this day will be rued
February 13, 2014
I recently let someone use my storify account to collect these tweets of Dr. Kortney Ziegler (@fakerapper) engaging in his special brand of transmisogyny. As far as I can tell, his sole purpose here was to ask “What about teh menz?”:
So #holidayhandup is only for trans women….yall really yhink that trans men just dont need shit, huh? source
I remember that Dr. Kortney Ziegler PHD has been called out for this already.
I let a friend use my storify account about this ‘cause they are a tfpoc who is scared of the ramifications for calling Dr. Kortney Ziegler PHD out for his transmisogyny.
This worries me. Especially since Dr. Kortney Ziegler PHD only continues to make a bigger and bigger name for himself in ‘the community” via TransH4ck, being an author at Model View Culture1, and as noted in his bio “#29 of the most influential African Americans of 2013”.
I wrote him off over a year ago after seeing an envious tweet about how he wished that trans men were as prominent in the media as trans women2. At the time, I was still actively involved with (I think… but I can”t remember because of cognitive stuff and time) #girlslikeus news. From my perspective, conceiving the media coverage that trans women regularly recieve as ‘positive” and enviable required a great deal of willful ignorance because very, very little of this is actually positive in any way shape or form. Indeed, if you go through the links in #girlslikeus news, you”ll see that a great deal of the news has to do with violence against trans women of colour.
He only continues to rise in prominence. Now, that he is a transmisogynist isn”t up for debate. That one quoted tweet above really says it all.
However, what I do want to point out is the ways that he wields his privilege as means to make him the victim in the storified interactions.
First. His credentials.
Dr. Kortney Ziegler PHD rarely goes a moment in the entire exchange without mentioning that he is Dr. Kortney Ziegler PHD. Getting a PHD is a big accomplishment and I understand why he is proud of it.
However, when he does things like this:
I feel attacked and talked down to by members of my own community and that is well…sad…but I apologize source
I am super disappointed that yall are trying to educate me on trans women and violence like i am some randy source
It quickly becomes clear that he feels that his PHD and education matters far, far more than the lived experience of twoc. Like, how dare all these lowly non-PHD having ppl tell him anything about trans women and violence. HOW DARE U!?!?!?!?
And on his blog… he definitely does claim some authority on the lives and work on trans women of colour while outright including himself in their work ~we have always resisted~. He knows enough to speak the right words while positioning himself as expert while also exploiting the labour of women.
Second. His ~work~.
I look at these tweets with disbelief and no small amount of disgust:
Please someone tell me how all the fucking work ive done for the trans community that now i am a hijacker source
And then to be shot back at like I have not given my life to making shit better for trans people is just…soooo painful source
Let”s be super fucking clear here: one of his big claims to fame is STILL BLACK: a portrait of black transmen. At best, at best this and his work since can be really seen to benefit one group of people: trans men.
He doesn”t do anything for the trans ~community~ especially given that there isn”t any such community.
These two things trouble me. Especially since he is becoming prominent. They trouble me because if you look at the parts where he engages Loan (esp. see the linked discussion on the last tweet i quote), he specifically refuses to engage ppl who he thinks are beneath him (in an educational sense), but have the audacity to call him out.
ultimately i find calls for inclusion suspicious when certain people are assumed to be included, but arent really. it has the net effect of saying that the non-space binary twoc are occupying is too much. that more room should be made for all these other identities. without really considering how the current trans ‘community’ is structured by the exclusion and exploitation of twoc.
Dr. Kortney Ziegler PHD is on a one man mission to prove me right.
And while I find his posturing and bluster both obvious and tedious, the fact that very few people have called him out on his transmisogyny, the fact that his career is only getting better and better (all while the particular twoc he is attacking in the storify, voz, is poor, poor, poor), the fact that he has so many ppl willing to rush in and sooth his wounded man ego, the fact that apparently this obvious MRA shit is subtle enough that most people are willing to tolerate it, if not outright overlook it…
All these facts. Let me know I”ve been quiet too long about this (although, tbh, even I was too fucking foolish to realize how dangerous and harmful this is). The fact that his social and activist capital is getting big enough that the people he targets (because twoc are always more vulnerable) are becoming afraid to call him out, is a big fucking problem.
So too is the fact that, apparently, he will listen to no one without a PHD and who does not approach him with the reverent respect he feels he is owed, given that he is Dr. Kortney Ziegler PHD.
In a larger sense, this is part of the damage that the myth of a ~trans community~ does. It allows self-interested men like Dr. Kortney Ziegler PHD to advocate and work for shit that only benefits him and other men while claiming to be for the ~trans community~ all while exploiting and tearing down the work of twoc.
And, no, I don”t expect him to care about or respond to any of this. I don”t have a PHD, so. I”m beneath his notice.
I”m writing this as a warning to fellow twoc. This man is not our ally. He does not care about us. If you can, stay far away. Don”t engage. Do not support him or what he does.