From the New York Times op-ed page, some space that could have been devoted to, say, the unfortunate role of monopolies in keeping the people of America’s neighbor Mexico poor. But this topic is of course far more important:
Twitter Has a Transgender Problem
By THORNE N. MELCHER NOV. 2, 2017
Following the tragic events in Las Vegas last month, as the gun debate reached new heights of intensity, I joined the fray. Though in favor of increased gun control, I spoke out on Twitter in support of transgender people being able to arm ourselves in self-defense — because, I felt, our newly heightened levels of visibility have led to increased levels of violence against us.
One of my tweets took off. What resulted was a multiday, multi-pronged onslaught of harassment from not only gun-control activists but groups who target transgender people. Ultimately, after days of doing nothing while other users hurled slurs and made threats, Twitter finally took action: It suspended me for 12 hours after I said one of those users was “garbage” for trying to incite further harassment. …
… When someone crossed the line into what I considered abuse — calling me, for instance, a “tranny” or “mentally ill” — I would report the tweets in question. Each time, Twitter ruled they’d violated no rules — each time with no further explanation provided.
… Transgender users who are active on Twitter are often targeted by everyone from social conservatives to so-called feminists espousing transphobic views in the name of “protecting” cisgender women.
… Online harassment is associated with increased risk of depression, anxiety and suicide. The impact of gender dysphoria alone on one’s mental health is severe
In other words, transgender people do tend to be mentally ill, for the purpose of scoring more Victim Pokemon Points. But when they enter as self-proclaimed transgender voices into public policy debates over seemingly neutral subjects like gun control to demand special privileges for themselves based on their perceptions of the world, nobody else is allowed to mention the role that their mental illness plays in their perception of reality. After all, they are mentally ill and thus must be treated with kid gloves.
… But the question now is simple: Does Twitter want to be remembered as a company that protected the safety of those most vulnerable? Or helped put them in harm’s way?
Because we transgenders are so mentally fragile, but also so extraordinarily aggressive, competitive, and angry, we need special privileges so that we may crush our enemies in public debate into dust beneath our chariot wheels without those losers being allowed to fight back. Is that too much to ask? I don’t think so, you hateful transophobic Christian/feminist/mental health professional/cisgender lesbian Cotton Ceiling-enforcer/whatever. Don’t you understand that I have to win?
Thorne N. Melcher (@ExistentialEnso) is an L.G.B.T. activist and the chief technology officer at CrowdMed.