#queer history
pythiaswine · 2 days ago
Tumblr media Tumblr media
wip wip wip wip wip wip
!! makin more sticker icons! because i love these lads
The back of Laurens' hair in the initial sketch >>>>>
i also title this work "how do I make them not look like women 'cause boy oh boy do I love women," but it's going better than some of my other art of Hammie boy. he looks sooo feminine every time i draw him it can't be helped.
30 notes · View notes
sophiamcdougall · 23 hours ago
Tumblr media
This helps crystallise some of my unease at the backlash I see fairly regularly -- sometimes from randoms on Tumblr, but also from actual historians -- against many LGBT readings of history. This is where it all leads.
I've seen a cutesy uwu cartoon about how a medieval monk is actually more progressive than you, because he doesn't believe in "putting people into boxes." Which is of course a terrible thing to do. Even though some people have fought pretty hard for those boxes.
I've seen historians who are deeply offended at the idea that there could be anything homophobic about resisting the notion that, say, a passionate exchange of letters between two people of the same gender at least potentially indicates a sexuality we would understand as queer. "I'm not saying they were straight either!" they insist. "I'm just saying they didn't understand themselves that way and so you are being harmful if you say apply those terms to them! They didn't categorise people as gay and straight! You are being anti-intellectual if you think there is anything problematic about the idea that these identities only pop into being as they are named. " Even assuming, for starters, that it's true to say that until very recently no one really understood themselves as [whichever LGBT+ identity]...
Isaac Newton didn't understand himself as being autistic. And it is quite fair to say we can never know with absolute and final certainty if he was autistic. But we can say that autistic people existed in his time, even if unknown, and there is reason to think Newton might have been one of them. The fact that that the category was not established at the time does not mean that autistic people recognising him as perhaps one of their number are doing anything unreasonable. The idea that autistic people did not exist until they were named does not apear to be particularly widely accepted as far as I''m aware-- and thank goodness, because it is a profoundly troubling one.
The thing is "I'm not saying they were straight, I'm rejecting straightness AND gayness AND everything in between as valid categories!" isn't some academic lens that only apply to historical figures. It is highly current, applied by real, living people, to real, living people. And it tends to suck:
Tumblr media
There are exceptions, but most people -- even homophobes -- can agree that it's unfair to blame someone for something that's genuinely an inherent, inborn part of their nature. So they don't, in their own mind, persecute gay people for being gay, they don't accept that orientation of any kind exists in the first place. They believe that people are simply choosing to act a certain way. They could choose not to, and therefore it is reasonable to hold them accountable for those choices. It is therefore kind of a lot when you insist that we must not merely be aware of this belief, but effectively share it when examining same-sex relationships in the past. A frequent extension of the idea that people in the past perceived sexuality only as an action, not an identity, and that we must discard all other lenses when examining the past, is that it was also not that bad to be subject to the explicit prohibitions placed on sexual/romantic relationships between people of the same gender.
"They thought it was a sin, but not a worse sin than say, lying! Or having the wrong kind of straight sex!" Again, this is an entirely modern attitude held by (at least) millions of people.
Tumblr media
Have you talked to anyone about what it feels like to be on the receiving end of it? When there will never be any non-sinful way you can act on your sexuality? When falling in love puts you, at best, in the same category as someone obsessed with the desire to lie or to steal? (And it is worth mentioning that "theoretically not worse than [minor sin x]" does not necessarily guarantee that two sins were treated as equivalent in practice. They certainly aren't now.)
It's not wrong to remind us this way of thinking exists and has existed for a very long time, but it is galling to see it as held up as liberating or even kind of cute, when it's functionally indistinguishable from the TERF quote which prompted this whole post. Now, there can be a tendency to exaggerate the miseries of the past: all women were married at 12 (and somehow tight-laced to the point of fainting regardless of period) no one knew how to wash, and all queer people's lives were defined by oppression and possibly burnings-at-stake. Of course it is worth correcting that. Of course it is important to explore the way that queer people did manage to thrive as well as the institutional burdens placed upon them. But to do that you have to be able to name them, and to recognise continuities both in identities and in suppressions of them. Finally, before someone says otherwise -- I am not saying we have necessarily arrived at a final, perfect end point in our understanding of sexuality and identity! I understand myself as an ADHD, bi woman. The traits that lead me to identify myself thus existed before I found names for them and, I assert, would exist if I had never found them. But if some future age is able to look at those traits and others I am unable to even pinpoint, and armed with greater knowledge and precision they say "maybe, she was actually what we would call [x]" -- fine! Good! In fact I ardently hope someone comes up with a more accurate name for the appallingly inadequate and clumsy "ADHD". But, these inner experiences are real, they are part of me as they have been part of uncountable people throughout history, whether named or not.
26 notes · View notes
marzipanandminutiae · a month ago
seriously I had some little TikTok teenybopper burst out laughing on my tour because I said that a historical figure was “most likely what we’d now call gay”
you’re free to take a ouija board out to the cemetery and try to explain the dizzying array of current queer terms and get a solid answer as to how he identifies within that framework but 
until then, I’m going to continue NOT definitively assigning someone identity terms they didn’t self-identify with, and might not have even known, when I’m responsible for representing them faithfully and they’re not here to correct me. even more so when they’re part of my own community
I mean, you know, as long as that’s okay with you. Bestie.
61K notes · View notes
spino-sascha-the-sequel · 9 months ago
Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media
This is Doris Pollas, the cofounder of the organisation now known as lgbt+ Denmark which by being founded in 1948 is one of the oldest if not the oldest queer organisation in the world.
Doris lived in a farm in Jutland as a child. She was always butch and figured out she was a lesbian in her teens. When she heard about a club in copenhagen where boys kissed boys and girls kissed girls she went just some months after and it was through that club she started a paper connecting queer people all up to seventies and co founded lgbt+ Denmark.
She is now 97 year and wishes for every queer person to have an as loving and accepting family as she did.
I don’t see a lot of older gays from my country, so learning about Doris, a masc lesbian, was really nice.
84K notes · View notes
alexseanchai · 2 months ago
The settlement gives Tumblr 180 days to hire an expert on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) issues and provide related training to moderators. It must also hire someone with experience in this area as well as expertise in image classification, who will review Tumblr’s moderation algorithms to see if they’re more likely to flag LGBTQ content. As part of an overall review, Tumblr will reexamine 3,000 old cases where a user successfully appealed a takedown, looking for patterns that could indicate bias.
Article dated 2022 February 25.
11K notes · View notes
365daysoflesbians · 5 months ago
Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media
Flirting in the Photo Booth by Ratrusty
9K notes · View notes
makingqueerhistory · 7 months ago
Someone replied to one of our recent posts:
“Agree with most of this but would like to point out that a part of the push to make Pride less sexual is to make it a safe space for queer children and to help straights realize being queer isn’t just about fetishes.“
(The person is not tagged because I don’t want to send any hate to them, and the reply isn’t being responded to directly because Tumblr has made that near impossible)
When I came out, my mom told me I couldn’t tell my little sister because it was too sexual.
Later, I moved to the “Big City”, what I hoped to be a haven for queer people. I was with one of the first queer friends my wife and I had made in the city, we had just watched their wrestling debut, and had gone to their apartment afterwards with a group of strangers. Some this group our friend had told us behind the scenes were much more right wing causing our friend to keep parts of their queer identity under wraps.
Our friend suddenly turned to us and began scolding us, telling me and my wife that one of their coworkers at the city Pride Centre had approached them and told them that she had seen me and my wife kiss, and we needed to cut it out with the PDA.
I nodded in front of this group of strangers and when I could no longer hold my tears back I excused myself to the bathroom, cried and waited there until it was no longer obvious I had been crying. We hurried out.
The kiss in question was a goodbye kiss, as my wife went back to campus, and I don’t remember it. I have always been rather shy with PDA and don’t think it could have been much more than a peck. The coworker later told our friend that she was going through a bad breakup and our friend later explained that this was actually the reason for the complaint.
I have never felt safe in queer spaces since. Talking to the same friend later, they asked me and my wife to chaperone the Queer Prom and without thinking I assured them we would make sure not to hold hands or dance while we were there so it would stay “a safe space for children”.
When I was a child, I stumbled into a pride parade and was shocked and upset by the men in gold short shorts. My uncle apologized for letting me see something so sexual and awful.
Every single thing queer people do is “about fetishes” to people who hate queerness. Being less sexual is not going to change that.
I had seen short shorts before. I would see them again, and no one would apologize for that. The thing I was being kept “safe” from was not overly sexual behaviour, and considering there are already laws against indecent exposure, the same is true for children now.
Keeping theoretical children safe has been the justification for the continuing genocide against queer people all around the globe, so this rhetoric is not harmless. It has been used to put queer people in labour camps and slaughter them. 
I have nothing to prove to “straights” and I was the “queer child” who was horrified by the pride parades. As an adult, the discomfort I felt at seeing queer people existing happily and authentically in short shorts, is not something I needed to be kept safe from.
This nonsense is nothing more or less than the same moral panic that has killed queer people throughout history.
12K notes · View notes
helenasurvives · 11 months ago
queer is literally a slur. like you’ve never been called that in a derogatory context like most lgbt people? you think your experiences escaping homophobia make it okay to justify the use of a homophobic slur?
queer is an identity.
it has also been used as a slur. there is no denying that. but using a word as a slur does not make it a slur. because before queer is a slur it is an identity. before it is derogatory it is a label. the use of queer as an identity is infinitely more important than the use of queer as a slur because the people who identify as queer are infinitely more important than the people who use queer as a slur.
say a lot of people decided they hated me. despised me. were disgusted by me to the point where my own name became a slur. would you tell me not to say it? would you tell me i could no longer be helena, and instead must come up with a euphemism for the name that belonged to me decades before it belonged in the mouths of bigots?
because that would make you an enabler.
you would tell me i can’t say my name anymore because some lowlife decided he could use it to insult me?
you would tell a gay man that he can’t be gay anymore because some teens in the early 2000’s started calling everything they didn’t like “gay”, and now he has to say “same sex oriented male identifying individual”?
does that enrage you? because it should. that’s exactly how you sound.
you are telling me i cannot use my label. you are telling me that when my great-uncle shouted until his face was red and he spat tobacco and the word queer at my feet, he was right. he was right to insult me, and i was wrong to say my name.
you are shitting on every single one of our predecessors. you are slandering every person who fought for their rights to exist and and be tolerated and be celebrated in their countries, every person who was lost to the aids epidemic, every person whose country criminalizes love and gender expression, every child whose parents abandoned them for straying from the norm, every person who was born and will die in the closet longing to be themselves. the queer umbrella is a safety net, a security blanket, the comfort of being known without being pressured to tell. it is near and dear and important as fuck to every member of the lgbt+ community and you are a blight upon the earth you walk.
