Sam Wise is the owner and artist of CJOAT, and is often found around Twitter, speaking out their thoughts, and helping those with kindness.
Your Identity is Valid
Before I get into this article I want to make it clear, it doesn’t matter what people think or tell how you should identify. It is not their identity, it is yours. This is your journey to take, not theirs. No matter what labels are used, keep in mind your identity is not something that can be put in a box someone made. In the end, you and your identity is valid.
Deleted Thread Shut Down By TERF Rhetoric Brings To Light An Issue
First I would like to define what a TERF is. “TERF” is an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. The whole controversy on how one should identify, label-wise, has TERF rhetoric, identity policing, all over it. Noticeably, how deep folks will go involved multiple different oppressive systems, mainly 3, made to stir in-fighting within marginalized communities. The world is not black and white, there’s gray areas and nuance.
The systems are, In any numerical order:
- White Supremacy,
- Patriarchy, and
These three systems are why we're fighting and attacking each other within every space on the Internet and in real life. Long lasting relationships ending, blocking, shunning, etc, all due to the fact that we are being oppressed by white supremacy, patriarchy, and heteronormativity.
Emily Gwen's Lesbian Flag
The History Behind Lesbianism According To An Elder Queer
History has shown, to gently quote an elder queer,
“Up until the 70s, being a lesbian just meant you were a non man with some attraction to non men. It wasnt until "political lesbianism," where a group (that included straight cis women) decided to identify as lesbians to prove a point about the patriarchy, that it became associated that way. […] compare the talking points against trans women being lesbians, with the talking points against mspec lesbians.
It's all a very convincing argument that does make sense at first glance and when combined with the fact that conflict over it is overwhelming enough that we follow the most intense group with the loudest argument, it is easy to end up here. Much like xenogenders were created because no other way of describing or defining those things, and much like microlabels like demisexual came about for the nuanced way of experiencing it, mspec lesbians created their labels because they had been told they couldn't keep using the term that their elders had used to describe exactly this.”
I want you to pay attention, listen, and process this.
The Reason Why the LGBTQIA+ Is Divided
To gently quote from another well-learned comrade of mine,
“TERFs use inclusionary and activist language in their speech to gain the trust/approval of young femmes, and they infiltrate LGBT(QIA+) spaces and impressionable people see these words and phrases used for years and recite them. […] LOTS of trans people rely on multiple labels because of the 80’s and 90’s struggles within the LGBT(QIA+). […]”
This anonymous well-learned comrade goes on to explain that someone who is “bi-gay” doesn’t face the same kind of scrutiny as someone who says they’re “bi-lesbian,” which is TERF rhetoric, because think about it.
What Does Mspec Mean?
A Short To Explain The Abbreviation Mspec
What Does Mspec Mean?
I can hear it, you are wondering what does "mspec" stand for? What does it mean? Well this short section is going to explain that to you, Treasured Reader. Mspec is an abbreviation for multiple meanings, in particular, 4 different ones.
- Multisexual spectrum,
- Multi-attraction spectrum,
- Masculine spectrum, and,
- Multigender spectrum
For now we will focus on meanings one and two. Multisexual spectrum is a spectrum of sexual orientations defined by attraction to multiple genders. As stated by Lgbtqia Fandom Wiki,
"[...] this is the most frequent usage."
Multi-attraction spectrum is a spectrum of romantic orientations defined by attraction to multiple genders. In short, a person can have a different romantic orientation than their sexual one. One can bi(romantic) and lesbian (sexual), for example. One's identity cannot confirm to what someone defines an orientation, romantic or sexual.
This brings us to the next rhetorical question about TERF's motives.
TERFs Policing Femininity?
Why would TERFs care about masculine (masc) people, they only want to police what they think it means to be feminine?
That rhetorical question right there is the question we should be discussing across not just the Queer community, but humans as a whole. Our oppressors, White Supremacy, Patriarchy, and Heteronormativity, want in-fighting, this is how people are able to get away w/ trying to erase Transgender and Gay folks. The in-fighting prevents folks from seeing the true problem(s). On Twitter, folks are policing others over their labels, identities, flags, and abandoning or saying folks should un-alive over such.
We’re in the middle of two pandemics, monkeypox and COVID-19, and possibly many more because many are trying to go back to a normal that was harmful to billions of people. While simultaneously punishing those or shunning anyone who dares to bring attention to the issues we need to resolve.
Before I go any further, I would like to bring attention to why this may bring offense to folks. Grab a seat! I want to bring up an allegory you may have learned in High school/college level History or English class, called Plato's Allegory of the Cave.
Have You Heard Of Plato’s Cave?
- [Unwatermarked Tiktok] Have you Heard of Plato's Cave?
Felecia For The Win's Tiktok that explains the Allegory of the Cave thoroughly and concisely.
- [Kapwing CC] Plato’s Cave Explained
Tiktoker Felecia For The Win (https://www.tiktok.com/@feleciaforthewin?_t=8UlU2m7KUDy&_r=1) explains Platos Allegory of the Cave. This video has been captioned in Kapwing, thus the Kapwing watermark.
Progressive Inclusive LGBTQIA+ Flag
Every Truth is Important
We don’t live in the past, while many still seem to live there, we are not in the past as a human race on this Earth anymore. Now is the time to stop the “black and white” views, open our minds, and to not abandon each other over individualities, like how one identifies during their life on this Earth. It is important to acknowledge who and what is truly the problem (White supremacy, Patriarchy, and Heteronormativity.) We just need to be better educated. Remember why our schools are suffering from learning lies and not discovering uncomfortable truths. The thing about the facts is that facts do not care what one’s beliefs or feelings are on anything.
In the end, we all want is equitable, equal, fair, and morally well for us. Whatever that may be. The sooner we realize that policing each other and telling folks to hide how they identify in fear of scrutiny, the sooner we will carve a path to what all of us desire at the figurative finish line together.
Our oppressors fear unity, which is why everything they do to infiltrate and misinform splits our communities apart. We need to be united more than ever. There are not JUST bigger fish to fry, as each fish is vital for a meal, but there is truly better in community.
In Short, Remember…
Who the real problems in your life are, address them, unlearn them, heal, and grow as a better person with your learned truth. One’s identity is not to be policed or to have White Supremacy, Patriarchy, and Heteronormativity as one’s gatekeepers.
Your language and dialect can evolve just like the human race, identity has nuance and is no one’s business but your learned truth. The labels help you get started on discovery, but they are never meant to keep you in a box. Your wellbeing comes first Before helping or telling anyone else anything.
If someone tries to police or take that away from you, that is their loss. Everyone has to check the critical cop voice in their head telling folks who are different and unique to hide and worse.
Your Learned Truth is Valid. You are valid. Never lose sight of that.
Want More? Check This Spoonie Journal Out!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Sam Wise