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Just now, Love Zhaoying said:

I was shocked earlier in the thread at the lack of knowledge, is reason for some informational posts.

I learned long ago - one could say in another lifetime - that all one can do in such situations is present the information and move on with no expectation of a response.

I have also learned that in some cases, it is simply best to leave it to others to search out information. Especially when dealing with something as informal as a forum.

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@OP

I live in a very conservative Asian country. I had zero understanding of what "transgender" meant. A few years ago I had a SL partner, who came out to me as trans, and explained what it meant to her, what she felt like, and the challenges she faced. I was glad she confided in me, patiently answered all my questions (including weird and silly ones) and thanked me for being a listening ear while she was transitioning.

Moral of this story: Not knowing or understanding does not equal hostility, nor stupidity. How do you change people's attitudes? Easy - treat them like you care about them, share openly and honestly, and thank them for listening.  :)

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15 hours ago, OfDragonFire said:

Being into BDSM does not mean I would like to be fetishized, it doesn't mean I want to be treated like nothing more than an object for sexual gratification, nor does it mean I support the fetishization of marginalized people. It means I enjoy consensual kink and there's nothing wrong with that. Fetishization is harmful, and it has an impact not just on our psyche but in our life and livelihood. Trans people, namely trans women of color, are brutalized and murdered everyday because of this - because they're always portrayed as an object of sexual gratification, one that must be kept hidden, or as the butt of jokes. 

I am not a part of the BDSM world, so this is definitely just a comment/question and not any sort of poke.  I always thought fetish and kink were basically the same thing, with maybe some minor nuances in meaning to different folks.  Thus I've been highly confused on why fetish is a bad term/association with you, whereas kink is okay.  Are the two words that much more different in meaning than I've always assumed?

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5 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Ok, here goes..

”Gender” in the context of Trans discussions does not only refer to the “biological gender at birth according to genitalia or chromosomes”. There is a condition called “gender dysphoria disorder” in which a person feels, knows, IS internally a different gender than the biological gender they were “assigned at birth”. The “transition” process is where a Trans person assumes this internal gender and expressed it outwardly, with or without hormones and surgery. Society through education and compassion is encouraged and expected to respect the Trans person who assumes this new, different gender. In the US, a Trans person can get the “gender marker” changed on their driver’s license and even birth certificate (in some states) with a letter from their therapist - even without gender reassignment surgery. They are officially the new gender which they previously felt internally to be, and have every right to express that gender outwardly. 

Does any of that help?

 

5 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I added something long and educational but no reply so..perhaps people got bored with the topic.

By what I see, both of these posts were made within the same hour - they both show to me as being '5 hours ago' from now (8:32 am SLT).  Additionally, I only see a few people participating in the conversation at roughly that time.  Many of the rest of us that have been involved in this thread may have been sleeping or working or doing things other than living and breathing the forums during that exact hour.  "Patience you must have my young padawan"

 

As for myself, I just got up a short bit ago and thus I'm still reading through all of this and catching up.

 

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5 hours ago, AyelaNewLife said:

Are we in lock territory yet?

For a bit there, it did seem like it was heading full tilt towards a train wreck, but it actually seems like the overall tone has calmed down quite a bit.  There are comments, opinions, and questions, but nothing seems totally off kilter anymore.

I, for one, knowing little about the LGBTQ world - having practically no exposure to it outside of SL - find many parts of this thread quite informative.  

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11 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

I only see a few people participating in the conversation at roughly that time.  

Yes. My post was in response to their discussion of “gender”.

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5 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I was shocked earlier in the thread at the lack of knowledge, is reason for some informational posts.

I think the vast majority of people have some basic knowledge on transgender topics - at least in the US.  However, if we don't have a lot of exposure to that world - nobody we know is transgender (or at least not that we've been told), then we likely don't know a lot of the intricacies involved.  

For me, I already knew everything that you posted in your previous 'educational reply'.  It is many of the outlying bits of info that I'm clueless on.  Like my most recent question above about fetish vs kink.  Or fully understanding things like someone saying they are 'Trans Male' and preferring the male pronouns, but using a female picture.  There are many tiny bits of information related to the Trans world that most people are not going to know by default.  If we have no involvement in that world, then there is little opportunity for education.  The things one reads are the internet often contradict other things read.  

