happy pride
June 3, 2022 4:55 AM   Subscribe

 
Just in case anyone still hasn't worked out what this is all aiming for, certain anti-trans activists are starting to say the quiet part loud and openly advocate for there being "fewer" trans people, even if that means figuring out how to make existing trans people disappear.
posted by fight or flight at 5:00 AM on June 3 [20 favorites]


hey, guess how many Proud Boys are on the Miami-Dade Republican Executive Committee!

I'll give you a hint: it's not 'zero'.
posted by Merus at 5:31 AM on June 3 [11 favorites]


can we keep the jokey hot takes down a bit? this doesn't feel very funny
posted by kokaku at 5:46 AM on June 3 [46 favorites]


Ohio GOP passes bill aiming to root out 'suspected' transgender female athletes through genital inspection
House Republican lawmakers in Ohio passed a bill at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday night that would ban transgender girls and women from participating in high school and college athletics. It also comes with a "verification process" of checking the genitals of those "accused" of being trans.

[...]

The proposed rules would prohibit any trans athlete from competing with cisgender girls or women. It also has a verification requirement, if someone is "accused" or "suspected" of being trans.

If someone is suspected to be transgender, she must go through evaluations of her external and internal genitalia, testosterone levels and genetic makeup.

[...]

Once "inspected," the girl or woman has to give a signed physician's statement indicating their sex based on those three evaluations, according to the bill.
Note: the language used here, of "suspects" and "accusations", as if young trans girls are committing a crime by existing, is entirely on purpose.
posted by fight or flight at 5:56 AM on June 3 [25 favorites]


Is there a network to help transgender people leave the country, yet? I need to sign up, please.
posted by Jacen at 5:59 AM on June 3 [10 favorites]


DeSantis is very, very, VERY hungry for the presidency, and I think he's quite likely to get it in 2024. This is going to kill trans people in Florida, and in a couple of years he is going to use this as a springboard to kill trans people across the whole country.
posted by cubeb at 6:02 AM on June 3 [11 favorites]


And just in case this isn't obvious, the Florida Board of Medicine is a 15-member panel (12 doctors and three consumers) appointed by the governor.

A bit of quick Googling shows that at least nine of the 15 were appointed by DeSantis.

I used to report on the Board and its actions. They lean conservative and protect their own.
posted by martin q blank at 6:17 AM on June 3 [13 favorites]


DeSantis is very, very, VERY hungry for the presidency, and I think he's quite likely to get it in 2024.

Florida Supreme Court lets DeSantis-backed congressional map stand - "The new map gives Republicans the advantage in 20 of the state's 28 congressional districts, four more seats than the party currently occupies. In a surprise move, DeSantis created his own map, vetoed two less aggressive maps that the Republican-controlled legislature passed and called lawmakers into a special session to vote on his proposal... Republicans need to flip five Democratic seats in the U.S. House of Representatives to win a majority, which would allow them to stymie much of Democratic President Joe Biden's agenda."
posted by kliuless at 6:44 AM on June 3 [9 favorites]


States keep pushing this, seeing how far they can go. It's already too far, but not enough people are pushing back and telling them no. Looking forward to Biden saying something like, "Congress should pass the Equality Act!"

Yeah. They should. Hasn't happened in the past couple of years. The lack of federal support is stunningly bad. A statement about the federal government supporting trans people means a hell of a lot less when state governments have a clear agenda to completely eradicate trans people.
posted by hijinx at 6:46 AM on June 3 [6 favorites]


This kind of thing is a noose around all our necks. Just in the past few months there have been so many legal turns to enable the far right as soon as they win the midterms and the presidency.

I think that all people of conscience and goodwill should start making a real plan for what is going to happen in our daily lives when this happens. It is very clear that at the national level abortion will be illegal, probably birth control will be illegal, trans healthcare will be illegal. I know that we are discouraged from saying dark things on metafilter, but I think it's pretty possible that trans people will not be able to hold jobs that involve any kind of work with youth, broadly defined so probably up through college. I think it's pretty possible that trans healthcare workers will be decertified and that there may be systemic seizure of trans people's kids. I expect that something similar but probably less aggressive will be done to all other GLBTQ people. I think that once the state has beat the drum enough about these policies, paramilitary and stochastic violence is going to become extremely common. I think that GLBTQ-friendly academic programs will be forcibly dismantled; the refuge that some people have been able to seek in institutions will be gone.

