COERCION IS NOT CONSENT. (tw discussion of coercive rape)
Even if it is not your primary intent to make someone feel guilty about not wanting sexual contact with you, it is YOUR responsibility to ensure that they have absolutely no reason to feel guilty about not wishing to have sexual contact with you.
This means that it is solely YOUR responsibility to make sure that your behaviour following a decline of sexual contact is appropriate - ie no sighing, huffing or puffing, or moping, and ESPECIALLY no anger or aggression.
If your feelings are hurt, fine, but go walk it off, or do whatever you have to do to feel better, AWAY from that person and/or in a non-passive-aggressive manner that lets them know that their right to say no is paramount.
Engaging in behaviours that make your disappointment/frustration known is unnacceptable due to the (pressuring, guilting) effect it will undoubtedly have on the person who did not want sex with you at that time. It undermines that person’s bodily autonomy in favour of your insecurities. This is not ok. As such, any “yes” given under these circumstances is not an autonomous one.
Any “yes” that is not given freely, enthusiastically and autonomously is not a real “yes” and should not be taken as consent for you to initiate sexual contact.
Making someone feel bad or guilty or pressured into saying yes to sexual contact, is coercion.
COERCION IS RAPE.
Ira Gray translated [tw rape, rape apologism, ableism, misogyny]
“I check in to the point of annoyance” = I coerce people by pestering them constantly after they’ve said no
“There is no such thing as 100% good consent” = I don’t believe there is such a thing as 100% good consent because I’ve never practiced it with my partners and I refuse to believe that my sexual practices are predatory as fuck, so I’m just going to normalize my non-consensual activities
“They asked me for guidance with chronological lying and asked me not to tell anyone” = I have no problem using confidential information about a former partner’s mental health and anxiety issues against them despite the fact that they asked me not to share that information with anyone.
“I don’t always have he best emotional response when someone tells me to stop” = I react to being told “no” and “stop” with emotional abuse and coercion.
“I sometimes forget to ask before doing certain things.” = I skirt accountability for my sexual assaults by minimizing the full nature and impact of my actions, reducing my rapes to “forgetting” to ask before doing “certain things”.
“I don’t want this to turn into a smear campaign, because it’s not about that.” = I absolutely want to turn this into a smear campaign, otherwise I wouldn’t bother denying that I wanted to turn this into a smear campaign before revealing private, personal information about my victims.
“Originally, we came to the conclusion that good consent wasn’t being practiced by either of us and resulted in both of us feeling violated.” = They told me that I violated their boundaries and sexually assaulted them long before taking their stories public, but I dismissed this under the guise of “mutual abuse”.
“The other person and I had a conversation earlier on in our relationship. It was about my depression, their depression, and how they interact or may interact.” = I use my partners’ mental health issues against them (again).
” I miscommunicated that and it came out really misogynistic despite my intention” = I am a misogynist.
“I will always perpetuate misogyny despite my best efforts” = I am an unrepentant misogynist.
“they said there were things they could have done differently” = I use/d their very common, natural survivors-guilt/self-blame response against them in order to absolve myself of responsibility for my rape(s).
“I acknowledged that I don’t always practice the best consent” = I am a rapist.
“if I say I’m not a rapist, then I’ll be an apologist” followed by “I am not a rapist” = I am a rapist and a rape apologist.
“I will perpetuate rape culture and have done so despite my beliefs and efforts. I don’t expect or desire to be absolved of these things” = “I am an unrepentant rapist and rape apologist.
Conclusion: Literally every thing Ira Gray says is a huge red flag, to the point where if you ever hear anyone else saying things like this, you should probably run far, far away from them.
TW: Abuse, eating disorder
Okay so I said I would tell my side of my relationship with Ira. I am actually really nervous to be writing this. No one but my therapist, current partner and maybe one close friend have heard my side. I never posted it to tumblr before because I was afraid of the backlash. Ira has (had?) A strong group of supporters. I knew I would never had been believed. I definitely got played up as some evil person who left him homeless. But now with his other ex partners coming out with their stories i feel like I can finally be heard. our relationship was about manipulation, guilt and isolation. In fact that’s all I remember. I don’t remember good times.I just remember the guilt.
