all 32 comments

[–][deleted] 39 insightful - 4 fun39 insightful - 3 fun40 insightful - 4 fun -  (3 children)

I am very subtle.

First of all, I don't try to convert them, period. Even though I think gender ideology is ridiculous, blatantly factually incorrect and often morally uncomfortable, I still think that trying to actively "convert" someone's beliefs is overstepping and ineffective. It's actually pretty surprising and scary what people can be conditioned to believe, take for instance cults who have successfully persuaded their members to commit ritual suicide. So going in too obvious with opposing views will, in my opinion, do more harm than good, they will take it as a hostile action and you're basically giving them a reason (by their logic) to see you as a threat.

So I tackle it with a gentle and positive approach. For example, I now know a few FTMs I talk with online regularly. Most of them are actually pretty smart and it's obvious to me that they're just choosing to "become men" due to sexism, personal trauma, and/or societal expectations. And although they often say facepalm-worthy stuff (such as "I'm a boy even if I make no attempt to transition and like having a vagina!" or "gay men who don't include trans men in their dating pool are bigots!") they will occassionally bring up a point veering into gender skepticism. When they do, I validate that and support them, but I never push it too far.

One of the FTMs I talk to the most approached me a while back, venting her frustrations over an encounter with an invasive MTF, and she said to me something along the lines of "I don't mean to misgender anyone, trans women are women and all, but I've noticed a lot of AMAB people still show signs of toxic male privilege that they're not aware of." Opening it with "I'm not transphobic but-" kind of made it seem like she was specifically afraid that I would flip out and call her a bigot for it, which was a little odd. But instead I basically agreed and said yeah, I've definitely noticed that too, and I think it's worth pointing out. But again, I didn't push too far - even though I could easily go into a long essay about the topic.

It's less about pushing my beliefs on others, that's not what I aim to do. I just simply stand in support with those who express beliefs of their own that go against the status quo, and show them that they're not alone & the right people will let them say these "controversial" things. A lot of people who are skeptical of gender were once SJWs or even trans themselves, and I think that if they're going to change their views, that's a journey only they can do, in my opinion.

I also took a BIG risk with this group and told them that I'm gay. While this may not seem like a big deal, it is to me because that's usually something I keep private, and considering this social group has a lot of SJW/TRA types I feared it'd get me harassed or worse. Interestingly, though, even when I have said some really blatant same sex attracted gay things, even the "gay trans men are gay men and excluding them is bigotry" people haven't come for me. I can't say for sure why, but I have a feeling that one, I don't think many of them genuinely believe what they preach, and two, seeing as I have not even been remotely hateful or hostile, they may be considering the "men who only like dick" are bigots stance.

It's been an interesting experience. For a long time I was (and possibly still am) "transphobic", like, I really HATED transgender people & their supporters for being aggressive and creepy, and they had seriously damaged some people I know. But this experience has forced me to see things in a different light, and that not all of them are purposefully toxic - a lot are sadly misguided.

Oh, and another tip - "kill them with kindness" kind of works. Since I get the feeling that a lot of trans people I know are only trans due to pressure or personal problems, and are often not even dysphoric, I never attack or doubt their identity publicly, but I do make a point of openly supporting GNC men & women and the like. There are unfortunately some people I know who identify as "trans boys" solely because they don't like being feminine, so, I make a point of reminding people that anyone of either sex can like "girly" or "boyish" things and it doesn't make them not male/female. Even if it doesn't change some trans minds, it may still be positive and reassuring to other GNC people in the community, so, it's worth saying anyway.

[–]PassionateIntensity 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I wish I had this much patience. I really do think it's the way to go.

[–][deleted] 3 insightful - 3 fun3 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

Have an insightful for both your comment and your username.

[–][deleted] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

This is incredible of you. I learned a lot. Thank you.

[–]bastetkat 33 insightful - 1 fun33 insightful - 0 fun34 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

Play dumb and expose the trans ideology by asking them questions. You can make the TRAs realize themselves how homophobic it really is that way. Although, conversations like that usually ends with them trying to change the topic or shut you up.

