Funny, just a couple of days after the Accidental Activist post, where I asked, “Does increased visibility cause increased resistance?” I inadvertently got the answer to that question.
Spoiler alert: the answer is ‘yes.’ Yes, it does.
I mentioned posting more trans-related things or life-related things on LinkedIn, and then just like that, something I posted went low-key viral. By “low-key,” I mean 146,115 views, 440 comments, and 649 reactions (like a thumbs up, or one of the other options).
I wouldn’t even have seen it until Tuesday, but I went to LinkedIn on Saturday to copy my LinkedIn URL to give to someone and noticed that I had more than 30 connection requests. I knew something was up because that number of requests was very unusual.
So I went to the post and saw the hundreds of comments on this:
It was a few paragraphs about seeing the shirt on an older white man/imbecile as I was leaving the grocery store. I didn’t say “imbecile” on LinkedIn, but I’m saying it here because we’re friends, and you know that only an imbecile would wear that.
I ended by perhaps oversharing that seeing that shirt left me with “Sadness and a shitty feeling.”
As you may expect, the comments were mixed—many from supportive people and many from ignorant knuckle draggers. If I’d seen 20 or 30 comments I would have assumed they’d all be supportive because odds are they would have been. But when there are hundreds, you don’t even have to look to know that you’ve somehow attracted the kooks to your doorstep.
I expected to get some negative comments on trans-related LinkedIn posts. People like to fool themselves into believing that LinkedIn is a “professional” social media network, but everyone is on there talking about everything. And I know how the world works. I know I’m in the minority when it comes to my life or, you know, my being.
The problem with that is the racist, everything-phobic, misogynistic, tinfoil hat-wearing anti-vax sovereign citizen Trump droolers are unable to function without proudly waving their idiot flags everywhere they go. They are incapable of seeing something that runs contrary to their 18th-century worldview and thinking, “Whatever,” and moving on. They just can’t do it.
A small part of that is that they feel their worldview is correct and want you to know it. But a more significant part of it – or I should say the most significant part of it – is entitlement, pure and simple. White men lumbering through life harboring the delusional belief that the entire world cares what they think. About everything.
White men, especially old white men, and well-off old white men, in particular, are a fucking cancer on society. Young white men are equally entitled, but unless they are right-wing wackos, they are better at hiding or covering up the exercise of their privilege.
But the negative comments are all of the same ilk. Patronizing. Mansplaining. Uninformed. Unhinged. Willfully ignorant. Telling me to “get a life” or “get a sense of humor” (the same misogyny that makes men feel entitled to say, “Smile!” when they pass women on the street).
To be openly trans, you have to have a thick skin. What these particular haters don’t know about me is that I spent years of my life playing punk rock to people who threw bottles at my head if they didn’t like what they were hearing. And those were the people who liked us. The public streets of this country were a hundred times worse. Because we were committing the sin of being different.
So, I’m sorry bros, but your LinkedIn comments don’t even make it through the first layer of my skin. I can’t roll my eyes hard enough.
Not so long ago, I would have argued with everyone who posted a negative comment. Every one of them would have received a biting response from me. An argument. A provocation.
No more, though.
I’m all about peace and love these days, baby! 🙂 I liked or loved the positive things and ignored the “patriots” and trolls.
I suppose some of the things I just typed here don’t sound very peaceful, do they? Ha ha. But I have to let off steam somewhere. And like I said, we’re friends, right?