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Everyone But You

Published: Jan 10 2018

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Lately I have been reading comments on Reddit. Usually this is the worst thing to do for your mental health. Most users don't even bother trying to act like civilized humans. Most are very open with their hatred of trangender people. Lately I have been seeing this is multiple different threads. Occasionally there is someone that tries to speak with a voice of reason but there are more trolls and bigots than there are sensible people. In many of the forums the posts will be removed and the users banned so that nobody else dares to chime in and act like a decent and empathetic human.

Most of the comments are practically incoherent with a mix of pseudoscience or just made up statistics to spread their hateful message. Many are indistinguishable from the most fanatic conspiracy theorists. For anybody with basic knowledge or logic or familiarity with the topic they can clearly be seen as bigots and trolls. The reason it is important to speak up and try to be the voice of reason is for the people who are not familiar with the issues. 

My biggest issue is that even if these people agreed with a simple point they will not apply it to other fellow humans. For example, many will agree that you can do whatever you want with your body. You want to get tattoos and horn implants? Or breast augmentation? Hair removal? Some other cosmetic surgery? Do it! Nobody can tell you otherwise! The second they realize that a trans person wants one of these their tune changes. They think that trans people are crazy for wanting surgeries to help their physical appearance. Everyone deserves body autonomy, except you, trans people.

The next issue is that they seem to think they are more knowledgeable about my medical history than myself, my doctor, or my insurance company. It must be a conspiracy! I am not sure how they think the doctor benefits from this conspiracy. The insurance company is also in on it for covering my medications (to some extent). I have never heard of an insurance company paying for something just for the fun of it. Clearly they are  in on the conspiracy!

Last is the flat out incorrect use of statistics. Claiming that transition is a path to failure or regret or doesn't reduce suicide rates. If they don't have statistics they will make some up. I am not a statistician but I can do basic math. There is a well reasoned comment pulled from this Reddit post (https://www.reddit.com/r/asktransgender/comments/71ndty/in_case_some_of_yall_hate_explaining_what/): 

So we have a study that shows that the lifetime rates for suicide attempts are about the same in transitioned trans people and in non-transitioned ones. This often gets interpreted as "transition doesn't help". But here's the problem: that would be true even if transition reduced attempt rates to zero.
Suppose, for example, we follow someone for 10 years. They attempt suicide twice, in year 2 and year 4, then transition between years 5 and 6 and never attempt it again. Using an O for a year without an attempt and an X for one with and a | for the time when they transitioned we could write this as OXOXO|OOOOO. It seems reasonable to say transition probably helped this person, or at least didn't hurt (and we can say that with more confidence the more people we study).
However, imagine we sampled ten copies of this person, each of whom is at different stages in this ten-year period. That is, we sample the following ten people:
This sample contains five people (the first 5) who are pre-transition, and five others (the last five) who are post-transition. It would show that the pre-transition people had an 80% lifetime rate of attempting suicide (4 of the 5 had) and that the post-transition people had a 100% lifetime rate of attempting suicide (all 5 had - but all of them pre-transition!). Moreover, it would show that pre-transition trans people had attempted suicide an average of 1.2 times (6 attempts over 5 people) and a post-transition trans people had attempted suicide 2 times (10 attempts over 5 people), even though no one here is attempting post-transition.

I have no final thoughts. I am bothered by the comments even if they don't affect me as much as they do others. There are some people who cannot browse entire websites because of these negative comments on every article (even if they are unrelated entirely). Many of these same types of negative comments are made about race, religion, nationality, and sexuality. None of them are okay. Many people think that this can be ignored. Just pretending that it is not there does not make the problematic people/comments go away. If the comments applied to everyone instead of just the minority of people (usually one minority at a time) then this might enact change quicker. Sadly I have no conclusion to this rambling rant. I hope it gets better soon.

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