I realize it is frustrating for those in that world to be constantly educating folks.  I imagine though that it was no different for women way back in the day, or blacks and gays more recently.  The education may get tiresome, but it is the only way to gain ground.

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1 minute ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

I realize it is frustrating for those in that world to be constantly educating folks.

Like you most of my knowledge comes from friends in SL.  I am lucky to have so many who are patient and understanding and tell me "just ask" and they help me with replies to my somewhat clumsy questions patiently for which I am grateful.

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1 hour ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

I am not a part of the BDSM world, so this is definitely just a comment/question and not any sort of poke.  I always thought fetish and kink were basically the same thing, with maybe some minor nuances in meaning to different folks.  Thus I've been highly confused on why fetish is a bad term/association with you, whereas kink is okay.  Are the two words that much more different in meaning than I've always assumed?

I don't think Dragon wanted to say that fetish is in itself bad. At least that would highly suprise me, as its the "default" word for liking something very much in a sexual way. Thats why you also have so many words conected to it (like fetishist, fetishism...). My native language wouldn't even have a proper translation for kink, we just have "fetish". Fetish is also not exclusivly tied to the BDSM world. Some of the most common fetishes have nothing to do with bondage or domination/submission.

In itself having a fetish isn't a problem. It only is one when it turns into sexual objectivication, which is what Dragon described. Then it becomes hurtful, because it devalues the person affected by it.

 

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Yeah as Syo said, When  we talk about the feitishzation of Trans folk,  We're not saying all fetishes or kinks are bad.  That'd be highly hypocritical of myself. But when it comes to Feitishzing a whole group of people based on one singular trait. That's when it becomes creepy.  Especially as it's often not based on the truth of that identity,  but rather a stereotype that is used to dehumanize us and  can even lead to physical violence. (Far less likely  in second life,  but our internet funtimes don't exist in a bubble after all.)

 

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14 hours ago, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

You've misunderstood me. Are you willing to listen?

Of course. Please, do explain. A lot of things tend to get lost in translation. It's hard to convey emotions in text, without emoting at least.

 

12 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I added something long and educational but no reply so..perhaps people got bored with the topic.

It was wonderful, thank you for that. It's also important to note that biology is the study of life, and in it we divide things into categories based on observed similarities - biological sex is not a fact of life, it is merely one way for us to understand the world. 

 

22 hours ago, Phorumities said:

Looks like the only thing I've learned from this thread is what "cis" means, and I had to google it. Have fun everyone, I'm out.

What would you like me to explain, truly? I am listening. 

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10 hours ago, Akane Nacht said:

@OP

I live in a very conservative Asian country. I had zero understanding of what "transgender" meant. A few years ago I had a SL partner, who came out to me as trans, and explained what it meant to her, what she felt like, and the challenges she faced. I was glad she confided in me, patiently answered all my questions (including weird and silly ones) and thanked me for being a listening ear while she was transitioning.

Moral of this story: Not knowing or understanding does not equal hostility, nor stupidity. How do you change people's attitudes? Easy - treat them like you care about them, share openly and honestly, and thank them for listening.  :)

I am aware - I am more than willing to listen and explain, though some are unwilling to listen. Dismissive, too. That's far from the point, though - I've received IMs telling me to die, telling me I have no place in Second Life or in the sim I was in. I've had people tell me I deserve brutal death, and they spared no detail in their descriptions. Honest lack of understanding is one thing, lack of humanity and basic decency is another. 

I had to use phrases that invalidate me, that hurt me physically, all to explain what it meant - and a lot of people were wonderful, a lot of people kept asking questions and showed genuine interest. Other people? Not so much.

My point is, if you are genuinely curious and willing to listen and learn, most if not all of us would be more than willing to provide you with information and resources. To explain anything you need explained. If you are being hateful and intolerant, on the other hand, that's another thing.

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7 hours ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

Or fully understanding things like someone saying they are 'Trans Male' and preferring the male pronouns, but using a female picture.  There are many tiny bits of information related to the Trans world that most people are not going to know by default.  If we have no involvement in that world, then there is little opportunity for education.  The things one reads are the internet often contradict other things read.  

