Can we for a moment talk about that part of the internet where people have been tagging #thisiswhattranslookslike everywhere? It’s a visibility campaign to show others that we are just every day people just like everyone else. It’s a wonderful thing to do and I fully support and back it.
But when does it turn from a good thing to a hurtful and possibly dangerous thing?
When ‘famous’ transpersons decide that the selfie train shouldn’t stop. That instead of taking part of their visibility and following to do something good with it, they decide that they’ll turn a buck and potentially harm others instead because their ‘selfie’ was too important to pass up.
I am livid. Infuriated, that this is what it’s boiling down to. That this is somehow accepted vs actual help for the community. When do we draw the line?
Confused? I’ll show you. Example A:
This is what has me set off. Here we see ‘famous’ Aydian Dowling, lack of smile, sad big doe eyes.. and the caption mentions he was taken a back by a trans murder that he was e-mailed about. This of course warranted for him to /show you/ how upset he clearly is and then promptly followed by 4 emoji heart icons and than a bunch of spewed hash tagged words.
I mean come on! Look at how upset he is everyone! That’s the face of a man who clearly had to pull out his camera and just /shoowww you/ how awful he feels. That warrants something right? I mean, clearly this is somehow helping the community. All the swooning comments of how handsome he is, obviously got the message across.
Can you feel my sarcasm from across the internet? Good. So I of course, obviously sighting something missing, decided to chime in. I’m apart of the community, I surely have a voice I can use. Let’s go for it. Example B:
Here you see the wild Hex in his habitat. Putting in a word of advice or even just a suggestion. One that I wasn’t seething hate from, not a curse word in sight. In fact I give my self a small pat on the back for not blowing up. (thanks me!)
And then que his fans. Ones who clearly missed the point I was trying to make, just like Aydian did. Surprise surprise!
Yeah, sure.. that sad selfie is surely going to save someone… not.
When did people think it was ok to stick their necks out for their communities and than fall completely off the bandwagon, off the road, out of the ditch and into a river? When did it become acceptable to be allowed to a mass a shit ton of followers, whom you could have a positive sway over and instead whore yourself out for the likes? And people think Caitlyn is bad for the community. Let’s take a nice hard long look at this guy shall we?
Dear Aydian here runs a clothing company that claims they ‘help’ the trans community. They give free binders to those in need and help raise funds for the lucky few who win their lotto to get surgery. That sounds amazing right? Until you dig a little deeper.
That free binder program? Free sounds so great, especially to the dirt poor trans person who can’t even keep a job because they keep getting fired for BEING TRANS! Well think again poor trans person! Aydian wants you to buy one of this T shirts first! You’ve gotta spend that money to get that free binder! Gotta look swag in his apparel. Oh don’t have money for that $20 T-shirt? Go beg somewhere else!
So you say to yourself, ok I’ll just enter his once a year drawing to get top surgery! I won’t even need a binder than if I just get the funds right? WRONG! Oh boy I even looked into this one because, as previously mentioned in another blog post, I can’t afford top surgery. Insurance doesn’t cover it, my state hasn’t made it legal and I have 2 kids to take care of on the already limited income we do have. So you bet your bottom I went looking to apply to be in his top surgery drawing. It went great until I read the list of requirements to apply. To apply, applicants must have saved up past a certain goal of money! On top of that, the funds he gives are meant only to get you to the rest of your end goal and you have only so long to get that top surgery or else he wants that money back!
Welp, count my ass out and god only knows how many other transmen in my position.
So, let’s recap! If you’re poor(which makes up 15% of trans, (vs 4% of the general population of the US) or even struggling to make ends meet, been fired recently from a job because you’re trans etc, than don’t turn to Aydian Dowling. He’s not going to help you.
If you’re in a dire situation, you ran across his page just recently and needed some help, but low and behold didn’t find any but a bunch of selfies and self positive messages, well.. you’re screwed as far as he’s concerned.
If you really needed that number for the trans suicide hotline but couldn’t remember it because Aydian decided his lean muscle was more important, you’re not alone.
And oh if your parents are kicking you out and you needed to remember that shelter number for trans youth? Welp.. out of luck again. Your hunky Aydian didn’t decide you were important enough because his gym selfie was.
Do you see the issue here??! When do we get to stand up and say, “Hey, this isn’t what the community needs!” It’s great you’re visible. So much so you were on TV. Congradulations Aydian. Honestly, I do mean that part. You’ve come leaps and bounds as far as the trans community goes for visibility. Other than that? You haven’t done shit with it. You haven’t grassrooted correctly. Instead of helping the lesser of us wallowing on the bottom, just trying to make ends meet, you decided you’d be the pretty face instead.
You’ve lost my support and two years of looking up to you. God only knows how many lives have been lost instead because someone looked up to you and didn’t get the help they really needed. I know I couldn’t live with that guilt.