Seeking Nuance


I have a nuanced view on CW’s.

I was excited by this feature, but recent discourse has skewed into a debate over others rights to decide what others should put behind a CW.

While they are a useful feature to allow people to protect others from triggering content they may post, we should not be forcing others to put pieces of their intersectional identities/experiences behind a CW just because that causes us discomfort or is confronting.

This is about agency, and psychological safety, in my mind.

As a white, trans, and a neurodivergent person, I can’t speak to other experiences I do not own, but I’ve lived in environments where I was told not to express my own identity. When I transitioned, someone told HR I made them feel uncomfortable by coming out, by being openly trans.

Belonging can’t be felt if we have to censor our own identity constantly for others comfort.

I think most neurodivergent people understand this strongly.

Some experiences are uniquely tied to identity. I haven’t experienced racism because of who I am, but I have experienced discrimination, threats, and violence because I’m trans. If someone told me I could be part of a space, but not to mention trans or autistic experiences which include those things, could I say I belonged? Could I say I felt safe?

I can be both pro-CW as a concept and stand against the imposed suppression of people’s identities.

I trust people to exercise their judgement in personally applying CW on their posts, and encourage them.

I believe they are helpful.

But I believe in the right for someone to enter a space as a whole person, not with pieces cleaved off of them to be acceptable to others.

Everything has nuance.

We all have the right to curate our experience on mastodon - that’s individual choice.

Mutes, blocks, which server we pull our local timeline from - we have choices.

But before we ask others to hide their own lived experience/identity, that we do not dwell within, behind a CW, we also need to understand we don’t have the right to decide where their personhood begins and ends.