Artist Robot Hugs has created this brilliant comic that demonstrates the way well-meaning people can unintentionally derail conversations about gender identity and the transgender community.
Robot Hugs writes:
I remember that I was doing this exact thing, I was asking for explanations and definitions in a conversation about disability, and I just wanted to help, and I thought if they just could explain this concept to me that I hadn't heard before, then I could help more. I remember my friend turning to me and saying, not unkindly, 'I bet, if you tried, you'd find some really excellent blog posts about this'. I'm fortunate that I got the implied 'shut up' there.And she was right.
I've seen people online react really badly when someone gives them a link and says 'I think you'll have a better idea of what we're talking about if you look this over'. We're expected to slow down, be patient, be kind, be clear, we're expected to be knowledgeable and articulate and calm and accommodating. We're expected to do this for free, as a basic part of our identities, the constant willingness to educate. Often we're expected to do this in order to receive 'support' from people.
It would just be really wonderful to be able to talk about gender without constantly landing back into 101.
Find more awesome comics on Robot Hugs' Tumblr.