So, have any of you ever heard the acronym “G.I.R.L.” when referring to women on online games? Maybe some of you would know it more from the full term of “Guy In Real Life”, as it is often colloquially called. It is a phrase that really irritates the ever loving crap out of me, like seriously guys. The kind of spineless and hateful pieces of crap that use this term really just get my goat sometimes, but of course I do not feed the trolls themselves. It does not do one well to actually show rage online, but inside it still eats at you especially when one is trans such as myself.
As a trans person, I am sure you can see how frustrating this idea can be, denying ones very identity. This is an idea that is a leftover antiquated thought from an age where women playing games were really very rare. At one time there were a lot of men posing as women, especially in games, and don’t get me wrong it still happens to this day. These little trolls though assume it of all women unless they prove it to them, and that is what this boils down to. We have to prove who we are to some random idiot on the internet, some tiny insecure little piece of crap who doesn’t deserve the time of day.
It is pervasive though, and that is the worst problem, especially when you are talking about MMORPG’s or FPS’s, where the bulk of this issue exists. The modern age in all these games and voice chat has only made this worse for trans folk and cis-women. I will cover each of these individually.
For Cis-Women this is where the misogyny comes into the picture when you are a girl and a gamer. After they have gotten passed the childish point of “your not a girl unless you prove it”, as if it is any of their frelling business, but the second they hear your voice and know you are a woman, the nasty stuff comes in. They make the jokes of “make me a sammich” or “why aren’t you in the kitchen” or some such. Thankfully this trend is lessening as the idiots are starting to realize that they will just get ignored by most folk, but if they find anyone who reacts they latch on and troll the hell out of you.
For trans women it is worse, as we get the “you aren’t a real girl” or “you are really a guy you fake” and so on and so fourth. They deny your very reality as if acknowledging your gender identity somehow would make them homosexual, which would JUST BE HORRIBLE (sarcasm). The strings of trans oriented slurs come out, and very rarely will anyone just tell them to shut up, people just don’t wanna mess with the drama, no one wants to be the hero.
The problem is this is still pervasive in the FPS and MMO gaming circles when you aren’t working with a group you know well and knows you well. People just don’t wanna change this, the people who actually hang out with those little idiots are often just like them as well, so no one calls them out on it but the person who is the victim to their disgusting bigotry.
I plead with you my friends, when you see disgusting displays like this, step up and be the hero. Tell those little trolls who the hell they are, let them know just what kind of insignificant worm they are, be the hero. As the victim we cannot defend ourselves without creating a firestorm, and this pushes away fellow gamers. This pushes away Cis and Trans women alike from those online gaming circles because we just don’t want to deal with all that crap. Be the hero my friends, whenever you see this defend them, even if you do not know them. The positive effect you will have on that person and the community is immeasurable. You will lift that person’s day, and maybe save another gamer.
Sorry for the super serious post, but it is a pervasive issue that needs to frelling disappear.
This is your friendly neighborhood Emerald Rose Widow, signing off.