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Forums / Sexuality and gender identity / Responding to on-line negativity

Topic: Responding to on-line negativity

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Emily1963
    Emily1963 avatar
    3 posts
    11 January 2019
    I know the anguish that can be caused by people being negative on line to trans people. One of their favourite methods is to state that trans people are just mentally sick or similar. Now, I am not going to advocate that you engage with such people in an online debate. They generally know what triggers you and will use their knowledge to cause you hurt.

    However, I thought I would put here the response I use to reply to such people. The example is a real example from a post I made about additional laws to protect trans people from discrimination. The objective of my method is to make me feel better within myself, and hopefully cause them to reflect on their comment/ideas and choose to change. One rule though I use when using this response – I never go back to view any comments to my original response.

    Their Comment
    That’s right let's keep feeding this mental disorder, I'm sure that it'll end well for these morons.

    My Response
    Mental disorder? Really?

    I am well educated and I work full-time in a senior management role. Like non-trans women, as a transwoman, I have to work hard and long hours to continually prove myself as being of value to the organisation. I pay my fair share of taxes and manage my personal budget, so I can buy groceries, pay bills, pay for my HRT, and save some money. I managed to do all this in an environment where I face pervasive discrimination on a daily basis in many areas of my life, including work, health, housing, education, and socially.

    Metal health issues. You bet I must continuously look after my mental health.

    It is a well-researched and known fact that transgender people tend to experience higher rates of mental health issues than the non-trans population. Although this is well known in the general population, what is not so well known, or deliberately ignored, is what underlies the astonishingly elevated rate of mental health issues for transgender people. I’m going to assume that you are not aware of the cause and explain to you the reasons.

    First and foremost, it is not because we are transgender.

    Our mental health suffers because of the discrimination, stigma, lack of acceptance, and abuse we face on an unfortunately regular basis. Now that you know the reasons behind our poorer mental health, you have an opportunity to change. You have a choice. You can deliberately ignore the facts explained above, or you can advocate that transgender people be protected from pervasive discrimination.
  2. MaxineC
    MaxineC avatar
    25 posts
    11 January 2019

    Hi Emily,

    You’re braver than me getting involved in online debates! I don’t have the same discipline as you, I would have to go back and check the replies and then I’d get involved in a flame war.

    What’s really great about your response is that it doesn’t personally attack the original poster or get overly emotional. You just state really simply what life is like and the reality of it. Saying your piece and stepping away without getting involved does mean there’s the opportunity to change the minds of people reading who genuinely might not understand, and if it makes you feel better in yourself too then you’re winning on all fronts.

    You must be a great ambassador in the workplace too. :D

  3. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
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    quirkywords avatar
    4738 posts
    11 January 2019 in reply to Emily1963

    Emily,

    I want to welcome you to this forum. This online community is friendly, caring, supportive and non judgmental.

    I want to thank you for explaining about how transgender people can experience higher rates of mental health.

    I think when people are not informed or educated about the issues they can make remarks that are negative.

    I like the way you gave an answer in a well thought out and clear way.

    Thanks again for your post.

    Quirky

  4. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    4738 posts
    11 January 2019 in reply to MaxineC

    Maxine,

    I agree that Emily's response was calm and did not attack or belittle the original poster. It can be hard when someone feels attacked to come out fighting and this just makes things worse.

    I like the way Emily took the opportunity to address the issue of mental health and then to educate the person and everyone else reading the reply.

    Thanks for your encouraging reply, Maxine.

    Quirky

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