by Christina McLaughlin

In my six years of living as a transwoman, never would I have thought that I would be distancing myself from a movement that I once supported. However, the movement we see today is not the trans movement that existed when I began my transition. When I began my transition, the movement was about being able to express oneself for who they are. And free expression is a core belief of mine. That free expression meant that only I myself could define who I am. Yes, there would be people who would “misgender” me, but I don’t need their validation. I am who I express myself to be, only I can define me.

That’s what the trans movement used to be about. Now, now it has been co-opted by the “Progressive” movement. A movement built around an ideology of victimhood culture. The trans movement used to be about self empowerment, now it teaches trans people dependence over perseverance. They will justify this by quoting statistics like “one in twelve trans people will be murdered.” This is simply and factually untrue. There were twenty-seven trans people murdered in 2017, there are over a million (low estimate) trans people living in the US. That is a murder rate of 0.000024% a year. To put that in perspective, there were about 17,500 murders in the US. That is roughly a 0.000053% murder rate. Then, when you point out that trans people are statistically far safer than their cis counterparts, they will tell you that “well, cis people aren’t being murdered for their gender.” This is a misrepresentation of the data. A vast majority of the trans people murdered in 2017, were murdered by domestic partners. This misinformation coupled with lies and propagating fear on social media has lead to a damaged psyche within the trans community. It has lead people to believe small personal attacks represent an entire invalidation of who you are. And like any cult, it has the answer. Forced compliance: we will make people recognize you, or they will be punished. And for a brief moment in 2016, I listened.

As I dove deeper into the movement, and the months passed by, I began to see just how far down the ideological spectrum their ideas went. I began to see how intersectionalism was gripping its claws, just how it did with atheism in 2015. I began to see arguments being made that there is no gender, that gender is a social construct. I began to see arguments that you can make up your own gender. I began to question the existence of genders like, Adamasgender: a gender which refuses to be categorized…but yet, is categorized, with a name, and a description of what it is. I began to see a surge of trans people joining the movement identifying as whatever suited their desire to feel like they belong to a group, something that made them feel special. As time went by I began to criticize the movement, now more so than ever.

Recently in the news, Scarlett Johansson stepped away from a role, where she would have played a trans male character.  Of course the trans community (which I still follow, because I’m insane I guess) went on the offensive as soon as it was revealed that she was to play the role. “That part should belong to a trans male,” “a cisperson shouldn’t be playing roles meant for trans people,” “you never see trans people getting cisgender roles.” The complaints were the same boring diatribe I hear whenever Hollywood casts an actor to play a role that is meant for a “protected group.”  For one, the trans people never get cast in cis roles, is once again a lie. The following performers were all cast to play cis people in roles: Caroline Cossey, Adèle Anderson, Christine Jorgensen, Michelle Hendley, Rebecca Root, Alexandra Billings. Acting, to me, is pretending to be someone we aren’t. Hollywood doesn’t always have to be 100% realistic–we go to movies to suspend our disbelief. Those on the left who decried Scarlett Johansson playing the role are the exact same ones who will stomp their feet and tell you that “gender isn’t binary, gender is fluid.” To which I always ask them, “If gender is fluid, why can’t Scarlett play a man?” We know the answer to that question: it’s all about equality of outcome.