When I first meet Ira I was in awe. It’s not often where I live that you find someone who was so into feminist/queer issues. We had amazing conversations that really made me think. We were caught kissing by his sister and Ira was convinced (with good reason) that he would be kicked out again.So instead of facing his parents I told my mom that he had been kicked out and he was allowed to stay with me a week. After that he moved to a friends and then soon we moved out together. This is when things began to get bad. There was a lot of dependency issues. He didn’t have a car, we were living together. We were literally together every second we weren’t working. This is not okay for me. Coming from a history of codependency and abusive relationships it is important that I get some space and alone time. However I wasn’t even able to shower alone without him getting upset and making me feel bad for wanting some space.
I also have an eating disorder that I have been struggling with since high school. I would say that even as I consider myself in recovery it takes up a majority of my thoughts. Whenever I tried to talk about my issues with eating or body image the subject was always changed back to Ira’s issues and Ira’s dysphoria. Soon even my therapy sessions were taken over by Ira. I was told countless times that I was being ridiculous. That is was silly of me to cry if I thought I gained weight. Once I was struggling and he was out of town. I confessed that I barely ate anything and he made me promise to eat some dinner. When I didn’t he became upset. He was angry that I ‘lied’ to him. Yet didn’t seem concerned that I was struggling so much that I was afraid to eat. Eventually I felt like I couldn’t talk about anything because I had to be there to support him. I got the point. My issues were unimportant. I was there to be his support. Yet if I ever tried to help him by teaching him what I had learned in my years of therapy, what had personally help me, I was lectured about how therapy doesn’t work and that I was being insensitive. When I suggested maybe he look into an antidepressant He told me (someone who is bipolar with depressions so low I get suicidal and who was on medications for years) that medication is a tool for companies to make money off of people and don’t actually do anyone any good. We got in a fight but apparently my personal experience with medication was invalid. Apparently I was so crazy that I was fooled into believing it helped.
Although Ira encouraged me to experiment with societal expectations like not shaving he was extremely critical if he didn’t approve of something. He told me the heels I owned looked like hooker heels and on several occasions told me I wore to much make up. I remember specifically one fight where I was told I had a gaudy fashion sense. All of this was always brushed off at his opinion so I couldn’t be offended.
My family life got messed up as well. Ira never respected my boundaries with them. My parents are conservative and to keep the peace I don’t really talk politics or taboo subjects. I would ask Ira not to but he wouldn’t listen. It always ended up with me in an uncomfortable position. They aren’t perfect but my family means everything to me. Ira was never shy to tell me how much he hated them and would even talk about them on tumblr without my permission. Which of course they found and read. Eventually my dads side of the family stopped inviting me to events. I was so hurt. Ira seemed glad that he wouldn’t have to deal with them anymore. My mom however stayed in my life. She was a huge support for me and I would go to her with my problems. Ira didn’t like me talking to her and thought we were always talking shit on him. Eventually I felt I couldn’t even talk to her anymore or I would have to deal with Ira.
There were times when in his sleep Ira would try and have sex with me. I would have to fight him off and it was almost impossible to wake him up. No matter how hard I shook him or how loud I yelled. Due to previous experiences I get frightened/ triggered by people not stopping when I tell them to. When I told ira about what he would do in his sleep he basically told me to just let it happen because he wanted to know what it was like.
Eventually Ira lost his job. I was completely supporting us. I also happened to be doing a majority of the cooking and cleaning. Ira spent most of his days on tumblr trying to help other trans guys while I ran everything else. I remember the turning point. We got in a fight about toothpaste. He was upset that I wouldn’t buy the more expensive vegan toothpaste. I was stressed about money and completely shocked that it was such a big deal for someone who would still on occasion eat meat to have vegan toothpaste. He did his usual pout and guilt trip but I stood firm. This was probably the only time I called him out and told him I felt used. That I felt our relationship was toxic and getting abusive towards me. As usually Ira didn’t take it very well. He was upset that I told him that and as always ended with me feeling guilty and apologizing.
