a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by flac
flac  ·  2452 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Unerased: Counting Transgender Lives  ·  

Congratulations! You've shown that you care enough about human life that you started a homicide statistic with "lol"! You definitely seem like you do give your time supplying food to the homeless, or volunteering on a suicide hotline, and don't just use the excuse of "this isn't an issue that directly affects me" to avoid actually helping anybody not related to you by blood.

I'm sorry that not enough trans people are dying to warrant your empathy - let's hope it stays that way.

Tell me, how are you fighting the Opioid epidemic in America? What are some concrete steps I, as a citizen, can take to stop the deaths of 33,000 of my peers? I certainly don't know anyone who is addicted to prescription pills, so by your reasoning I have no reason to care about it - that's just not something which affects me. I do know a young trans woman who was beaten to within an inch of her life in an alley, but hey, my number's smaller than yours, I should care about your thing instead - fuck her statistically insignificant life!

See, here's the thing about proportions: they tend to point to something larger than themselves. If you actually did give your time to helping the homeless, you would find that between 10-20 of those 50 people might be gay or trans (and before you have a chance - I know I linked to a liberal rag and you are going to debate the numbers, I don't particularly have the energy to find better sources) - a number which is disproportionately high. Or if you actually spent your time with opium addicts, you would find that, again, a disproportionately high amount of them are gay or trans. And do I even have to tell you how many gay and trans people would be calling you on that suicide hotline?

I get it, you don't know any trans people, but some of us do. Some of us may even want to start a family with the trans man they've been dating for 5 years - a thing that becomes significantly harder if he's dead. I completely agree that there is a finite amount of energy that we can all channel to causes that we deem to be important - I just hope that you're channeling yours towards something bigger than complaining about people mourning the dead.

EDIT: I'm sorry that this is pretty aggressive, I don't mean it as a personal attack - in all seriousness, I have no doubts that you are a good person, and I get where you are coming from. This is just an issue that hits really close to home.

bioemerl  ·  2451 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My concerns are practicality. Do you seriously think I said what I have because I think trans people don't need help? Do you think I want trans or gay people to be in bad situations?

I agree that helping those who are homeless, and those who abuse opioids also helps those who are gay, trans, minorities, and in all other sorts of negative situations. That's the point. We don't help these groups by giving lip service to how horrible it is that "oh no 50% of trans people die due to murder every year" we do it by helping and building a strong, stable society where all prosper and do well.

And, yes, I don't do shit to help people around me. I don't go out to help the homeless, or fight drug epidemics. My point is not that "Oh, I do so much better", my point was "You can do so much more with your time than this". My point is "I was reading this and it sounded like there was some severe epidemic I needed to care deeply about, and it turned out to be literally 50 people dying".

If we all devoted our resources as a society to fixing the fact that a disproportionate number of trans people die every year, we wouldn't get anywhere. If we instead focus on the issues that aren't founded in identities, races, or cultures, and pushed everyone behind means from which we all benefit and we all cannot deny are important, we all succeed and we all can get behind any issue.

    I do know a young trans woman who

I'm not talking about people in your life. I'm not talking about individuals. I'm talking about a system of 300 million individuals, and of which all are of equal importance.

If you know someone in a bad situation, you can and should do what you can to help them. That's my fucking point. Those 50 trans people the article talks about are so far distant from me, and almost everyone, that it's hard to summon any level of care for any of them. It's a stupid little statistic that gets repeated over and over to make people go "oh wow, they have it tough."

If you are there, if you are seeing it in front of you, then it's a different story, and that trans person is no different from the homeless person you can go out and help. I'm not criticizing the helping of people in bad situations, I'm criticizing these moral-pandering campaigns to care about something that doesn't effect almost anyone in the nation.

Opioid abuse? Homelessness? Those are everywhere. They are universal issues that cut across lines and allow us to share a common enemy which we all benefit from if we defeat. If we want broad information campaigns, we should be informing people how to deal with those situations, and correcting the many, very shitty impressions people have of those who are homeless, abusing drugs, or otherwise.

Focusing people's efforts to something so distant, so irrelevant, takes it away from the issues that do effect their community and their peers. You proposed the question of what I could do to prevent opioid abuse. The answer is that I could probably connect to my family and find, in a very short amount of time, someone who I am personally close to and connected with that could use my help. I can make a small, but significant impact by taking 1 away from the tally. I cannot do that for trans people. I don't know any trans people in a situation where they would be, and I don't have the resources to even begin to help someone in a bad condition. If you do, that's great, but you aren't in the majority.

The course articles like these take us on is one of endless worry of a sea of plights to people far away who we cannot effect. We can feel good while we rant about how bad they have it and how good we are for making everyone "think about how bad they have it" while we don't do shit to actually fix anything. These articles make us look at a world where we are one in 300 million, where our lives don't matter and where we are only important if 50% of our sexual/identity/racial group face issues.

That world is shit. That outlook is shit. I will not support or take part in it.

ButterflyEffect  ·  2452 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My "favorite" part of this is that apparently the only statistics that matter are bulk numbers, which, you know, aren't even really "statistics" in the math-y sense.

But we're apparently not playing that game today. This was a really a unproductive comment (from me), but, jesus.