Last week, I was on a dating site (because I’m pathetic and desperate like that) and I came across a match I found intriguing. I opened this person’s profile, but before reading their information, I noticed they’d listed themselves not as male or female, but “genderfluid.” I’d never seen this before, so, being the sarcastic bastard that I am, I posted a joke about it via Twitter, which then reposted on my Facebook wall.
The joke was, I thought, innocent enough. I can’t recall the exact wording, as it’s since been deleted (you’ll see why in a minute). But it was something along the lines of: “Why is this an option? I don’t want to have to worry about a potential partner transitioning from one gender to another, then back again, only to repeat the cycle.” It was meant to be silly, stupid, and funny, i.e. a joke. My Twitter followers couldn’t have cared less. Not a single response, or even “like.” Facebook, however, was a different story.
I woke the following morning to find a plethora of responses from “friends” who felt I I’d been insensitive and less-than-PC. I read one comment after another about how wrong I was for posting something so heinous, that people were allowed to be whomever and whatever they chose, and that I should be a little more open-minded. As annoying as all this was (being attacked from every angle is never fun), what annoyed me more than anything, in hindsight, was that I posted three lengthy responses defending and explaining myself, as well as my ridiculous little tweet, when all I should’ve said was, “It was a joke. Get over yourselves.”
I suppose I kept the dialogue going because I didn’t want anyone to think I’m a hateful person who feels “genderfludity” (a term I hadn’t even heard until I stumbled across this person’s profile, truth be told) shouldn’t be allowed in modern culture. That this option should be removed from sites such as these and people should be forced to pick one gender or another. I never said any of these things, nor are they my personal opinions. In other words, I didn’t want anyone not to like me, so I continued to respond, but with each comment, I dug myself into a deeper hole, offending more and more people. I felt like Donald fucking Trump.
I think what did me in was the way the joke was worded. Had it been tweaked before going out into the stratosphere, perhaps the outcome would’ve been slightly different. But at the end of the day, it was just a joke and that’s all I should’ve said. So, I’m not annoyed at the dating site for including this option. I’m not even annoyed with all the self-righteous, holier-than-thou comments which flooded my inbox. I’m annoyed with myself because for feeding on the bait those initial responses became, thereby creating a clusterfuck. On this one, I accept 100% of the blame and accept full responsibility.
But people really should just get over themselves.