Towards the end of our relationship we got into a huge fight I wrote a list of things we needed to work on. I wanted us to have a discussion. When I brought this up to him I was told I was attacking him. He was upset that I did it and refused to accept anything I said. I was wrong. He claimed to be working on things and that he needed time but I never saw it.
I feel like this is getting really long so I’m just gonna go to when I broke up with him.I knew I needed to get out of that relationship months before I did. I just didn’t know how. I was his sole means of support. He made sure to constantly remind me that if I were to leave he would have nothing. I felt so trapped. I started to believe I was going to be with him forever because he was always going to need me. I was getting so tired and my eating disorder was also getting much worse. I was to my breaking point. At work I confided in some friends. They both told me they had been seeing all this happening and were trying to figure out a good way to talk to me about it. As soon as I finished my shift I called my mom crying telling her I had to break up with Ira and I had to do it that night. I knew if I didn’t the guilt would drag me back in. I was so upset my mom wouldn’t let me drive so she came and picked me up to take me back to my apartment. I do admit it was the middle of the night. I know that was a horrible time but I had to do it. It couldn’t wait because I knew all my strength would leave me if I did. I had to pay for the next months rent so I told him he could stay there for the month and I would also provide food for him. I was hoping in a month he would be able to get back on his feet. He told me that he wanted nothing from me. He then went to live with his friend. To this day he still claims I left him homeless but I did everything I could. He just made it sound like I was running back to my perfect white middle class life when in reality I was saving myself and my mental health
“Intentions don’t matter much is the thing. If I am stretching and I accidentally punched someone, I still punched them. The pain of being hit is still there. I find myself saying this a lot, but I don’t think many people truly feel this way. If you screamed at the top of your lungs and called [cissexist people] all douchebags, that’s valid. That’s okay. That’s not inappropriate in the least. Anyone who says it is lacks an understanding of oppression dynamics. See, you’re not screaming and raging over a sentence with a typo. You’re raging at the ideology that forms those sentences. You’re raging at an entire world using you as a doormat. That’s rage-worthy. If institutional oppression is not worth anger, then I don’t know what is.”—
Ira Gray, from this post (http://www.iradaltongray.com/post/15783739896/hey-ira-your-latest-post-reminded-me-of-something-ive)
This quote really resonated with me because this is is something I’ve been struggling to communicate to my rl friends (and some of my internet ones as well), but they just don’t get it. They constantly criticize me for my reactions, not even on the grounds that I’m ~hurting the cause~ by alienating people, but that I’m over-reacting when I vent my frustrations about all the tiny instances of oppressive bullshit that I see repeated day after day after day. They call me over-sensitive and childish, which hurts all the more because they’re supposed to be my friends and support me, not constantly invalidate my feelings.
IF YOU NEED TO BE VALIDATED THROUGH PHYSICAL TOUCH AND YOU WITHDRAW/WHINE/GET DEPRESSED WHEN SOMEONE DENIES YOU ACCESS TO THEIR BODY
IT IS NOT. THE OTHER. PERSON’S. RESPONSIBILITY. TO FIX THAT.
IT IS /YOUR/ RESPONSIBILITY TO WORK ON YOUR SHIT
NO ONE ELSE’S
OTHER PEOPLE’S BODIES CANNOT BE USED TO WORK THROUGH YOUR ISSUES
YOU’RE A SHITHEAD
“Chaz's experience with his body is not inherently wrong for not being the same as my experience. When advocates of our community teach about trans* folks as if we all take part in this singular narrative, however, we set up a dichotomy within our own community: those who are trans* enough for following this narrative and those who are not for being different. ”—Ira Gray, in an essay for Huffington Post about “Transgender (Mis)Education, where he challenges the notion that we’re prescribed to one sole narrative arc that defines us all.
Art of Transliness Statement on Rape
[TW: discussion of rape, sexual assault, and abuse]
Recently there has been a lot of talk on Tumblr about rape allegations against an activist who is big in the trans*, queer, and social justice communities. Art of Transliness takes these issues very seriously and stands firmly against rape as well as sexual, physical, and emotional abuse in all cases. Although in any given situation we may not have all the information or know all the details, the benefit of the doubt must always be given to the victim/survivor. In this specific instance, we no longer will be reblogging or posting anything by this specific person in respect for the victims/survivors and to hold accountable this individual for their actions and we urge others in the community in doing the same.
