TW: References to transphobia, child abuse, and suicide.
I’m going to preface this article with something that a lot of my readers may not have guess if they don’t pay close attention to my Twitter feed; I like Blaire White. I hold a strong amount of respect and admiration for her In fact. I like the way how she just seems to never let anything get to her and that, unlike a lot of prominent trans activists, she doesn’t hold a one sided “Good Vs Evil” view of the world and its people.
That being said, I can’t stand most of her political beliefs and find them to often be ill informed and poorly backed up, and am frustrated that she is insistent that they are the indisputable truth and that there is no argument against them. Perhaps the worst example of this is her views of trans kids. Her views are that allowing trans children to transition is child abuse, and no that is not a strawman. This article is in response to all three of her videos on this subject, and possibly a few tweets. If she has had any additional words about the subject in a live stream or in an earlier video then I am not aware of them, just to provide context. Here are links to her three videos on this subject.
In theory, it does make sense why someone may say that children should not be allowed to transition. The typical arguments are that children are prone to having overactive imaginations and making rash decisions. Thus, they should wait until they are older before making such a life altering decision. We do know that that transition regret, while an extremely rare occurrence, does in fact happen, and a cis person being forced to present as the opposite gender has had tragic results in the past. It is only natural to want to protect children, even if it is from themselves.
“So what is the problem?” asks my fictional strawman. While it is well meaning (or at least I hope it is), the problem comes from greatly underestimating how potent untreated gender dysphoria can be, as well as a complete lack of understanding of the process. There is one thing In common that I have seen from every opponent of trans kids transition; they think that there is no such thing as a transgender child. They instantly assume that every instance of a child transitioning is because their parents forced them to and that they are doing so unwillingly.
Blaire’s video on the world’s youngest trans kid demonstrates this mindset perfectly. Based on this five minute video, Blaire thinks that she has seen indisputable proof that the mother is forcing the child to present as a boy. One would think that an accusation of child abuse would require a bit more concrete evidence to assumed to be the complete truth, but not in the court of public opinion it seems.
Blaire’s claim is that the child was “being fed his lines” based solely on the fact that the mother phrased them as questions and asked the child for confirmation. Blaire considers NO OTHER reason why this might be the case and immediately leaps to the conclusion that the child was being forced into it. It isn’t as if the child could just be shy so the mother phrased them that way to try and make him feel more comfortable and less nervous, nor could it be that children are not the best public speakers. Instead, the conclusion is assumed first and anything that can possibly be connected to it is, regardless of how much of a stretch. On top of this, critics of trans children never seem to acknowledge that doctors and therapists exist to prevent a cis person from transitioning because they think they are trans. What do they think happens, they just get to walk up to the counter at 8 years old, “I’m trans, give me the titty skittles now” and walk out with anime sized tits?
Additionally, Blaire considers the fact that the mother is a trans woman to be reasonable evidence of abuse and cites the debunked statistic stating that “trans people are 0.3% of the population.” There is a term for when people display bias and dislike of a certain group of people over others, it’s called prejudice. Blaire’s boyfriend stated, in that video, that this somehow makes a valid argument that trans people should not be allowed to have children, although they don’t believe that themselves.
This, in addition to a tweet Blaire made where she said she has to “almost force herself not to dislike trans people because of how awful trans activists are,” demonstrates that, despite being trans herself, she has a strong bias against other trans people, or at least that is how it comes across. Even I, as someone who doesn’t mind some hugely polarizing trans activists such as Milo Stewart, Riley J Dennis, and Zinnia Jones, will admit that there are a decent amount of trans activists whose only claim to fame is providing fodder to keep Gender Identity Watch afloat. However, you won’t see me making pretentious statements about how shit the trans community is and how I’m so much better than everyone else in it (not directly stated but definitely implied), and that is because I view trans people the same way I view any other group of people; as individuals.
Claiming that one needs to force themselves to not hate trans people because shitty trans people exist can only happen in earnest if one holds trans people to different standards than cis people. For example, how do you think Blaire would react if some trans activist said that they needed to force themselves not to hate cis people because of how awful transphobes are? Well, I don’t think that’s necessary because it’s basically her politics (as well as that of every other AIW) in a nutshell; bitch and complain about “political correctness” without ever once stopping to think about why it exists in the first place. It exists to protect vulnerable minorities from having nasty rumors, stereotypes, and slander spread against them by bigoted assholes and the people who unquestionably believe them. Yes, I dislike political correctness as well, but attempting to combat it by being as big of an asshole as possible is like protesting a police strike by reenacting The Purge.
