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  • Leaving blahaj.zone and trans internet spaces in general.

    This was originally supposed to be a short comment on this thread but it got locked off before I could, so I put it off to deal with some other things.

    I was hesitant on if I wanted to actually rework it and post it ‒ which would mean making a fuss about this ‒ or if I just wanted to leave quietly. After all, who cares? I'm not some moderator, I'm not a pillar of this instance or whatever. I'm just a random user. I decided to be vocal about it. Even if it's going to sound like I care way more than I actually do, I still think there's some value in me saying it.

    > I would like to clarify something immediately. There is a post that I saw called This is no longer a safe space. It sucks for me because I'm pretty sure this post is making the same argument as I am about to make now. But I haven't read it because I don't want myself and my opinion to be tarnished by it.

    So, I decided to leave this instance. I think I might be done with Lemmy all together, honestly.

    After the Reddit API bullshit, I decided to leave Reddit for good. I also cut back a lot on my internet usage and incessant scrolling habit, as it did me more harm than good. In the meantime, I have also found out that I'm trans and transitioned. For a while I've been in a dire need of a safe space for me to go in. A place where I could be myself. Where I would be accepted for what I am. And I found it in real life. It made me appreciate a lot of things a lot more, while also making me much more frustrated with the internet as a whole and the way people acted on it.

    Still, I was hoping I could find something similar here too as well. I kinda did? I've had a tough time trying to find good trans oriented online spaces. As you can see on my profile, I haven't been a particularly active user. But I've been lurking about for some time now. Made some comments. But never posted anything, this is actually my first.

    But then, a few days ago, came the accusations of transphobia on one of the moderators for Liberty Hub, a sub that I don't particularly care about, I have enough politics on my "subscribed" feed and in my life, so no thank you. I do see it often when scrolling on Local, though. But on an instance such as this one, accusations of transphobia are to be taken very seriously. It's not a small thing. This is a very queer and especially trans oriented space. So these are extremely serious accusations if true.

    With that in mind, of course I wanted to hear about these accusations. But the problem is... I recognized the user making the accusation and I immediately thought: "Oh. It's this person. Again." and surprise, surprise: these accusations were based on nothing. Not only could be it explained away as an honest mistake, but I would go even further. This is an attempt to co-opt our language, our movement, to serve someone's ego. As I've said it in the thread in question, we are talking about someone who self-identifies as a "Goddess" and want to be referred as such.

    Let me be plain: There is respecting someone's identity, xenogenders included, and there is enabling someone's crap.

    Because this isn't about the xenogenders, this isn't even about the pronouns, no, even if there is a lot of things to say about those, especially because of what the weird power dynamic that these can imply. It's not about that. This is about ego.

    The user who made the accusation has a pattern. Over on Beehaw, under one a thread posted by said users about these pronouns, actually, a user writes:

    > *Your delusion doesn’t get to influence what part of a sentence I capitalize. This 100% feels like a narcissist co-opting LGBT issues *to force a power dynamic in conversations that lets them play the victim at the slightest mistake. > > Judging by your comment history-which I don’t even have to check because you’ve been posting about this for days-that’s exactly what I see happening.

    This comment, posted almost a month before the incident over on blahaj.zone summed it all up perfectly. It's spot on.

    When I saw the post about the accusations, I recognized the user in question. Because it's someone who I've been considering blocking for a while now. I had few interactions with this person and I thought it best if maybe, I didn't have anymore. Because every post made by said user had a tendency to frustrate me and this isn't how I want to spend my time.

    It's kinda like 196. It's funny, sometimes, but it's also a constant flow of posts, most of which are not particularly good, I don't like it, I block it and that's it. But with this user, I took my time because it's someone's that happens to be very opinionated, with strong feelings on subject, and I find these type of profiles to be interesting.

    I was already frustrated with this person but this was the last straw. Accusation of transphobia are not something that should be taken nor made lightly and this didn't sat well me at all. I went into the comments, hoping to see people calling this person out, but instead, the person who was being accused got dragged through the mud and got bullied into leaving their moderator status.

