Last night, Milo Yiannopoulos’s “Dangerous Faggot Tour” came to UW-Milwaukee, hosted by a student front group, also responsible for the somewhat lame exercise in neo-McCarthyism, the “Professor Watchlist.” For over a month, faculty, staff and students have been expressing concern about the known dynamics of Milo Y, a kind of sly and slick performance of white grievance against political correctness, immigrant and muslim communities, as well as LGBT+ campus presence and politics. The administration, quivering in fear of their rightwing legislative budget lords’ threats of defunding, generally evaded the issue of the impact of hate speech to vulnerable communities, though subsequently released tepid but earnest statements regarding freedom of speech and their inability to control the sponsorship of student groups, with the intent to disassociate the UWM brand with a known hate-monger, white supremacist, such as Mr. Y. Cautious hand-wringing has generally been the operative dynamic at play within the crumbling institution.
Concerned students and workers planned and mounted a solid counter protest: we marched, disrupted the jubilee of white resentment, conducted an alternative open mic event near the heavily policed second floor of the student union, and held light panels that proclaimed “DENY HATE.” Our struggling union, AFT3535 bought pizza for the counter protesters, and the energy was celebratory, aggressive, and peaceful.
There was a full house for Milo, and his one hour stand-up game of hate charades was live cast on Brietbart. At 49 minutes into his shtick, Milo projected a picture of a UWM trans student (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), who was undergoing conversion, and “outed” them for making an issue of bathroom access. Bathrooms, right? What an outrage! Milo went on to suggest his own interest in having sex with the student, all while assessing them critically in very specific and demeaning ways. The student’s name was prominently displayed, and everyone laughed.
For over a month, many of us have expressed our concern about the inevitability of this kind of violence towards our students. This is what Milo is known for, and this is where the framing of “free speech” and “academic diversity” has been, to some of us, quite hollow, or, to be more generous, extremely complex in its very concrete implications for the safety of our students.
Immediately following the event, Chancellor Mone released an email to the entire campus, where he expressed that “I will not stand silently by when a member of our campus community is personally and wrongly attacked.” He goes on to say that “I am disappointed that this speaker chose to attack a transgender student.” But this is what Milo does! This is how made a name for himself with the shitfest known as Gamergate. This is why he was kicked off of Twitter! This is what he does in his insidiously amoral stand-up comedically clever campus tour.
How does Chancellor Mone’s refusal to “stand silently” translate into anything other than a vague “disappointment” that Milo did such a heinous and harmful thing to a specific person, while broadcast live to a massive national audience known for a propensity towards vicious trolling and specific harassment?
The student in question sent out a blistering email to multiple faculty and staff after reading Chancellor Mone’s statement. It is long. It is scathing, It is angry and hurt and dismayed and weary and fed up. It is unedited except for the redacting of her name. It is worth reading.
Chancellor Mark Mone
GO FUCK YOURSELF.
I am the trans student that was attacked and your email is nothing short of insulting. I wasn’t going to write this email at first, even after Milo attacked me, but then I saw your email and I’m SO FUCKING SICK of your goddamn lip service. Seriously go fuck yourself.
Your email? I don’t even know where to begin. Also, I don’t care if you feel “offended” or “harassed”. Welcome to my life. Sue me. I’d be more than happy to defend my free speech in court (since this is what you call it apparently) to lambast your ass for being an ungodly, fucking pathetic “ally.” And quite frankly I don’t care who the fuck reads this email (as you can tell by the CC) or what people think of me. I’m aware of where this email can end up. So be it. My “give a fuck card” was thrown out the window a long time ago. I’m going to write about you and YOUR fucked-up bullshit.
Your words: “I also will not stand silently by when a member of our campus community is personally and wrongly attacked.” That is probably the biggest piece of goddamn fucking bullshit I’ve ever read. What exactly do you plan to do? OH YEAH, NOTHING, BECAUSE YOU’RE A COWARDLY PIECE OF SHIT. Your “not standing silently” apparently consists of a single email mass-sent to the university. That’s it. You don’t get a fucking cookie for that. What else were you going to go? NOTHING. You were planning on doing jack shit.
Did you even attempt to reach out to me? NOPE. Not even an email, nothing. Instead it was supposed to suffice to just send a nice little bit of polished hogwash to the general campus. Is that right? Were you trying to head off student protests calling for you to be sacked or something? You’d like nothing better than for this to just blow over. Seriously what the hell ARE you even doing right now? You say you’re not standing by silently? BULL-FUCKING-SHIT YOU POMPOUS ASSHOLE. YES YOU ARE.
