Blimey. It’s a long time since I’ve written anything here. I suppose that all the things I usually have to say I tend to say to people in real life, as opposed to blogging. Which is probably why I tend to blog so rarely. Sometimes, though, there is a point or subject which I want to address that I can’t do just by talking to individuals. This is where social media, or blogs, come in.
I don’t have that many physical friends, mainly due to the type of work I do, (I’m a contract IT support engineer and sysAdmin) and, so, I tend to not have many people to talk to face-to-face.
What I do have, though, are many people whom I can talk to online, whether it be Twitter, Facebook, SoundCloud, LinkedIn, Cybrary etc, and this gives me a whole world outside the physical to explore. It also gives me examples of people who don’t give a crap about what I am, but do care who I am. On Cybrary, I’m a network engineer who is training in network security, just one among many women who are doing so. On SoundCloud I’m an electronic musician with a fixation on Synthwave music. On LinkedIn I’m an IT engineer working for one of the largest media company’s in the world.
Each of us is a different person through a different lens. That is what gives us our individuality. Sometimes, though, we fall into a bad crowd, or fall prey to bad or misleading information. When that happens, we can either extricate ourselves or we can allow ourselves to be drawn in.
It all comes down to trust. The trust that what you say is true. The trust that what you post won’t go any further. The trust that your music won’t be appropriated. The trust that your skills won’t be abused. The trust that whatever you offer the world won’t be userped, misappropriated or destroyed.
The trust goes both ways too. As a SysAdmin and support engineer I sometimes require a user’s password. That user trusts me not to reveal that password to anyone else. I may be asked to recover files that contain an idea that someone had, something they are working on, or a script idea for a film, or something so private that they don’t want anyone to know about it. I may also have access to personal information, some of which is very, very private. Each individual relies on me not to reveal that information outside of the context in which it is given. I never have done so and never will do.
So, why oh why, is it seemingly permissable to lay bare the entire life of a trans woman or a trans man? What is so different about a trans person that their private life is open to all? Why should it be allowed that I have to reveal things about my life to organisations that no-one else has to? Why should I be asked to reveal personal information about someone who is trans when I wouldn’t be asked if they were cis (I never have done and never will do (see above))?
Why is that the media can probe a trans person’s life more thoroughly and with less legal protection than their cis counterpart, and display it publically?
The reason being is that anything that deviates from being white, christian and male/female is labelled as ‘wrong’. That means that being dark-skinned, Muslim, Hindu, Bhuddist, gay, trans, NB or anything else is ‘wrong’.
A large proportion of the reason is due to the British Empire. So many laws around the world were enacted by the British, and harshly enforced, based around the ideas of the times, that they have become enshrined in culture and even in the laws of the countries where they should not have appeared (India, Pakistan, South Africa, et al).
I could go into it further and it would probably take me days but, if you want to, the information is out there. I suspect, though, not many people will.
I shall, though, give you three historic reasons why exposing a trans person’s life is considered fair game and they are below. Please read them, and then realise what’s happening now: