Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Blood tests and internet attacks

Sorry for the pauses in between blog posts. It is not that I don’t have anything to write about. I usually have lots and generally have several draft posts on the go at any one time. At the moment I have 2 others but they are not ready yet.

Lucy had the results of her blood tests back and they are really looking good and levels are definitely moving in the right direction. She sent them off to Dr Webberley who has now increased the patch dose to 12.8mg (2 x Evorel 100) and we are definitely seeing changes which is good. She has put on weight with the patches and I try to nicely nag her when I see she is eating rubbish however she seems to think I’m not being very supportive. She says the weight is not piling on and she has stabilised but her body shape is changing and she is looking like she has put more weight on especially in the tummy area. Weight is always a sensitive subject anyway for anyone. I’m not a skinny bean and my weight has been stable for the last 12 years but I am on the fatter part of the spectrum (boo hoo).

I know she is still very conscious of the thinning patch on her head however there is hair lots of baby fine hair growing there now, it is lighter in colour but it is getting longer now. Hopefully this will thicken up and get a bit darker. The rest of her hair is getting quite long and she even allowed me to straighten it (it is very curly) which made her look totally different and it looked even longer. It was funny as she kept shaking her head as it was flicking around at the back of her neck.

She has still been involved in lots of stuff behind the scenes for Sparkle. It is certainly shaping up to be a great event. We are looking forward to going and hope that the weather stays fine. Last year it was intermittent rain and kept changing from warm to cold. Fingers crossed.

We had a great evening out at Pinks on Friday meeting up with some old friends and making new ones as we always do. As it was a couple of months since we had last been able to go out it was well overdue and great fun. I just love spending time with her... well she is my best friend and soulmate!

This weekend seemed to have been a big weekend for the internet. Firstly, here in the UK there was the ransomware cyber attack that has caused chaos within many NHS organisations which continues this week. And of course there was the co-ordinated worldwide attack (150 countries) where some neo-Nazi groups posted and corrupted, and attempted to disrupt, many ‘trans’ related groups and pages.

They initiated support through Reddit style chat boards called 4chan and 8chan and created Facebook groups to rally their troops. Seems their focus was to attack and report groups to get them closed, ban the admins and get them closed forever as well as attacking individuals posting on these sites. These trolls were, and still are, making many fake accounts in order to infiltrate these groups and pages. Some groups/pages were named however they hit on many, many more. These are supposed to be safe spaces and support groups and many people within this community are vulnerable. Luckily many of the different group/page admins were alerted and all worked together monitoring or stopping all new members for a time period and spent a huge amount of time banning and reporting people, getting profiles removed as well as deleting posts.                                                                                                        
One Facebook page that I follow was not so lucky and got hit left right and centre. Assigned Male Comics who create some great trans cartoons had a horrendous amount of neo-Nazi memes and aggressive transphobic abuse posted everywhere. They covered the page with Nazi nemes and symbols, Hitler imagery, references to gassing trans people, threats to kill trans, supporters and Sophie whose page it is. Poor Sophie spent hours deleting comments and banning people and has now assigned an admin team formed of volunteers to assist. There are so many that it has been impossible to delete them all. Even today the abusive and disgusting posts continue and along with private messages to anyone who posts against their tirades…. “messages about raping me to death”, “killing my family”. Their messages contain vicious hatred and xenophobia, their profile pictures often contain swastikas, sometimes brandishing a weapon of some sort, they post about supremacy and then get offended when they are called racists or transphobic. Majority of these are using fake profiles but some, which shows the level of their intelligence, didn’t which has resulted in some comeback on their own profiles and comments being sent to some of their friends. Sadly, some of the aggressors were school kids. Most seemed to be male.

These were planned, co-ordinated and abusive attacks which still continue today. There is evidence of plans being initiated back at the beginning of April and according to their propaganda, it looks like it will continue into this coming weekend.

I am not really sure what these protesters really want to achieve? Do they really think that trans/non-binary people will stop being trans/non-binary just because support groups/pages have closed (which they haven’t)? It seems many have nothing better to do with their lives and they have been awake day and night posting their abuse. Many of the abusers appear to be from the US. Is this evidence of the impact of the Trump presidency?

One thing that has surprised me is that there has been no media coverage about this and nothing comes up on google. The whole thing seems to have slipped under the radar of the general public and possibly to people within the community. I am not posting about them to forward their objectives but to raise awareness to those people who may not have known this was happening. Had I not been a member of some particular groups I would never have known about this or seen the ferociousness and the vehemency of their attacks. As always with all social media, be careful who you accept as friends and when in groups or pages be vigilant and if you see anything that could be inappropriate report it to either the admins or if on Facebook, also report it to Facebook itself. In this instance they have been swift in acting on inappropriate profiles and pages. Remember this is just words and usually keyboard warriers...... I doubt many of them would be so brave if it was a face to face interaction!

1 comment:

  1. First, YAY for Lucy! Body change is good :) We all have weight issues, being your best you doesn't mean being skinny.
    Second, It's always easy to be aggressive and macho online, at a computer screen. These cowards wouldn't have the first clue that Lucy could twist them into a pretzel, or that I could take them down with a well placed bullet. Believing that trans women are weak is as stupid as believing that any woman is weak. This is male privilege that is feeling threatened. The Nazi thing was just the worst thing they could come up with, unimaginative dolts. In real life they are children who think, yes because of our US president, that they can do what they want without any reprisal. Much like the US president, they will find we don't bend so easily, that most of us have already been through hell and will fight for the small amount of peace we manage.
    Love you Avril, great Post!