Some Honest Questions For The People Who Keep Asking Me Questions About [Panic Issue Here]

Do you own a computer? Is it connected to the internet? It must be, because you keep posting these inane blog posts of questions for people. Are you aware of this amazing new tool called Google? The awesome thing about it is that if you type your question into its little search bar, you’ll probably get a good, coherent answer that’s better than anything one of your blog readers could come up with off the cuff. Indeed, there are entire sites dedicated to sorting out and responding to your questions so you don’t embarrass yourself by asking silly or “accidentally” bigoted questions, or, even, inventing your own terms (“transgendering”? Bro!).

You claim to be asking these questions in good, honest faith. We should take you at your word and understand that you just want to know. I mean, if you were simply sermonizing, we might have a case to say that you’re being bigoted, that you’re not listening. But if you’re asking questions, then you must be listening, right? Because listeners ask questions!

Unless these questions aren’t just questions? If I’m to take you at your word that you’re just asking questions, I have to assume that saying “Please Google before asking basic questions about transgender identity and possibly read a bit of Judith Butler and something from the decades of academic theory about gender as a social construct” will be taken as an adequate response. But considering that doesn’t seem to be a sufficient answer for many of you, I have to wonder if the questions really are genuine questions. Perhaps you genuinely don’t want to know?

If that’s the case, then I have to wonder why you’re asking the question at all. Why bother with the format at all, when you know you have tools and theory and research just a few keystrokes away? Is it because the questions give you a form of plausible deniability against charges of bigotry? In which case, you’re engaged in a form of manipulation unbefitting of a man of God. If you’re not interested in actually engaging with the answers that are out there to the questions you have, then perhaps you shouldn’t’ be asking the questions in the first place.

Because that’s the thing with questions: you get answers. And you’re not always going to like or agree with the answers you get—that’s your prerogative! But you can’t do the double-bind of simply “asking” and then pretending to be baffled when people refuse to take you by the hand and guide you through your “innocent” questions.

Some questions are genuine! I totally understand that. But you have enough resources and extant guides at your fingertips that I have to assume you’re being either lazy or manipulative when you would rather write a blog post of “questions” instead of just googling them. Then again, if you were being genuine and not just trying to shore up your side of the “debate” by asking a series of easily googled questions, you probably wouldn’t be having this conversation at all.

Questions are rarely innocent. There's a motive, a social location, a tactic behind it. Call me cynical (which I don't necessary see as a bad thing...) but after years of fielding "innocent questions" from white male pastors who clearly just want to catch me in a seeming contradiction, I'm a bit tired.

Google it. Borrow a book from the library. Teach yourself. Do the work, and then maybe we'll take on your questions in good faith.