how dare you speak upon my experiences with homophobia. how dare you disguise your own homophobia as activism. and how fucking dare you have the audacity to come to my blog and hide behind an anonymous ask and preach to me about how i’m oppressing myself. go look at the fucking wikipedia page for queer and read about how 1980s lgbt+ activists, especially lgbt+ people of color, fought to call themselves queer in a world that still hates peculiar things. and here you are forty years later spitting queer back at their feet.
i don’t give a fuck if people start using my name as a slur. my name is still helena. i will not change it. i chose it, i like it, and it belongs to me. it does not belong to bigots no matter how badly they want it. your discomfort with my identity is not my fucking problem.
i am helena. i am queer. die mad & go fuck yourself
34K notes · View notes
princesskuragina · a year ago
Sometimes I think about lesbian icon renée vivien laughing so hard she had to leave a lecture bc the man was talking about how a book of anonymously published love poetry was the pinnacle depiction of a young man's desire towards women...... but it was her book. She wrote it. About her girlfriend.
115K notes · View notes
jackbr1ghtt · 3 months ago
It’s easy to say trans men did nothing for queer history when you keep erasing us and labeling us as queer woman
3K notes · View notes
stormysapphic · 16 days ago
Tumblr media
illustration from come out!, the first lgbt periodical published post-stonewall. vol. 1, issue 1, 1969.
2K notes · View notes
syrren · a year ago
Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media
A comic adaptation of Zoe Leonard’s “I want a dyke for president” (1992) 
50K notes · View notes
decolonize-the-left · 3 months ago
I haven't seen any posts about this but with how many gays are on this damn site... I should have.
Time to pay some respect to your elders.
Tumblr media
This is Arnie Kantrowitz. Gay. Icon. Legend. Pioneer.
Listen okay. First he taught for 41 years. Openly gay about it. Made all his baby gay students feel good about themselves. It was his passion, his longest term activism.
Then. Then you wanna know what he did?
Kantrowitz got involved with the gay rights movement shortly after the 1969 Stonewall riots that marked the movement’s birth. In 1970, he joined the Gay Activists Alliance, becoming the organization’s vice president. As an English professor at the College of Staten Island, Kantrowitz created one of the first gay studies courses in higher education in 1973. He later became the chairman of the college’s English department. In 1986, Kantrowitz was among the founders of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). He wrote the 1977 memoir “Under the Rainbow: Growing Up Gay,” one of the first LGBTQ activists’ memoirs. He also wrote the 2005 biography “Walt Whitman: Gay and Lesbian Writers,” as well as publishing a number of essays in newspapers, magazines, and books. Kantrowitz was elected grand marshal of the Staten Island Gay Pride parade in 2009.  
“Students came to me with their secrets and, you know, I was as supportive as I could be,” Mr. Kantrowitz said, “and encouraging them, saying, ‘I survived and you will, too.’”
1940 - 2022
Tumblr media
2K notes · View notes
pantone-palette · 6 months ago
Hey guys, if you have the time please click this link and go view the AIDS memorial quilt. As of last year, all 1.2 million feet of the quilt has been photographed and made viewable to the public.
As such a cornerstone to our community as queer people, the AIDS quilt was a sign of love and remembrance of all who were lost. And for some, with no solution in sight. What a wonder science is, because living as HIV/AIDS positive is no longer a death sentence. It is a treatable and manageable disease. We can live full and happy long lives and not transmit the disease.
When it was intitially unveiled, the quilt had about 2,000 panels and it was now bloomed into 48,000. The majority of them measuring 6'3". About the size of a grave.
I urge you to take the time to treasure, understand, and support our community. As their lives and the queer movement- have brought undoubtable freedom as we live in our own.
Making a quilt can take countless of hours. And a quilt of this size, it's a whole generations worth.
Love your queer elders. Love your gay history. Live free, today.
6K notes · View notes
eliochalametsstuff · 11 months ago
Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media
This pictures makes me happy
10K notes · View notes
internetfriend · 3 months ago
Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media Tumblr media
photos taken from west hollywood pride parades (1987-1995) by alan light
2K notes · View notes
nothorses · 2 months ago
Let's Talk About Bæddels: A Comprehensive Retrospective
(This post on Medium)
(@thequeer-quill's video reading)
This post is not claiming that trans women do not suffer, or do not suffer as much as other groups of trans people. It is not claiming that all trans women are Baeddels (or adjacent), nor is it claiming that trans women oppress anyone else.
Transmisogyny is real, and requires much more acknowledgement than it currently receives. The trans community is very much capable of transmisogyny, and often does enact or enable it; likewise, trans people also often enact and enable transphobia against other parts of the trans community.
If you take only one thing from the following, take this:
We all need to work on being better allies to each other. None of us can gain anything without the rest of us.
Setting the Stage for Baeddelism
We can’t talk about Baeddelism without talking about Tumblr user @monetizeyourcat (“Cat”), and the ideology she popularized on the website in the early 2010’s.
Cat was a loud voice with a huge blog in the early days of Tumblr. Most of her popular content was humor-based, but she also championed an ideology that synthesized certain aspects of feminism, transfeminism, and communist ideals. Cat’s ideology is better explained here, and can be further explored here, but this is the foundation:
Manhood is inherently oppressive, and cannot exist outside the context of oppression.
Gender can be, to some extent, a choice.