I think that this will not simply be "going back", because in the past we were, so to speak, moving forward. We could leverage rhetoric about civil rights and human rights, we could leverage past struggles. And of course there was enormously less surveillance. Right now, we've used civil rights and human rights rhetoric, we've shown the suffering that fascism causes, and the most powerful 30% of Americans have said "that looks good to us".

It is very easy to make the customary left rhetorical move of "but America has always been fascist". I would like to ask people whether they literally think that all times and places in US history have been equally bad or whether they think that things can get worse or perhaps even are worse than, say, ten years ago. I would also ask whether anyone would say, for instance, when confronted with political change in other countries, "Hungary has always been fascist, so Orban makes little difference, Hungarians should stop complaining and focus on their own privileges". Or whether, when Ireland legalized abortion, their response was, "Ireland has always been christofascist, this isn't a victory, look how terrible Ireland still is".

I think that what is going to happen is that they are going to pass a lot of dangerous, unjust laws at the national level, relying on our corrupt and fascist police to enforce them and relying on the fact that almost all of the sources of fast popular organizing (unions, left-leaning fraternal orgs, left leaning churches, etc) are gone or shrunken.

So. I think it would be extremely legitimate for anyone who can do so to leave the country as fast as they can. For those of us who can't, are we going to be able to keep our jobs and housing? If we are, are we going to be able to house and assist people who can't?

I think everyone's plans are going to have to change a lot. If you are straight, cis and stably employed and housed, the only way you're going to continue with that life is by ignoring an increasingly visible, overt and dangerous fascist state. In a sense, of course, this is what we all do all the time, but eventually a change in quantity becomes and change in kind.

When it is illegal to give money to people's trans healthcare gofundmes and orgs, what are we going to do? When GLBTQ people can't work, what are we, individually, going to do?

And when they start tightening a noose, they tend to keep pulling - how long does anyone expect stability for any non-fascist person to continue?

I would suggest that people start, right now, planning for these eventualities. Assume that you will not be able to sue, that you may not have access to a lot of tech infrastructure and that you will be materially opposed by, literally, the cops and government in your town. Who do you know? How can you keep in touch with your network if you can't text? How much will/can you support people who can no longer work? What informal economies are going to arise? Would you take in someone's kids or a newly unhoused friend? Would you fake-date or fake-marry someone?

I think that people should start planning for things to be very bad in day to day life as it happens in front of you. Many professional class people, even GLBTQ people, have experienced relatively little change despite the past six years; that isn't going to continue.
posted by Frowner at 6:49 AM on June 3 [75 favorites]


Procrastinating today, so I ran the nine names against the Florida campaign contributions database. Again, I'm shocked, shocked to find out people paid for their BoM seats.

Eight out of nine donated to DeSantis -- one gave $25,000 to his PAC-- and I'd bet a kidney the ninth one (an ortho surgeon with 50 patents who heads a "performance outcomes" company) did so, too, via one of his corporations or corporate addresses. But the online search doesn't allow business name searches or address lookups.

And I'll stop here, but the linked article notes that "leading the charge" on this is DeSantis's handpicked surgeon general. Yep, that guy. For non-Floridians: The only top medical officer in any state to recommend against the COVID-19 vaccine for children.

None of this bodes well for trans people in Florida, including a few of my sons' friends.
posted by martin q blank at 6:50 AM on June 3 [8 favorites]


House Republican lawmakers in Ohio passed a bill at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday night that would ban transgender girls and women from participating in high school and college athletics.

Not only that, but they didn't pass it as a stand-alone bill--it was a last-minute amendment on an otherwise unrelated bill. My friend in Ohio said they tried that last year (because apparently it wouldn't pass on its own) and the governor then said he would veto it but this year he will probably sign it, assuming it clears the state Senate.
posted by dlugoczaj at 6:59 AM on June 3


Good comment, Frowner. I'll add to it, for the "what can I do" crowd (especially the cis crowd):

The key is to ask yourself what you can change. Politically speaking it's difficult to feel like you can do anything, but you still have the power to change the things around you. Investigate the protections your workplace offers to trans and minority employees. If there aren't any, start asking why. Push for your workplace to adopt basic trans-inclusive policies. If you work with young people in any capacity, learn how to support trans youth. Educate yourself so you, personally, can support and include your trans friends, colleagues, family members. Learn about these laws and don't be afraid to express your anger and disgust. Put what you've learned into action.

