Not to give the bigots any credit, but you’ve got to admit: hate is a full-time job. The most violently prejudiced people are working hard to sell each other on exaggerated scandals, fake trends and prophecies of social apocalypse that will never come to pass. They have to wake up every day and invent problems to get mad at — whatever they can blame on the marginalized.
Nowhere is this bullshit more boundless than in the community of “transvestigators,” the self-appointed gender sleuths who claim that pretty much anyone who has ever been photographed is secretly transgender. For them, it’s not enough to support transphobic politicians and laws while harassing and dehumanizing any trans person they encounter online or in real life; they also need a steady influx of images and videos “revealing” the “true” gender of public figures who transitioned as part of a conspiracy orchestrated by the New World Order.
As you can see, the evidence offered by transvestigators in their detective work falls below even the threshold of junk science — barely worth the time it takes to explain. Suffice to say, they can always interpret some physical feature as a sign that a woman was born a man, or vice versa. Most often this rests on a radical oversimplification of the human skeleton: clavicles, shoulders, hips, the jawline, spine shape and Q angles (a measurement between the quadriceps tendon and the patellar tendon in the knee) are frequently referenced as conclusive indications of male or female anatomy. In practice, though, since none of these weirdos have the slightest expertise in the variance of the human body, the “proofs” are dependent on rudimentary shapes and lines. It’s no less ridiculous than masculinity shitposter Rivelino’s “don’t lean in” theory of power dynamics, in which a man is shown to be submissive if he tilts himself toward a woman in a photograph.
As you can see, the transvestigators also love to make the case that the most conventionally masculine and feminine celebrities are not what they seem. If there isn’t an obvious bone-structure “tell,” they can resort to gut feelings. Scrolling through the Facebook groups will bring you to posts as egregious as a picture of Holocaust victim Anne Frank where someone has commented “Getting little boy vibes,” while another says, “Boy and fake story.” Elsewhere, actor Henry Cavill is accused of being a woman due to “the energy coming out of the eyes.”
What’s the net result of this overwhelming paranoia? Amusingly, it can lead to a lot of group infighting. Inanna Snow, the “Transvestigation Disclosure” admin who argued that Cavill is trans due to his feminine gaze, was dethroned from her own page in recent weeks when others accused her of being trans, on equally flimsy grounds. Snow hit back with images meant to demonstrate her womanhood, seemingly to no avail — the group is now subtitled “FREE FROM INANNA’S CENSORSHIP” and features a banner image labeling her a “narcissist.”
Eventually, I guess, the most unhinged transphobia attracts like attention. Author J.K. Rowling has certainly been vocal about her contempt for the trans community, but that led a 4chan user on the /lgbt/ board to argue that she’s a trans man currently in the closet. Then you have the knee-jerk transphobes who will readily accuse her of being born male after looking at her picture.
This extreme worldview will have you suspicious of literally everyone. Here’s a woman who went on a Twitter tear denouncing her former best friends and coworkers as “inverted things,” i.e., men in disguise as women:
And, of course, once you’ve gone through your entire list of acquaintances, it’s time to start taking creepshots of strangers in public.
Real men and women are scarce, you say? I’m not surprised! Amid the hysteria you’ve created over trans folks merely asking for equality, safety, healthcare and basic respect — a movement you characterize as an assault on gender norms and traditions — you’ve done more to erase cisgender people than they ever could. Go ahead, though, continue to insist that the walls are closing in around you. Believe you’re the only “natural” or “biological” human specimen left on the planet. Sounds like a lonely hell, but you’ve earned it.