For those who don’t know Steam Twist was banned almost two years ago for what can only be described as perceived transphobia. Despite having the best of intentions at this time Steam knew virtually nothing about transgenderism, which lead him to misgender and otherwise a certain user on many occasions. Steam by his own word, and the word of others, tried his best to be as sensitive and understanding in regards to this topic and said poster as possible, but because of his general ignorance surrounding the topic, and the fact that he has Aspergers (a condition that I also have) Steam was repeatedly misunderstood and assumed to be transphobic by this community.
My question is wither or not ignorance and lack of social understanding can be considered as bigotry? I don’t think so. In fact I think this community was in the wrong for judging Steam so negatively, despite the fact that everyone knows about his condition. It seems to me that most members of this community were either eager to jump on the offence bandwagon without fully analysing the situation from everyone’s point of view, or they simply had a personal problem with Steam Twist. But... I also understand how sensitive the topic of transgenderism can be for both trans and non-trans people alike, so I can’t hold too much of a grudge against this community.
The community should have tried to empathise with Steam to a greater extent, before explaining the complex workings of transgenderism to him, and why what he said was wrong and not welcome in this community. Bullying and kicking him from the site could have caused significant resentment on Steams side, which may have lead to him becoming genuinely transphobic, but luckily Steam took this a learning curb and seems to have became a lot more informed on trans issues, as well as having at least one transgender friend.
In conclusion, Steam Twist has learned his lesson and genuinely resents what he did, which lead him to become more informed on transgender issues. While the user in question has left the site, I’m well aware of the fact that this community still has a substantial transgender population, but I think considering that Steam has become more than educated on this topic that there is no chance that he’ll offend anyone.
Nearly two years is a long time to be banned over a few ignorant, but offensive comments. I think it’s time to give Steam another chance.
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