I’ve written many times that because trans people are normal people, they are just as varied as normal people – and that means some of us are idiots. Among the worst are people often described as “pick-mes”, which is a term used to describe members of a marginalised group who’ll happily throw their entire community under the bus to preserve their own status.
I don’t know if it’s an age thing, but most of the trans pick-mes I’ve seen online are considerably older, transitioned a long time ago and tend to veer to the right politically. They don’t talk about trans rights much, but when they do it’s always victim-blaming: the war on trans people, in their view, is entirely trans people’s fault. It’s a profoundly ignorant and ahistorical perspective often expressed very vocally.
Unfortunately this is nothing new. I’m reading Paul Baker’s superb Outrageous!, a history of the Section 28 era, and just like the trans pick-mes of today there were gay pick-mes in the late 1980s playing the same role: useful idiots against human rights.
One strategy used by those in favour of [anti-gay legislation] was to try to separate off the ‘militant activists’ from ordinary ‘homosexuals’. Lord Annan said that the militants in the gay liberation movement wanted ‘a first-class row’ and ‘do not represent homosexuals any more than student union activists used to represent students. Homosexual men and women ask to be left to live their own lives.’ In a similar way, the Earl of Halsbury claimed he’d had a deluge of letters, many from homosexuals. He read out his ‘favourite letter’, which said, ‘I want to say how fed up I am with my fellow homosexuals. They have brought it upon themselves, their unpopularity. They are too promiscuous, too aggressive and exhibitionist. I cannot stand the sight of them. I wish they would keep themselves to themselves.’
I try to have empathy for these people, who I know have suffered, but in all honesty it’s hard: they’d sacrifice the safety, dignity and human rights of the majority of trans and non-binary people to protect their own status as The One True Transsexual. And that means they’re enablers, human shields for some of the most hateful people on earth. Whether it’s stupidity, ego, trauma or a mix of some or all of these things I don’t know. But I do know that the people that hate the rest of us hate them too, and that those people won’t stop with us.