So after over two years, the time has come for me to return to this blog. Something is amiss in the world and I need to get the word out–well, somehow. Unfortunately, commentary like this is quite frankly liable to just drown in the sea of mostly inconsequential conversation known as facebook, and I don’t know how effective this post will be on my almost completely forgotten blog (sigh…). Might as well try I suppose. Here goes.
So a friend of mine on facebook posted this article with the following commentary:
Anyway, if you go to the article itself you’ll find given the use of quotation marks and apostrophes everywhere that it was clearly written by the conservative and homophobic/transphobic section of the media in response to the grant for this study. If you don’t believe me, read Free Beacon’s about page, and notice that it was effectively reposted by sites such as…
And some guy on wordpress who–well I’ll yap on him later… Btw: I would have already commented and told him how ridiculous his sole commenter was being but he of course predictably disabled comments, hah:
So moving on, all the articles I’ve found all depict this particular study as lunacy given it analyzes the trans community (which these sites stubbornly refuse to recognize and thus universally portray as something phony) and their interactions on facebook that lead to other actions in reality that put them at greater risk of contracting HIV. So, the facebook moniker was where my friend freaked out, given as we all know, most people use facebook to interact with people they trust in real life in open conversations. Clearly, most people aren’t going to be talking about illicit sex work on a site where their parents and any potential friends they might have can also see what they’re chatting about. From that point of view, you can then easily draw a conclusion that people usually don’t get their first solicitations to participate in the sex work industry through facebook in particular–which is where the confusion began.
However, the actual official description of the study paints a completely different picture. Excluding the obvious differences like the lack of mis-quotations and actually respecting the integrity of the trans community as a legitimate group, the description never even uses the word facebook once. Instead, terms like SNS (Social Networking Sites) and technology-based networking platforms are used for this purpose (referring to the internet and places to communicate with friends and strangers on it in general, whether they are beneficial and detrimental). When I made this clarification, she of course immediately rested her complaints on the matter :D.
But seriously, after this conversation with my friend and doing further research, I am seriously just passionately frustrated about the kinds of reactions I am seeing to this all over the net. I have yet to find any sites online that paint this initiative and expenditure in a positive light and emphasize with the study and the thousands of transgender people on the streets who will likely benefit from it. Instead, all I can find are fiscal conservatives, who are ramming on this as a waste of money, while simultaneously just doing their usual spiel to depict transgender people as non-legitimate and deserving of HIV infections (I’m looking at you, Mr. Leonard Jones, the sole commenter on antzinpantz’s post) . Seriously, what year is it, 1983? Is no one going to stand up against these bigots who believe transsexuals and gays deserve to burn in hell and are second-class citizens? Is no one going to put the monetary expenditure in perspective and note that despite how inefficient the study may seem–it will likely save valuable human lives and alot of wasteful government subsidies on ridiculously priced HIV medication? Seriously, even if the study proves relatively ineffective, which it very well might, even just one life for $200k nowadays is definitely worth it. Even if you’re into fiscally conservative economic policy, to put $200,000 in government funds into perspective, the government probably pays more than that to train, maintain, and pay every single individual soldier in our military.
There really is too much change that needs to happen much faster than it has come so far. Blegh. Anyway, thanks for reading folks. You’ll probably see more articles from me in the near future.