Because of the above, one’s gender is an ethical choice with ethical consequences.
Being a man is, therefore, ethically harmful and wrong; particularly if you are giving up womanhood in order to be a man.
Being a woman is, therefore, ethically correct; particularly if you are giving up manhood in order to be a woman.
You may recognize some of the ideas here as a version of Radical Feminism: namely, the idea that manhood/men are inherently oppressive, and that womanhood/women are inherently victims.
All Cat had to do was map Radical Feminism onto the trans community. If manhood is Bad, and men are Bad, then trans men who reject womanhood in favor of becoming men are Bad. If womanhood is Good, and women are Good, then trans women who reject manhood in favor of womanhood are The Best. Which, of course, would also explain why society hates them more than any other trans person (something taken for granted by Cat and many others at the time).
This foundation was built upwards into a more complicated system of beliefs: cis men were viewed as “potential trans women”, people who did not yet know whether they were trans, had not made that choice, and could, conceivably, still choose to be women. As such, cis men were often seen as “better” than trans men. Trans men were encouraged to detransition, men in general were encouraged to reject their manhood in favor of womanhood, and “sissification” became a hallmark “joke” that the community forming around Cat latched onto.
The “gender is a choice” part of this ideology is a bit hard for most trans people to swallow, and Cat herself did not entirely ascribe to the idea that gender was always a choice. Still, even if men were intrinsically and inherently men, and even if they couldn’t simply choose not to be men the way she had, the idea remained that the so-called “ethical consequences” of being a man, and the harm this did to The Collective, vastly outweighed the personal harm suffered by “remaining” or “becoming” a woman. It was, in short, more ethical to suffer dysphoria in pursuit of womanhood than it was to accept one’s manhood.
It’s unclear whether Cat ever identified as a Baeddel, and she certainly didn’t begin the movement herself. She was definitely close to it, though, and many attest that her ideology constituted the building blocks of the Baeddelism movement.
Establishing an Ideology
Tumblr media
The first post on Baeddelism was by Tumblr user @unobject, on October 2nd, 2013, and liked by @lezzyharpy, also one of the original Baeddels:
Tumblr media Tumblr media
(Credit to @AcesArosandEnbies)
This post first provided the name and defining ideology of the Baeddel movement. The conclusion drawn from the post was, essentially, that because the root of the word “bad” was “baeddel”, and because “baeddel” referred to intersex people and “womanish men”, this old English slur was proof that transmisogyny was the worst form of bigotry; and even, perhaps, the root of all bigotry. (It’s worth noting that this etymology is likely inaccurate and ahistorical, along with problematic in several other ways.)
While @unobject was the first person to make this connection, @autogynephile (“Eve”) eventually became, in essence, the figurehead of the movement. Of the other Baeddels, some of them were explicitly aware and supportive of the ideology behind Baeddelism, some of them were young or newly-out trans women seduced by the personalities involved, and some of them were tangential enough to the movement that they didn’t really even know what it was. Baeddelism was a sort of trend, for a time, and many participants wore the name without entirely knowing what it meant.
It’s important to acknowledge that as much as there were dedicated members of Baeddelism, and as much as there was a unified ideology behind it, there were also individual Baeddels who did not understand- let alone support- the ideology.
That said…
The Belief System
Baeddels essentially built upon the foundation of @monetizeyourcat’s ideology that had been gaining traction on Tumblr in the years prior, with some additions that ultimately defined their movement:
Transmisogyny is the form of oppression from which all (or most) other forms of oppression stem.
Privilege is granted on the basis of assigned sex. (“AFAB” or “Assigned Female at Birth” vs. “AMAB” or “Assigned Male at Birth”)
These fundamentals of Baeddelism were essentially a rebranded form of Radical Feminism, much like Cat’s ideology. In particular, they drew from the Radical Feminist idea that misogyny was the “primary” form of oppression; that which all other oppression stemmed from. Baeddels only tweaked this idea to replace “misogyny” with “transmisogyny”, which led to the rest of the conclusions Baeddels drew:
Men are inherently oppressors, and women are inherently oppressed.
Trans women are inherently victims.
Because only AMAB people can experience transmisogyny, they are inherently more oppressed than AFAB people.
“AFAB Privilege”: The idea that within the queer and/or trans community, AFAB people receive unique privilege and positions of power that AMAB people do not.
There is no “transphobia” separate from “transmisogyny”. All transphobia stems from transmisogyny first, and transphobia as it impacts non-transfeminine trans people is incidental at most.
It’s important to note that these ideas were not all as universal as the first two, and different individual Baeddels held them to different extents.
Trans Lesbian Separatism
… was what the movement was ultimately defined by, as the logical conclusion of their other beliefs (much like Lesbian Separatism was the logical conclusion of Radical Feminist beliefs).
Baeddels believed that only trans women can understand, or be truly safe for, other trans women; therefore, contact with anyone who was not a trans woman was deemed “dangerous” and highly discouraged.
Trans Men
… also played an important role in Baeddel ideology, and the resulting treatment of trans men is what is often remembered today. Baeddels generally believed the following, either explicitly or implictly:
Trans men are not oppressed, nor marginalized at all.
Trans men do not experience transmisogyny.
Trans men do not experience misogyny, even prior to transition.
Trans men have access to male privilege.
Trans men have an easier time passing, and frequently go “stealth”; thus benefiting from male privilege as well as cis privilege.
Trans men are often (or always) misogynistic and transmisogynistic, and are not held accountable for this.