We should all take this time in our community to discuss, critique, and reflect upon good consent, good communication, and healthy boundaries in order to facilitate safe and respectful sexual and romantic relationships/interactions. In our misogynistic and rape culture, it is important that we hold each other accountable. We are incredibly disappointed in this particular individual and the events that transpired.
Weighing in on Ira Gray and trans radical masculinity (just clicking publish)
We need … a masculinity that is not painful for those who wear it or those who fall in love with it or for those who interact with it. Radical masculinity does not hurt. –Sinclair Sexsmith
For what it’s worth, I don’t stand by Ira Gray (tw for rape, sexual assault, rape apologism), and I never did, though I actively don’t now, and I want to articulate that. I’ve been thinking a lot about community accountability and justice and what that might look like— so much of it is unfolding and being facilitated over Tumblr, which I think is really amazing!
I’ve been thinking also about who we want - as trans men - to be speaking for us. I never felt that Ira Gray spoke for me, but I know a lot of trans guys did and I imagine there can be some feelings of betrayal around that. Last night, I was at a party and I met a Pulitzer-Prize winning writer who has been legendary in my mind since high school. I sat down next to him and asked him if he had any writing projects these days. He lifted his glass of wine and said, “Just drinking.” I laughed, but he didn’t. I felt disoriented and a bit shaken; I had to let go of my idea of who he was. It can be hard to not be able to reconcile your idea of a person you admire with a shattered reality.
Let me address the trans guys here for a second. What kind of man do you want to be? What kind of man don’t you want to be? It is SO IMPORTANT for us as trans men/boys to figure our shit out around misogyny, consent, power, and privilege. And how to be good to/for the women in our lives. It is (can be) hard work but we need to hold ourselves and each other just as responsible for it as we hold/held the cis men we hated/feared when we were feminist dykes. (Generalizing there from personal experience.) And as trans men/boys it is SO IMPORTANT that we hold each other accountable to that, which means speaking out even when it’s uncomfortable— I didn’t really want to write this post. We can’t be gross bros. We can’t be selfish in or out of the sack. It is so much more fun to be down on my knees for the women in my life. We have
a chance to change what masculinity looks like and how it acts. We have to because so much of masculinity is fucking intolerable to me, and yet WE WANT TO BE/ARE MEN FOR SOME REASON, and those reasons aren’t just no reason, so let’s fucking be good, and honest, and check ourselves, and check each other, and own up to where we go wrong. 100% consensual sex exists. It’s fucked up to pretend otherwise and we have to do better than that.
I remember the first time I realized that once I began to pass as a guy, if that ever happens, that women might be afraid of me, the way I fear (still) men walking behind me at night. I remember in that moment this sense of panic and also trying to decide what to do: cross the street? whistle loudly so the woman would know where I was? I sometimes still can’t stomach the idea of becoming/being the very thing that still makes me so afraid most of the time, but then I think about all the soft and loving men I have also known, and how much I love being a fairy fag boy with a thing for femme sharks, and I hope I can use my years and years of interacting with men as a woman-thing to figure out how to be a better/kinder/softer boy.
Women in my Tumblr world: I love and respect you and your feminist boredom, your spoons, your draft purging, your archives of feelings, your boundaries, your overshares, and I want for you in life to always feel safe and I’m so sorry for all the fucked up things that masculinity has done and continues to do to you. I’m going to hold myself and the men/boys in my life accountable for that.
(TW: rape, IRA GRAY) So apparently Ira Gray - AKA Ira Sanchez is running the tumblr Queer Dictionary.
http://queerdictionary.tumblr.com/ is the location of the blog - which is not very active.
Ira Gray’s extremely disturbing history of rapes, rape apologism, and otherwise problematic material can be found in the Ira Gray tag on tumblr, but this post sums up some of his actions:
From the post: Ira Gray (AKA Ira Sanchez) is a rapist [account here] and abusive [account here] towards his partners. I’m pretty sure there are other accounts of abuse out there from his ex partners that I’m missing. Please reblog and link them.