    At some point, it was needed for someone from the instance's moderation to step in and to say: No, enough of that, this is getting ridiculous. But no one did. Instead, everyone stood in silence and watched as this person got bullied off of their position due to a simple mistake. It's not even like the person took a stand and said, "no, I won't treat you as an actual god". No! Not even that! This person that was bullied actually deleted one of my comments because I misgendered the user in question. Accidentally, mind you, but I did.

    The moderator was doing the job perfectly fine, correctly gendering this person, went to every length to try and please this person, but it was not enough, because we're dealing with someone's who's ego has been out of control for a while now. Again, I've said it before, but we're talking about someone who's had a pattern, this isn't the first time this users went after some moderation for nothing.

    And... here we are. The accused stepped down.

    So why am I writing this?

    Because this place was supposed to be a safe space. But how can it be when we are letting people get dragged through the mud over baseless accusations? When someone can be bullied publicly like this over trivial shit?

    It frustrates me. And the sad truth is, this isn't just about this instance. It's about trans spaces on the internet as a whole. Which is why after this, I don't think I'll be joining any other "trans / queer specific places".

    Because this isn't the first time I see something like this happen. Far from it.

    I think there is an issue that we refuse to talk about and that is important to mention. We have massive problems of toxicity in our spaces. We as trans people have lots of reasons to be angry. But what we do with our anger is one hundred percent on us. Too many of us use it to spend their days on the internet, waiting for the next person to dogpile and feel morally superior to.

    Trans spaces are always in this weird spot where, they're both trying to be super inclusive and all, all the while being vitriolic as all hell. The problem is, in trying to be inclusive, we tend to enable bullshit. We ignore the bullshit that suits us fine and lash out at others at the slightest opportunity, like what happened with that moderator. And this comes with some particularly nasty edges.

    The user making the accusations could be a troll. It wouldn't surprise me, I wouldn't be the first to have that idea actually, but I'm not accusing here. I'm saying that it's a possibility. And it's a problem, because it shows how easy it would be for some dickhead to infiltrate our spaces and sow discord in our communities like this person did. Because when someone does, we let them in the name of being inclusive.

    The simple reality is that in a community you gotta make choices sometimes. Not everyone can get along. Some people will try to get themselves above others. And at some point, the leaders of the community, the moderators, will be forced to make a choice. By staying silent, a choice was made and I believe it was the wrong one.

    The answer wasn't even to ban the user making the accusation, that's not what I want, I would've blocked that person and be done with it, eventually, I believe a lot of others would've done the same. All that was needed, was for the moderation to take a stand and to draw a line in the sand. But it didn't happen.

    I see why this choice was made. I understand the idea, inclusivity is an important value that I hold too, but sometimes, values can contradicts and choices must be made. Here, values of inclusivity were put before all else and because of that, I think that the choice made was wrong. And I think that this decision sets a bad precedent for the rest of the community. Hence why I don't want to be a part of it anymore.

    Still, I don't regret my time here and I'm thankful for it, even. I genuinely believe the people behind this instance to be good people. I want to insist that this is a "straws" issue for me, there were things that made me consider leaving before all of this. As I said, it's not just a "blahaj.zone" issue, it's a "trans internet space" issue for me.

    Thank you for this space. I adore the new logo, by the way, I never got to say that.

    Good luck and to everyone who's been reading this, first of all, thanks for the time given. And second, if it's accessible to you, as I know it's not for everyone, sadly, try and find trans people to hang out with in real life, outside of the internet. There are associations, groups, co-ops, things like that made by and for trans people that exists all over. Try and join.

    It helps a lot with perspective and personal balance. I know it made me feel like I was actually doing something for this community, this cause that is so important to me. I can only recommend everybody who can, to do the same.

    I wish you all the best. 🩵🩷🤍

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