Whoop, talking about people being jerks to queer people, here’s an escape link and a fold.
Hey, let’s talk about about believing the idea that kids change genders as a fashion trend.
Now I’m not talking about that idea itself. There’s this like, nested set of expanding-brain memes, about how gender doesn’t work that way, but maybe it should, but I’m not talking about this. I’m talking about believing this idea. And the reason people believe these silly things is often because they’re not very good at accepting their own ability to be wrong about things.
We have, in general, a mechanism in our head for accepting wrongness. We don’t do it well. It’s easier to sort of massage our mindsets, to pretend we weren’t wrong rather than come around to the painful moment of I was wrong. What you’re more likely to see as a brain goes through these adjustments is a process that goes through:
- Well both sides have points
- I never thought to the contrary
- This isn’t a big deal
Now how this applies to your own life, based on this? If you’re a cis adult in most of the societies like mine, which includes Canada, America, England and Australia, and hey, you can tell me if you live someplace similar, if you’re in that situation, you probably have no trans friends – not just that you know of, you probably have none, because trans people tend to avoid people they can’t trust like all people do. If you have two trans friends, you are in the minority, and statistically, you’re more likely to have four or five than just two.
What this means is that for a lot of people, the people without trans friends around them, they are going to view trans people like iguanas on leashes. Sure, you can accept they might exist, they don’t fly in the face of what can be done, but they’re not part of your normal. What’s more is that trans people are not necessarily part of your perspective but that doesn’t mean they’re not part of your life. You might know some without being aware of their trans status, or, really sadly, you might know some who cut off contact with you because they don’t think they can trust you.
When you’re presented with evidence that your normal is wrong, you react to it by trying to do things to restore your vision of normal. That’s when your brain does the thing and tries to reject this new information in some way. Now, any given trans person has heard this before – they get asked questions like have you tried not being trans? Which is pretty silly. It’s a question you’d reject on its face – have you tried not being heavier than air? But because the person you’re dealing with hasn’t got a structure for what that means in their head, they’re asking you can you restore my normal?
This is culturally reinfored too, where even when we make mistakes we’re encouraged to draw middle ground, to say ‘well we’re both silly.’ And that’s because it’s an attempt to outsource the failure, to reduce the sting of our brains going ‘hang on.’
So what do you do? How do you accept ‘Oh I wasn’t paying attention to, and kind of being an asshole about, genders?‘ Well, in the case of this idea of ‘genders as fashion,’ you get the notion that it’s more likely that it is a fad because it’s more reasonable to you that kids try silly things for no good reason and that nobody would seriously want to be trans in any number. It is all, at root, a struggle against the feeling that we can be wrong, and an attempt to make that wrongness something else.
Cultivate the ability to admit you’re wrong. It makes a lot of things better for you and for the people around you