Dear Transgender Guy From Buzzfeed, No One Owes You a Thing

I have a pretty consistent attitude for when it comes to transgendered individuals, and it’s more or less the same outlook I take about a lot of things.

I don’t care how you dress, what you identify as, or if you call yourself “Karen” when your name is actually Todd. You disagree with my take on transgenderism, and I disagree with yours. However, this does not mean that I hate you, or think less of you in any way. For me, a difference of opinion with zero impact on my life is just a difference of opinion. I’m not going to look down on you because you like your steak medium rare, while I like it rare.

I will deduct points if you like it well done, but I digress.

The problem with the loudest members of the transgender community is that simple disagreement cannot be tolerated. You have to agree. Nay! You have to respect.

NAY! You must be reverent!

There is nothing in transgenderism that I find worthy of reverence any more than I should find reverence in someone’s decision to wear a sports team’s jersey. I get it. You’re really into that team, but I don’t even like like that sport and have little interest in learning about it. You do you, though.

However, too many members of the transgender community believe that by saying they’re something they biologically aren’t, we’re supposed to engage in the same level of enthusiasm with no questions asked. Furthermore, they believe that by identifying as something they’re not and dressing in a way that society would find abnormal they’ve done something extraordinary and awe inspiring. And for that, they should be celebrated for their bravery and the hardships they face.

I first think of all the people who battle cancer and pull through with sheer will, or the soldiers who fight through impossible odds to bring their fellows back alive. I think of firefighters who run into burning buildings for the sake of others, and people who go from nothing to world changing entities. These people are extraordinary and awe inspiring. Stuffing a bra and putting on a shade of lipstick does not fall into that category.

However, this is exactly what Buzzfeed contributor Jacob Tobia thinks, and he wanted to remind everyone how much respect he is owed in his latest article.

Overall, the article Tobia has written concerns how parents could use their children’s obviously confused reactions to his obviously uncommon appearance to educate their children about transgenderism and sexuality.

Everyone and their dog will obviously correct Tobia in their own way about why this is a ridiculous notion, and why talking to kids about sex and sexuality at such a young age is ridiculous in any way.

But it was one part of his ridiculous article about how to raise your own children that really caught my eye:

“Parents, I’ve decided that we need to have a little chat, because you can do better than that,” wrote Tobia. “You have to do better. You owe it to me, to the trans community, and to your kids’ emotional development to do better.”

I don’t have children, but I know that a kid’s emotional development does not hinge on whether or not they know anything about the trans community, or Tobia’s choice in hose. I’d rather have my kid concerned about who is going to be available to play hide and seek with him that day, or what shape a square is.

But what my eyes zeroed in on is Tobia’s claim that we owe him something. That we owe the trans community.

Let me be very clear to both Tobia and the trans community.

No one owes you a damn thing.

No one is entitled to anyone’s respect, nor are they subject to anyone’s wishes. Just because someone has gone through cripplingly awful moments, it does not entitle that person to obedience.

Everyone has gone through hard times in some way shape or form, and rest assured there are many out there who WISH they had the problems a transgender person faces. Here in the first world where transgenderism is celebrated by the media to the point where a man can literally beat the tar out of a woman to applause, the transgender community is far from the most oppressed group featured on Earth’s surface.

What I’m saying may sound rude, but I see this sentiment too often from the activist members of the transgender community. I’m more than willing to be your friend. I’ve yet to meet a transgendered individual in person that I don’t get along with. However, the moment you start demanding I give you a level of respect because you feel you deserve it for something I don’t agree with you on in the first place, you lost me.

And this goes for the vast majority of people.

You cannot demand respect and get it. You can inspire respect through being a person worthy of it. However, making yourself a social sacred cow and considering yourself something akin to 14th century nobility will only make people laugh, or despise you. It’s the current year. Get on board.

If you’re trying to make the transgender community something to be respected, Tobia’s method is not the way to go.