|Coming out for every member of the LGBTQ+ community is hard because they fear being ostracized and discriminated against. / Photo credit by Elizabeth Winterbourne via Shutterstock|
Every member of the LGBTQ+ community has the same refrain when it comes to the tumultuous and nerve-wracking act of “coming out.” Put simply, “coming out” is the act of finally telling the world--or at least your parents or close friends--that you may not be as straight as your childhood pictures, or that you might have attractions that fall out of the conventional heteronormative box.
Anyone who has ever come out has a story. It may sound the same--fear of ostracization and discrimination forcing them in the closet until they can’t take it anymore--but what they all have in common is that coming out is hard.
It’s especially hard when the current paradigm shift in many cultures around the world has grown to accept members of the LGBTQ+ community to the point of profiting from them. This, essentially, is why Trisha Paytas, known YouTuber and near-perpetual troller, has been dragged recently.
The “Trans Coming Out” Clout Grab
|Sexual orientation is a person’s emotional attraction to another person while gender identity is how a person identifies themselves. / Photo credit by Neil Anton Dumas via Shutterstock|
For anyone who hasn’t seen the 15-minute “coming out” video, all you really need to know is that it was anything but a coming out video. If we are even inclined to separate the bias and look at the video from an outside perspective, it just sounds like a long, rambly monologue of what gender identity confusion looks like.
Things like that are usually private, but for Paytas, who has made a name for herself by being candid and cultivating a troll-y channel, this is pretty par for the course. Sure, people say that it would have been fine if she had this episode in her life, except what bothered them is how this woman, who might not be as straight as she claimed, probably isn’t trans at all and might just be using the clickbait YouTube thumbnail for clout.
For a brief recap, the video was posted on October 7, and all it did was confuse her viewers. In it, Paytas says she feels as though she is “1,000%” trans but in the same breath, says she also “1,000%” identifies with her birth sex. The problem is that that’s not how trans works at all.
In a lengthy article on Flare.com by Katherine Singh, she explains the many problems of the video. Aside from the downright uneducated claims Paytas makes, Singh also points out what everyone was also able to see: Paytas conflates sexual orientation with gender identity. And if you don’t get why that’s bad, it’s because sexual orientation is completely different from gender expression.
Sexual orientation is “a person’s physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction to another person,” while gender identity is “a person’s internal and individual experience of gender.” This is dangerous and warped because it shackles identity solely to sexual orientation, and Paytas exhibits the fault of this kind of thinking in one very confusing sentence: “I have always been attracted to gay guys so I always thought I am a gay man.”
That’s not sensible in any way. Paytas’ video is not only harmful in its misinformation but also has possible real-life repercussions for people who are actually trans who might not be taken seriously after Paytas just so easily botched the definitions without thinking about them.
It would have been ever so slightly forgivable if this stunt was just as much a troll as her other videos, except for the fact that she only doubled down after the backlash-ridden video and released two videos the following days outlining how much she regretted her language. She claimed that she was dead serious about her transgender identity.
Dexerto, the world’s largest esports news and new media entertainment network, reports that after the coming out video and the backlash that followed, Paytas released a video titled “I’M QUESTIONING” which included more crying on cam and claims of her having constant “conflict with my gender.”
The only respite people in the community have now after the trainwreck of whatever Paytas is going through is that they could always think she’s probably not entirely serious about it. Admittedly, all evidence seems to point that she isn’t, but given that she’s trolled and said things on camera that are not exactly trustworthy, some people are inclined to believe that this incident might just be done in the same spirit.
According to publishing and financial news website Insider.com, in the past, Paytas has identified as black, as “no longer a person,” and even a “chicken nugget." The last one was in a video she released after her breakup with her first big YouTuber boyfriend, Sean van der Wilt. That, in itself, was a whole other mess, which was made even messier by the fact that she actually said the words “I’m pink goop and now I’m a chicken nugget” on the internet to her 4.9 million YouTube subscribers.