Trans men actively “choose” manhood even when presented with the “option” of womanhood.
Trans men oppress cis women.
Trans women enacting violence on trans men is “punching up” at oppressors, and therefore not only permitted, but encouraged.
Trans men become aggressive and violent when they go on testosterone HRT.
Nonbinary People
… are often overlooked when summarizing Baeddelism, but Baeddels did have plenty to say about them. Baeddel ideology relied on the idea that privilege was granted on the bases of assigned sex, and nonbinary people’s genders were thus treated as irrelevent; they essentially did not believe nonbinary people truly existed.
CAFAB nonbinary people are either trans men attempting to invade women’s spaces, or cis women pretending to be trans.
CAMAB nonbinary people are actually just trans women who haven’t accepted it yet. They must transition, or they are transmisogynistic.
Tumblr media
Intersex People
Intersex experiences, and intersex history, were often co-opted and erased by Baeddelism. This was often more a byproduct of their beliefs than an overtly-stated idea, but most notably, the term “Baeddel” itself is likely more applicable- if not exclusively applicable- to intersex people, rather than trans women. Making their reclamation of it as a “transmisogynistic slur”, or their claim that the word’s existence means that “transmisogyny is the root of all oppression”, incredibly ignorant- if not actively harmful misinformation.
Notably, Baeddels also believed that intersex people- being “more androgynous” (a harmful misonception)- were able to pass more easily as the opposite assigned sex, and that intersex people even within transfemme spaces had “intersex privilege”. Some even believed, and openly claimed, that intersex people were “hermaphroditic”; a slur against intersex people, and typically implying that the individual has both sets of reproductive systems simultaneously.
Trans Women
… did not receive universally positive treatment, either. Baeddelism was very much a cult-like group built around the firmly-held conviction that they were absolutely correct, and that anyone who disagreed with them was The Enemy. Trans women who disagreed with them were generally seen as brainwashed and self-hating, and trans women who did agree with them were expected to subjugate themselves to the ringleaders of the movement.
Within Baeddel circles, trans women were most frequently victimized by the abusers allowed to run rampant because “trans women do not, and cannot, harm anyone else.” - Including, apparently, each other.
“They were also bad shitty abusive people in general. “… a bunch of them passed around a pile of smear campaigns and false rumors about virtually any trans woman that they had a even the slightest animosity for. Including the victim of the kinkster rapist. They’ve done other fucked stuff, like chased two twoc off this site for trying to make a zine, but yeah. That’s like, just some of it. I’m not up for going over the messy details of the whole shitparade “Full disclosure, I made a lot of excuses for these sacks of crap, even while they were out there spreading false crap about me […] I wasn’t aware of the worst shit they were doing until much much later." - @punlich
Inside the Movement
Though individual Baeddels often existed in vastly different social circles from each other- particularly offline- those who lived through the movement highlight commonalities in their experiences.
One interviewee recounts the manipulation present in their initial involvement with the movement:
“It came to me at a point where I was very quick to weaponize anything anyone told me about their experiences, because I was always a fighter. I’ve been an activist for a long time, you know, and when these trans women would come to me with their experiences I would believe them. I wanted to. But the way they acted didn’t add up when compared to what they were saying. I felt really lonely there, and stupid all the time. I felt like I was being a bad trans person.” […] “Online they were more willing to say things that were, for lack of a better word, stupid. They would say things that lacked any kind of logical sense. But in person, they would go into this kind of toxic femininity- this weaponization of weakness. And I think that’s because online they were often in these echochambers, but in person they had to rely on much more subtle manipulation.” - Vera
It seems at points that the environment created within this movement- and the social circles that composed it- was almost cult-like in nature and in need for control.
“It was very isolating. I didn’t see my friends for a while, I was kind of just living with them, cooking and cleaning for them, starving myself, and slowly growing crazy. I was just being consumed by this weird academia and theory that had no basis, because everything was online and Tumblr-based.” - Vera
When Bæddels Took Them: An interview and reflection on the Bæddelism movement
Perhaps most chilling, however, are the patterns in their attitudes toward sexual assault. One interviewer recounts being subject to sexual assault, and upon posting about their experience to a Facebook group, being met with hostility from Baeddels present in the group- who quickly used their social influence to have them banned from some of their only support systems at the time.
“I ended up with pretty much no one to talk to about the experience at a time when I was already really, really struggling, and it’s one of several factors that led to me dropping out. “The Baeddel who got me banned also messaged me directly at some point during all of this, and I tried to get her to understand the pain she was causing me. She basically laughed it off and said it was my fault. She seemed to find a lot of joy in how much it hurt me, and blocked me soon after.” - Anonymous
Another recounts sexual consent violations from a friend-turned-Baeddel:
“[My ex-friend] had previously been fetish-mining me for her mommy kink. I was freshly estranged from my own mum, and she stepped in to be like, “I’m your new mum now,” and would pester me to call her “mum” in Welsh- as at that point she was going by a Welsh name. I played along, but it transpired that she was basically using that to get off, and she had a thing for infantilising transmascs and being this mum/mom figure.” - Luke
And yet another interviewee discusses verbal sexual harassment during interactions with another Baeddel:
“I had one [Baeddel] directly tell me that I’m beneath her as a trans man, and that I should “Shut my smelly cooch up” and only use my voice to uplift trans women. I was a minor at the time. “She then sicced her followers on me, and they bombarded me with messages telling me I’d “never be a real man”, that I needed to “sit on the side and allow them to have the spotlight”, and even telling me to kill myself- because I was inherently toxic to them. I was 16 years old, pre everything, and I couldn’t even pass at the time. They didn’t seem to care that I was a minor, or a newly hatched egg.” - Anonymous
Brushes with Bæddels: Recalling the Bæddel movement
While Baeddel ideology itself does not explicitly condone or excuse sexual assault, it’s striking how common these stories are; especially considering how small in numbers actual Baeddels were.
