I’m Liberal. I believe trans people should be treated with complete respect. I think that their choice of pronouns should be used. I’m an LGBTQ ally and even do some gender-bending stuff myself, such as wearing makeup.
I’ve of course heard of Jordon Petersen and for the most part didn’t agree with his take on transgenderism and how it should be handled (though he tends to be mischaracterized in many ways by people who should know better). Ben Shapiro is a dick when he misgenders people, etc.
So here’s the opinion that fellow Liberals make take issue with: you can’t command people to perceive you in a particular way. Some trans people seem to expect greater validation of their appearance and status as being “really” of a certain gender than cis people can expect. E.g., it’s fine to criticize the appearance of a cis dude or chick (“Hey, that person is really ugly–look how they’re dressed–terrible!”), but it’s politically incorrect to say a trans person is fugly or isn’t dressed right or doesn’t look like their intended gender, etc. The former is just being a standard dick human, no big deal; the latter is being “transphobic,” a mortal sin.
Here’s where I see a paradox. Trans people want society to believe in gender and have standards with regard to it; otherwise, there would be no gender to become or have recognized by others. In a society in which men and women dressed, styled their hair, wore makeup, etc., completely as they pleased without any thought given to “male” or “female,” then a person transitioning would draw no attention whatsoever. Now perhaps they would want the biological accoutrements associated with one sex or the other, but no change in gender would occur, nor could they expect to be treated differently after the biological changes.
Our society isn’t like that, however; nor is any other. Moreover, aside possibly from gender-nonconforming people, trans people want to undergo a transition that does make a social difference. They want to be perceived as really being the gender of their choice. Moreover, they don’t want to be criticized in any way about their level of success in making the transition; i.e., looking good or not. This is what seems to me to be asking too much.
People are assholes, and people police every aspect of appearance down to minutiae. I’m a cis guy, and I know that if I walk out of the house “looking weird,” I’m going to catch flak for it. The vast majority of people are going to be too polite to say anything, but some will. Hell, I once went out wearing leather pants, lipstick, and eyeliner, and I was basically catcalled by a guy from a moving car. I know what it’s like (nothing negative was said… I think it was, “Where’d you get those pants?” But the vibe was still uncool and felt somewhat threatening. Don’t do that, people!)
In a way, I think the gender-blind society would be better. Be whatever you want, and the rule is that people can’t give you shit for it. On the flipside, you can’t demand that people positively validate your appearance, either, or see you as anything in particular.
So how am I politically incorrect? I’m sure posters here will tell me, but it seems that there is a strain of Liberalism in which anything trans requires 100% pious validation of however the trans person perceives themself or wishes to be perceived. I’m not doing that. I would never, as stated above, say anything to a trans person, give them a cross look–anything–but I reserve the right to think, “Wow, that appearance isn’t working,” and so on. (I don’t mean to imply, however, that I regularly think this. I think the majority of trans people look great, and I think some trans women look hot. In general, I like fucking with social norms anyway, hence my own gender-bending at times…)
OK, I’ve asked for a critique of the above… so please feel free to lay it on me.