First up, the return of fannish scammer formerly known as Victoria Bitter, most recently appearing on LiveJournal as thanfiction. If you’re familiar with the back-story, you’ll know that the person in question has been identifying as male for some years now. Despite this, various people in the fandom_wank thread have been referring to him as “she” or “s/he” or the like. The fandom_wank post now comes with a “No more transfail!” warning.
Brown Betty puts it like this:
It is never okay to disregard a transperson’s preferred gender identity. Not if he’s a compulsive liar, not if he’s a demonstrated con-artist, not if he’s dragging down the name of fandom, not if he’s the worst person on the internet.
Let me recontextualize, with a hypothetical: “It is never okay to slut-shame. Not if she’s a compulsive liar, a demonstrated con-artist, dragging down the good name of fandom…”
Meanwhile, Livejournal has recently added code which will require (binary) gender disclosure, presumably to better target its advertising. Unlike, say, Facebook, LJ has never nagged you to disclose your gender or fit into the boxes marked “Male” or “Female”. This made it more trans-friendly than many social networking sites.
Denise’s letter to the LJ feedback folks reads, in part:
Transgender and genderqueer individuals experience discrimination every day when they are forced to identify themselves with the gender binary when it doesn’t apply to them. Please do not contribute to this oppression.
Please keep the “Unspecified” option for gender, and add an “Other” option, if you are making the gender field mandatory. Please do not contribute to the oppression of others. While I recognize that having a user’s gender makes advertisers happier, collecting revenue at the expense of human suffering is not the action of a company I want to do business with.
She suggests that LJ users go set their gender to “Unspecified” in protest, before the probable code-push on Thursday, and send a letter to LJ registering your disapproval.
If anyone wants ‘em, I’ve got Dreamwidth invites. More on Dreamwidth and trans/genderqueer inclusion.
ETA: The LJ change has been rolled back. Binary gender disclosure will not be required (for now).