But anyway, back on the subject at hand, Blaire’s bias against trans people who don’t agree with her, IE about 78% of the trans population, leads her to assume that parents of trans kids are all grooming their children to be trans, instead of simply letting their kids present as whatever the hell they want, even if it is “just a phase,” so that they can come to the conclusion on their own. What is perhaps the most jarring example is in her second video where she points out how Avery Jackson’s mother happens to be a trans activist with a daughter whom is trans, while conveniently leaving out that her mother became an activist BECAUSE her daughter was trans. Good parents listen to what their kids say and don’t dismiss them as not being able to understand the concept of pain and discomfort.
Anyway, it’s about time I actually deconstruct the argument against trans children itself. The central argument is either that kids have overactive imaginations and will decide they are trans if they don’t conform 100% to gender stereotypes. The mistake that Blaire and a lot of opponents of trans children make is that they assume that any qualities they have of the opposite gender that they make note of IS their reasoning for feeling they are transgender, and not because of the presence of gender dysphoria. For example, Blaire points out in her third video that “just because the kid likes playing rough and doesn’t like girl’s toys does not mean they are a boy.”
A popular piece of advice given to people questioning their gender identity is usually a variation of “if you have to think about whether you are trans, you probably are,” and it is usually pretty accurate. The only people who know if transitioning is what they truly want are themselves, and it is all based on whether or not they have gender dysphoria. And before anyone points out that “some trans people don’t feel dysphoria,” I’m not buying it. Gender dysphoria is experienced in a variety of different ways, but even if one does not feel body dysphoria, they likely will feel social dysphoria or else they would not identify as trans to begin with
Blaire claims in her first video that the best argument in favor of children transitioning is that “they pass better” later on in life. The fact that this is the best argument she heard speaks volumes of her understanding of the topic. Zinnia Jones has already made two videos dissecting Blaire’s claims using well backed scientific evidence. She then made a response to Blaire’s second video while under the impression that Blaire saw both videos but completely ignored all claims present, in which she claimed that she willfully spread misinformation and that she was “evil.”
Of course, Blaire later admitted that she pretended Zinnia’s videos were a health care bill and that she was a GOP congressperson, by which I mean she did not watch them after all. She still goes on to make Zinnia out to be some type of nutcase and edited her video Sarkeesian style to completely ignore the context of her argument, which was made WITH the assumption that she saw them. Chances are, if Blaire DOES, in fact, value open and mature discussion, as well as basing your opinions on the facts present instead of treating politics like a sports team, then she would have completely changed her tune after watching those videos. Instead, she refuses to watch them because she doesn’t like the way she said them. In Blaire’s defense, I will say that it is a bit extreme to claim that she is “evil” and she did invite Zinnia to debate her live, but Zinnia doesn’t trust her and refused.
I will say more about the feud later, but I will now focus on the issue at hand. Zinnia has made some pretty strong points, such as the fact that transition regret is very rare (which she had an entire video about) and the inherent hypocrisy present in being strongly against the idea of cis children being forced into puberty of the opposite gender, yet is perfectly fine with forcing trans kids to go through with it. Once again, something like this can only occur as a result of selective bias.
Blaire has said in some of her videos something along the lines of “she always knew that something wasn’t quite right with her,” even if it was not conscious awareness of her dysphoria. Now I don’t know how Blaire grew up and when she fully realized she was trans, but I have a feeling it wasn’t before puberty. Her logic seems to be that she made it through puberty mostly unscathed, so therefore everyone else should to. The problem is that claiming that people with active awareness of gender dysphoria can make it through unscathed because you made it through while not aware is like claiming that someone should be able to handle getting surgery without anesthetic because you got it done with said anesthetic.
It is common in humans to not notice pain until they are made aware of their injury if they are pre-ocupied with something else because the brain is more focused on this other activity than the injury. This principal also applies to mental pain and duress. Common advice given to someone afraid of heights is “don’t look down.” The reason for this is that the active awareness of how high up you are will build up anxiety and make it much harder to focus on doing whatever you need to do (like not falling to your death, you’re not a JRPG protagonist after all). This is also why we have the tendency to “choke” when under a lot of pressure; because anxiety screws with your mind and makes it harder to focus.
Lastly, this phenomenon is what causes gender dysphoria to become far more potent when one becomes actively aware of it. It was present before and had some effects on you, but the longer it manifests, the harder it is to contain it and the worse effects it has on you. However, if you are actively aware of it but are unable to do anything about it, that fuels further hopelessness and despair. THIS is why trans suicide rates are so astronomically high; one simultaneously needs to cope with a debilitating mental disorder while knowing that their family and friends will not help or will actively make things worse.