[–][deleted] 18 insightful - 1 fun18 insightful - 0 fun19 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Yeah it does seem like they just don't want to have the conversation

[–]wafflegaffWoman. SuperBi. 17 insightful - 1 fun17 insightful - 0 fun18 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Of course not, they don't want to realize they got owned by a new type of bigot.

[–]reluctant_commenter 15 insightful - 2 fun15 insightful - 1 fun16 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Play dumb and expose the trans ideology by asking them questions. You can make the TRAs realize themselves how homophobic it really is that way. Although, conversations like that usually ends with them trying to change the topic or shut you up.

I like to do this, too. ESPECIALLY if other people who might be on the fence are around. It is unlikely I'll convince the person I'm talking to of anything, but it's sort of like the equivalent rule of commenting online-- "you're not really debating to convince the person you're debating, but the lurkers."

[–]loveSloaneSuperDuperBi 14 insightful - 5 fun14 insightful - 4 fun15 insightful - 5 fun -  (3 children)

I turn them gc lol

[–][deleted] 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Easier said than done...How do you tell them peaking stories?

[–]loveSloaneSuperDuperBi 24 insightful - 3 fun24 insightful - 2 fun25 insightful - 3 fun -  (1 child)

When it comes up I ask them to show me evidence about the claims of violence and how TWAW/TMAM, or whatever we are discussing. If they try to change the subject I call them out on it. Then I show them how the tras lie about their claims, show them the death and rape threats. I show them how they guilt trip and pressure people about sexuality and the blatant homophobia, show them talking over women. I used to show them the old gcdebatesqt subreddit a lot and it that’s what really did it. Seeing it coming from the trans people themselves in an environment where their views were being directly discussed and challenged and the whole point was to discuss things tras never want to discuss- that sub is what made me fully gc myself.

I’ve only had to talk about this stuff with a few of my friends, to be fair. But all of them ended up agreeing with me. Honestly the stuff about sex and the sub do most of my work for me. I never even had to give any personal opinions, I let the tras speak for themselves, my friends acknowledge that what they are saying is fucked up, then I ask them how they support a group that bullies and threatens others for simply disagreeing with them. It doesn’t just miraculously change their minds right away, but it seems to make it impossible to not see it and they eventually admit to me that they see things differently.

Tldr- I don’t have to tell them peak stories. I show them the cracks in logic and the hypocrisy and contradictions surrounding the movement as a whole

[–][deleted] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I've been very subtly pushing the cracks in logic. I think people are getting it!!

[–]wafflegaffWoman. SuperBi. 16 insightful - 1 fun16 insightful - 0 fun17 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

I'm really not out because they're so woke.

Virtual hugs.

[–][deleted] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Thank you.

[–]Dravidian 13 insightful - 2 fun13 insightful - 1 fun14 insightful - 2 fun -  (1 child)

I tried to turn them gc, didn't work, so I bailed. I'm now officially a terf.

[–][deleted] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Did you bail on them completely and did they bail on you? I'm kind of scared of it...

[–]reluctant_commenter 12 insightful - 1 fun12 insightful - 0 fun13 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Just wanted to say I'm in the same boat.

Personally-- I tend to...

  • Distance myself from them. If they are hardcore trans rights activists then they would likely reject me for the mere fact of my sexual orientation being the way it is, specifically my repulsion for dicks, and certainly for my views. I do not need to be around such negativity, and would rather surround myself with people who I might learn from and who I look up to.

  • Avoid coming out to them. Many hardcore TRAs support the transing of children, and use terms such as "uterus owner" or "period-haver" to be "inclusive and respectful of trans people". These beliefs are highly homophobic and misogynistic, and I would rather not have these people know my sexual orientation when I am already aware that they are bigoted.

  • Avoid bringing up trans-related topics in their presence or to their acquaintances. In my case this is important because these are people I work with; whereas if they are just your friends, you may not have to give a shit if they know you are not a TRA.