I realize it is frustrating for those in that world to be constantly educating folks.  I imagine though that it was no different for women way back in the day, or blacks and gays more recently.  The education may get tiresome, but it is the only way to gain ground.

And no one could blame you for that - the ideas we have about what is 'male' and what is 'female' are hammered into our heads from the day we are brought into this world to the day we leave it. These ideas can be far from productive and beyond harmful to everyone, regardless of whether they are cis or trans and regardless of where they fit in the gender spectrum. 

There is no one way to be a woman, no one way to be a man - you don't have to stay at home and cook if you're a woman nor do you have to be unfeeling and dominant to be a man. Some people fit into the traditional description of what a man or woman should look or behave like, a lot of people don't. They're just stereotypes, and they differ from one era to the next and from one culture to the other. 

Gender identity does not equal gender expression. Liking feminine clothes does not make you any less of a man nor does liking football make you any less of a woman. You don't have to look or act a certain way to be your gender, you are your gender. The idea that some things are 'feminine' and others are masculine is not only outdated but inaccurate. 

But to relate it back to trans people, like I said in earlier posts a lot of us are forced to adhere to these stereotypes in order to pass or in order for people to accept us as our gender - and for a lot of us, specially trans women, passing can be the difference between living and dying. Trans people aren't all the same and therefore, we don't all have the same path when it comes to transition. Some people are content with going by male pronouns and male name, some people require hormones and top surgery, some people require top surgery and nothing else, some people require top and bottom surgeries and hormones. 

The idea that trans people have to transition, have to fit into the roles and characteristics society enforces, invalidates a lot of people. 

Personally, I am on hormones and I am waiting for my top surgery - my avatar, on the other hand, is content with the body he has and beyond comfortable wearing clothes that are traditionally feminine. I can't say the same for myself,  I am a work in progress, but having him helped me feel validated in my identity and it reminds me that I don't have to look or act a certain way to be who I am. I only have to be me.

And that's what trans people want, to be themselves. And if they are forced to act a certain way or forced to take a certain path of transition then they are not truly being who they are.

If you can't wrap your mind around it now, it's fine. It does take time but the important thing is that you learn, you educate yourself and others, and challenge the ideas ingrained in you. We all have to - god knows it took me years to work through all the transphobia I internalized, and sometimes I do catch myself thinking harmful things towards myself. 

We are all exposed to transphobia, to racism and sexism and homophobia. We are bound to internalize it. The important thing is that we continue to challenge ourselves and better ourselves.

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19 hours ago, Akane Nacht said:

I live in a very conservative Asian country. I had zero understanding of what "transgender" meant. A few years ago I had a SL partner, who came out to me as trans, and explained what it meant to her, what she felt like, and the challenges she faced. I was glad she confided in me, patiently answered all my questions (including weird and silly ones) and thanked me for being a listening ear while she was transitioning.

Moral of this story: Not knowing or understanding does not equal hostility, nor stupidity. How do you change people's attitudes? Easy - treat them like you care about them, share openly and honestly, and thank them for listening.  :)

It's wonderful that you did so when your SL partner came out to you as trans and she gave you her trust. That's true in many cases. I know a few kind people who have been treated quite horribly instead, by someone who wasn't even a partner yet. No matter how openly, honestly, kindly you explain, some dude would cling on their ignorance, insult you and keep insulting, abuse the trust you gave in confidence and do worse things. There is a reason if coming out can be very challenging and painful indeed, isn't just an easy task one does, it's something where you struggle, afraid of what could happen. And suicide rate among transgender people is quite high. Your are a good person, you showed love to your partner and you were true in caring for her. Some dude just pretend instead.

Not everyone is bad though, and as you said and you show, there are indeed understanding people even from very conservative countries. And in SL people are generally more understanding. However, there is also a few that aren't. If one had good experiences, that's doesn't mean it's always the case and true for everyone. Vice-versa, if one had a bad experience, that doesn't mean that you are surrounded by predators and bad ones. Also if one has a thick skin, that doesn't mean everyone else must deal with it as you do. If your can't feel odors, other people are still sensitive to your smell.

