This is a direct response to Exarion's pastebin, which you should read first to get the full context. You can find it here.
Update (2021-08-21): I clarify a bit in this Twitter thread, which you can read if you're interested. I'm not gonna transpose it here because today has been very long and I'm tired.
Last September, I wrote an essay about my issues with the Pokemon speedrunning community, and since then, things have gotten a bit better! I talked about it more in my follow-up video, but the short of it is: the PSR split has helped make marginalized people feel more welcome in PSR!
...as long as they're running a 3DS or Switch game.
As a whole, the server pushed the problematic elements of PSR into their own little corner, which is better in that it does open some avenues to speedrun the literal most successful media franchise in history that appeals to pretty much anyone ever regardless of background, but failed to fully address the issue. I'm not surprised by this - it's a difficult issue that we're struggling with on a societal level, and I did not expect it to be quickly solved by way of creating additional Discord servers. What I did hope is that people would read what I wrote originally, empathize with the complaints of marginalized community members, and do what they can to foster inclusion and diversity.
The central thesis of Exarion's essay is the most common backlash to the movement for social justice in our society as a whole – sure, bigoted language is bad, but they're simple mistakes that we should use as an opportunity for learning and rehabilitation.
This line of thinking always feels like laundered victim blaming to me. It places the responsibility on the marginalized to "rise higher" than their oppressors, and should they not do that, shifts the blame from the individuals creating a hostile environment by way of respectability politics. If you haven't had to calmly explain that you deserve to exist before, let me tell you, it is exhausting. It takes a lot of emotional labor to stay calm in the face of someone denying your achievements, merit, or even humanity, and marginalized people are expected to do this over and over again, lest they fail to "take the high road".
It is not the responsibility of minorities to explain that they exist and belong. The golden rule is something we teach to kindergartners. Verbalized bigotry causes actual trauma to real people, and to ignore that damage and insist on creating a "teaching moment" for the oppressor reveals a belief that the oppressor is more valuable than the oppressed, that their comfort is more important regardless of their behaviour.
By pushing the narrative that these instances are nothing more than momentary slip-ups – heated gamer moments, if you will – you ignore the lasting damage done to the community in the process. Every single time a woman or person of color is told they didn't earn their spot through their own merit, every time a trans person gets misgendered and told that they're being unreasonable when they get upset, every time a gay person is forced to watch their sexuality used as a synonym for "bad", it pushes them away, if only a little. Eventually, they leave. There was no "teachable moment". The bigoted learn nothing, because the pushback goes away. If the community wants to protect it's most vulnerable and truly foster diversity, then a conscientious effort must be made to show that there is no tolerance for intolerance – and this must be done without pushing the burden of responsibility onto those who already have to fight harder to "prove" their worth.
Attempting to further handwash this by saying neurodivergent people are somehow not responsible for their actions does not help, and is deeply ableist. Many, many members of the community are neurodivergent in some way, and manage to treat others with the respect they deserve. There is research to suggest that gender-nonconforming individuals display more autistic traits than the general population, and yet despite a higher-than-average presence in the Frame Fatales discord, it manages to be a wonderfully inclusive place. Neurodivergent people still have agency, and positing that autism takes that away robs them of that and further contributes to the concerns I raise above.
If you haven't been the recipient of hatred for immutable truths about yourself, it might be easy to write off the genuine anger felt in response as an overreaction. I assure you, as someone who buried parts of herself for years in response to the shame levied at her for simply existing a bit differently than those around her, it is not.