In the past week or so, we have been gifted some pretty interesting changes to our pop culture worlds. Dr. Suess books that were once “okay” to read have been deemed racist and have, rightly, been pulled from circulation. Mr. Potato Head is being rebranded as just Potato Head to become more inclusive. These might be enough to give anyone a little bit of whiplash, but nothing tops the news for us this week more than Demi Lovato.
In a nine page Instagram post, she shares the words of activist @alokvmenon that gender reveals are transphobic. Yes, you read that correctly: transphobic. Okay, I get what you are going through — I went through it when I first read that, too. But let’s take a minute and read what activist alokvmenon has to say. In the original post, they write, “This is not about being politically correct, it’s about being correct. The refusal to acknowledge this stems from a misunderstanding of what transphobia is.” Now we have to take a hard look in the mirror and ask, “Do I know what that actually means?” Not so sure anymore, huh?
Well, alokvmenon goes on to share that, “Transphobia is not just prejudice or violence against an individual trans person, it is a belief system that presumes non-trans people to be more “natural” than trans people. Only individual people can self determine their gender.” There is a lot to unpack there, and I am not sure this writer is qualified to do so… much of the changes surrounding gender seem to grow each year. Which is a good thing — to be an inclusive society should be one of our topmost priorities. But in order to be inclusive, we all need to have some very tough conversations with one another.
The fact that Demi Lovato is using her star power to help activists like alokvmenon should be applauded. So much knowledge that rests at the tips of our fingers, if only we reach out and seek it… and with people like alokvmenon to help, perhaps our journey’s towards that knowledge won’t be so dark. Obviously, the stance that gender reveals are transphobic had people shaking their heads over on Twitter and in her comment section. We won’t be sharing any of that here, because frankly a lot of it was absolutely awful.
Whether you agree or disagree with Demi Lovato and activists like alokvmenon, you can’t deny that the conversation has begun. Sound off in the comments what your thoughts are on this subject, but please keep it civil. As always, from all of us here at Trill!: wash your hands, don’t forget your mask, and meet me on the moon for more crazy stories.