I agree with you: not knowing doesn't mean having bad intentions. It would be a better world if we all would imagine we are talking with someone we love in the same situation, before being unwelcoming, rude or aggressive (that's true for everything). And also if we try to put ourselves in someone else's shoes to understand.

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9 hours ago, OfDragonFire said:

Of course. Please, do explain. A lot of things tend to get lost in translation. It's hard to convey emotions in text, without emoting at least.

OK. Are you listening then?

I will do this one more time and if you colour my words with your own assumptions and emotions I will tell you you are wrong and I will be done with this. OK?

It's not fair or right, but there is more than a little crap around sex and the search for sex in SL. Some of what you've experienced may be more about that and less about you're being trans. Some of it may be routine objectification of women (or those presenting as female/perceived to be female) by blokes looking to get their rocks off and saying whatever they think will get them there.

There's also some weirdness in the BDSM scene and wannabe Doms who are motivated by misogyny and anger rather than kink.

There's also some weirdness around homophobia and fear of catching the gays from bumping pose balls with a RL male.

There are people who glance at a profile and colour in whatever it says with their objectifying need to get off.

Spend enough time on sexually-orientated sims and you'll encounter at least some of that. Heck, one of my strangest experiences was on a disability sim where I'd gone to see what sort of support they offered. A random creep hit on me and was a right arse when I politely explained that I was ill and tired and really not up for it. My context, disability. The sim's context, disability. His context, me want female now.

Now before you protest that these things didn't just happen on sex sims, think about the way you'd structured your profile information. The trans side was literally surrounded by things to do with sexual RP. The way you structured it made trans secondary and subservient to the search for sex. You carried that environment around with you everywhere you went. The horndogs would see you as a likely prospect and do whatever they do. Their context.

Throughout this thread you've read your own context into pretty much everything everyone else has said. If someone wants you to teach, great, you're in your element, you're the expert, you're in charge. For those of us who thought to share a different perspective, it's been aggressive dismissal of what we've said. Your context, your emotions and the rest of us are wrong unless we agree with you and validate your experience.

Are you willing to listen to advice from other perspectives?

If you do the same thing with your interactions in SL, you're going to have a rough time of it and it will be flavoured by whatever identities you're presenting, even if it was cis-het vanilla. Learn to see what's probably about trans and what's more likely to be the f-ed up weirdnesses present in the meat markets.

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27 minutes ago, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

Are you willing to listen to advice from other perspectives?

Sometimes people just want to vent and are not looking for advice. Sometimes people just want to be heard, be seen, be understood.

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14 minutes ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Sometimes people just want to vent and are not looking for advice. Sometimes people just want to be heard, be seen, be understood.

A blog is the better route for this: A place where you can vent out your thoughts and feelings but also close down commentary.

A forum allows one to share, yes. That is not the primary purpose and is certainly not the primary purpose of the majority of this forum.

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1 hour ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Sometimes people just want to vent and are not looking for advice. Sometimes people just want to be heard, be seen, be understood.

Would you kindly take a minute to see and hear and understand me as well, Love? Just read back further on the page and notice the role the question of willingness to listen has taken in the interaction between OFD and myself. The line you singled out to comment on belongs with the rest of it. Thanks.

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2 minutes ago, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

Would you kindly take a minute to see and hear and understand me as well, Love? Just read back further on the page and notice the role the question of willingness to listen has taken in the interaction between OFD and myself. The line you singled out to comment on belongs with the rest of it. 

Ok!

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On 10/25/2018 at 10:09 PM, OfDragonFire said:

*Insert here everything you have said so far in this thread*

I would say to start living your life by the same motto I do and thats :

"If they have a problem, its their problem, its not my problem and it isn't going to stop me from being me".

I mean i'm a 30 something year old eccentric (other peoples words not mine,) alternative, "sporty gothy emoish (hair)" oddball that plays around mixes all manner of gender expressions into their look on a daily basis and I quite honestly give -4% f***s what anyone else opinion is of the way that I am. And trust me people do comment on it. I have my own band of merry little haters in my local area and I have had all manner of abhorrent phrases, comments and insults thrown at me....do I care?....not particularly. At the end of the day I'm still going to be who I am and they are the ones going home with hatred in their heart. 

