Dear journalists, don't call me an "activist" - a thread.
I'd like to make one small request, if I may? That you do not refer to me as an activist when referring to me in articles. If you'd pull up a chair, I'd like to explain why I'm asking, and why I feel it's inappropriate.
Now, I want to make it clear up front that I don't see the label in a negative light, activism and advocacy are incredibly important things. Nor is this to deny that I engage in activism in any capacity, because that would be untrue. It's just... well, it's a framing issue.
I don't feel the description of activist suits. If I were to say I "do" anything, I'd say that "aspiring videogame personality" would be a more accurate description of what I try to do with my platform. I shitpost about games, I play games on Twitch, I even write about games too!
But I am also trans, and as such I am vocal about the issues that I personally face. I can't help that, because, well... Look around! Trans people are under a constant barrage of negative media coverage, we're the targets of hate campaigns, online harassment mobs, etc...
I've spoken before about how I never wanted nor intended to speak out on trans issues, but because I am trans, and because so few people are vocal on our behalf, I feel this is something I must do. Albeit reluctantly.
My "Activism" has been foisted upon me by transphobes.
Now compare that to Graham Linehan. He has done nothing of relevance in recent years, his entire raison d'etre has been spewing bile about trans people, and whipping up internet mobs to harass and abuse us and our allies.
Yet he still gets credited as Writer Graham Linehan.
Look at how the very first paragraph in this article from the Guardian frames it. He gets to be referred to as the co-creator of Father Ted, a show that ended over 20 years ago, while trans people who speak out against his virulent transphobia get labeled purely as "activists" 😬
If there was any truth to the reporting, it should read: "Trans people from all walks of life come together to condemn comments by transphobic activist cautioned twice by police."
But he gets to be a person who has a life outside his transphobia, we only get to be "activists".
The prevalence of this is rampant, trans people get labeled as "activists" in spite of what they do, and it's quite frankly un-personing. It seems no matter who we are, what our accomplishments are, we are relegated to that one role across all of media. And it grates!
In reporting about the charity stream, most outlets refer to HBomb as a "YouTuber" but when I'm credited? I'm an "activist" seemingly by virtue of being trans. Everyone else gets to be something; writer, creator, actress, youtuber. I don't. I'm automatically an activist.
One of the only publications I've seen so far that gave me the dignity of describing me as something other than an activist was the freakin' Sun!
And if Rupert Murdoch's gutter press can do it, you can too!
Of course this doesn't even address the fact that "Trans Rights Activist" is being used as a dogwhistle by transphobic bigots, trans people who speak up at all get tarred as a "TRA"; a descriptor that's meant to ape the negative connotations of "MRA" or "Men's Rights Activist" 😬
An if I'm being honest, my reluctance to embrace the activist label certainly has something to do with that, but that's only a part of it. The prevalence of the practice of automatically referring to trans people as activists, I see that as erasure, pure and simple.
So while I'm asking that journalists don't call me an activist, I would also like you all to extend that consideration to *ALL* trans people. This whole thread? This isn't about how you treat me personally, this is about how you treat trans people from all walks of life!
I'm not just making this request for me. You can be better, do better, and do right by trans people who you're talking about. Please be considerate of the framing.
Be like The Escapist!
They credited me as a "Trans Twitter personality" and I like that!🙂
If you're gonna write about trans people, it couldn't hurt to just ask them how they'd like to be described. Use activist if that's how they like to be described, just but don't foist it on them.
As for me? Let's just say Daily Dot got it *chef kiss* 👌
I am less annoyed by [Unidentified Caller] than I am "activist" btw 🙃
Gaming outlets? Feel free to credit me as "person who said Nioh was better than Bloodborne, Casey Explosion."
Do it, you cowards!
You can follow @CaseyExplosion.