I do occasionally try to poke around a little and see if some might be amenable towards a conversation, although this can be risky. I have tried that twice so far with varying success. The transing of children is a topic that catches people unawares and so I might lead in with that. Or, I will share something absolutely insane from the actualtransbians sub, like this fantastic example from a few days ago:

edit: formatting

[–][deleted] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Just when I think I can't peak any more...

[–][deleted] 10 insightful - 1 fun10 insightful - 0 fun11 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Dunno. The furthest I have is telling a friend that I think the stuff that goes around online is ridiculous and sort of laughed it off. I also told them that I thought that many of the online trans communities were downright toxic.

With my mum I told her about how giving kids puberty blockers before puberty encourages approx 90%+ persistance, whereas if they are allowed to mature to age 15-16 then most of them desist. I also showed her an article of child protection taking a girl from her parents because the parents didn't think she was trans— the girl had recently moved schools and had social anxiety and body image issues. I said to my mum: would would you have done if, at 14, I'd told you that I had always been a boy? I can just see what my mum would have said ("cokolada, where did you get this from? Show me the sites where you found this information? What evidence do you have for this? How much time are you spending online? Why are you spending all this time online and not studying? Is this identity stuff going to get you good grades at school or a job? You know these people are not your friends. Have you met any of these people in real life? Why are you letting them tell you all these things about you? Aren't your family and (real life friends) more important? etc.) I then asked if she thought the parent's in this case had reacted any differently.

[–][deleted] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I think showing logic works for some, but for others it's really difficult.

[–]les4leshomonormative 9 insightful - 2 fun9 insightful - 1 fun10 insightful - 2 fun -  (1 child)

I have both trans and TRA friends, it's a pretty tough line to walk. I only associate with women (so transmen or "afab enbies") so I'm sure my experience would be different from anybody who knows men that are TRAs, I get the sense that men are a lot more violent/pushy with it.

Generally speaking I play dumb, though. I'll say stuff like "I still don't know what gender means" and I'll just avoid bringing anything up. I'm pretty active in a few fandom groups so I have to steer pretty clear of discussing JK Rowling or Ellen Page lately.

I've had some success trying to say things like "as a cis lesbian i have a different perspective on this issue" too but generally that has the caveat of, because I'm not trans-identified, my perspective doesn't actually matter, and I'm too much of a pussy to suggest that it should lol

[–][deleted] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Oh god, it really is tiring to be honest. I feel for you...

[–]wafflegaffWoman. SuperBi. 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

As little as possible, but your question reminds me we've passed around links to a few great resources, like one site that had endless screen caps of TRA abuse of other people on Twitter. Not sure I saved all of those in once place, but I will start now.

[–]reluctant_commenter 11 insightful - 1 fun11 insightful - 0 fun12 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Not sure if you've seen this already, but I started a list:

And there was actually a 5th one posted someone, a couple months ago or so.

[–]wafflegaffWoman. SuperBi. 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Perfect, thank you. Bookmarked.

[–][deleted] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

You're right they should be dealt with as little as possible... :(

[–]Treeofthoughts 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

I would still suspect you are safe to come out to woke people, if there is homophobia it is in a backwards form, they would take issue with one aspect of your views rather than the same sex attraction it's self.

My friends are not overly woke. But I have encountered it with a straight couple I know, they were upset about JKR (without reading what she had said) and the conversation turned a little more general. I could tell their ideas were coming from a place of support and thought they were saying the right things, I even wondered if what they were saying was intended for my benefit - on the assumption that I would share their views and have perhaps personally felt concerned about JKR as a member of the "LGBT" community. They then turned to the subject of heteronormativity and sort of explained it to me ... an interesting experience, frankly I think my homosexuality does relatively little to separate me from my straight friends, but they seemed to place more importance on my differences, despite it not affecting them, than I did.

If it comes up again I will probably directly challenge them actually. I have known them a long time and our friendship is secure. It took me unawares as conversation rarely strays into those areas. The two areas I would choose for that discussion would be the tension between trans rights and women's rights, and I would probably choose women's rugby, and tensions between trans rights and LGB rights using the recent Keira Bell case as an example. I would stay away from the attacks from some trans people on LGB people's sexuality, because I think my friends would simply not believe it, it would sound so mad to them, that if I raised it they would think I was also mad for thinking that some trans people might think like that!