Don’t act like you didn’t know this would happen. You knew goddamn well it would. I lost track of how many people pointed this out to you. And what the hell did you do when students tried to organize and deliver a petition to cancel Milo’s event? YOU FUCKING CALLED THE COPS ON THEM. LIKE WHAT IN THE LIVING FUCK. Your asshole level is off the charts, especially because you feign concern about this with one hand while backhanding all of us with the other. Because there’s nothing like the threat of state violence to keep people in line.
Seriously, you FUCKING CALLED THE GODDAMN POLICE on students at your office who were raising extremely valid concerns about Milo, you forcibly threw students out, and then you want to turn around and act like you didn’t see this coming? How fucking naïve do you think we are?
This also isn’t just a case of a speaker going off an a tangent like that, like some random occurrence. It was not a case where you had no way of knowing he would do this. Quite the contrary: Milo has a supremely extensive, highly-documented track record of doing precisely this. As I’ve already said, YOU KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN. WE TOLD YOU IT WOULD. AND WE TOLD YOU AGAIN. AND AGAIN. But you brushed this off under “muh free speech” bullshit.
Do tell me, if someone invited a fucking modern Hitler to campus, would you allow that? Because that’s what your bullshit argument says. How about David Duke of the KKK, can we invite him? Or how about Andrew Anglin, the self-proclaimed Nazi who runs the Daily Stormer website? (Yes, he is an actual Nazi. That is not hyperbole.) Can we invite him? Genuine question. You’ve already allowed a fascist on campus, so can we invite a full-fledged Nazi? Are there no bounds? Maybe we should invite a radical who advocates burning down Chapman Hall, because speakers like that can be found (and no, me typing that sentence is not a threat to destroy property. “Words don’t hurt anyone” as the fascist you defended last night would say.)
Free speech does not cover harassment, and that’s exactly what Milo did to me. But hey, do email about hashtagging #UWMstandstogether as if that fucking accomplishes anything. Damn, you fucking liberals really drive me up the wall. Now you can spend all of 10 seconds making some half-assed tweet, give it a cute hashtag, and go about your day feeling like you did something. NO. YOU DON’T GET CREDIT FOR THAT. YOU ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING. You’re as embarrassing as the people who wear a safety pin and think that counts as being an ally—patting yourself on the back for a job well done—all while you stand silent as fascists attack your students. Some ally. Or making a hashtag that virtually nobody in the city will see, and which will do abso-fucking-lutely nothing. Good grief…UWM “stands together”…as you fucking call the police on students who tried to petition you…as you divide and attack marginalized students while saying you want unity…as you allow a fascist to use “free speech” as an pretense to harass and attack. The amount of doublethink here is just incredible.
And we’re supposed to respond with positive messages, not anger? WHAT FUCKING WORLD DO YOU LIVE IN. Do you have any idea how much fucking privilege you have to even BEGIN saying something like that? WHAT. THE. FUCK. You do NOT get to dictate how we feel. You do NOT get to tell us what our emotions should be. Oh but okay, here’s a positive message: Nobody died! WOO-FUCKING-HOO! Positivity! Go Panthers!
Fuck no. I am done getting repeatedly abused and shit on, and expected to just take it and not be angry. But don’t worry, I’m not angry. I’m way, way beyond that. I am SO FUCKING DONE having to justify my humanity to shitheads like you all the fucking time. Angry bitches get shit done. You say to not respond with “anger”…goddamn you haven’t the slightest fucking clue what pervasive marginalization is like.
Do you even know what Milo said about me? Do you, asshole? Here, I’ll type a bit out for you, because I highly doubt you actually know what that fascist said about me from his podium in front of hundreds of people (and live-streamed on Breitbart in front of thousands):
>>> Context: Milo just finished mocking feminists who critique the very harmful phrase ‘man up’ <<<
Milo: “I’ll tell you one UW-Milwaukee student that does not need to man up, and that is (Student’s name).”
>>> Milo puts an image of me, taken from last spring when I was earlier in my transition and appeared significantly more masculine, on the main screen<<<
Milo: “Do you know about (Student’s Name)? Have any of you come into contact with this person? This quote unquote nonbinary trans—you’re not laughing now, are you, you know him—this quote unquote nonbinary trans woman forced his way into the women’s locker rooms this year. Who knows about this story, any of you?”
