Nonbinary students Rock, Paper, Scissors start brawl

Queer Student Union leaders publicly feud on Twitter, take turns invalidating each other’s identities

Illustration of a person tweeting on her phone.
Alex Nash / The Mossy Log

A FEW WEEKS ago, all three leaders of Lewis & Clark’s Queer Student Union (QSU) announced their resignation. The announcement came on the heels of a brutal, well-publicized Twitter fight between the club leaders. Now, for the first time ever, The Mossy Log is bringing you the full scoop — exclusive interviews with the former leaders.

According to Paper Petrovich ’24, who held the position of QSU chair at the time of the digital altercation, everything began on Twitter. Petrovich is the roommate of Scissor Martinez-Smith ’24, who was vice chair of QSU. Petrovich alleges that Martinez-Smith had used the word “folx” within their room, in violation of their roommate agreement. Martinez-Smith denies this happened. She told me “I didn’t say folx, I said ‘folks.’ They sound the same.” 

According to Martinez-Smith, Petrovich finds the word “folx” to be “fake woke” and “performative.” 

The next incident occurred at a club meeting the following Thursday. Rock Anderson ’25, the treasurer for QSU, was discussing a support group for transgender students with Martinez-Smith. The two were discussing logistics of the group meetings, debating what time and location would be best, when Petrovich approached them and asked why they had not been included in the planning and email threads regarding the trans support group. When I spoke with Anderson regarding the incident, he told me it was all a misunderstanding that got blown out of proportion.

“It wasn’t on purpose that we didn’t invite Paper,” Anderson said. “We just forgot, and she hadn’t responded to the first email, so she missed some of the subsequent ones, and by the time we realized she hadn’t been looped in, she was yelling at us.” 

Petrovich remembers the situation differently. She believes that she was not invited to help organize the trans support group because she uses she/they pronouns. When I approached Martinez-Smith with these accusations, she scoffed. 

“Paper is always trying to make it seem like we don’t take them seriously as a nonbinary person because they’re a she/they,” Martinez-Smith said. “We do! They just didn’t get the email. It’s all a misunderstanding.” 

Martinez-Smith then asked me if she could share something off the record. Though I told her that it did not work that way, she continued speaking. 

“But honestly,” Martinez-Smith said, “I don’t think they’d even want to go to trans group, because they don’t seem to experience many aspects of the trans experience. I’m always out as a trans woman. I don’t get to pick when people know I’m trans. Paper does.” 

At this point, perhaps realizing I was still recording, Martinez-Smith trailed off and declined to comment further.

Tensions were running high. Yet, the club had one more hurdle to surmount: the annual queer student mixer. The event got off to a bad start. Anderson, who had been in charge of buying decorations for the hall, was admonished by his co-leaders for buying pride flag banners which included a now-outdated lesbian flag and for neglecting to purchase any pride flags catering to LC’s sizable transmasculine aromantic bisexual T4T population. Petrovich, who had been in charge of promoting the event, had not even posted on the club’s Instagram page until 24 hours before and accusations that they had gotten distracted and spent hours perfecting their Pinterest “gender board” were flying around the QSU leaders’ Twitter accounts. 

As the event began in earnest, Anderson facilitated a pronoun circle, inviting guests to share their name, pronouns, year and a description of their gender. For the curious reader, Anderson’s gender “is like if a raccoon was wearing little fingerless gloves and riding a skateboard,” whatever that means. 

It was at this point that shit really hit the fan. Martinez-Smith snuck away from the event, hid in the gender-neutral restroom, and began pumping out tweets, asking timeless questions such as “can white people even be nonbinary?” and “what does it mean to have a gender like a little raccoon wearing gloves on a skateboard how are you going to perform that?” and “how do you ask your roommate to stop leaving their breakfast dishes on the floor for days at a time?” 

Petrovich and Anderson, who had also snuck away from the event and were spread out across other gender neutral bathrooms on campus, saw and responded to those tweets. 

“I don’t have to perform the little raccoon,” Anderson tweeted. “I was joking and even if I wasn’t, if I say it’s my gender, it’s my gender. Performance theory is dead.” 

Petrovich chimed in, posting a picture of themself crying in the bathroom with the caption “they them pussy hits different.” At this point, all three switched to direct messaging each other. Despite my best efforts, I was not able to retrieve the messages. 

The next day, QSU posted an announcement to its Instagram: “Hello friends! We are really sorry to announce this, but all three club leaders are stepping down and detransitioning, effective immediately. With love, the former QSU leadership team.” 

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