Online vitriol against LGBTQIA community impacts real people, real policy

Online vitriol against LGBTQIA community impacts real people, real policy

On the first day of class each term, I out myself as a queer Jewish trans man. I do this for several reasons: 1) I teach about visual culture; representation in art and popular media critically impact our perceptions of social structure. 2) For many cis students, I humanize what may feel like an abstract concept. 3) There are LGBTQIA students in my class who have never seen an out queer trans person in a position of authority, had a teacher in whom they could see themselves, nor had a model for what success and happiness can look like for them. 

Being out as a trans educator (or trans at all) comes with real risk. Routinely, my inbox receives hate mail that ranges from explicit wishes of harm to myself and family to tedious willful ignorance. This correspondence, never from students, goes in a folder in case something happens to me. Recently, my name appeared on an online bulletin board calling for a bullet to my head. Not simply boorish trolls in the comments section (though such trolls play a role in perpetuating harmful rhetoric), these individuals actively encourage violence against the trans community. 

https://www.registerguard.com/story/opinion/columns/2022/09/18/online-vitriol-against-lgbtqia-trans-community-impacts-real-people-real-policy/69496897007/