Sometimes, you’re the asshole

Sometimes, you’re the asshole

Or rather, I am.

I had a very uncomfortable conversation today. I was told that one of the old posts on my blog, which included Harry Potter images, was inappropriate for a trans-inclusive business. It wasn’t something I’d thought about, and I had to take some time to process and think about what to do about it. I am very lucky to have good friends willing to give their time, energy and experience to help me navigate situations like this.

(Context: In case you’re reading this and don’t know, JK Rowling has set about becoming a truly vicious enemy of the trans community. Which I knew, but thought of in a “we don’t give her our money” kind of way, not an “anything HP you post will be triggering to your trans friends” way.)

I strongly believe that people should be allowed to love what they love, as long as it does no harm. My trans child passionately loves Harry Potter while strongly opposing J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans stance, and I support them in that choice. Similarly, in my boudoir sessions, we celebrate what makes each woman happy, and this principle remains unchanged. 

I also, however, believe that we are here on the earth to do as much good and as little harm as we can. I don’t allow before and after photos to be posted in my body-positive Facebook group, because those can be triggering and imply that “after” has greater value than “before.” But that wasn’t a rule we had at the beginning. It took someone talking about their experience with it, and then some general discussion within our community, to come to that decision.

While I considered initiating a similar community conversation regarding the Harry Potter issue, I decided against it. I didn’t want women who grew up loving the books to feel judged about their choices. In any space I’m a part of, there’s room to love what you love without judgment.

So, I instead talked to friends- at enormous length, thank you- who were kind enough to help me through this. What I’ve decided is that moving forward is that while I will continue to help women embrace the things they love in the studio, I’m not going to be posting those particular photos myself. The potential harm outweighs the good, and anything that sends the message to my trans friends that they are unwelcome here, no matter the intention, is unacceptable. And on their advice, rather than take those particular photos down, I have added an addendum to the post.

Growth can be uncomfortable and you don’t always get to enjoy the way it comes about, and I’m sorry for unintentionally causing hurt. Thank you to everyone who helped me figure this out.

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