It was, in fact, this exact problem that would eventually cause the movement to dissolve.
The Downfall of Baeddelism
Sometime between the group’s formation in 2013 and their downfall near the end of 2014, @autogynephile (also “Eve”), the defacto “ringleader” of the Baeddel movement, began what Baeddels referred to as a “transbian safehouse”.
This was apparently intended as a place for unhoused trans woman lesbians and trans women who, in general, had sworn off contact with men; the ultimate goal of the lesbian separatist ideology at the core of the Baeddel movement. It was thus also referred to as a “commune” by some, and as a “cult” by others.
One occupant of the “safehouse”- Elle- later posted to Tumblr that they had been raped by Eve during their stay, and detailed their experiences.
The Baeddels, rather than believing the victim and ousting the rapist from their movement, chose to close ranks around Eve.
Tumblr media
Various reasons were given for this:
The victim must be lying
The victim- and anyone who believed them- was simply transmisogynistic.
Anyone who disagrees with the Baeddels is an Enemy Of The Movement, a “carceral thinker”, and a danger to trans women as a whole.
Trans women are incapable of sexually abusing anyone.
“Standing with Eve” was the ultimate sign of loyalty to the movement, and thus a mark of pride and honor.
It was okay to keep being a Baeddel no matter what, because Rape Accusations Should Be A Personal Matter.
(You can read more about Eve’s own denial of these events here and here.)
Years later, even people involved in the initial group have spoken out against the movement and actions of those involved:
Tumblr media Tumblr media
(@lezzyharpy was one of the original Baeddels, and one of the first people to like the first “Baeddel” post by @unobject).
This was not the only instance of abuse by people associated with Baeddelism.
Elle posted their statement on August 4th, 2014; between that time and September of the same year, another user by the name of Quinn posted about her own experiences with abuse at the hands of @monetizeyourcat. Cat’s roommates in Seattle posted about their experiences with Cat shortly after Quinn did. Both parties alleged that Cat had been a manipulative and abusive roommate, friend, and partner.
Cat first attempted to argue the accusations, then later admitted that they were true and left the site. Her blog still contains her parting message. It has been pointed out that this is not necessarily an action taken in good faith and desire for growth.
The reception of her abuse allegations followed a similar pattern to Eve’s: people who ascribed to her ideology, Baeddels included, believed that Cat was not and could not have been abusive, as a trans woman. Others ignored warnings about her past and potential future actions, citing transmisogyny as the reason she must have been accused at all.
It has also been pointed out that Cat’s ideology (and, relatedly, Baeddel ideology) was extremely conducive to abuse- if not entirely constructed in order to allow abuse.
Why It Matters, and Why Baeddelism Never Really Fell
Baeddelism itself has seen multiple attempts at resurgences by various individuals, including documented experiences with self-proclaimed Baeddels as recently as 2018- well after the movement first “fell” in 2014.
Most proponents of “Baeddelism 2.0”, a revival of the original movement, argue that the abuse that occurred within the original movement was either completely fabricated by detractors (sound familiar?) or, at minimum, not actually inherent to the ideology.
And, of course, there are some original Baeddels still active on Tumblr today.
Baeddelism never actually went away.
“Baeddelism” was only one name for a set of beliefs that existed long before the specific term did, and hasn’t gone anywhere since the original Baeddel movement died down.
What the Baeddels did was put a name to the ideology @monetizeyourcat was cultivating before them, and what Cat did was popularize, centralize, and justify a way of thinking that had existed before she ever made her blog.
This ideology has since been referred to, loosely, as “TIRF-ism”: Trans-Inclusive Radical Feminism.
It is rare that anyone actually refers to themselves as a “TIRF”, and there is no real centralized TIRF movement; rather, a loose collection of radical feminist beliefs circulates various transgender spaces. The validity of these beliefs is generally taken for granted: of course (trans) women are The Most Oppressed People; of course (trans) women are Inherently and Unequivocally Victims In All Situations; of course (trans) men are Inherently Oppressors; of course (trans) men are Dangerous and Evil… and so on.
Like Radical Feminism, and subsequently Trans-Exlcusive Radical Feminism (TERF-ism), those ideas are fundamentally dangerous.
The defining tenants of radical feminism are that misogyny is the root of all oppression, and that rather than misogyny being an issue of power and control on a society-wide level, it is instead, or also, a matter of oppression and privilege on an individual level: men are always oppressors, and women are always victims.
These beliefs fundamentally exclude and erase the experiences of other marginalized people.
Namely, people of color and indigenous people, who’s experiences with and concepts of gender do not fall within the strict and rigid lines that white, western, colonialist people’s do.
Radical feminism is not a redeemable ideology. It cannot be reshaped into something good. It is fundamentally broken, and the movements born from it- lesbian separatism, political lesbianism, TERF-ism, TIRF-ism, and Baeddelism- are proof enough of that. They each promote only surface-level variations of what is fundamentally cult-like thinking: only the in-group can be victimized. Only the in-group is safe; the out-group is inherently and universally dangerous. Only the in-group understands you. All members of the in-group are, fundamentally, incapable of abuse.
