Trans Rights and Twitter

TL;DR – I admire the effect of Penny's CTA, but recoil at the instigation. I did a good thing, but fear it was for the wrong reason. I'm glad people took action, but worry those who didn't may be more set in their ways. When I disagree, will I be met with the same love?

Penny from the San Diego Superbloom made a huge call out thread on twitter that began with this message:

Your silence is violent. Your inaction, complicity.

What followed was a series of tweets calling for all cisgender, straight-passing men to use their privilege for Trans Rights Advocacy.

When I first saw this, as a cisgender, straight-passing man, truth be told I was defensive. I was annoyed by the threat. I was frustrated by the tone. And I was ashamed I knew so little.

It’s a feeling that can very easily spiral into inaction.

I’ve come out of it feeling conflicted. I’m not fond of the tactic, but I am impressed by the result. I have donated to a cause that, after some research, I found to be good, but I know I cannot feel pride in having done it.

Calls to action are an interesting concept, one that I have done far too little work on considering my investigation of advertising as a career path.

Some armchair philosophy: a good call to action promotes the reader to

  1. Perform the action

  2. Feel good about it

  3. call others to the same action

repeating into (hopeful) infinity.

Penny’s twitter thread executes 1. and 3. flawlessly, using brutal (and effective) cancel rhetoric to prey on the insecurity that our fragile majority wants so desperately to hide.

I can only assume that I am not alone on two fronts. I am more educated and opinionated on Trans Rights legislation, and I am more insecure of my position in a community of advocacy.

I may have said the “right” thing today, but will I do the same tomorrow… or the day after that? When my carefully considered opinions differ from the vocal community, will I have the strength to share those considerations?

Here is the link to Penny’s initial tweet, and to my reply.