For a few years now, my biggest idols on YouTube have been the three heads of the Co-optional Podcast, that being TotalBiscuit, Jesse Cox and Dodger. I have been a fan of all three since their TGS days and have grown fonder of them, in particular John “TotalBiscuit” Bain in the past couple years as he’s been at the forefront of journalist integrity when the vast majority of games journalism hasn’t not been so trustworthy in recent memory.
But at this year’s CoxCon, a convention in the UK that features these YouTube celebrities, as well as others, my confidence with them has shaken just a tiny bit over the reaction to a three-word question that set off a firestorm that resulted in more than just laughing a silly question off.
So what was the question that caused the entire chain of events? Well…here it is:
Yup. That was it. “Are traps gay?”. A meme. A fucking meme! Granted, if you don’t know the meme, sure the question catches you off-guard and in fact I think Jesse’s initial reaction of “W-WHAT?!!” was about the right reaction. That’s a ridiculous random question that’s being asked during a Q&A full of fans asking them stuff about their content, the gaming industry and other casual topics. That question would certainly throw you off, but I’m trying to understand here why this became such an “offensive, transphobic” moment at the convention.
Even worse, the head of the outrage has not been Jesse, the personality the convention it’s named after. It’s my favourite YouTuber, TotalBiscuit who’s at the forefront of the reactions to this question:
First of all, the question is not transphobic. The term ‘trap’ is a made-up word that came out of 4chan through the classic Star Wars quote from Admiral Ackbar “It’s a trap!” to describe transsexual or androgynous people or fictional characters that look like a women but have male genitalia and coerce men into having sex with them, without these men knowing what’s hiding underneath. Which by the way, any person who does that to anyone, you’re a disgraceful human being, that’s the kind of shit you HAVE to announce to someone you’re trying to have sex with.
The “are traps gay?” question is nothing more than a meme, a silly debate on internet forums over whether being attracted to a trans-woman would be considered homosexual. I can’t answer that question myself through my own feelings, considering I’m bisexual, so my attraction to more feminine-looking males doesn’t exactly answer that question either. But taking the core concepts of this question into mind, it’s pretty simple, being attracted to a trap in the end is gay. If you don’t know that person’s a trap, then you didn’t know. But if you do know, or if you find out and you’re still in, guess what? You like having sex with men, so you’re either gay or bi.
Anyways, that debate aside, the idea that TB’s now asking people to rat this guy out for asking a stupid question. Like come on, did it need to go that far? It happened, it’s over, it didn’t offend anyone (I challenge you to explain to me why it is offensive), now move on and continue enjoying the convention. Everyone will forget moments after when they get to meet you in person, John and the rest of the internet will forget in about…oh wait, they’ve already forgotten.
But instead, you had to keep going, didn’t you John?
You removed him from the event? Really? It was that bad? Not only that, but from what I’ve read and heard, there isn’t any refunds given out for tickets at the convention. So this guy for saying a meme into the microphone, he had to be removed, because him being there, even though few saw what he looked like and would have forgotten moments after, he was a cancer and would’ve made everyone’s life miserable for the rest of the convention.
Come on, TB…
This is just a small thing that irked me. So you basically made a donation under 100 bucks to a LGBT charity. Allow me to give you a slow clap, John. Oh and by the way, if that charity was so important, what’s this about not making a sizeable donation before this event. It comes off more like you’re trying to win new fans over with this, John.
Because at no point in your career, in Jesse’s career, in Dodger’s career or anyone else in your circle, you’ve never been an internet edgelord? And for fuck’s sake, John, this comment screams of “If you have a different opinion than us, you don’t belong here.”, which by the way, really hypocritical for someone who was against the whole GamerGate debacle when that happened.
Isn’t the whole idea for the gaming industry to be inclusive to as many people as possible? Because it looks like to me that you just want those people to be within your ideology as well.
Because every single person that disagrees with you must be someone you wouldn’t want to have around you? Listen to yourself, John! Fuck man, one of my best friends is someone I disagree with on major and I mean MAJOR issues and we’ve had mini heated debates before and yet we’re still the best of friends. You’re just putting a massive amount of assumptions on people for the sole reason that they disagreed with your decision to remove a person from not just the panel (which would’ve been fine), but the entire convention just because he spouted a meme like a fucking idiot!
Holy crap, John! Like, I totally get you not wanting certain types of people in your circle, I get that, I wouldn’t want an extremist feminist in my inner circle either. But not everyone who disagrees with a single opinion you hold is necessarily that type of person you don’t want around you. It’s a single case, John, not a pattern of behaviour.
This is the tweet that pissed me off the most. You’re basically saying that you’re okay with shutting people down just because they’re making noise, not because they’re doing any real damage. You’ve been against censorship, false DMCA claims, people taking other people’s YouTube channels down, all this crazy shit, yet if someone annoys you ever so slightly, you feel vindicated to completely remove someone or something out of your existence.
Fuck man, for someone who tries to act like an intelligent guy among the commoners, you’re showing an extreme elitist attitude towards things, John. Like holy shit dude, a tweet like that makes me really question whether you’re someone I can trust now, because you’ve shown a lack of willingness to be open-minded. This isn’t remotely as serious as you acted like it was in this case, the guy didn’t ask “Is it okay to hate transgendered people?”, he asked “Are traps gay?” a meme and honestly a more interesting discussion than people think it is, because they’re too busy getting offended or on edge because the question involves transgendered people, a topic that gets anyone and everyone extremely triggered right now.
In the end, all I’ve gotta say is that for the first time, my confidence in some of my favourite YouTube personalities is wavering, especially with my favourite YouTuber ever, TotalBiscuit. And in a time where I’ve pretty much stop listening to Jim Sterling and I’m hearing about some of the shit Angry Joe is saying, I’m really starting to fear a time where my entire subscription list will flip upside down.
That’s something I don’t want to do and thought I’d never do.