We stand by, beside and behind Alison Evans and all non-binary, genderqueer, gender neutral and gender non-conforming persons in the LoveOzYA community and beyond.
Last week, Alison Evans was awarded the People’s Choice Award at the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2018 for their YA fiction novel Ida. An incredible and well deserved achievement. Then some shit went down.
It started when Benjamin Law misgendered Evans on Twitter. When he was called out on this, he apologised, took ownership of his mistake and made a commitment to do better. Things then escalated when Piers Morgan, who I’d never heard of until now, but seems like an all around awful human being, jumped in the sub-tweets to call the non-binary identity a ‘farce’.
I’m going to say something that may ruffle a feather or two, but Evans is very public about being non-binary, so while I’m thankful Law apologised, there is no need to give him a pat on the back for it.
Why? Because this is not about him.
This is not about transphobes, or homophobes or people who hide behind ‘political correctness gone mad’ to explain why they’re being an arsehole. I’ve got some knowledge to share: you can be both politically correct and still be an arsehole. These are not mutually exclusive states. But this is not about that.
This is about Alison Evans.
I read and even shared this Junkee article: Piers Morgan Had A Go At Benjamin Law For… Correctly Identifying Someone’s Gender.
They are not ‘someone’. They are Alison Evans.
He didn’t identify Evans correctly, that is where this whole thing started.
What is my point here?
My point here is that every time this happens, all media attention is focused on either bigots like Morgan or ‘good guys’ like Law, who did a thing that could have easily been avoided had he bothered to go to any of Evans’ social media pages. Sure, he apologised, but since when do we give praise for people doing the decent human thing?
This is for Evans. This is for everyone in our community, however you identify. I’m letting you know we have your back. We see you. And every time something like this happens, we will stand up for you. I know how often I am misgendered. Or have my sexuality assumed. Or am bullied, abused, made fun of, and every single other negative, toxic action on the spectrum of hate that is thrown at us for not conforming to heteronormativity. I know that this happens to each and every one of you, every single day.
And I know that no articles are written about that. That Junkee article wasn’t about Evans being misgendered, or how that affected them, the trauma that can cause, the fear that can transpire from being publicly attacked. This article was only written because it was ‘our very own Benjamin Law’.
I am sending support and love to Evans and every other person who has ever felt erased from their own story. I recognise that Benjamin Law is part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and I recognise that he made the right moves after being called out, but even here, patriarchal power imbalances exist.
That Junkee article should have been titled ‘Alison Evans Publicly Attacked Following Major Literary Award’.
Evans should not have been tacked on the end with a, ‘Meanwhile, Alison Evans is copping a bit of abuse since Morgan’s tweet.’
To the media of Australia: do better.
The only thing stopping me from going into total rage mode is that Alison Evans mum made them a lasagne after hearing about it. Legend.