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for once, not a post about boys. though the title indicates that it should be. s’okay. *patpat* still going below a cut.
so…in an effort to educate myself, i was looking through the panromantic tag here on tumblr. just seeing what people called panromantic - what they defined as romantic relationships - that kind of thing. It’s relevant to my interests, and I was finding a lot of interesting posts. (A lot from the ace community, which wasn’t necessarily helpful, but still cool. ^^)
Then I see, in the middle of a rant!list about “when did the world get flooded with useless people like this” (essentially), this sentence:
“angsty teenage girls who call themselves things like “panromantic” because they want to be different and unique and special”
…I blinked a few times, not taking it too seriously. I understand some people don’t get it - but it irked me. Put a spike into my chest. Panromantic is one of the labels I’ve tentatively attached to myself, and thus it’s a bit of an attack at me. I’m not doing this to be unique, or different, or special. Most of my labels I think make my life harder, but I am who I am and I can’t change that.
So I continue on.
Here’s where the pain comes in.
I’d just about forgotten about the jerk from above when all of a sudden I see his username again. And this time…it’s worse.
If you use any of the following words seriously
- trigger warning
then you might be retarded.
It’s still crushing my chest, seeing these words, that list. So let’s go through and analyze, shall we?
- Pansexual. One of my very best friends identifies as pansexual. I’ve known many pans in my life. They’re all lovely human beings that can intelligently identify exactly why they use that term and what it means.
- Genderqueer. A term I use for myself. A very difficult place to be, because it’s incredibly difficult to explain to someone that’s cisgendered. My friend once described it as “having a mental Y chromosome” (since I am female-bodied), and that’s accurate enough, I suppose. It’s not easy, being in the middle.
- Panromantic. Another term I use for myself. And why the hell would this be a bad label? You can romantically love anyone - regardless of gender - and just don’t want to have sex with all of them. I have several female-bodied friends that I could easily have a romantic relationship with - but I sure as hell don’t want to have sex with them. Similarly, any one else in the gender spectrum could be there as well. What else would I call myself?
- Demisexual. An entirely legitimate term that gets marginalized enough in society, we don’t need anyone else doing that too. I have infinite respect for demis.
- Ableist. Really? The usage of this word and “retarded” in the same list makes me cringe, because that’s exactly what you are. My aunt has Down’s Syndrome - we don’t use (or try not to use) words like “retarded” because I know all too well how patronizing and hurtful they can be. Ableism is a real thing - and one many people do and don’t realize it.
- Trigger warning. SERIOUSLY. I can’t even - I have dear friends that write potentially problematic stories, and trigger warnings are VERY IMPORTANT. If I was a rape victim, and I really enjoyed my friend’s work, I wouldn’t want to suddenly click to the next chapter and see the two protagonists being raped. That’s a TRIGGER for bad things/anxiety/panic in me. I’d like a warning. As someone that suffers from anxiety issues, this is a button.
- Swag. I don’t agree with the word, and in the whole list, I think it’s the only one that I’d say is a bit of a useless word, but I don’t really know its origin or use, so I keep my mouth shut.
- Otherkin. I haven’t had the benefit of meeting any otherkin - as far as I know - but who’s to say that they’re not just as entitled to feeling that as anyone else? Just because I’m not otherkin, and I don’t know anyone that is, doesn’t make it any less valid. Does it sound a little odd/silly in my head? Sure. Because I haven’t had an opportunity to understand it - to hear it from their perspective - to truly get to know what it means and how it feels for the other person. Being a lesbian sounded a little silly to me too, being heterosexual as I am. But I learned, and now it doesn’t.
My chest HURTS from this attack. And it is an attack, from a bully, that is speaking for a place of hatred and pain. And I’m sorry for them, that their life is like that. I’m sure if they ever found this, they’d have a whole mess of painful words to say to me - about what I’ve said - and that they have a fabulous life and don’t need pity from a genderqueer panromantic polyamorous heterosexual female-body like me.
Be that as it may.
I fully respect your right to think these words are “retarded”, and that those that use them, like myself, are no better. But if you will not respect my right to them, then do not expect me to respect your right to yours. I did not choose my gender identity, my sexual identity - none of it, just as you did not choose yours. What happens when comes the day that someone rises up and decides that heterosexuality, cisgenderedness, monoamorousness, etc are all madeup words that people like you have created to make yourselves different and special? Will you turn to us for help?
You had best hope that we will be the better people, then. Because you haven’t given us much reason to be.