We cannot allow these ideas to be perpetuated within or without the trans community.
Learn the Signs & Prevent the Harm
Tumblr media
Here’s what we can do to prevent this from happening again:
Learn what Baeddel ideology and TIRFism look like, even detached from the name.
Learn what radical feminism looks like, even detached from the name. Even from people who claim to oppose radical feminism.
Act on dogwhistles. Call them what they are.
Do not allow people to downplay the harm all forms of Radical Feminism have caused. Remind each other that Radical Feminism is not a redeemable ideology, and seek out other branches of feminism instead.
Remember the harm that has been caused. Remember that it will be caused again if these things are allowed to go unchecked.
Listen to and uplift marginalized people. Allow them to speak to their own experiences, identify their own needs, and name their own oppression.
Remember who the real oppressors are, and do not pit marginalized people against each other. The people perpetuating and benefiting from transphobia are cis people- and more specifically, cis people in power.
Build solidarity with other marginalized people. One group of trans people cannot gain liberation without liberating all trans people, and one group of trans people cannot be targeted without the rest of us suffering as well.
Remember that there is no group or identity incapable of enacting abuse, violence, harassment, or other harm against another. Victimhood should not be determined based solely on an individual’s identity.
Remember that there are no acceptable targets for violence, cruelty, harassment, and abuse.
Red Flags to watch out for:
Using, or interacting with people who use, “Baeddel” as any form of self-description.
Downplaying the harm original Baeddels did: calling them “misled”, their actions “mistakes”, etc. without acknowledging the specific issues.
Obfuscating, ignoring, or erasing the abuse and rape allegations against members of the Baeddel movement.
Obfuscating, ignoring, or erasing the harm done to other transfemmes by Baeddels.
Dismissing, erasing, punishing/ostracizing, disavowing, or treating with suspicion transfeminine people who do not agree with Baeddel or radfem ideology. Insisting all or most transfemmes agree with Baeddel or radfem ideas.
Claiming TERFs only target, harm, or have ill will for trans women/transfemmes. Using “TWERF” or “TWEF” instead of “TERF”.
Claiming transmasculine people should not have any say in conversations about misogyny, transphobia, and/or TERFs.
Talking about “AFAB Privilege”, or otherwise implying that AFAB people share any qualities aside from being assigned female at birth.
Referring to trans people by AGAB, TME/TMA distinction, or even transfemme/transmasc frequently or exclusively; actively erasing or not allowing room for nonbinary and intersex experiences that do not fall within those binaries.
Implying men- cis or trans- would be better if they were made into women instead.
Implying attraction to men, or being a man, is somehow a “curse” or a “burden”, or otherwise unfortunate.
Implying a fear of men, including trauma-induced phobias, should never be healed from or sought treatment for. Implying men, cis or trans, cannot also experience trauma around men.
Treating trans men or transmasculine people as “acceptable targets” in any way; for harassment, for abuse, for misgendering, for inducing dysphoria, etc.
Implying transmasc dysphoria is “toxic masculinity”
Characterizing transmascs as hysterical, whiny, delusional, crazy, or otherwise using feminine stereotypes.
Implying it is femininity, specifically, that is targeted by the patriarchy; that feminine people are targeted more than masculine people, etc.
Using “listen to transfemmes” to silence other groups of trans people, and otherwise implying transfemmes are a monolith who happen to agree with you.
In general: espousing the ideas, fundamental or otherwise, that defined the Baeddel movement. (including TIRF and radical feminist ideology)
This list is not comprehensive, nor is any one thing on this list 100% certain to indicate that someone is a Baeddel- or if they are, that they are necessarily dangerous. It’s important to keep in mind how many people are groomed into this movement and abused within it; some of those who espouse Baeddel rhetoric may themselves be victimized by others.
But until we recognize these ideas for what they are and where they’ve come from, history can only repeat itself.
Educate Yourself and Others
It would take a long, long time and a lot more space to detail all of the damage done, the people hurt, and the dangers of continuing to allow these ideas to be perpetuated. Instead, I have compiled some resources and references.
I urge you to check these out, bookmark them for later, or whatever else works for you! (They’re also all much, much shorter reads than this has been.)
@baeddel-txt and @rejectedbaeddeldiscourse, two blogs dedicated to documenting various posts and beliefs held by original Baeddels.
Another blog’s tag for Baeddel history.
Baeddel.net, another archive of Baeddelism.
@AcesArosEnbies thread, and @gothmyths thread, on Baeddelism.
@quinndolyn’s recount of Baeddelism.
My own post on the origins of the Baeddel movement.
My own post including posts from Baeddels (and others) as recently as 2018.
An archive of assorted Baeddel posts.
1K notes · View notes
makingqueerhistory · 5 months ago
it's transmisogynist of you to assume you can say something is or isn't "TERF rhetoric" when neither of you are transfem.
come at the problem from a different angle
Since the beginning of this project, I have made a point not to discuss my own life in depth. You have no way of knowing my gender, whether I am cisgender, transgender, genderfluid, or nonbinary. You also know almost nothing about the gender of Dean, the editor of this project. This assumption that both of us are cisgender is not harmless.