>>>Milo looks around, people laugh<<<
“I see you don’t even read your own student media. He got into the women’s room the way liberals always operate, using the government and the courts to weasel their way where they don’t belong. In this case he made a Title IX complaint. Title IX is a set of rules to protect women on campus effectively. It’s couched in the language of equality, but it’s really about women, which under normal circumstances would be fine except for how it’s implemented. Now it is used to put men in to women’s bathrooms. I have known some passing trannies in my life. Trannies—you’re not allowed to say that. I’ve known some passing trannies, which is to say transgender people who pass as the gender they would like to be considered.”
>>> Milo directs the audience’s attention to the image of me.<<<
>>>Audience laughs. <<<
Milo: “The way that you know he’s failing is I’d almost still bang him.”
>>> Audience begins laughing a lot, keeps laughing <<<
Milo: “It’s just…it’s just a man in a dress, isn’t it? I should reapply my lipstick…”
And all you can say is you’re “disappointed” he attacked me? Disappointed? Are you fucking kidding me? How about ENRAGED or INFURIATED. What the fuck is this use of disappointed? Tranny is the equivalent of faggot, and you’re disappointed? Really? REALLY? YOU FUCKING THINK???? Goddamn. Oh but you condemn it. Okay, that forgives everything. Not.
You: “I would not deprive students or our community of opportunities to hear diverse viewpoints.”
Translation: I would never deprive students of the ability to collectively harass and verbally assault another student, because it’s “free speech.”
I was at Milo’s event. You have NO FUCKING IDEA what that was like. NO. FUCKING. IDEA. I knew this event would bring out all the worst people on campus, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. Standing in line was bad enough. Luckily at this point in my life, I look substantially more feminine than I did last spring (when almost everybody perceived me as a “boy in girls’ clothes”), and I’m correctly gendered as a woman probably 90%+ of the time now. Anyway I’m in line waiting, and in front of me two dudes are making hateful comments about trans folk. Yet 10 minutes after that, one of them was looking at my chest and checking me out. In my mind the only thing I’m thinking is, “If this person knew he was sexually attracted to a trans girl…holy shit…” because asshole boys like him tend to get extremely aggressive if they realize a girl they found attractive has a penis.
But that was still bearable and I was prepared in case they realized I’m trans (thankfully they didn’t). I also knew Milo was going to regurgitate a profound amount of racist and transphobic hate. What I did not anticipate was being specifically targeted and called out in the way he did. I hadn’t said anything or made even the slightest disruption: He had his harassment of me planned out well in advance. I’m sitting there and I hear him say “(my name” and I just froze up. I have never, ever, ever been more terrified in my life of being outed. Ever. He put my picture up, which as already stated, was taken from a prior period when my masculine features were significantly more sharp and extremely noticeable. And I am sitting there frozen in total terror that somebody around me would recognize me, point me out, and incite the mob of the room against me. Nobody did point me out, thank god. But do you have ANY idea how much power Milo had and how it feels to pray that your ability to “pass” doesn’t fail you now? That’s what it was like. Fuck, you can’t even appreciate what I’m writing. You say you do but you really don’t. You do NOT have this perspective. I was looking at the stage, consciously aware of trying to not look “suspicious” and reveal I was the person he was talking about (even as I could feel the color draining from my face), but also not looking at Milo directly ‘lest he recognize me and instantly set off dozens of people screaming at me.
I was trapped in fear and went numb. Completely numb. I felt nothing. I was having a severe, emotional, traumatic response to being fucking called out and directly targeted by this transphobic asshole in front of thousands of people, and my body’s main coping mechanism for severe stress is to shut down all emotions. I couldn’t even cry, and that’s probably a good thing because it would’ve outed me. Even after the event, I still felt nothing and was “fine.” It wasn’t until hours later, as my body began to process it, that I broke down sobbing uncontrollably. I can handle transphobia (you’re basically forced to as a trans girl) but Milo went way the fuck beyond that in what he did to me.
Do you have any fucking idea how hurtful this is? Do you know what it’s like to be in a room full of people who are laughing at you as if you’re some sort of perverted freak, and how many of them would have hollered at me (or worse) if I was outed? Do you know what this kind of terror is? No, you don’t, because as a cis person you do not understand. Sorry-not-sorry, but you don’t and you can’t. You don’t understand how misgendering is violence. Yes, VIOLENCE. And did you miss the part where Milo was talking about having sex with me? Aka shoving his dick up my ass, and joking about applying lipstick to seduce me. How the fuck is this acceptable? This is both gender and sexual harassment. What court upholds this as free speech? Answer: NOBODY. THIS WAS SPECIFICALLY TARGETED AT ME. WHAT FUCKING COURT HAS EVER UPHELD THIS SORT OF HARASSMENT DIRECTED SPECIFICALLY AGAINST A STUDENT AS “FREE SPEECH”? Just wait, now an apologist for fascists will find one lonely example, amidst a plethora that protect students from harassment.
