The Bitchy Historian presents: How not to be a TERF!

The short answer is don’t fucking be one, but it’s not always that simple. I get it. I know it’s sort of the new hotness in the UK right now where they think it’s a slur. (It’s an acronym, but don’t let the President’s English interfere with your sour mood and Rowling stanning.)

I was called a TERF once. It was about 5 years ago, and I don’t even remember the context to be honest.

I didn’t know what a TERF was, so, I looked it up, “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist.”

Okay, so, now I needed to fix this.

Did I go on like a victim on social media? No.
Did I claim there was a witchhunt against me and other ciswomen feminists? No.

I fucking apologized, and then I went to my transgender friends, and asked how I could fix it, and be a better ally. They weren’t mad, they were totally understanding, reminded me that mistakes are common, and provided me with new ideas and words and phrases that can better fulfill thoughts that I was trying to convey.

Like, seriously, that all it fucking takes.

I didn’t make blog posts trying to rally support. I didn’t alienate fans or rile up the wrong sorts. No.

I fucking apologized, and learned how to do better. That’s it. I owned my shit and became better for it. I am human, after all.

Progress and inclusivity don’t happen overnight, it’s a journey, and we all make mistakes. For those of us who are cisgendered, or those that are not LGBTQ+, or BIPOC, it’s hard to break old habits and ideas, especially the older we get. The best we can do is shut up, listen, and apply new knowledge where it is needed. We cannot uphold a virtue of learning and progress if we don’t continue to better ourselves along the way. Pushing back, or dealing with people pushing back, creates aggravation for all parties involved and generally makes you look archaic, cruel, and bigoted. If it was _just_ a hiccup, why not acknowledge the chance to get better?

I can’t promise I’m not going to make another mistake, but that’s part of the process. Mistakes and embarrassment are sometimes the strongest avenues to improvement. “Practice makes perfect” isn’t just for artwork, it’s for everyday living. Hell, just the other day, I referred to a best friend by their former pronouns and corrected myself accordingly mid-sentence. It sucked, I had to give someone Cliffnotes on the concept of non-binary, and then continued.

You gotta give yourself room to grow, but at the same time, don’t be an ass about it. The world is changing, we’re all learning, so if you’re called a TERF, maybe you should own it and fix it, instead of crying that everybody is mean.

-Bitchy Prime.