Rori Porter

I'll say first, I’m glad that we’re able to continue this discussion in good faith. Here are my thoughts on your points:

1.) The word "mob" represents a value judgment, and it is not always used in an equitable manner. For instance, I have seen the police label many peaceful protests as mobs. What constitutes a mob should be violence. A statement like "a mob is never right" lacks nuance and ignores the reality of how the word is used against marginalized communities peaceably rising up. The groups you mention should constitute mobs, but you can hardly compare a group of trans people using their voices to literal nazis. Doing so is both an insult to trans people and to those who have been historically impacted by nazis. Don't minimize the holocaust by comparing an angry group of queer people to the force that took over ten million human lives. It’s comparing apples not to oranges but to grenades.

2.) There are some forms of bigotry that are dangerous to others and absolutely should result in job loss. Racism in the medical field, for instance, is deadly to people of color. There is no place for bigotry if your job is to heal others. The same goes for educators -- racism and other forms of bigotry in education have huge impacts upon marginalized students. You shouldn't get to teach if you hate a subgroup of the people you're supposed to be teaching -- especially so if the teacher wields their power by unfairly grading their students. And if a bigot is harassing their coworkers or even people outside of work, they aren't entitled to a job. A business does not have to keep a toxic person employed if it will reflect poorly upon them.

3.) Labeling what Rowling did as “support of a woman” ignores what Maya Forstater was doing. She was consistently harassing trans people online using her work email, as well as harassing and misgendering coworkers. Her actions were and continue to be vile. Rowling skipped over all of that in favor of a mic-drop. “Sex is real.” No trans person has ever said that sex is not real, but those three words put my community on the defensive, having to explain the modern definition of sex vs. gender. It was frustrating, to say the least. Nobody fired Maya Forstater for saying that sex is real anyway – her contract was not renewed because she was harassing trans people.

4.) Yes, I read what Rowling wrote and it was concerning. You seem to be under the impression that my opinion would be different if I had read it or watched Chappelle’s special, but nothing could be further from the truth. My position is always well informed – I don’t speak on what I haven’t researched. Much of Rowling’s essay was concern over trans men transitioning to escape the patriarchy, but trans men have been pretty insistent that they don’t need Rowling’s concern. They have autonomy. She is concerned that transness erases same-sex attraction, but that isn’t at all the case. Rowling is consistently concerned over tiny percentages of people who transition and regret it, meanwhile caring little about the majority of trans people for whom transitioning is medically necessary. She makes statements like “If trans women were oppressed I would care” (paraphrased), meanwhile 2021 has been the deadliest year on record for women of color in the trans community. Until her feminism is intersectional, she doesn’t actually fight on behalf of women – she fights to maintain the status quo that seeks to keep trans people hidden from society and marginalized to the point of violence and death.

5.) As for Chappelle’s specials, I saw clips that were unfortunate and sided with a world view that I see as extremely transphobic. It was less a series of jokes than a calmly presented belief system revolving around how he views the trans community. Basically, genitals determine destiny. This is something I disagree upon and is the cornerstone of modern intersectional feminism. I won’t get into too much detail here because I don’t care about Chappelle’s views. They are disappointing to me and many other trans people, but they are hardly surprising. My opinion on the matter is that he spoke on an issue with which he is poorly educated and probably should have left out of is specials. He has free speech, however, and can say whatever he wants. As can I. As can you.

I appreciate that you are in the fight against totalitarianism. I don’t think that such a word applies to a group that makes up around 1-2% of the population and is more consistently the victims of violence and oppression than the perpetrators. As a community, we are fighting to be heard, fighting for employment protections, fighting to not be discriminated in housing, fighting for anti-trans hate crimes to be convicted as such. Our issues are fundamental to our human rights, and if that what you consider totalitarianism, I encourage you to read more about what the trans community is dealing with. My community experiences horrendous loss constantly. We are struggling to survive. That is ultimately why so many of my peers lash out. It is through my privilege that I can have a metered discussion with you on these issues. Try to feel sympathy for those trans folks who express their pain in unfortunate ways – not to excuse their behavior, but to understand the abuse they have sustained that turned them bitter and angry in the first place. I will never excuse a trans person who becomes the abuser, but I will always try to understand how they got that way and work to prevent the next generation from experiencing the same set of circumstances that feeds the cycle. I am a person who is focused on breaking cycles of abuse, violence, and oppression, and I hope for that to be the approach others take when weighing in on trans rights.

Autistic Queer Transfemme writer & designer based out of Los Angeles. She/Her/They/Their. Editor of Anthology.

Autistic Queer Transfemme writer & designer based out of Los Angeles. She/Her/They/Their. Editor of Anthology.