[Image Description: Screenshots of a series of tweets by a user named @valeriehalla that read
- ok: i’m scared to exist online right now, even in what we should be able to consider safe spaces for queer folks
- i’m scared because we are all watching continually as more and more of us are violently picked off and destroyed
- by other queer folks, and by people who claim to be sympathetic to us, utilizing the same rhetoric that should be helping and empowering us
- the word “discourse”, at this point, is only ever used sarcastically and with a kind of quiet dread by my friends
- we joke about being problematic, but me, my peers and maybe you too, live in a state of constant low anxiety
- over the fact that we don’t get second chances to make mistakes. if you’re a queer person of any kind of visibility, it’s one and done
- the well of patience and compassion runs deep for our cis/straight allies, and we reserve NOTHING for ourselves
- this is assuming you even make a mistake. we target each other for complete bullshit just as often
- weeks ago i was chased off twitter for using the word “queer”, before that i was getting death threats over fabricated purity politics
- friends of mine have been targeted with callout posts over things they didn’t do or for weird fandom drama with zero material impact
- i’m not trying to absolve any of us of guilt. we’ve all done and will do wrong things, we’ll hurt each other, again and again
- it’s easy, because we’re all a little bit fucked up over here. we’re carrying wounds we’re weird, we’re not always presentable
- but that’s exactly why we need patience and compassion for each other more than anything else
- because those wounds make it so easy for us to destroy eachother, and some of y’all may be tempted
- it’s easier. when it’s some 20-something queer artist struggling to meet half the poverty line, it’s easy to run them off for hurting you
- i GET why it’s tempting for some folks, because this is power that you can exert, a situation you can change
- when we’re all so tired and so used to being powerless
- but please understand that the folks you’re targeting may not come back from it. they may not ever come back. it’s happened, it will happen
- when you mark someone as unsaveable and irredeemable in the only space they have to exist in, they can’t exist anymore
End of tweets.]
Just to make something about this crystal clear, and this is something that I think many people will recognize about these tweets, the situations that valeriehalla is describing aren’t just the result of people punishing honest mistakes. Some of these things are straight up authoritarian bullshit perpetrated by people who are trying to create power structures in the LGBTQ+ community.
This is what it means to be a TERF, a transmedicalist/truscum, or an ace exclusionist. This is the environment they’re trying to build, one where other people in the LGBTQ+ community have to live with fear and anxiety of the kind of authoritarian bullying that these people try to create.
It’s really important to push back on this stuff anytime we see it, because authoritarians actively work to spread their malfeasant ideology. They lie and manipulate in order to spread their message because they honestly believe that anything, no matter how immoral, is justified in pursuit of their core goals. And their core goals always involve hurting us, all of us. They only see three types of people; those that agree with them and are allies, those that don’t agree with them and are enemies, and those people who they hate and will only ever attack.
We fight them by not letting them get away with it. We fight them by educating people about their tactics and their evil. We fight them by protecting those of us who are young enough or immature enough to still be vulnerable to their recruitment tactics. And we win by never giving them an inch, ever.
In a fight where one side believes only in the oppression and eventual destruction of the other, there’s no middle ground to be found, they are wholly wrong in their beliefs and they’re willing to hurt people in service to them.