Blaire specifically cites teens as the most likely to make a poor decision that lasts them their entire life. You know what the worst and most harmful decision that someone under mental duress can make it? No, it isn’t backing Mighty No.9 on Kickstarter but it is pretty close; killing themselves. Both teens AND trans people are know to be especially susceptible to doing something drastic due to strong emotions, so what the fuck do you think is going to happen when you take an emotionally underdeveloped teenager with active awareness of their gender dysphoria and FORCE THEM to go through with a traumatic irreversible puberty simply because there’s a 1% chance they may regret it?
Note, this isn’t theoretical, it’s what happened to Leelah Alcorn, and thousands of other trans teens stuck under bible thumping pricks who deny them their very sense of self and oftentimes abuse them, but then act surprised when they decide to off themselves. I dare ANY opponent of children or teens transitioning to read through Leelah Alcorn’s suicide note and tell me that blocking a trans teen or trans child’s transition is not harmful, and that allowing them to get the treatment they need is abuse. If you still do, then I just… don’t know what to tell you, the letter speaks for itself.
And before anyone accuses me of being manipulative… just no. This isn’t someone claiming they will kill themselves to get what they want when they actually aren’t going to; these people actually do it. It’s not done in an attempt to blackmail transphobes into being decent human beings, they do this because they know that nothing can change them and that if they are stuck under one’s authority there is no hope left; so they kill themselves because they see no other way out. When people are pointing out the harm that transphobes do, it isn’t being “manipulative,” it’s just pointing out the facts. (Just to be clear, this paragraph is NOT directed at Blaire herself, I know she’s better than that.)
Even if one does not commit suicide, untreated gender dysphoria can still result in a lot of damage that can never be undone. Aside from the obvious surgeries that would not be necessary if they started transitioning as a teen, there is also a lot of trauma that stems from being forced through puberty and the years of untreated dysphoria. Did you think it was just a coincidence that so many trans people these days always have some sort of baggage? Whether it is over sensitivity or hostility, constant anxiety, or even strong sexual urges, it’s hard to deny that it effects a lot of us.
And yes, it has effected me as well. Granted, I was also hit with aspergers in addition to dysphoria, so that pretty much prevented me from having a social life outside of a circle of friends I kinda fell into and occasionally responded while listening to them saying whatever. I kept everything to myself for years and repressed everything due to nervousness and anxiety. I specifically didn’t come out because I thought it would be too difficult to do so and I wasn’t as sure back then; and not a day goes by that I don’t regret it. The reason for this being that, even though I finally started transitioning, the damage has been done. I have no hope of ever being a normal girl due to all the mental trauma and what developed from it.
Even in trans positive areas, I often feel like I don’t fit in and that I may be judged if I ever try to be myself, and they don’t have any reason not to. I stopped trying to hide who I was years ago and that’s not just in terms of being trans, but also in being a perverted creep with a dark sense of humor. I have always put such a strong emphasis on individuality and not letting anyone else deciding who I am and that was because I couldn’t fit in even if I wanted to, and for a while I did.
Blaire does often talk about how she is against victim hood as a mindset, and the idea that being trans means you are hopeless. I agree with that completely, and it’s what I’m trying to do. However, there is such a thing as being too optimistic. Blaire comes across as if, because she made it through everything on her own that everyone else can and HAS to as well. She paid for her transition entirely on her own, so no other trans person should have governmental assistance despite transitioning being medically necessary. Andt because she went through male puberty, ALL trans women should be forced to. Once again, I don’t think she was saying that directly but it’s certainly how it comes across.
And for those that insist that they only have a problem when young children transition; you’re still wrong. Case in point, Danann Tyler, a child who expressed strong feelings of gender dysphoria since age 2. Her parents initially did not approve, but after they saw her…. of for fucks sake just read the goddamn title. Suicide watch… at AGE 4!!! Oh but I’m sure it’s just a phase and that if they forced her through male puberty, she’d be perfectly fine and wouldn’t make any rash decisions right?
And in the end, I don’t think I need to say any more. Yes, I could comment on how she falsely stated that Jazz Jennings could not get bottom surgery due to transitioning, or her cherry picking any occurrence of someone deciding to detransition while conveniently ignoring the numerous other cases where it IS effective (and also neglecting to mention that the case she cited was not supervised by any doctors while most are, IIRC). However, I’m not Zinnia. Otherwise, I would be even less mentally stable then I am now (though I would also be sexier).