If you actually cared about students, you would have blocked this student org from bringing Milo here, and had they fought it in court you would have battled back and prevailed. The difference here is Milo harasses specific people and incites violence against them. That is not protected, and other universities have successfully blocked him because of that. But you’re too busy kissing the ass of trans-hating republicans running the state and letting fascists attack whomever they want.
But whatever, let Milo joke about fucking me (up the ass). Who gives a fuck about sexual violence. It’s not like I’ve been raped or anything before (actually, I have). Universities regularly push that under the rug in order to protect their sorry-ass reputations. I sure as hell wouldn’t put that past UWM either. And Milo is the Dangerous Faggot after all. Let him repeatedly commit violence against me by erasing my identity and painting me as some sort of male sex predator preying on women in the bathroom. Because who cares if a student is slandered? WHO THE FUCK CARES ABOUT THOSE GODDAMN CODDLED STUDENTS? Who cares if they get harassed?
Perhaps this might be an explanation you can somewhat, partially understand on what it’s like to be misgendered and how this is violence, Mark Mone: Pretend you go to a restaurant to order a meal, and when you arrive, you’re given a gendered greeting of, “Hello woman, how may I take your order?” After placing your order, “Thank you ma’am, that will be such and such.” Then when you receive your order, “Oh hey, did you know you’re STILL not a man? Because you’re not. Oh and here’s your food, thank you!” And whenever anybody interacts with you, you’re called she all day, every fucking day. Imagine a similar scene again an hour later at the gas station. Now imagine it CONSTANTLY happening, on a DAILY basis, every week of the year, EVERY GODDAMN YEAR OF YOUR LIFE. You get to a point where it really, really severely fucks with you. The endless invalidation and relentless attack.
Oh who the fuck am I kidding. Why am I bothering even trying to explain what it’s like? It completely escapes your mind the very real violence Milo intentionally committed against me by calling me a man over and over in the name of “free speech” and slandering me as a sex predator.
You will also never know what it’s like wanting to die every day, you don’t know what it’s like attempting suicide multiple times, you don’t know what it’s like looking down 20 stories to a concrete ground and being an inch away from plummeting to death, you don’t know what it’s like putting your neck on a railroad track, only to chicken out right before the train got there and cursing yourself for not going through with it, (to your fucking bullshit police, no I am not suicidal right now but you fucks will try and twist past-tense into present. you pretentious assholes), you don’t know what it’s like to look in the mirror every goddamn morning and see a face you don’t recognize, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE GOING THROUGH PUBERTY FOR THE WRONG FUCKING GENDER. THIS IS A HELL YOU CANNOT, AND WILL NOT, AND ARE UTTERLY FUCKING INCAPABLE OF UNDERSTANDING. And then being denied medical access for years and years and years. Do NOT have the audacity and gall to say you “understand” our concerns. NO YOU DO NOT. You don’t know what it’s like being in poverty and unable to pay for physical transitions, and locked in the wrong body. You have NO FUCKING CLUE what it’s like to be in our shoes and having to pretend everything is fine and dandy. And then to have the university defend a speaker that targets you by name and puts up a masculine-looking picture of you to laugh at…regardless if I had been there in person (sitting in terror) or hiding in my home, HOLY FUCKING SHIT. FUCK YOU. JUST FUCK YOU.
Honest to god, if any student said or did that to me, it would be a complete and total violation of university policy on harassment. NO student could say those things and get away with it. NOBODY. BECAUSE FOR THE 100TH FUCKING TIME, HARASSMENT AND VERBALLY ASSAULTING PEOPLE IS NOT FREE SPEECH. But if they bring in an outside speaker who does THE SAME EXACT FUCKING THING, then apparently it’s okay because “free speech.” Seriously, do you not comprehend how contradictory and fucked-up your logic is?
Can I bring in a speaker who goes on a tirade and personally insults, attacks, and makes crude sexual jokes about a student in the Turning Point USA org? And then do it again for the next student, until every student in that organization is thoroughly trashed? Is that free speech?
NO YOU ASSHOLE, IT IS NOT. HARASSMENT IS NOT FREE SPEECH. AND YOU FUCKING KNEW MILO WOULD DO THIS. WE TOLD YOU. YOU REFUSED TO LISTEN.
