Respectability Sucks

Abigail Thorn Shuts Down Dylan Mulvaney Haters Effortlessly By Pointing Out This Important Point

Dylan Mulvaney didn’t ask to be at the center of a million bad faith anti-trans arguments. She didn’t ask to have her body, face, and gender identity constantly policed by people who feel entitled enough to have an opinion on how a trans woman should present. But simply by living her life and showing others how, Mulvaney has had to suffer countless critiques from both the left and the right.

And it’s bullsh*t.

Luckily, we have Abigail Thorn to set the record straight. Thorn, the prominent British YouTuber behind much of Philosophy Tube, went on TikTok recently to say that you can absolutely miss her with any criticisms of Mulvaney’s gender presentation.


PSA for anybody comparing me to @Dylan Mulvaney ❤️

♬ original sound – Abigail Thorn

Responding to a criticism Thorn saw about Mulvaney being seen as performing an “exaggerated” femininity, she broke down all the ways in which respectability politics in the trans community tend to hurt, rather than help, us.

“The only reason people think I’m classy,” Thorn explained, “is because I talk with an English accent.” But there’s a deeper problem. “This perspective wherein authentic femininity is reserved only for women deemed ‘classy’ enough has its roots in white supremacy.”

She’s absolutely right: any time someone is criticizing a marginalized person for not representing their identity in the “correct” way, it usually has roots in white supremacy. To be quite frank, a lot of things do!

Finally, as Thorn points out, calling a trans woman not feminine in the “correct” way is simply transmisogynistic. You wouldn’t police a cis woman’s gender (or maybe you would, and that’s a whole other kettle of fish) so why would you feel the need to call out a trans woman for not being like another, completely different trans woman?

“Please,” Thorn says, “don’t ever use my name to tear down another trans woman.”

No sooner did Thorn post the video than Mulvaney herself commented “LOVE YOU!” beneath.

The people are calling it, quite simply, Queen sh*t.

Trans people don’t owe you respectability, or any kind of traditional gender performance. In fact, we don’t owe you anything.

Don't forget to share:
Read More in Culture
The Latest on INTO