Terms of Service for Educating Allies

Hi,

If you are reading this, you are probably a cis person who has been debating trans issues with me online.

I appreciate your interest on the subject. However, this is not only about you. This is my way of saying that I will withdraw from the debate until you consider the following points.

  1. I deeply and sincerely want to bring forth change, and I understand that educating people such as you is part of that. Indeed, I love doing that. However, you are not alone in needing to be educated, and you are not the only pressing need of trans communities — in fact, we are overwhelmed by other pressing needs.
  2. Educating people is work. Trans people are forced to do that all the time, and for free, but they shouldn’t have to. In effect, trans people are forced to step up because our schools, our health system, our community organizations and our institutions fail to include trans experiences as something worth talking about, and fail to provide conditions for making trans people’s educating work sustainable.
  3. Facebook debates eat up time, so they can really impede the real world-changing stuff I do. They’re also not something I can put on my schedule, so they can prevent me from doing other important things. I much prefer to have discussions in person. That is a personal limit I set.
  4. Your arguments are not new. We’ve heard them time and time again. Just because they feel so to you doesn’t mean I and other trans people haven’t countered them several times over.
  5. Read the documentation I will almost certainly have provided. Look up the links. Watch the videos. Do that work. It won’t be longer than getting the informaion from me — the only difference is, I’ll have a chance to do something else.
  6. As a trans activist based in Montreal, Canada, I am offering myself to give training, workshops or conferences on trans issues, as long as you take care of the logistics. It’s a real offer.
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