But you know what, I’m not done ranting against your transphobic ass yet. I’d like to tell anybody who is still reading this email the other bullshit going on in this hellhole. You have rung me around ever since last January with your locker room bullshit. You do realize there are trans and intersex people on campus who 100% avoid the locker room and Klotsche Center because YOU still insist on policing their body parts? And yes, I say YOU personally because YOU approve of the unpublished “interim policy” that does just this and still forbids any nonconforming body part from being exposed for so much as a second. This is where you’re truly a transphobic ass. You are no ally. If a transgender man changes clothing in the men’s locker room, and someone sees his breast, YOU would seek to punish the trans man for the so-called “crime” of changing his clothes. Nevermind how totally fucking inverted this reasoning is.
And you won’t commit to putting a locker room policy on paper either, so instead you have something that’s transphobic as fuck yet only verbal, making it harder to track and challenge. You’re taking ZERO leadership on this and are instead stalling for time, waiting for the issue to be forced and decided in the courts. Yet you’re “proud” of the work the LGBT resource center does? Goddamn if that’s the case (it’s not; you’re a transphobic asshole), then either be an actual trans-inclusive leader or get the fuck out of the way.
I knew when I went public last spring with all the transphobic bullshit YOU were putting me through that trolls would pick up on it. I was ready for that. But what I’m NOT going to gloss over is your contemptible pandering to trans and intersex folk, and your fucking self-righteous email and related bullshit you put forth claiming to stand with marginalized people like me. NO YOU DO NOT.
Your administration never wanted to allow me and other trans and intersex folk locker room access in the first place. You fucks originally tried to force me into the men’s locker room (which ironically, I couldn’t change clothing in there right now either because I have breasts…or are you so incredibly transphobic you don’t recognize that my breast development is indeed female breasts? I can’t change clothing anywhere under your goddamn policy unless I run off and lock myself in a stall), or to force me into a completely segregated, single-user space that lacked a sauna and pool access. It was only—and I repeat, only—because your attorneys advised you that you had to allow access that you ever let me back in to the locker room after originally banning me. And even then, you insisted I follow special restrictions (which by the way, I long, long, long ago disregarded. You’re in another fucking world if you think I’d submit to that bullshit.) And you continue to marginalize other trans and intersex individuals in locker rooms to this very day. If someone who appears trans wants to use the facility, you’ll have them yanked aside and given a body-shaming lecture where they are told they must always cover up in a locker room…a fucking locker room where undressing is expected…fuck you really are backwards. It’s apparent our bodies will never be acceptable to you.
Besides deliberately and purposely preventing a trans-inclusive locker room policy, your list of shit also includes throwing ALL of your trans and intersex employees under the bus by refusing to fight for their right to have medical procedures and treatment covered by insurance. You are PERFECTLY content with the status quo of denying medical service, as much as you may pretend otherwise. In fact, you recently had a prospective hire walk away from a job offer because they were transgender and you refused to provide medical benefits. But do continue blaming your bullshit on third party “outside of your control” crap and doing meaningless shit to change that.
I can keep listing more things but you know what, just go fuck yourself and in all honestly, drop your T from LGBT. Quit pretending. You do not stand for or represent trans folk and you ignore our needs. Asshole. You are LGB at best and a complete transphobic jerk. I’m done with you. Coming to this university was one of the single-most, worst mistakes I have ever made in my life. At the time you were supposedly ranked 5 stars for LGBTQ+ friendliness and sold me a colossal amount of bullshit to that effect. HA! WHAT A FUCKING JOKE. I really do genuinely regret ever coming here. It was a mistake.
Believe me when I say no matter how much you might dislike (or resent) this email, any pain you feel from what I wrote is but a tiny fraction of the pain I felt, and still feel in my chest and throughout my body, when Milo attacked me, and the pain trans folk feel just for existing in this society. You are so, so incredibly blinded by your privilege and place in society. Fuck you.
Former student at this godforsaken university
Pronouns: They or She, not that you actually give a shit in the greater scheme of things
P.S. To Mark Mone and your cronies: I’m not going to respond to any phone calls, emails, or attempts to have me speak with anyone. I am never returning to your goddamn campus again. Ever. GOODBYE BITCHES. And very specifically to you Mark Mone and other spineless liberal assholes that fully support bringing a fascist speaker to campus who is EXTRAORDINARILY well-known to harass and target specific students: From the bottom of my heart, truly, FUCK YOU.