I am instead trying to focus more on the personal or emotional side of things. Yes, I criticized Blaire a lot in this article, but I still stand by what I said at the start. I hold a great deal of admiration for Blaire in the way that she carries herself, and I can tell that she’s far more self conscious than she lets on. The description on her Twitter page is “People have really strong opinions about me.” This is the first thing she shows to any new followers of hers. She often comes across as if she thinks less of herself than others do.
We may all see her as a Youtube star with over 300K subscribers, but I don’t think she sees herself that way. She comes across as if she just sees herself as an ordinary girl like everyone else, and that when people express such strong hatred of her for her opinions it comes across as jarring. As if she is saying “why does what I say matter so much?” Despite how she mocked it in her video, I can tell that Zinnia’s remark about her being “evil” really cut her deep. I can tell this because, if it didn’t, she wouldn’t be have made a a video response to it, and she wouldn’t have needed to cut out the strongest words in order to make her point.
The reason why the rest of the trans community holds such strong hatred for her is because she doesn’t know her own strength. Every time she calls someone out, whether it’s on Twitter or in a video, legions of fanboys will show up to harass the fuck out of whoever she targeted. This might be because they feel very strongly about Blaire and get pissed off when they besmirch her name, or that they may just be looking for an excuse to be a prick. It never seems to occur to her that, yes, the people she talks about are also susceptible to over sensitivity; it’s pretty common in trans people after all. Even more so, it is not like you ever see Riley or Zinnia’s followers descending on Blaire’s tweets whenever one of them calls her out.
I am sure that Blaire is becoming more aware of the power she holds, and she IS, in fact, very self conscious. She has made a genuine apology to both Milo Stewart and Riley J Dennis for frequently misgendering them and claiming they were both fake trans. Note that it is not common for popular Youtuber’s to admit to fault when they don’t absolutely have to. But she seems to have yet to realize why Zinnia, in particular, was so upset with her.
The reason is because, even if Blaire does not see herself as any sort of authority, her fans do and they will believe anything she says without question. Zinnia is also a career activist and is exposed to the absolute most cruel and hateful of transphobes, whether they be the far right or TERFs. She also knows how harmful misinformation can be and how easily it can be spread. Myths from decades ago that were instantly debunked at the time have STILL spread faster than Milo Yiannopoulos’s boypucci around a Black Trump cosplayer’s dick. Knowing that Blaire has such influence and is spreading false information, and that she continues to do so despite her having thoroughly debunked it, tells Zinnia that Blaire is reckless and will actively harm trans people everywhere because of how many people will take her words as truth. Also remember that her initial reaction video was made with the assumption that Blaire had seen her videos.
If you ask me, Blaire really should have just watched the videos before responding in her own video. It would have saved her a lot of drama and this feud likely would not have been going on. As for why Zinnia won’t debate Blaire, the thing about debates is that they are only productive if both parties are actively looking for the truth. Now I am pretty sure that is what Blaire wants, but the fact that she has refused to watch Zinnia’s videos or read any of her articles sends a different impression. It tells Zinnia that she is specifically looking for the spectacle of a debate so she can profit off of superchat donations and can delete the video if she gets humiliated. Not to mention that this debate would be in front of Blaire’s audience, who are just going to insult Zinnia and say Blaire won even if she does nothing other than randomly blurt out quotes from Mein Kampf.
While I can’t really get behind Zinnia’s refusal to accept Blaire’s invitation, hell I could only dream that Blaire would show me the same kind of attention (And if you’re reading this Blaire, hit me up please. I’d love to debate you as long as it is done in a mature and reasonable fashion), but at the same time, I don’t understand why Blaire can’t just watch the articles and read the videos. Even though it seems unlikely that Blaire’s videos will have such a wide reaching impact, if even ONE trans person ends up getting hurt because their parents listened to Blaire and didn’t let them transition, I don’t think she will be able to live with herself. And I know that if this happens, trans activists are going to be on it like Dark Souls comparisons on a professional game review (yes I needed to get a joke in there just to lighten the load a bit), and they are going to make sure Blaire knows that it happened.
Yes, that does seem like a bit of a long shot, but I worry about these things a lot. I worry about myself AND I worry about others; even if they are people I don’t know personally. That’s partially why I am writing this. So many of us seem to forget that we’re all human, and that none of us are perfect human beings. Blaire isn’t, Zinnia isn’t, and especially I Isn’t. That doesn’t mean we should act like there are no good parts to people we may not like, and it doesn’t meant we should dehumanize our opponents and act like they are heartless uncaring bitches who only want money and attention.
