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It's all fun and games until...

I'm sure there's a fairly decent chance that you've seen that meme, the one with Archie Bunker and George Jefferson laughing it up and lamenting the fact that we can't make jokes like we used to. Well, keep lamenting as I, for one, have no desire to return to those times.

I know, I know, Archie Bunker was intended to be a parody. That is not the point of this post and I'm not about to debate the merits of that claim.

I often talk about growing up a trans kid in the 70's and 80's and while I think no era makes it especially easy for kids who are different, that era was very tough on LGBTQ+ youth. Trans depiction in the media was either as nefarious deceivers or comedic relief, there was no sympathetic view anywhere to be found. The treatment of trans people, especially trans women, in news media was exceedingly harsh (and arguably has not improved much in recent years, notably in the UK). My reality and my view of what I felt was distinctly coloured by that backdrop.

That history goes to the heart of this, really. We can talk about "woke" or "cancel" cultures all we want, but the ones doing the whining about being held to account are almost inevitably heterosexual, white, and cis, not infrequently also male. In other words, the demographic that used to be able to make racist and sexist jokes against marginalized people with impunity and their targets had no other option but to laugh nervously and pretend not to be offended.

Well, here's the thing, that kind of world is crushing. 

I commented to my dentist today, as we were talking a bit about my journey, that one of the main goals I had with therapy was to get past the notion, in my head, that being trans was something I should fight in myself. There was no question in my mind that I am trans, I did not need a therapist to tell me that, I needed one to help me get past the harm that had been done to me through the "aw, come on, it's just in fun" humour of my childhood that left me feeling I should be ashamed of who I was.

That is why I have no desire for the bygone era of Archie Bunker. It was a crushing era and many of us bear scars from it.

Transphobia is on the rise, again, especially in the UK. Egged on by big names, it's becoming acceptable to spit on us and not be held to account. If we do try to hold them to account, then we're accused of "cancelling" them. Like it was in the 70's, we're supposed to shut up, be quiet, and take it.

I'll pass, thanks.

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