Remember Becky Abertalli? She is the author of Simon VS. The Homo sapiens Agenda, well I want to quote something she wrote:
"Having your book adapted to a film brings a lot of notoriety and attention, especially online, and it’s not always the fun kind. Unsurprisingly, there was quite a bit of discourse about my identity — how could there not be? Love, Simon was the first gay teen rom com to be released widely by a major film studio, and it was based on a book written by an allocishet woman. Yes, the film’s director was openly gay. No, not everyone cared (frankly, a lot of people still don’t know Love, Simon was based on a book). But in many online spaces, my straightness was a springboard for some — legitimately important — conversations about representation, authenticity, and ownership of stories. And for some people, my straightness was enough to boycott the film entirely.
Then Leah on the Offbeat came out about a month later, and the discourse exploded all over again. There were thinkpieces based on the premise that I, a straight woman, clearly knew nothing about being a bi girl. There were tweets and threads and blog posts, and just about every single one I came across mentioned my straightness. And when Leah debuted on the NYT list, authors I admired and respected tweeted their disappointment that this “first” had been taken by a straight woman. Of course, Leah wasn’t the first f/f YA book to hit the New York Times list. And maybe people were wrong about the other stuff too. But the attention and scrutiny were so overwhelming, and it all hurt so badly, I slammed the lid down on that box and forgot I’d ever cracked it open.
At least I didn’t remember I remembered.
I deleted the sexuality labels from my website. I declined to answer certain questions in interviews. I’d get quietly, passionately indignant when people made assumptions about other authors’ gender identities and sexualities. And I’d feel uncomfortable, anxious, almost sick with nerves every time they discussed mine.
And holy shit, did people discuss. To me, it felt like there was never a break in the discourse, and it was often searingly personal. I was frequently mentioned by name, held up again and again as the quintessential example of allocishet inauthenticity. I was a straight woman writing shitty queer books for the straights, profiting off of communities I had no connection to.
Because the thing is, I called myself straight in a bunch of early interviews.
But labels change sometimes. That’s what everyone always says, right? It’s okay if you’re not out. It’s okay if you’re not ready. It’s okay if you don’t fully understand your identity yet. There’s no time limit, no age limit, no one right way to be queer.
And yet a whole lot of these very same people seemed to know with absolute certainty that I was allocishet. And the less certain I was, the more emphatically strangers felt the need to declare it. Apparently it was obvious from my writing. Simon’s fine, but it was clearly written by a het. You can just tell. Her books aren’t really for queer people.
You know what’s a mindfuck? Questioning your sexual identity in your thirties when every self-appointed literary expert on Twitter has to share their hot take on the matter. Imagine hundreds of people claiming to know every nuance of your sexuality just from reading your novels. Imagine trying to make space for your own uncertainty. Imagine if you had a Greek chorus of internet strangers propping up your imposter syndrome at every stage of the process.
The thing is, I really do believe in the value of critically discussing books, particularly when it comes to issues of representation. And I believe in the vital importance of Ownvoices stories. Most of the identities represented in my books are Ownvoices. But I don’t think we, as a community, have ever given these discussions the care and nuance they deserve.
Consider the origin of the Ownvoices hashtag. It was created in 2015 by author Corinne Duyvis, with the purpose of highlighting stories written by authors who share the same marginalized identities as their characters. But Corinne has always emphasized caution when it comes to using Ownvoices to determine which authors can tell which stories. And she’s been incredibly clear and emphatic about not weaponizing the term to pressure authors to disclose private aspects of their identities.
So why do we keep doing this? Why do we, again and again, cross the line between critiquing books and making assumptions about author identities? How are we so aware of invisible marginalization as a hypothetical concept, but so utterly incapable of making space for it in our community?
Let me be perfectly clear: this isn’t how I wanted to come out. This doesn’t feel good or empowering, or even particularly safe. Honestly, I’m doing this because I’ve been scrutinized, subtweeted, mocked, lectured, and invalidated just about every single day for years, and I’m exhausted. And if you think I’m the only closeted or semi-closeted queer author feeling this pressure, you haven’t been paying attention.
And I’m one of the lucky ones! I’m a financially independent adult. I can’t be disowned. I come from a liberal family, I have an enormous network of queer friends and acquaintances, and my livelihood isn’t even remotely at risk. I’m hugely privileged in more ways than I can count. And this was still brutally hard for me. I can’t even imagine what it’s like for other closeted writers, and how unwelcome they must feel in this community.
Even as I write this, I’m bracing for the inevitable discourse — I could draft the twitter threads myself if I wanted to. But I’d rather just make a few things really clear. First, this isn’t an attempt to neutralize criticism of my books, and you’re certainly entitled to any reactions you might have had to their content. Second, I’m not asking you to validate my decision to write Simon (or What If It’s Us, or mlm books in general).
But if I can ask for something, it’s this: will you sit for a minute with the discomfort of knowing you may have been wrong about me? And if your immediate impulse is to scrutinize my personal life, my marriage, or my romantic history, can you try to check yourself?
Or how about this: can we all be a bit more careful when we engage in queer Ownvoices discourse? Can we remember that our carelessness in these discussions has caused real harm? And that the people we’re hurting rarely have my degree of privilege or industry power? Can we make space for those of us who are still discovering ourselves? Can we be a little more compassionate? Can we make this a little less awful for the next person?"
Hello, I am the next person. I am the author who isn't lucky enough to disclose every single one of their marginalizations on social media, and I deserve better than this.
If you have a problem with any of the points I made, feel free to share that, but you do not get to assign me an identity just so you can attack me for it.
2K notes · View notes