[This post has been completely re-written, so if some of the earlier comments seem to be referring to things that aren’t here, that’s because they are. Thanks to Sam B for pointing out the plagiarism issue and to Rachel for helping me find the end of the article…because it’s been just that kind of day for me.]
This weekend I stumbled onto the site It’s Pronounced Metrosexual, and found a graphic explaining the different aspects of sex, sexuality, and gender.
It turns out that site’s creator, Sam Killermann, plagiarized that graphic, and now has thrown a bunch of intellectual property stamps on it, and has even included it in a book he made. (Though you can get the book for free. But he has still made money off of all this.)
As awesome as it is to have people want to be cis straight while male allies, we have to as allies constantly keep vigilant that we are not blocking out the voices of the people we are trying to support with our own. Otherwise we are undermining the very project we are trying to help. And one thing you notice sort of quickly from Killermann’s projects is that you see a lot of him, and hear a lot of his voice but you don’t see or hear a lot of specific people that he is advocating for.
So again, here are some of their voices, specifically on his plagiarism. (Same link as above.)
And here is one of the earlier gingerbread persons:
Some parts of Killerman’s projects still have merit: the comment thread on this post has some good stuff in it. But I think legitimately, some people will not want to visit his websites.
As Laverne Cox said when this issue of plagiarism was brought to her attention,
“…those who lay the groundwork don’t often get the credit. The universe is trying to tell me something. We cannot silence the voices of those doing the hard work so that we can flourish.”
(Sorry I can’t find the exact tweet. This is also in the storify post linked above.)
That is, without respect for the people we are trying to support, our support is hollow.
From Cisnormativity (the Storify OP):
Without that respect, any work done in the name of social justice isn’t actually the practice of social justice. It’s erasure. It’s a tossing of the most marginal people from the bus of acceptance, enfranchisement, and citizenship. It’s the theft of lived experiences. It’s why intersectionally marginalized people along multiple axes still cannot reach so many of their dreams, their potentials, or their hopes .