I’m a professor. I get paid to be “correct in the most arcane and technical way imaginable.”

I don’t know how you identify in terms of gender or sexuality but clearly you’ve never been an LGBTQ person who was outed to their hostile employer against their will and suffered the consequences of that action. Then you would know something about the “debilitating” and “traumatizing” effects of negotiating a minority gender or sexual identity in an inhospitable environment and the physical and psychological costs of doing so. That’s what being transgender and choosing whether or not to disclose that identity in response to a request for “one’s pronouns” is like. Do you want to out yourself or not in a situation that may or may not be hostile? Or do you want to lie to protect yourself? Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in a hostile social environment is not the same as negotiating personal time off from work.

And, no, trauma doesn’t make a person “stronger.” Maybe recovering from trauma makes a person stronger but trauma, in and of itself, does not.Trauma is traumatizing. And harmful and damaging. Your rhetorical construction (“You cope with those uncomfortable moments and get a little bit stronger”) is the same one rape apologists use to dismiss rape survivors: “maybe it was uncomfortable but it will make her stronger.” Such assertions are shameful and offensive.

Professional homosexual. Professor. Writer. Scholar. Activist. Husband.

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