Houston, You Have a Problem
And if you identify as Trans, or an ally, you do too.
The full weight of the Traditionalist Pharisee political and media machine is being brought to bear on the voters of Houston, who face an upcoming vote on the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) with Tony Perkins squarely in the driver seat and itching to claim the credit for stopping the LGB/T “agenda” in Houston. In so doing he hoes to increase his organizations profits (certain), his own political power (likely) and embolden his puppets in cities across the country to make similar efforts to push trans people into an even more abusive social standing (also likely).
Houston is the fourth largest city in the United States, and a win for the Pharisees here would have massive importance in the national conversation about Trans equality. The ramifications are real for every one of us who is, or ever aspires to be, out of the closet. For those of us in “red states” the danger is real and present. Just try passing a law like this in, say, Memphis if the opponents of HERO score a victory in less than 2 weeks.
For example, the Lt. Gov. of Texas, Dan Patrick (a Houston local but a state-wide office holder), saw fit to involve himself in the discourse under the official seal of his office. As the Houston Chronicle pointed out in slamming Patrick, the man knows full well that nine cities of 100,000 residents or more already have ordinances which have the same effect as HERO, and has access to the data which will inform him whether or not there’ve been any persons harmed in restrooms under those jurisdictions (you and I both know there haven’t – but the voting public of Houston often doesn’t) and yet, for callous political motivations, he’s willing to blatantly lie by implication to those voters. Even with that, Perkins and his puppets play the victim card at every conceivable turn.
Within and beyond the borders of Texas, there is a vast and growing data set available to address the question “Do laws and policies which grant access based on gender identity increase the likelihood that women or children will be harmed in public restrooms or locker rooms?” and any objective analysis of the data can only produce a resounding and emphatic NO. There’s only a tiny handful of cases remotely relevant. Despite TERFs and others producing long lists of examples, a close analysis shows virtually every case to be irrelevant (trans women imprisoned for other than sex crimes for example), lies of implication or omission, or claims which were debunked. The remaining cases, counted on the fingers of one hand, do not correlate at all to the existence, or lack thereof, of laws like HERO. In fact, the only credible case on the list (and you’d better believe every case that could possibly be twisted into being relevant is on the list) in the U.S. occurred at a roadside reststop in Oklahoma in an isolated location. It was not covered by HERO-type policies and was isolated enough that cross-dressing in order to sneak in wouldn’t have been necessary.
In other words, out of the tens of thousands (at least) restrooms nation wide which fall under law or policy which accommodates trans people fairly, and the hundreds of women a day (on average) that make use of them, every day for many years in some locations, NOT ONE TIME has a case been documented and proven of a trans woman, or someone impersonating a trans woman for nefarious purposes, causing harm to another patron in any way. Not one. In all bathrooms everywhere in this country being used without benefit of favorable law/policy there are zero cases of harm caused by trans women and ONE case (potentially) of harm caused by an impostor. Compare this to practically any other scenario you can imagine – say, harm to women by their minister, and we can easily prove that pretty much any other sort of person that a woman may come in contact with is a greater risk to her than a trans woman. But it can be astonishingly difficult to defeat the raw emotions of fear and anger that the Traditionalist Pharisees manipulate with such skill with such cold weapons as facts and reason.
I can sit and write this essay, a thousand miles away, and my passion will do little for the situation in Houston. What I can do is to ask you to do for Houston what the haters are surely doing for Tony Perkins and his minions – contribute financially. During my time in the evangelical church, one of the things a pastor would often say to motivate his congregation to evangelism was this “are you willing to do for the truth, what the devil is willing to do for a lie?”
I ask you the same question now – Are you willing to do for the truth what those who hate us are willing to do for a lie?
Here’s a link for your consideration.
I hope you will use it – and I hope you will distribute it to the furthest reaches of your sphere of influence.
Photo by: Houston Unites