Media To Transgender People: Always Listen, Never Speak

Ephrom Josine
4 min readJan 22

Given the recent rise in transphobia in western politics — ranging from various pieces of legislation on the state level which could make it illegal for transgender people to exist publicly to the government of the United Kingdom blocking Scotland from implementing pro-transgender laws — one would think now would be a good time to talk to transgender people about the issues they face. That would be the correct answer, hence why it’s one thing the media refuses to do at the moment.

Enter a 1/18/2023 article from The Atlantic running the headline “Take Detransitioners Seriously.” The article, written by self-identified “trans academics” Leo Valdes and Kinnon MacKinnon, is a masterpiece is saying absolutely fucking nothing despite managing to write thousands of words. Like — this is normally the part where I would quote from it and respond to things said in it — but it says so little that nothing in it even gives me anything to respond to. I will say, I was particularly angered by this line:

Some trans-rights advocates have likened detransitioners to the ex-gay movement or described them as anti-trans grifters.

The article then links to a piece from Slate with the headline “An ‘Ex-Detransitioner’ Disavows the Anti-Trans Movement She Helped Spark.” As the headline should make obvious, the person making this comparison is an ex-Detransitioner — you know, a former member of the group this fucking terrible article just told us we should really be listening to. But of course, when a former member of the movement tells us the movement in question is utter bullshit, then we need to stop listening to them. I find it frustrating that this article starts with the story of Chris Beck — the former Navy Seal who recently detransitioned — and how that’s being ignored, only to go on and mock somebody for daring to notice a basic pattern in a movement that they were once a part of.

There is no way to say this: The article The Atlantic published is transphobic. It talks over transgender people while holding them to a different standard than they do cisgender people, that’s quite literally the definition of transphobia. A cisgender person who used to think they were transgender is somebody we should take seriously, while a transgender person who used to think they were…

Ephrom Josine

Political Commentator; Follow My Twitter: @EphromJosine1