Mikey Boneroad — a T-shirt designer from Sunbury, Pennsylvania, who specializes in “gross out” designs bearing slogans like “Crap-tain America” and “Smelly Pussy Pentagram” — recently announced via Instagram that he’s pressing a new shirt design bearing the words “Fuck your pronoun, faggot.” His Instagram picture of the new shirt included the caption “Pressing now. #FuckYourMadeUp97Genders #only2genders #cringe.”
It’s unclear whether Boneroad identifies as LGBTQ or straight. Regardless, his shirt uses an anti-gay slur (during Pride month, it should be said, a month when LGBTQ people honor their fight to exist in a world of anti-queer violence) and denies transgender, gender fluid and non-binary people the basic respect of referring to them by the pronoun matching their gender identity.
As such Boneroad’s message falls into an alt-right mode of thinking that has propelled Republican anti-trans bathroom bills. By forcing trans people to use bathrooms matching the gender assigned on their birth certificates, such bills in effect say “fuck your pronoun” to trans people and subject them to potential violence by forcing them into toilets not matching their gender presentation.
These bills are also similar to numerous policies advanced by U.S. President Donald Trump that deny the existence of trans people and their right to be protected from discrimination. The belief that transgender people have merely “made-up” their identities, conflated with the idea that they’re merely “pretending” to be another gender, contributes to the disproportionate amount of physical violence against them.
Like the rest of his work, Boneroad’s shirt is meant as a tasteless, shocking “joke” intended to deliberately provoke people. Presumably his caption disparaging “your made-up 97 genders” is a comment on the 71 gender options currently offered by Facebook.
Some of those gender options are newer words — like “Neutrois,” a word coined in 1995 that implies a desire to transition into gender neutrality — but others, like two-spirit and intersex, refer to cultural or biologically-based identities that are actually centuries old and not “made-up” like Boneyard may think.
We have reached out to Boneyard through his Facebook page and will update our story if he responds.
Update (June 8, 2018): Instagram removed his post with the t-shirt on it. Commenters are blaming oversensitive liberals and using anti-queer slurs, unsurprisingly.