I debated whether I should respond to W.F. Price’s awful op-ed piece “A NY Times Mother’s Day Op-Ed: Trannies are Equal Moms” (I won’t provide a link to Price’s article – I don’t want to help his readership in anyway – if you want to read his article – which means you’re probably a masochist, then you’ll have to google it…and then wash your eyeballs out once you finish reading it).
The reason I was going back and forth is because I regret reading the article in the first place. A quick recap: Price takes issue with Jennifer Boylan’s NY Times op-ed about her transition from MTF and how she’s dealing with being a mother. Of course a topic like this one take sensitivity – Boylan’s got kids – young children, and this kind of transition has to be difficult for everyone involved. So how does Price feel about this. Well, he characterized Boylan as “self-mutilated” and calls Boylan’s decision to transition “self-indulgence of the most disgusting variety.” He then calls people who transition “selfish, depraved,” and creates some imagined space of victimhood for men because women have the advantage of being “free to pursue their heart’s desire without fear of sanction” and understands that MTF transfolks decide to transition so that they also can indulge in this “freedom.”
Normally my blog post would have some kind of snarky, assholey response – full of my irreverent quips. But I couldn’t muster up any kind of humor when reading the pure, unfiltered hate that Price shared in his response to Boylan’s article. It caught me off balance, and I have to admit I was breathless. I felt unmoored and unprepared for his vitriol. And that just pisses me off, because the last thing I ever want to be is rendered speechless. I mean, c’mon, this is me – I once made a bout laryngitis much worse because I refused to remain silent and write out my requests on a tiny chalkboard like sitcom characters do.
Anyways enough naval-gazing. As allergic as my reaction was to this asshat, it must’ve been much worse for a trans person to stumble on his article. To address his ridiculous charged would be affirming that Price has a point of view worth debate – he doesn’t. Transgender people are slowly (too slowly IMHO) being accepted by society – the American Psychology Association has come out in favor of trans rights and doesn’t believe that trans folks are depraved or sick. Also Price’s mythological freedom that women enjoy is also ridiculous – Price believes women can “pursue their heart’s desire without fear of sanction” – just ask any working mom if she doesn’t face sanction. Or ask any woman who left her family and children if she doesn’t face sanction. Or ask any childless woman if she doesn’t face sanction. Or ask any woman who places her career equal to her family life if she doesn’t face sanction. Or ask any woman who wants to marry her same-sex partner if she doesn’t face sanction.
Transgender people are transgender for a variety of reasons – we don’t judge their journeys, nor do we pretend we understand them. We don’t pretend that cis folks don’t have an innate privilege, and should therefore STFU when it comes to bloviating about transgender folks. We should listen to the stories of trans folks.