Just be you and most importantly enjoy being you. One of the main problems I see in the world today is that there are too many people getting offended by too many things and getting themselves hung up on the thoughts and opinions of others. Life is way to short for that nonsense. Yes we do need to reduce the animosity that is directed at the LGBTQ* community and especially at transgender people. It saddens me greatly to hear of some of the horrendous things that trans people have to go through in this world. BUT change is something that is slowly and surely happening as more and more trans people are coming into the light to talk about their experiences and educate people on what it means to be transgender. 

However, you are never going to be able to convert every single person you meet to your way of thinking. There will always be people who will fight back against you no matter how hard you try to educate them and quite honestly those people are not worth wasting your time on. You see, putting yourself out there as "The Transgender Avenger" and stating some of the things you have in this thread is only going to make people resist you even more. Most people who have an issue with transgenderism are coming at it from a misinformed, fetishist, "Feels their manhood is threatened by it", "Omg what type of pervert wants to wear....", "death to all lefties", religious, *Insert other reasons here*, point of view (Okay the death to all lefties was a joke but still). The more angry and confrontational you get in these peoples faces the more they are going to resist and be like "Who the f** do you think you are telling me how to live my life, its my life and I dont have to accept you if I dont want to...snowflake freak...".  If you really want to convert people to your way of thinking then whatever you do DON'T play to their expected stereotype. The moment you become the angry transgender lefty that is up their face making furious demands of them is the moment you confirm everything they are already thinking about you and further enforce their own beliefs on the situation. 

My honest advice, calm down a bit. If you want to be openly transgender then by all means have at it. But come at it from a point of love, calmness and understanding. Realise that not everyone in this world whether RL or SL is as clued up on the condition as you are. And rather than react in such an emotional manner take a moment to compose yourself and invite that person to maybe ask you some questions about the condition and what it means to be trans. If however you feel that this person is someone who's mind will simply not be changed then just either walk away from the situation (RL) or block them (SL), move on from it and get on with your day. But for the love of god whatever you do DONT explode in their face and start throwing the entire "Transgender Bible" at them as that will serve no other purpose than to push them back further and increase their contempt for you and others like you.

The last thing I would like to say is that not every transgender person wants to be visible and "in the light". Most just want to be invisible and accepted as their desired gender and have enough problems with their default male / female characteristics in trying to fit in without further shining a spotlight over themselves. SL gives them a place to be able to do that so try not to get too upset if not that many come forward to help you on your crusade.

Edited by chibiusa Ling
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6 hours ago, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

OK. Are you listening then?

I will do this one more time and if you colour my words with your own assumptions and emotions I will tell you you are wrong and I will be done with this. OK?

It's not fair or right, but there is more than a little crap around sex and the search for sex in SL. Some of what you've experienced may be more about that and less about you're being trans. Some of it may be routine objectification of women (or those presenting as female/perceived to be female) by blokes looking to get their rocks off and saying whatever they think will get them there.

There's also some weirdness in the BDSM scene and wannabe Doms who are motivated by misogyny and anger rather than kink.

There's also some weirdness around homophobia and fear of catching the gays from bumping pose balls with a RL male.

There are people who glance at a profile and colour in whatever it says with their objectifying need to get off.

Spend enough time on sexually-orientated sims and you'll encounter at least some of that. Heck, one of my strangest experiences was on a disability sim where I'd gone to see what sort of support they offered. A random creep hit on me and was a right arse when I politely explained that I was ill and tired and really not up for it. My context, disability. The sim's context, disability. His context, me want female now.

Now before you protest that these things didn't just happen on sex sims, think about the way you'd structured your profile information. The trans side was literally surrounded by things to do with sexual RP. The way you structured it made trans secondary and subservient to the search for sex. You carried that environment around with you everywhere you went. The horndogs would see you as a likely prospect and do whatever they do. Their context.

