So many unkind words – so little love.
Sweet not Savage
Like many of us doing Girl101, I now spend time on the net noticing stories and comments about the whole transgender arena. And sometimes the fingers get atwitching and I spend much longer than I intend – but that’s what modern electric-boxes do for you. Some of what I find turns out to be horribly oversimplified, some of it turns out to be just horrid and some just simple.
But recently I saw this massively incompetent and therefore truly ugly poster :-
I know grammar and accuracy isn’t important for some people – but sheeesh, this is dreadful in so many different ways.
At the very very least …. God made you – that’s how it is.
The doctors can cure you.
Your name is Jeff so that’s your name. Don’t argue.
That’s not for you – that’s for a boy.
You’re perverted, wrong and revolting – Get out.
I mean what sort of a conversation or diatribe involves the phrase ‘their gender is a sin’. Stupid. At the very least, if you are using ‘you’ as the target then tell them ‘your attempt to change gender is a sin’. But why should one expect a person with stupid thoughts and attitudes to be anything other than stupid. Although bright people can demonstrate stupidity.
It does happen. Watch the otherwise or perhaps elsewhen intelligent Malcolm Muggeridge display all the skills of a nasty-minded non-listener in the debate about ‘Life of Brian’ with John Cleese and Michael Palin when the film first came out. A crisp and clear example of the intolerant putting on blinkers to avoid any pretence of dialogue.
But the meaning of the ‘5 Things never to Say’ is clear and there are enough people who can think that ugly. And speak that ugly. And behave that ugly. And isn’t that a comment on the value and efficiency of Christian teaching.
Instead I began to listen, look for and find lots of other comments that might actually be said out loud.
When I told the others, the whole group of us got together to look at the sorts of things that people apparently say to their children when the kids are old enough and strong enough to say that they’re ‘a bit different’ or ‘too interested in girl’s clothes’ or even worse ‘that they think they’re a girl inside’.
We took some of our comments from what the various ‘different’ folks in our group were able to tell us – when they came out as gay or as non-christian or in some dreadful way as ‘other than their parents’. Wow – some of the comments were awful – frightening – enlightening – just wrong.
After a while, Susan went off to her computer and began a set of huge calligraphy-style posters. Each had about 5 comments on to start with. They were headed Things to Say, Things NOT to Say and General Comments But the number of comments grew so very quickly.
Her first poster was
That was the first version.
By the time we had sat down and talked with folks and emailed and stuff – the list was bigger, a lot bigger. And it grows almost every day. But the most common ones are still the ones we hear every day.
NEVER say anything like This:-
We didn’t bother to list the names that we get called - Faggot, Sissy, Crybaby, Pussy, Pervert, Pxxdophile, and all the ugly words which should be forbidden so they shouldn’t be said to anybody. I know the law pretends to say it’s wrong and sometimes people get prosecuted. But isn’t it strange how it’s hardly ever anyone white or powerful or famous who gets hammered.
Susan soon finished her second poster.
And there were other good things which people said or should say.
You could or should say This :-
It was horribly much easier to find nasty comments than nice ones. Probably because the nasty ones hurt and the nice ones only heal a bit. Like one of the girls said, ‘It’s hard to feel good when people you have never met say they hate you.’
And Susan’s third poster had just one sentence at first.
And after trawling the web for a little while for well-written quotes, our current list includes the following.
And some General Comments :-
When we put the posters up, we placed a a packet of stickers nearby with a notice . “Please add a sticker if someone has said this to you.” Nobody was willing to guess which of these will get the most comments.
By the end of the month, we had so many more comments which people had heard or found. And it was hard to decide which were the most significant. Some were uncommon or only heard once but truly vile. Others were so frequent as to (almost) have little effect.
Then Jason found the Transquote files on Tumblr. Some comments were stronger and clearer than others but too many said variations on ‘You hurt me but I’m getting past it’. Well done to anyone who can say that.
And ‘We would have loved you if we knew’ to all those who didn’t make it.
As always, we aim to reduce intolerance by making people THINK. Some people do think but not very well. Some people want to think but their minds are stuck in an ugly groove. Some people can only think what they’ve been told to think. Let’s hope for a better future.
I don’t like people who exaggerate, but if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a million times ‘I hate people who hate people’.
** If anyone offers a really suitable quote for any of the three categories above, I may well steal it and add it in – OK. AP
I am sorry if this almost comes out as if it were a blog – it’s actually a section which I cut from another story Girl101 and then extended. AP
I was TRYING (and mostly failed) to show the 'posters' as well-coloured text, red, orange etc, in boxes, ... ooops.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.