Ira has been well respected and looked up to in many trans* spaces. Let him know this will no longer be. Please contact all organizations he is affiliated with and ask them to remove him in positions of authority as a speaker, facilitator, and a representative of gender and sexual minorities. Do NOT remain silent about this issue! He is counting on your silence to avoid all accountability and responsibility for what he has done. Let the survivors know that they have been heard and that you stand with them. Take the time to read what you can do to help here and read and reblog their open letter to Ira here.
For a list of all of the organisations and groups that are affiliated with Ira, check out this link: http://quinlanskyler.tumblr.com/post/25306662741
Take action against rapists and rape apologists. Get rapists out of queer spaces. Spread the word. Do not let people forget that Ira Dalton Gray - Ira Sanchez - or whatever else he is going by nowadays is a serial rapist.
^ TW: rape, IRA GRAY ^
Absolutely no double standard at all, whatsoever.
tw: mention of rape
Laura Jane Grace comes out. Someone says that someone says that people say that she is a rapist.
Tumblr DFAB community: DIE YOU EVIL LADYHATING RAPIST
Ira Gray/Grey actually rapes people.
Tumblr DFAB communtiy: OMG GAISE HE JUST NEEDS HELP
Pointing this out because I feel it's necessary:
[TW: Rape and rape apologism]
Believing the victims of Asher Bauer and Ira Gray is a GOOD THING. And this situation is not comparable to the general dismissal of any claims against Laura Gabel.
Let’s break it down:
Bauer and Gray’s victims are the ones talking about this. They are documenting and being specific even though all they really need to say as victims is “this happened”. Gray has responded to these accusations with some seriously red-flag shit about how 100% good consent doesn’t exist.
The Laura Gabel situation was a rumor of a rumor mentioned by someone who has a history of transmisogyny. The rumor-starter has been vague as fuck and no evidence of the rumor existing before her has been found, despite some in-depth searches of fan-forum archives by people who are skilled in information hunting. The rumor only came to light when Laura Gabel came out as trans.
Claims of trans women all being rapists are widespread by feminists who have this weird obsession with public bathrooms and crappy music festivals. Claims of trans men being rapists do not carry the same institutionalized power.
I’m making this post because although I haven’t seen anyone make this comparison yet, I’m sure it’s going to happen soon enough, if it hasn’t already. We already have radfems using the victim’s posts to talk about how evil trans people are. Don’t buy into this, it’s disgusting, and trans people of any gender ID are not inherently rapists.
This has been a PSA.
TW: mention of rape, sexual assault, abuse
We’ve removed about a dozen or so posts from this site that were submitted by Ira Gray. If you stumble upon any that remain, please let us know. We try to make this a safe space and a part of that is ensuring that survivors not be exposed to reputed rapists and abusers.
We also think it’s incredibly important that such people are not given a platform to speak as role models for our community. As we mentioned in reference to Kael T. Block previously, there aren’t very many visible trans* DFAB activists of color (especially in the mainstream trans* or LGBT movement/community); we don’t need people like this representing us or being heralded as leaders in our community. Instead, they should be held accountable for their actions.
We stand in solidarity with the survivors. If you want more information or want to find out what you can do to help, go here.
rape apologists fuck off!
It’s like people think to be a rapist it has to be obvious like they wouldn’t know anybody or have any friends or ever do anything nice ever. They have to be 100% evil, otherwise it’s a lie.
Newsflash: to become a serial rapist, you have to be manipulative as fuck, and know people, and be able to be fake nice for a significant amount of time so you can gain people’s trust. Rapists don’t victimize everyone they come in contact with, they need a support group to show everyone what an upstanding citizen they are so they can deny how abusive they are.
Severely unpopular opinion coming up
Has anyone noticed that the language used by Ira Grey during his rapes very closely mimics that used in the Cotton Ceiling workshop?
Guilting and shaming his partners, using emotional manipulation and ‘checking in’ as a methodology to avoid good consent.
I think that’s one of the things that makes me most uncomfortable about this situation—it’s basically the culmination of fucked-up social justice activism.