I wanted to title this post, “Stop Fucking Co-Opting my Experiences,” but it just wasn’t as catchy. But seriously, people need to fucking stop co-opting other people’s experiences.
You know what I’m talking about. When some well-meaning white feminist tries to tell you what your life is like as a person of color; when a person who’s naturally skinny reveals to your fat ass the magical secret to weight loss they’ve never had to use; when straight guys who like watching lesbians make out with one another act like they understand what it’s actually like to BE a lesbian–I could go on.
Bottom line: The only person who is an accurate witness to your life, your experiences, is YOU. Don’t let anyone tell you they know better. Or worst yet, don’t let anyone tell you you’re wrong or making it up.
I’m so sick of being everyone’s asshole. If I tell you I’m an introvert, don’t tell me that’s not true because I’m also a Drag King (uh, every heard of ACTING, dude?). If I tell you I’m a survivor of rape, don’t start grilling me for information and then tear holes in my story because it makes you uncomfortable (hey, getting gang-raped as a child made me pretty uncomfortable too, don’tcha ya know?). If I tell you I’ve been fat my whole life, don’t tell me I’m wrong and if I only did X, Y, Z I’d magically become the thin person I am supposedly meant to be (the only thin person inside me is the one I ate for lunch). If I tell you that people treat me differently when I present as butch versus when I present as more feminine, don’t tell me it’s all in my head (if we don’t treat the genders differently, then why do girls have to play with dolls why boys get to have race cars and science kits?)
Guess what asswipes? The only person who can accurately relay my experience moving through the world is ME. Stop telling me I’m wrong, stop telling me I must be mistaken, and for the love of God stop telling me you “doubt that.” If you don’t believe me, then get the fuck away from me and by all means, let the door smack you on the ass–or better yet, right in the head.
You want to know why I’m fat? You want to know why I’m butch? Why I’m an introvert and an empath? BECAUSE I WAS FUCKING BORN THAT WAY, DOUCHECANOE. Sure, I wasn’t born a rape survivor, but incidentally, I didn’t choose that one either. (Funny, those words and their definitions, eh? Try looking up “consent” sometime.)
And yet, folks who were not born me have no problem telling me what my experiences are (and aren’t). I mean, are people really that fucking bored nowadays? If I had so much free time that I could walk around gaslighting people all day, I’d invest it in something else… like a hobby that doesn’t involve stroking my junk and telling myself how wonderful I am constantly. Which is pretty much what you’re doing when you try and “correct” me. I mean, stick a pin in your head before you float away like a hot air balloon, for cryin’ in the sink. You’re not “saving” me in any way shape or form, unless you were attempting to save me the pleasure of an afternoon unmolested. In which case you’re right on the money, and the scourge of society.
This is my no means a problem only single or queer people experience, but I do notice that if you’re in a minority of some kind, it’s usually people who have that same kind of privilege who are all too glad to edit your testimony. White people correcting people of color, straight people correcting gay people, cisgendered people correcting trans*people, thin people correcting fat people, wealthy people correcting poor people, able-bodied people correcting handicapped people, those unaffected by violence correcting those that have been, etc. etc. etc. It’s very possible that white, heterosexual men with privilege get their experiences co-opted too. But I wouldn’t know. Why not? BECAUSE I’M NOT ONE AND I’M NOT GOING TO SPEAK FOR ANYONE BUT MYSELF.
See how easy that was? So, depending on which boat you’re in, please promptly pull your head out of your ass OR run as far as possible in the opposite direction from those who have yet to do so. And, to quote the tattoo on my wrist, “SPEAK UP!”