Consumption changes everything. If I am advertising a product, and you keep watching the commercial, eventually it’s gonna affect you. I’ve had this happen lots. Trolls start to care about me. Kids grow up. People follow me on Instagram and slowly become infuriated or they grow into something new and find themselves infatuated. I know this because I get apologies. Not little “I’m sorry”s but long thought-out, “thank you for changing my life and my perspective” apologies.
I have a wild audience, mostly the alt-right, probably. I don’t know. I don’t follow politics, I’m barely an SJW but oh I am the king of SJW’s, I am the anti-Hitler, I am symbolic of what everyone loves to hate about Tumblr-culture (even though the truth is, I barely use it). I’ve never wished ill on anyone, even the death-threaters or worst of it trolls. I let them panic in their own realm and well, I keep being me. I become me louder, more artistically, more publically. I am vulnerable, raw and open. I am loud, courageous and determined. I let the world see when I am hurt, and I don’t back down in the face of mockery.
People try to get me down, but I am STOKED because I got my wedding dress in the mail and I’ve been approved for the short-term testosterone I wanted. Trolls try to take me down by fighting about pronouns, but I say, call me what you want, I’m gonna be the same either way. Those people who respect me and want to be a part of my life will get on the train, everything else is just noise.
Let them scream. Let heteronormativity cry. Listen to transphobia sob. I know I need to fight these problems but I am fighting them by existing, with joy. I have decided not to let fear rule my reality and maybe that’s a privilege, but I live in Canada, the only country with an X on their passports (I still need to get me one). Yes, hatred exists, even in my own city, but I invite those trolls out for coffee and invite my haters to get to know me, and when they do, something powerful shifts in them. Suddenly I am just a person, suddenly I am relatable, suddenly they realize they wish they were as free as me, sometimes they come out as genderfluid or queer themselves, as I help them overcome whatever internalized bullshit they are facing.
In short, I’ve been called a hero and I am not ashamed to accept the compliment. Every message of gratitude and love overpowers the hatred people send my way. They can’t take that away.