I’m in such a habit of going slightly off-topic on this blog lately it gets sort of redundant to keep apologizing for it, so this is the last time I’m going to bother. If you haven’t realized by now that I have (unofficially and without clear authorization) moved the content here beyond that which is targeted almost exclusively to crossdressing and expanded to topics from the broader trans spectrum then you probably aren’t reading this now.
One of my passions is being a comment-thread ambassador/warrior taking on the hostility often found in response to mainstream news articles related to trans issues, and universally found when the article is hosted by a site or page frequented by Traditionalist “Christians.” These threads are not for everyone. Some can’t emotionally deal with the open hostility or mockery that is the stock & trade of the denizens of many of these sites. There’s no shame in that, those folks often set out to cause just that reaction, while others are so blindingly ignorant that it can drive even the most Zen reader to distraction. But I’m able to handle it and so I put on my fireproof knickers and wade in.
I tell you that as preface for telling you this: by far the topic which is getting the most press and provoking the most comments right now is the subject of how schools are dealing with, or preparing to deal with, trans students. It is shocking, even to one as battle weary as myself, just how callous and abusive adults can be in these conversations. Just listen to the comments that are voiced at school board meetings when there’s video available, to the point of alleging the trans child is a potential predator with the child sitting right there, to the point of suggesting that first and second grade kids can’t be trusted not to sexually misbehave in the restroom, to the point of repeating proven lies in an attempt to manipulate the outcome. And these are tame compared to what people are willing to say behind the anonymity of a keyboard.
These awful examples of human behavior is usually somewhat mitigated by the fact that the students peers are overwhelmingly supportive. Take for example the Kansas City area teen nominated for Homecoming Queen (not the first time this has happened across the country of course, just the one currently making news). This is representative of the student reaction in the great majority of cases. Not that “concerned” parents ever have any respect for those expressed views. But then you have the case of Lila Perry, who not only is facing the usual wrath of “concerned” Traditionalist parents but also saw ~150 of her peers stage a protest against her during the school day last week. Partly this is a function of being a relatively rural county (albeit in the orbit of St. Louis, MO) but other rural student bodies have handled a trans peer much better than this school did. But I think also this is a function of Traditionalist Pharisee leaders (of the sort currently demonizing trans women to defeat an equal rights ordinance in Houston, TX) on the national stage ratcheting up the anti-trans rhetoric in the wake of their defeat on the SSM issue. Trans people are the new #1 scapegoat and trans kids are the softest target.
There are a lot of equality issues on the plate for trans activists right now, but those of us trying to make the future a better place for the rising generations of trans people are going to have to focus a lot of attention on making the present better for them, because the wolves are stalking them.
Photo by:Ted Eyton