We’d all do well to consider ways in which homophobia and transphobia harm our community in speech, action and thought.
And when we notice behavior that works against the cause of bringing us more together as people and instead tears us more apart — whether from within our community or outside of it — we have a duty to speak up.
But we also can’t go all Tipper Gore every time someone opens their mouth. Language isn’t black and white, and this case of over-reaction is a good lesson in examining intention before jumping to bite heads off.
Jayne County, hailed as a transgender icon and pioneer, was recently Facebook-banned for 24 hours after she published a status update with language that many activists label as transphobic.
So what was the message that got her booted?
And County was none too pleased, taking to Facebook once her 24 hours were up to make her opinions heard:
While County’s reaction may be a bit over the top, the issue does raise interesting questions about what is and isn’t offensive, and what the proper way is to try and police hurtful speech.