“If Zoey Tur is legally classified as a female in the state of California, then it might be considered defamatory if someone deliberately misgendered her on air or in any other media reports.”
That was an opinion I offered to a right-winger on Twitter the other day who was misgendering Zoey and generally dumping on her.
Within minutes, I started receiving tweets from people — other right-wingers — not originally involved in the conversation, and some of them were less than polite. The law was irrelevant, as far as they were concerned.
I could see that I had virtually walked into a hornet’s nest of people looking to sting anyone who doesn’t think like they do, so I made my Twitter account private for awhile — so they could no longer abuse me — and retreated.
Afterward, I got to thinking about the incident. I realized that I had somewhat naively, but nevertheless deliberately placed myself in the line of fire. I had gone into a virtual den of bigots and, although I felt I was reasoning with them by making a simple legal point, they probably felt I was provoking them.
Carrying this line of thought forward, I realized that Zoey Tur is quite deliberately putting herself in the line of fire by agreeing to sit in on media panel discussions about trans issues with right-wing bigots who are sure to insult and attack her.
Is Zoey a masochist?
I don’t think so. I think she is very brave.
It’s one thing to advocate for LGBT equality from within safe havens like this one. It’s quite another to cross swords with raving bigots on their turf or in media rings of opinion. Zoey is taking the fight to them in an effort to show them up to the world for what they truly are. She is not going to win every battle. And she is going to be bloodied and bruised on occasion, and make some mistakes.
But Zoey Tur is emerging as a true champion for transgender people. She is going where few dare to tread.
— Jillian Page, LGBT Perspectives editor
“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey