one, and no one gets to say it. That’s exactly what I rebuke. Fuck that mentality. No word is sacred. And if we’re talking oppression and victimization, I’m sorry, but homosexuals and transgenders have had it worse, since you want to compare such things. I’m sorry, but black Americans were enslaved and oppressed. Homosexuals and transgenders were killed outright–for thousands of years. Both are horrible, and it’s stupid to compare, so don’t try to put one slur above the others. When used as vernaculized hatred, they are all bad.