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Author Topic: Pronouns Part 2: Trans Rage Edition  (Read 1977 times)
mniermann
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Posts: 6


« on: July 14, 2015, 01:07:54 PM »

Quick note to active users of this forum, especially coaches and judges. (Disclaimer: this is from my perspective; it's not a representation of what SR or other trans debaters think of the pronoun index or of the debate community.)

I am incredibly disappointed by the number of white cis (mostly but not entirely) men who actively coach, judge, and debate in the community who are unwilling for whatever reason to participate in the pronoun index. SR and I are in 100% agreement that if you are making a conscious choice to avoid indexing your pronouns, maybe because you are still in the process of questioning your gender experience or you feel the index is a form of institutionalization of gender, your opinions and experiences in the debate community are incredibly important and valuable. We support the deliberate decision to not submit pronouns just as much as we support the decision to submit them.

But when you are confident that you are the gender you were assigned at birth and use the pronouns reflected by that assignment (that is, she/hers or he/his) and you are apathetic about the index, that's something else entirely. It is privilege to think that the decision to not take the survey because of how much time it would take or because you just don't care enough is a neutral one. For every cis person that doesn't submit their pronouns, there are trans people who are more at risk of violence because of the ignorance in each debate circuit---that is, not just NDT-CEDA but also NPDA, NFA-LD, etc---about gender, gender performance, and gender expression.

While this is true of debaters, it's especially so for coaches and judges who occupy direct positions of power over trans debaters. Y'all are the people who can coach us in politics disadvantages but not Spade and Stryker. Y'all are the judges who vote someone up on the cap K after they've chronically misgendered their opponent. This culture of apathy is unacceptable because it creates violence towards people who have almost no ability to make changes in the community because of the competitive nature of the event and the intimidation factor of coaches.

I strongly encourage you to consider submitting your pronouns, or to submit the "prefer not to disclose" or "ask in round" codes. Your participation means solidarity. It means that, at least in the most basic of ways, you are willing to treat trans and non-conforming people in the way that you are treated every day. It means that trans and non-conforming debaters can look at the index and recognize that you are someone that they can go to if they need help enforcing their pronouns with others. Indexing your pronouns and respecting the pronouns of others does not necessarily make you a person that is actively fighting cissexism and transphobia, but it does mean that we are able to start making a community that values trans debaters, coaches, and judges as much as we value cis ones.

Here is a link to the survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1SWE5W2RBs9PEwyXjKdh3rgcTjKsj5Xz103C-qlf5u7g/viewform

And to the index: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vrhUIsehzGV1DzyY1krPinJu5pK-kuEsSDbOilqzpmg/edit#gid=0
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 01:14:59 PM by mniermann » Logged
mniermann
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Posts: 6


« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2015, 01:13:55 PM »

Follow-up before responses: thank you so much to all of the cis debaters, coaches, and judges who have thought it was worthwhile to index your pronouns. I sincerely appreciate the support, both as the administrator of the spreadsheet and, more importantly, as a trans debater.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 01:18:30 PM by mniermann » Logged
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