Throughout this thread you've read your own context into pretty much everything everyone else has said. If someone wants you to teach, great, you're in your element, you're the expert, you're in charge. For those of us who thought to share a different perspective, it's been aggressive dismissal of what we've said. Your context, your emotions and the rest of us are wrong unless we agree with you and validate your experience.

Are you willing to listen to advice from other perspectives?

If you do the same thing with your interactions in SL, you're going to have a rough time of it and it will be flavoured by whatever identities you're presenting, even if it was cis-het vanilla. Learn to see what's probably about trans and what's more likely to be the f-ed up weirdnesses present in the meat markets.

This.

I think I'm the one who started the course change in this thread, and I did it purposely. I am not trans, but I'm female, latently gay, kinky, have trans friends, and have frequented SL meet/meat markets. I've had very little difficulty over my decade in SL for at least two reasons:

1) I'm not easily bothered by others.
2) I don't generally (I hope!) bother others.

The "Your World, Your Imagination" aspect of SL seems to invite open, creative, accepting people. The anonymity of SL seems to invite both bullies and those who're trying to escape them in RL. In this mix you can see both cause and cure for a lot of problems. The level and nature of SL harassment described by the OP runs counter to what I've experienced myself over ten years here, and indirectly through my trans friends. Reading the OP's tone and profile made me wonder if attitude might be a contributing factor, just as it's been for people of all backgrounds who come to the forum with various complaints that contradict my own SL experience.

This feels very much like...

544a37057f1e4402e89f2ae21bf93d40.gif

I did wonder whether to soften my response, but ultimately didn't. I sympathize with the OP and my trans friends and hope that's been clear in my subsequent posts. But, I think it's important to understand that seeing the world as it isn't can induce the world to become as you see it.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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Ok, since Maddy weighed in..

I personally feel like analyzing the OP’s profile then responding as a few have, smells a lot like “blaming the victim”. Are not Trans people allowed to be sexual beings? 

Just because someone has a sexual profile, doesn’t give everyone permission to objectify them. 

Please..

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1 hour ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Ok, since Maddy weighed in..

I personally feel like analyzing the OP’s profile then responding as a few have, smells a lot like “blaming the victim”. Are not Trans people allowed to be sexual beings? 

Just because someone has a sexual profile, doesn’t give everyone permission to objectify them. 

Please..

Love, would you provide quotes from this thread that smell like "blaming the victim" to you? It sounds like I'm working against myself here, and I'd like to understand where that's happening.

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1 hour ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Ok, since Maddy weighed in..

I personally feel like analyzing the OP’s profile then responding as a few have, smells a lot like “blaming the victim”. Are not Trans people allowed to be sexual beings? 

Just because someone has a sexual profile, doesn’t give everyone permission to objectify them. 

Please..

There's a difference between victim blaming and point out a lack of common sense. 

"You were wearing lipstick, therefore you were asking for it you hussy" - victim blaming

"You left the doors and windows of your house unlocked and went for a week away? Of course your house got robbed, you moron" - common sense (or a lack of)

In this particular case, I think having a massive multi-line advert for their services as a sexual slave/submissive filling your profile means you don't then get to complain when people IM you as a potential master/mistress/dominant. In fact, the specific auction house strongly recommends a potential bidder get to know a potential slave in advance. We're not talking about a vanilla dating board, we're talking about a slave auction, dehumanising objectification is not only common accepted, but expected by the vast majority of people that voluntarily put themselves up for auction.

And that's without mentioning the fact that he also advertises his escort rates, citing real life submissive experience as a key selling part. And once again, that was 100% voluntary, he chose to offer himself out as a sexual submissive on his profile.

Honestly, while as a general principle you're not wrong, in this particular instance I can't see how you could call his victim blaming. If I walked around wearing a t-shirt that said "blowjobs $20" across my front, and then a bunch of guys asked me for a *****, that's not harassment. At all. That's just potential customers. If I don't want men to expect oral sex, I wear a different t-shirt. That's just common sense.

And this is precisely what the OP has done. Except in a profile rather than on a t-shirt.

Edit: Just to be clear, I'm talking about sexual objectification only, same as everyone else. Malicious abuse is a totally different beast altogether, but that's not what anyone here has been referring to when mentioning OP's profile.

Edited by AyelaNewLife
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