Chris and I were sitting at Waffle House this afternoon waiting for food. I was showing him some of the Facebook posts that were a tad fucked up—mostly science-denying, anti-mask, anti-vaxx stuff—before reporting them for spreading false information about Covid, as one does. I found a post by a “friend” about what they called: lifestyle choices.

Oh you know what they meant by that. In the year of our Lord 2021, motherfuckers are still calling being LGBTQ+a lifestyle choice. So what we’re going to is talk about some lifestyle choices.

Being a science-denying nincompoop is a lifestyle choice. It may not be a long lasting one, but it’s still one. Although one could argue that the consequences of that decision last for-fucking-ever.

It’s the one and only D-O-double G.

Getting your Thanksgiving recipes from Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg instead of Rachael Ray is a lifestyle choice. It’s also obviously the only correct choice. No, really. If you’ve never watched Martha and Snoop, you’ve missed out.

Drinking water vs. drinking soda is a lifestyle choice. Reading more vs. watching television is a lifestyle choice. Going to church vs. not is a lifestyle choice. Wearing dresses vs. pants is a lifestyle choice. Recycling vs. not recycling is a lifestyle choice. (And I judge people who choose not to recycle.)

A lifestyle choice is something where you actually have a choice to make. Sexuality and gender identity are not choices. I’ll say it louder for the people in the back:

SEXUALITY AND GENDER IDENTITY ARE NOT CHOICES.

They are part of who you are.

Assuming you’re cisgender, did you wake up one day and decide you were going to identify most with the gender that you were assigned at birth? Or did you always feel that gender fit you?

Assuming you’re heterosexual, did you wake up one day and decide you were going to date or fall in love with people of a different gender? Or have you always been attracted to that gender?

It was the latter on both, wasn’t it?

Because. It’s. Not. A. Choice.

Common myths about being LGBTQ from edcan.ca

And it never has been a choice.

The individual who called it a choice in their post also suggested that J.K. Rowling never said anything transphobic. I’m gonna spell this out for them and anyone else who doesn’t get it, yes, she fucking did. She’s been transphobic repeatedly. She has promoted transphobia. She has denied transphobia is real. So you can fuck all the way off with that bullshit!

I’m okay. I promise. I’m calm. I’m centered. I may need to prune my friend list of transphobic, homophobic, antisemitic science-deniers. Sometimes you have to let the toxic people in your life go.

Last night, I accidentally stumbled upon a thread of trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) making assumptions about the cause of asexuality. In their opinions, it was a result of the puberty blockers given to trans and non-binary kids, of teenage girls and women in their early twenties deciding to avoid men because of things the men have learned from porn, and because people take antidepressants because they’re sad. And all of this was prefaced by an argument that accepting asexuality is some kind of conspiracy by the transgender community.

Oh. My. God.

No!

First of all, asexuality is not a result of those puberty blockers. If it was, then there would be no asexuals over the age of 18 and trans and non-binary kids would mostly be asexuals. Most aces that I know are well past 18, cisgender, and have never used puberty blockers. Most trans and non-binary folks I know aren’t asexual.

Secondly, what is the logic in saying girls are choosing asexuality because of porn & not wanting to date? That makes no sense to me. And why only girls? The first asexual person to come out to me was a man.

Their third and final “point” was just flat out mental health stigma and ableism. It’s not surprising to see a TERF say something ableist or that stigmatizes mentally ill people. In fact, it’s pretty normal for them to be bigoted on multiple fronts.

Exclusionary feminism relies on hate and misunderstanding of marginalized groups. It isn’t uncommon for a TERF or a SWERF, the sex work equivalent, to be racist, ableist, homophobic, biphobic, classist, xenophobic, fatphobic, intolerant of various religions, or sexist. Yes, they are often sexist, and they seek to uphold patriarchal values or side with groups that seek to keep cisgender women and those assigned female at birth (AFAB) stuck in gender roles that they claim to abhor. These groups even try to limit access to basic human rights for cis women and AFAB people.

TERFs will proclaim that men cannot speak for or over women and do not belong in women’s spaces, but they will encourage pile-ons and harassment campaigns by so-called radical feminists who happen to be men. These men will harass, demean, defame, and talk over cis women and trans & non-binary folks. The hypocrisy, like everything else, is based in hatred.

These individuals say that bisexual women who have dated men are heterosexual and have been tainted. It’s the same kind of bullshit that incels say about women who have had sex. The sex work exclusionary feminists push for legislation and policies that limit the ability for people who have been or currently are sex workers to have PayPal, Venmo, or bank accounts. They claim that those who seek out sex work and pornography are exploiting women and girls, but fail to understand their actions are a form of exploitation. Their outright hatred of sex positivity is yet another way that they uphold the patriarchy.

I used to say that there was nothing radical about this type of feminism, but the reality is that it’s extremely radical; what it isn’t is feminism. Exclusionary feminists are not feminists. That’s not me gate-keeping; they just aren’t feminists. They stand for absolutely nothing but hate. They do not seek liberation. They do not seek empowerment. They do not seek a better world. They only seek a more fearful world for those who they do not like. They are no different from any group that seeks to limit the rights and safety of any marginalized group.