And to be truthful, part of me hopes Blaire gets to read this, but part of me is also scared out of my mind at the thought. However, I decided I would try and shed some light on these things because it seems like no one else is even trying anymore, and I feel like I need to say something. I very likely would not write something like this if I seriously hated Blaire, as I’m just not the type that likes to pick fights with others. I don’t even know how I managed to write my piece about Jed Whitaker in hindsight, and part of me even thinks I may have went to far despite my reasoning being solid. There was just recently a tweet of Blaire’s that I saw that I felt was really touching.
Combined with the fact that she liked my tweet in response to her, I felt very relieved upon seeing this. I do criticize her a lot and have even made a few jokes at her expense, but when I do I am always cautious about doing so and am worried she will take them the wrong way. She does follow me on Twitter after all since I once donated $2.00 and included a link and she agrees to follow anyone who donates on whatever social media link they provide. For a while, I just assumed she muted me the moment she remembered who I was (I was previously a hater, and she quoted an unflattering tweet of mine about her but deleted it an hour later for some reason that I still don’t quite understand), but apparently not. Hell she may have even read some of my stuff for all I know… okay maybe not.
It feels very weird being an especially compassionate individual in today’s political climate. I’ve amassed an audience of people on both the left and right, and I see a lot of these people have strong hatred for certain figures on one side, and it feels like I’m the only one who just doesn’t expect everyone to be perfect. I’m not even referring to just Blaire here, but I am also speaking with Zinnia in mind with whom my feelings are similar but for different reasons. I have thought of making a similar piece about her, but I’m unsure how to approach it.
Yeah, I know, these last few paragraphs have been melodramatic as fuck, you can probably thank HRT for that. Hell I was kind of a cry baby even before HRT, so having been on it for 5 months now all kind of floodgates have opened up. I’ve been mostly holding back on the political content on this blog (surprisingly) since it’s primarily gaming focused AND because I’m far more conscientious than most people are about their political opinions these days, and it feels like I’m navigating a minefield (this referring to both the left and right, although based on my own interactions, it seems like some of them may be more open minded than I though). Then again, it seriously feels like no one is trying to be caring and compassionate anymore, so I feel obligated to at least try and get something going, and to see if I can convince anyone else to.
Final thoughts: I do hope that some people do take the time to read this and I do hope that it reaches Blaire, but if it doesn’t then I’m not going to complain. Anyway if Blaire is reaching this, regardless of our differences in views; thank you. A lot of trans critics on the left have acted as if Blaire has done nothing but harm to the LGBT community and has let transphobes feel validated. While there is a rather large portion of Blaire’s follower base that are flat out pricks (one need only check the mentions of any trans person Blaire tweets at to see how quick the goal post shifts for them), they often forget that there are a large number of people who have changed their minds about trans people because of Blaire.
Despite the fact that Trump has been pro LGBT for a long time, he suddenly changes his mind when he start running for president because otherwise, he can’t get the Bible thumper votes. It is most likely that any anti LGBT statements or actions he has taken are to keep whatever conservative support he has, so when the right becomes more accepting of trans people, Trump will follow suit and pretend he has always supported us, similar to what Obama did with the left. My point is, people like Blaire are helping that process along, and it is far more effective than calling Republicans bigots (although we should keep doing that when they actually are, which is far too often unfortunately). Basically, they are being worn down both inside and out.
For me personally though, I just think Blaire is a strongly likable person, and the only thing holding her back is her “sorority girl” attitude towards opponents. She has the tendency to instantly assume the worst about her opponents and leaps to absurd conclusions. I have done the same thing in the past, but that is why I’ve recently made a habit of clarifying that it’s merely how it comes across while trying to address other possibilities of what they meant. And yes, it is possible that I myself may have misconstrued what Blaire meant by some of these statements, the only one who knows is Blaire herself, so feel free to correct me. And also yes, the same advice can be applied to a lot of people these days.
If you would like to support me or this site, then please support my Patreon if you would like to see higher quality content with more resources to put towards it. If you don’t want to spend any money on me, then you can also help out by simply sharing my blog on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, or anywhere else where others will see it. You can also follow this blog if you would like to be kept up to date on my stuff, or you could follow me on any of my social media pages (listed at the top of the page) and could stop by The Guardian Acorn Discord chat if you would like to talk to me and my homies.