A Time to Choose
Not too long ago, in the midst of the repeated kerfuffle about Caitlyn Jenner’s profession that she remained a Republican and intended to vote that way in 2016, I took some time to confirm something about myself that I had thought to be true – I showed the same resistance to divorce myself from those who seek to rob me of my fundamental liberty.
I initiated my transition in 2008 and towards the end of 2009 it became public knowledge and a full-time life. In the same month I joined Facebook. For over a year thereafter, many of my politically oriented posts were the outgrowth of my attempts to reconcile my lifelong conservative worldview with my accepted transsexual condition. So I recognized what Jenner was doing – making the case that there are so many other political issues which conservatism was in the right on, that it superseded the matter of LGB/T equality. The “logic” being that the nation has to be economically viable before equality even has a context within which to exist. I’ve been inclined to be understanding about Jenner because I’m aware that it’s not an easy or instant transition to revise your whole worldview anymore than it is to revise your physical body.
Don’t misunderstand, though, this is not another Caitlyn Jenner article.
The problem with the premise is that it turns out to be exactly backwards. What good is it to live in a society that is prosperous if you have been legislated out of full and equal participation in that prosperity? When one has been declared second-class, suspect, unworthy, how can one be prosperous can free? Indeed, when one is so rejected and shunned that one loses the will to live at all then it’s little more than one step removed from capital punishment.
Most of my real-world acquaintances, by virtue of geography, routinely vote Republican and really never think through the dichotomy between being friends with a trans person that they support and voting for people who seek to crush that person. Some of them are actually LGB/T themselves. But I don’t have the option to divorce myself from everyone who votes thus or i would alienate what limited local support I have. Worse, among my Facebook friends, who – beyond the folks I know locally – are overwhelmingly other trans people, a shocking number of them admit to supporting Republicans. Some are conservative in philosophy but can’t support the party outright, but many openly defend them lying to themselves about the level of hostility the party exhibits towards trans people.
But the day for that, if it had not already come before, is most assuredly here now. Last month, in a move so stealthy that there remains no reference to it on the party’s official website even after it has been finally revealed in the media,the GOP took a firm stand in support of anti-trans legislation, speaking directly to bills targeting trans students and, by implication, all similar bills designed to be hostile to trans equality. Some excerpts:
“WHEREAS, A person’s sex is defined as the physical condition of being male or female, which is
determined at conception, identified at birth by a person’s anatomy, recorded on their official birth
certificate, and can be confirmed by DNA testing;”
(Nevermind they just resolved that intersex persons don’t even exist, in the context of the document they take their stand firmly against allowing you to determine your own gender identity)
“WHEREAS, Policies of the Obama Administration, presidential candidate and former Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton, and public schools that allow any students to use the restrooms, locker rooms, or other facilities designated for the exclusive use of the other sex infringes on the rights of privacy and conscience of other students;”
(throwing their entire weight behind the premise that the .3% are somehow victimizing the 99.3%)
“RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee encourages State Legislatures to recognize that these
Obama gender identity policies are a federal governmental overreach, a misinterpretation of Title IX
policies, and an infringement upon the majority of students’ Constitutional rights; and
RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee encourages state legislatures to enact laws that
protect student privacy and limit the use of restrooms, locker rooms and similar facilities to members of the sex to whom the facility is designated.”
Boom. This is your party, Republicans. The official position of the party is against you. It’s now time for you to choose: Will you stand for your right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Or will you prioritize your views on other issues and ignore the threat? Know this – if you choose the latter it’s not just your liberty you are bargaining away but that of all trans people, including me. I cannot be silent while you make that deal. I protest. If you cannot leave the Party, and I do not claim that you must, you CAN be a constant thorn in their side that will not go away. Do not let them speak hatred in your name when it’s you they hate. Speak up. Push. Push and then push more. Get out of the closet and make a difference.
Disclaimer for the record: In NO SENSE is this post an endorsement of the Democratic Party and you should not assume I intend to vote Democratic. My stand here is on what should be the most important issue to all of us, not partisan politicking. Know this – if we do not stand up for ourselves, no one will stand up for us.
Photo by: sylvar