Sunday, December 17, 2017

To the Easily Offended,. Lighten Up.

In the news, the CDC was apparently told to not use seven words/terms in its internal documents. I've seen other examples like this, as in my state where the Governor does not allow the terms "global warming," "climate change," or "sea-level rise" in official documents. 

So on a Saturday morning the creative juices are flowing and I made a funny list of alternatives. Yes, it is funny.  "Humor arrr arrr," as Mork would say.

But it is 2017 (still, please make it stop) and with every harmless, funny intention comes the outrage. 

Turns out that some small gaggle of folks find the term "Mansition" a slam to the transgender community. 

First, I have a lot of empathy for transgender people.  Not only do I recognize the challenges of having an identity that is traditionally forced into one box or the other, I also understand its personal and damaging implications of surviving in an intolerant world.  I stand up for this community as I understand the potential biological origins. To me, not fitting conveniently into one gender box or the other is is completely perfect, normal, and explainable outcome of human development. 

I've known trans people and have great respect for their struggles and frustrations. 

Once again, go back to intent.  Was the intent of this infographic to install a new vernacular?  

No. It was to give folks a smile on a Saturday morning. 

But if you think it was serious, do you think that my intent was to "reduce the spectrum of identities" of trans people?  Brand the unborn as reptiles?

Give me a break. 

Plus, if you are a trasgenderperson, you are by definition identifying at the start or destination as more traditionally male characteristics, or are somewhere in between.  "Mansition" kind of works. 

So before you start the hate mail to me or my employer, please step back, take a breath, and ask about my intentions. 

Anyone who knows me is aware that I would be the first person to step in an defend anyone in the LGBT community if they were being harassed.  

That's why this funny list of new terms almost didn't happen.  I could not think of something for "transgender" that some (ugh) of the hyper-offendible would bend the meaning outside of its intent and suggest as a hateful epithet.  "Mansition" seemed to elude potential for wrongful interpretation. 

But leave it to the internets of meaning benders to make a neutral, humorous term into hate speech. 

I'm sorry if this offended anyone, that was not the intent. 

However, I'm standing by this one and will not take it down.  And keep in mind that if I experience repercussions because of the willful misinterpretation of meaning and intent, you will remove a strong empathetic supporter and defender from the cause. 

Put your outrage somewhere else. This is not a good investment.

A Response to Carey Gillam