there is a particular type of vitriol and aggression directed against nonbinary and gender variant people that is continuing to escalate and can't adequately be captured by words like 'transphobia.' now, more than ever, it is crucial to explicitly name 'gender binarism' and unpack how it operates to specifically and disproportionately harm people who are gender non-conforming.
the narrative among conservatives becomes that we are "gender snowflakes" who think we are exceptional and/or special because we are doing ridiculous things like identifying our own genders. we become markers of the degeneracy of "men," "america," and "politics" more generally. we are attacked as a way to punish and police us back into conformity. those who harass us are elevated to the status of heroes and are venerated for taking on the necessary struggle against "political correctness."
the narrative among liberals becomes that we are vain and obsessed with semantics and insubstantial issues like pronouns and bathrooms. we become understood as symbolic of the degeneracy of progressive politics: "what happened to focusing on the real issues?" we are shamed for focusing on ourselves rather than fighting for the bigger picture (as if the gender binary is not a crucial structure to upholding everything wrong about the now).
what both of these narratives do is create a mirage where gender variant and nonbinary people are regarded as *privileged* and cisgender and gender binary people are regarded as *victims.*
this invisibilizes the very real and grave violence that nonbinary and gender variant people do experience (especially those of us who are transfeminine/people of color). this not only sanctions, but glorifies the people who attack us both on the right and the left.
myself and many of the people i love are harassed regularly not just for being trans, but for being gender non-conforming. many of us live our lives in constant fear -- so much so that we cannot and do not present ourselves as we are. it is difficult and upsetting to see gender once again dismissed as inconsequential. this is just another incarnation of an age old problem where gender violence is disregarded as a distraction and not actually a directive to do better.
please support the author