Twitter bullshit ruined the life of a talented new science fiction author

Isabel Fall, a transwoman, wrote "I sexually identify as an attack helicopter" to co-opt a transphobic meme and tell an unsettling tale of the military manipulating and literally weaponizing gender identity. After it was published in Clarkesworld to immediate acclaim, Twitter-brained paranoiacs turned on it, falsely accusing the mysterious Fall of being a transphobic provocateur and trying to expose her "real" identity. She took the story down, to help her manage her mental health, but doing only turned her into a different useful object, this time wielded by "cancel culture" pundits eager to scold the left. Emily VanDerWerff wrote a thoughtful profile of Fall, incisive precisely because of the limitations her pseudonymity poses, and took a deep look at the grotesque environment that ruined her life.

Like most internet outrage cycles, the fracas over "I Sexually Identify as an Attack Helicopter" was enormous news within the bubble of people who cared about it and made barely a blip outside of that bubble. The full tale is amorphous and weird, and recounting its ins and outs is nearly impossible to do here. Just trying to explain the motivations of all involved is a task in and of itself, and at any rate, that story has been told many times, quoting others extensively. Fall has never spoken publicly about the situation until now.