Bitter? Who Me?
One of my Facebook friends gently scolded me this week because I have expressed a certain sentiment three or four times in the last couple of months but on an emotional level, I think it’s entirely justified. While I know that there’s a strong need to call for strength of will and determination in these trying times ahead, there are days when I want to look certain folks in the eye and say “Happy now?”
Stories have abounded in the last several weeks in which some reporter will tell us about a Trump voter who “never thought he’d do THIS” in which “this” is some action that Trump clearly indicated during the campaign his intention to do but they did not take him seriously. One Twitter wag refereed to it as “I never thought a leopard would eat my face off says person who voted for Leopards-who-eat-faces-off Party”. Alongside these are another whole genre of stories – “Trump voters still believe despite…” type stories.
I’m waiting for a story talking to all those white trans women who told me all summer long that Trump was no enemy of the LGB/T community and would not act against our interest if elected. I want to ask them if they have noticed the leopard in the room yet or are they still in denial? We’re only about 70 days in and their can no longer be any mistaking the failure of their rosy predictions.
From the appointment of what seems at some points to be a hand-picked cabinet that lends credence to the story in November that Tony Perkins was working with the transition team to screen particular candidates (essentially every appointee working in any capacity that might in any way relate to LGB/T equality is a Social Conservative that moves in those circles) to specifically targeted Executive Orders which rescind Obama Administration policies to the rescinding of the Dear Collogue letter from last May which affirmed Title IX protections for trans students, to the Justice Department switching sides on every pending suit working it’s way through the courts, to appointing Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, there’s an unbroken string of the sort of things those women told me would never happen.
Not only that, the election of Donald Trump and the committed anti-LGB/T agenda he’s enacted serve only to encourage conservative Pharisee politicians an activists to attempt to legislate us (trans people) out of the public square all over the nation. Where there are Republicans in office, their are proposed bills attacking us. While some of the appear in states where they have no chance of passage, dozens and dozens of them have to be fought passionately by pro-trans organizations. Even the one glimmer of electoral hope from last fall turned out to be fool’s gold.
As I write this tonight, the ink is barely dry on a new law in North Carolina that creates the illusion of repealing HB2 while retaining all the most offensive parts and more narrowly tailoring it to be a specifically anti-trans bill (HB2 had been somewhat more broad) and Governor Cooper, who was elected almost exclusively on the premise of completely repealing that ugly law accepted this so-called “compromise” as the best he could do. Frankly, given the make-up of the NC General Assembly, it probably IS the best they would produce but better to take a stand for justice and have your veto over-ridden then to be party to this sham. While these state level fights are not a direct result of electing Trump, they ARE a direct result of the self-defeating habit of some to vote against their own interest because of “some other priority” (for example, being a hard-liner on immigration, or a Second Amendment fanatic, or an anti-abortion die-hard). If we, as a people, cannot vote together to stop a group of people who nakedly and proudly seek to oppress us, then we cannot expect any other result than oppression.
Do I sound bitter? Yeah. I should, because I am. Every time I hear some Pharisee speak of us, feeling his oats because he knows that in over half of states his (or her) oppressive BS is in the ascendancy, it’s not that person, hateful though they may be, that I resent – it’s the so called “good” people who blindly give such people power. Of course conservative trans women alone don’t swing any election, but they are a notorious example of people brainwashed to vote against their own interests. And honestly, the very ones who had the most abundant evidence before the election that the man they were voting for was their enemy. What scares me is, my suspicion is that most of them still don’t realize it.
Photo by: Ted Eytan