Every so often, trans folks get asked why we don't just try to talk to TERFs and transphobes, and while it can be well meaning, such a question reveals a certain amount of privilege, and they've never had convince someone of their humanity.
I think it'd be easy to just shrug off that question with "oh, we've tried! We've all tried" and leave it at that, because it's definitely something just about every trans person has done at some point, much to the detriment of our own mental health.
The fact is, TERFs do not see us as human.
It would be a mistake to take them on their word that they simply see us as men, TERFs are perfectly fine with men, even the most misogynistic, racist, homophobic men are comfortable allies. No, we are a completely dehumanised other.
The caricatures of trans women that the "gender critical" movement use are entirely monstering; part "great replacement" style conspiracy about us trying to usurp cis women's jobs, rights, positions in society, part super predator that will go to any extreme for gratification.
That is what I mean when I say they don't see us as human. They see us as this phantom "thing" that they've caricatured us as, and every word that comes out of our mouths aren't just lies, but a means to an end for some sinister agenda. We are consistently monstered by them.
For example, one of the more recent TERF talking points is: "Pronouns are rohypnol."
Quite literally, they compare a trans person's pronouns to a date rape drug, and say that it's designed to "wear down women's defenses and ability to say no."
How is any trans person supposed to advocate for their own humanity to TERFs, when they believe that any acknowledgement of trans people's humanity is some sort of coercive trick, like inviting a vampire into your home?
*Taps on window*
"My pronouns are she/her, let me in!"
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