If you are going to tackle either conversation it is probably worth knowing the basis of the reasoning behind the women's rugby decision (the increased risk of damage to the female team mates) and the background to the Keira Bell case.

[–][deleted] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I have had some success with sports! With my coworker. But it's a start.

[–][deleted] 6 insightful - 1 fun6 insightful - 0 fun7 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Depends on he person. My IRL friends are mainly 'terfs' but I do have a few online TRA friends. Generally I don't bring up trans stuff until they bring it up first, call out their bs by asking questions, or don't talk to them much at all. I'll give a few examples.

Friend #1 is actually someone I met online but now see regularly in person over the past few years. She shared a post calling JKR a transphobe and I asked her point blank if she'd read JKR's tweets or essay. She said no. I urged her to read them for herself but I summarized it and she liked my comment. I had a feeling she would because about a year or so before that she came to me feeling guilty and frustrated that TRAs would call her a transphobe for not liking dick. I supported her 100% and told her it's ridiculous for her to try and force it and that anyone who'd call her a bigot for something she can't help is in the wrong.

Friend #2 is an online friend I've known for several years. She is a self proclaimed 'biromantic asexual' and is a lot more woke than friend #1. However one day she came to me claiming not to understand the concept of a 'heteroromantic homosexual' and called it ridiculous. I told her point blank someone could say the same thing about the label she gave herself. She 'defended' it by saying she's ace but still gets crushes so for HER it made sense. I reiterated that all she needs to do to understand it is apply the same bullshit logic she gave herself to this other concept she was having so much trouble with. She kept saying 'shouldn't they match?' and I kept agreeing, continuing to point out that hers should also match. We eventually dropped it but being called out made her think.

Friend #3 is an FTM I used to talk with regularly. We initially bonded over something else but the bonding continued when we both shared our struggles with gender identity and both started identifying as trans. I noticed a metric ton of internalized misogyny in her, and I would continually ask her if she was sure she didn't just hate the way she was treated for being female. She'd say no she just feels more comfortable presenting male (which is literally what I asked her, but whatever). Ironically talking with her is part of what peaked me. I remember once she said she wanted to be treated the same as she is now, just for people to see her as male. I remember thinking that's impossible, and she knows it's impossible. People WILL treat you differently based on the sex they see you as. That's kind of the entire point of why people transition. Then a few weeks later she came to me ecstatic that some people at a party didn't treat her like the rest of the girls there. I knew right then she was running away from her femaleness not out of some innately 'male brain' but to escape the way she's been treated over the years for being female. I knew right then she was transitioning out of internalized misogyny and didn't want to admit it because that would mean she's not 'really' trans (spoiler alert: no one is). We don't talk much anymore. Mostly because this year I would check on her regularly every few weeks only to get a few lines of conversation in response. So when she finally decided she wanted to talk again after 6 months I was sick of it.

Out of all of these people, I don't bring up JKR or Ellen. It's worked pretty well. I don't open up the channels of communication about TRA stuff unless they bring it up first. I ask questions and encourage them to look at facts. I encourage them to look at themselves and their hypocrisy.

[–][deleted] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

This is really smart. I'll avoid Ellen and JKR. JKR did come up but my friend kept repeating TRA party line.

[–][deleted] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

I have a Trans coworker who thinks because I'm homosexual we should "associate"

I avoid him like the plauge, give him the low information diet and whenever abosulety HAVE to do something with him I always keep on work related topics and shut down anything unrelated "I need to focus on this project, We should concentrate on this duty ect"

Though apparently he reported me to management because I won't be his " friend" when management asked me why I dont engage with him I responded with "I don't engage with most of my coworkers, including him, its not a requirement to be friends with the people you work with"

[–][deleted] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

That really is childish of your coworker. Sorry that you had to deal with that.