I’ve come full circle on this. In my youth I leaned libertarian so I was 100% for free speech. Over the years I became libfem -> leftist and thought that maybe there were limits, like nazis or racists. Anti feminists seemed to amass armies of followers and it was very annoying. I never actually campaigned to get anyone “canceled” but I can’t say I felt much sympathy when it happened.

But that’s the thing. It’s all well and good when it’s not you. I say fuck it, let everyone speak freely *. Even people I hate.

*I still think threats of violence ie “I will kill/rape/bomb/beat you” should be treated as threats and not “free speech”. But people aren’t really canceled for that stuff, now are they? 🤔

I did the exact same thing. Was a free speech absolutist, spent a few years waffling/being on the fence between "maybe hate speech should be banned" and my previous free speech absolutism, and back to being pro-free speech. The reason why I waffled for a few years instead of committing wholly to banning some things was that I figured it was better to know what your "enemies" or "haters" really think of you rather than legally force people to all say the same things and never know what people really believe. So I am still going with that reasoning, but now I'm more committed because I know what it's like to have my freedom curtailed for the most innocent expressions (of reality, no less).

If people are forced to perform wokeness and aren't allowed to say what they really think, that actually puts "queers" in greater danger, because they could end up in a crowd or neighbourhood full of people who they think are safe to be around, but are actually neonazis/far right extremists who will pound them into the pavement. Why would you force people to pretend to like you, even people who might want to kill you? Wouldn't you want to know about the threat? Logic escapes them, I suppose. That and they live terminally online cushy lives.