YouTuber ContraPoints Attacked After Including Controversial Buck Angel in Video

YouTuber Natalie "Contrapoints" Wynn is currently embroiled in a wave of dissent and harassment after her newest video featured Buck Angel, a controversial figure in the transgender and nonbinary community.

contrapoints buck angel truscum Transmedacalist
ContraPoints in her Opulence video YouTube

By featuring Angel, some online have accused Wynn of enabling his exclusionary ideology, going so far as to label her as a "truscum" or "transmedicalist," which are people who believe gender transitioning through medical means is the only way to be considered transgender.

In "Opulence", Wynn, one of the largest left-wing video essayists and transgender activists on the platform" discusses society's obsession with class, wealth and power while she is draped in in jewels, dressed in a gown or lying on a couch in front of a Grecian statue. Wynn uses quotes and has them read by famous people in the YouTube transgender community, like Buck Angel, who read an adage from John Waters.

Angel is a transgender man who helped pioneer trans acceptance with his work in the adult video industry in the early 2000s. In recent years, Angel has shared his questionable thoughts on what he believes are differences between the transgender and nonbinary communities and continues to use out-dated terms like "transsexual." "They are non-binary. That's not trans-gender. Not sure how these have become the same thing," Angel tweeted. Angel has also been criticized for attempting to launch Transgasm, a fundraising website for gender confirmation surgery that's business model resembled a pyramid scheme.

This opinion that the two groups are separate is considered out-dated and offensive by some in the LBTQ community. "Insisting in a distinction between transgender and transsexual implies one has more value than the other," Ana Valens, a trans sexuality reporter at The Daily Dot told Newsweek. Gender is a fluid spectrum and nonbinary people can associate with neither or either gender as they so choose.

"I love that people now have the opportunity to be who they are," Angel told Newsweek. "But there is a big problem in that the newer generation has co-opted the trans community... They now believe that a person such as myself who actually had a sex change using medical intervention does not get to have the same rights. That we are antiquated and not what trans is anymore."

Angel believes that "some people within the nonbinary communities react in anger to anything they feel is a threat. They do not have dialogue, they use scare tactics, they create a mob mentality. In some ways very fascist in thought. They do not like it if you have a different opinion and will try to shut the conversation down. Not the way to make a change."

The decision to include Angel has led to a massive amount of backlash to Wynn and her friends. Theryn Meyer, the assistant director on the "Opulence" video posted a statement on the ContraPoints subreddit saying she was the one who recommended Angel for the part. "I had zero idea of Buck Angel's harmful statements about non-binary trans people, and I was pretty horrified when I learned about them," she wrote. "If I had known, I would never have suggested it in the first place."

Olly "Philosophy Tube" Thorn and Lindsay Ellis are YouTube video essayists who were messaged dozens of times to disavow their friend (even though they had no influence over the video) and each responded with their own Twitter statements.

Angel expected the backlash to the video and says that he "does not care what other people think of (him)...if you speak or challenge anyone outside of the rules of transgender' then you are considered an enemy to them."

Wynn has dealt with criticism in the past over her perceived portrayal of nonbinary people. In a series of now deleted tweets from August, Wynn says that "in hyperwoke spaces" she has to say her preferred gender pronouns which "comes at the minor expense of semi-passable transes like me." In another thread, she tweets that she feels "like the last of the old-school transsexuals." To some members of the trans community, these tweets came off as non-inclusionary and offensive. According to Valens, "her relationship and attitude towards the nonbinary community is one that's skeptical and hurtful because she insists the nonbinary community causes some of the othering/transphobia trans people experience."

These incidents have caused some to label Wynn as a "transmedicalist or truscum."

Is ContraPoints a "Transmedacalist" or "Truscum"?

According to Valens, a transmedicalist "is someone who believes gender transitioning can only be done & completed by experiencing some form of medical transitioning." That means in their eyes if you don't undergo hormone therapy or an operation, you can't classify yourself as a member of the opposite sex.

"A lot about transmedicalist perspectives insists that cis womanhood is the gold standard for womanhood, and that trans women should strive to mirror cis womanhood as much as possible," Valens said. "It's very conformist."

Truscum, as a term, started out on the online board Tumblr to describe a trans person that gatekeeps other members of the community. The word is now used to criticize those who believe in a more linear definition of transgenderism and to "point out that their beliefs are harmful" Valens said. "Many people in the trans community covertly believe in medical transitioning as an 'objective' proof of womanhood/manhood out of internalized transphobia."

Outside of those tweets, there's little evidence to suggest that Wynn is a transmedicalist or truscum, but her inclusion of Buck Angel was widely read as tacit support, if not outright endorsement, for his more stringent definition of transgenderism. Valens "thinks (Wynn) needs time to really think hard about what message she's putting out into the world by antagonizing the nonbinary community and working with Buck Angel....viewers have every right to criticize Contra and call out a pattern of enbyphobia toward the nonbinary community.."

Still, Valens sees the harassment received by Wynn and her friends as excessive. "Jealousy is a huge issue with platforms, and some of the more egregious antagonism toward Contra isn't about her beliefs but about her identity making her an easy vessel for abuse," Valens said. "Accountability abuse is a real thing, and many people are crossing the line from strongly worded criticism to harassment because our communities enable vicious attacks in accountability processes."

But while hyperbolic criticism of Wynn often veers into personal attacks, abuse and imputing to the popular YouTuber views she might not hold, her large platform is crucial in defining the mainstream transgender conversation online, which makes it an invaluable area of dispute for nonbinary people voicing their concerns

Wynn did not respond to a request for comment from Newsweek.

YouTuber ContraPoints Attacked After Including Controversial Buck Angel in Video | Newsgeek