Note: This was originally posted on my Tumblr where I am a little less filtered. I debated whether or not I should post it here because of the language and the fact that topic discussed is easy to misunderstand and take offense to. However, this topic and the discussion about it was a very big deal for the trans community. I think that it’s good to share to this as an example of how transgender people are not a singular monolith and are instead individual people who don’t necessarily agree with each other.
I _want_ to say that I can’t believe we’re still talking _about_ the #fuckcispeople hashtag, but that would be a lie. I can believe it. What I actually find hard to believe is how conflicted I can feel over something so simple as a Twitter hashtag.
I’ve had a hard time trying to peg down exactly why I don’t personally like it. I was hesitant to join the conversation at all because I didn’t want to derail, take it away from anyone, or do anything remotely like tone policing. I could see this was something that was truly cathartic for some people and provided some necessary venting. All trans* people could use a little of that from time to time, so I saw the hashtag as being very positive in that way, but it still didn’t feel right to me. I spoke up on Twitter and just threw that out there. It seemed like something I should do (you know, if you feel a certain way, speak up, kind of thing), but I _tried_ to take a clear stance that I didn’t think other people shouldn’t use it, just that I wasn’t sure it was the _best_ way to express things.
This morning, I started seeing a modified version of the hashtag being used by some people. #fuckcispeoplewho. I like this one. It was never the anger, the “fuck,” the tone, or any of that that bothered me. It also doesn’t advocate violence the way “die cis scum” does so I like it in that sense. This alternate tag hit the mark for me, it’s that the anger feels directionless with #fuckcispeople. While I never thought or got the impression that anyone was saying “fuck all cis people” with #fuckcispeople, the tag still _feels_ like a “fuck everyone attitude” (which I won’t blame people for feeling, but it’s just not what I feel). I don’t really care if cis people’s feelings are hurt by people speaking the truth and I agree that if people can’t get that #fuckcispeople isn’t the same as “fuck all cis people,” that’s kind of their problem.
Sometime in the last 30 years, I learned that if you’re going to be angry about something (or even many things), it’s important to appropriately direct that anger. Anger that you aimlessly send out into the world tends to not go anywhere or resolve anything. More importantly, it rarely make you feel any better…or, at least, is my experience. On the other hand, anger that is focused on the source or cause of whatever it is that is pissing you off seems to be more productive and has a chance of leading to some sort of an end. For me, #fuckcispeople doesn’t have any direction to it. I’m not pissed at cis people, as a faceless mass, for anything. Many people are mad at cis people in general (and I can absolutely understand why, being treated like a normal human seems to be the exception and not the norm for many trans people) and, for them, #fuckcispeople is the appropriate hashtag. I’m mad at specific things that some people do and the people who do them. For me, #fuckcispeoplewho directs my anger appropriately.
All of that being said, I don’t necessarily think that a Twitter hashtag has to be productive. If people just want to vent, that’s cool. Do what you need to do. I don’t think #fuckcispeople works as a rallying cry for trans* rights, but I don’t think it’s intended to be a rallying cry either. I think it’s something internal to our community and, for that, I’m okay with it.