‘The Minecraft Bee is trans’ meme is here to stay

Sometimes a shitpost creates a legacy. The latest example is the seemingly endless debate around the “Minecraft bee is trans” tweet. If you’ve seen any of the thousands of references made to it on Twitter alone in the last couple of days and have no idea what’s going on, let us lay it down for you.

‘Minecraft bee is trans’ memes

It all began with the now-deleted tweet from former Twitter user @Ezramouse (the current user @Ezramouse is a different person). Seen here in the screenshot below, @Ezramouse tweeted the phrase “The Minecraft bee is trans” with no explanation attached. User @WormsCrazyGolf then replied, asking how, only for @Ezramouse to block him.

Sadly, because this is the internet, people started flooding @Ezramouse’s timeline and DM’s with the word “how,” as well as demanding an explanation and acting like the statement that the Minecraft bee is trans was somehow a personal attack on them and all cis straight people. @Ezramous locked down their account and changed their username.

Meanwhile, thanks to all the attention from people mortally offended by the idea of a trans Minecraft mob, the Minecraft bee being trans had taken on a life of its own. Surprisingly, (or maybe not, as the refrain of this article goes, this is the internet), there was already a Reddit sub dedicated to the convergence of trans people and bees. They were excited about the Minecraft bee and welcomed the declaration that the bee was trans by making them some other LGBT+ bee friends.

i made a texture pack from TraaButOnlyBees

meet the les-bee-an from TraaButOnlyBees

Back by popular demand: The Enbee from TraaButOnlyBees

Meanwhile, on Twitter, those in the know about the bee seem to be in three camps. Those who love and venerate the bee.

Some of whom also recognize it was a shitpost and that everybody losing their minds over it need to grow up.

Those for whom the bee is an apocalyptic crisis that must be defeated, and its proponents punished.

And those who really don’t give a damn but think its deeply troubling that the second group are so worked up about a group of trans people enjoying themselves with something silly.

Some interesting context is the fact that all Minecraft creatures are actually genderless until they try to reproduce, at which point a sex is randomly assigned to them. In between mating, they go back to being agender, with a new and potentially different sex assigned the next time. While obviously real-world animals don’t have human genders and sex doesn’t determine gender identity, it’s still closer to the “Minecraft bee is trans” camp than those outraged by it.

Interestingly, while Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, the creator of Minecraft, was removed by Microsoft because of his transphobic comments and other unacceptable online behaviors, he had previously posted about this topic on Tumblr. In the post, he states that all the characters and creatures in Minecraft are agender (an identity covered under the trans umbrella) and that this also makes them all homosexual because there’s only one gender to choose from.

https://notch.tumblr.com/post/28188312756/gender-in-minecraft

It’s pretty hard to argue with that, though people are certainly going to try. In the meantime, everyone else is going to keep having fun with the trans Minecraft bee.

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Siobhan Ball

Siobhan Ball

Siobhan Ball is a historian, archivist, and journalist. She also writes for Autostraddle and bi.org