If you're going to a Pride parade or event this year, make it a time to vocally support trans people in the community. Push back against transphobia from within the community, if you're LGBT+ yourself. As our governments strip away our rights and turn the world against us, it's more important than ever to have that individual support on the ground. Not everyone is going to be able to just leave a country that becomes dangerous to live in and seek asylum elsewhere. There are still ways you can make a difference to those who have no choice about staying.
posted by fight or flight at 7:03 AM on June 3 [15 favorites]


Witch hunts are a reliable way for Republicans to get out their voting base, and ties in rather neatly with the generalized conservative obsession with "purity".
posted by aramaic at 7:07 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]


Republicans want to end bodily autonomy for everyone but white straight cis men. The party is run by child rapists and their supporters. Not unlike the major religious institutions that prop up the GOP. And yet they all get away with being treated like just another valid opinion.
posted by rikschell at 7:20 AM on June 3 [8 favorites]


I would like to ask people whether they literally think that all times and places in US history have been equally bad or whether they think that things can get worse or perhaps even are worse than, say, ten years ago.

The Jim Crow South was a violent apartheid state which lasted for nearly a century. If you were a white person in the North you could ignore it, but it was as bad as America has ever been in living memory.

And now they're trying to create an updated version of it, only across the whole country. And they might succeed.

So yeah, idk. An escape plan is not out of order for the non-white, the non-cis, the non-het, the non-Christian. It's not going to literally be Gilead, but Hungary isn't that great a place to live nowadays.
posted by rhymedirective at 7:21 AM on June 3 [8 favorites]


America, fix your fucking shit.

I am, as an English-speaking non-American, old enough to remember when your country was the beating heart of culture, the shining light of democracy, and the actual Leader of the Free World.

That was another country, and besides, liberty is dead. A minority is holding your children hostage - those that it hasn't shot, of course. We love you. FIX YOUR SHIT.
posted by prismatic7 at 7:22 AM on June 3 [19 favorites]


America, fix your fucking shit.

Oh man, I wish it was just America. From the UK:

‘Gender critical’ author Helen Joyce says she wants to ‘reduce’ number of trans people
Joyce, who has become one of the most vocal “gender critical” campaigners in the UK in recent years, said their “movement” is no longer in the “consciousness-raising” stage.

She said the “gender critical” movement cannot be focused on convincing every person in the UK of its views and that it instead must “get through to the decision-makers”.

“And in the meantime, while we’re trying to get through to the decision-makers, we have to try to limit the harm and that means reducing or keeping down the number of people who transition,” Joyce said.

“That’s for two reasons – one of them is that every one of those people is a person who’s been damaged. But the second one is every one of those people is basically, you know, a huge problem to a sane world.”
NHS bosses ‘blocked’ vital healthcare advice for pregnant trans people

Attorney general Suella Braverman says schools have no legal obligation to affirm trans pupils
Braverman blasted schools’ “unquestioning approach” to trans youth, saying they should take a “much firmer line” by treating trans youth as the gender they were assigned at birth.

It would be “outrageous” for educators not to have the right to question a child’s gender identity because under-18s cannot legally change their gender, Braverman said, schools in no way have to accommodate trans youth.
There are plenty of right wing politicians and senior leaders around the world who are already planning to enact similar legislation or are watching the GOP with an eye to how to do it. They will learn from each other.
posted by fight or flight at 7:27 AM on June 3 [15 favorites]


I was coming in here to mention the Helen Joyce thing, but on a second listen to it to make sure I had it right, I noticed something else related to what Aramaic said.

She was saying that they didn't want to be responsible for their special needs in "50, 60, 70 years". And I saw a tweet that reinforced what I thought I heard: all the things they're talking about are also things one could say about the differently abled. They almost said the quiet part out loud: this is the start of the eliminationist rhetoric, with a group they know is seen by their base and the base-adjacent as "very weird" in nature.
posted by mephron at 8:06 AM on June 3 [15 favorites]


"trans people have no sense of humor," people say, as the small gains made in just existing wash away like sand castles at high tide

"you'll get more flies with honey than vinegar," people say about trans folks' attitudes, blithely ignoring the terror and agony as the boot comes down again and again
posted by i used to be someone else at 8:18 AM on June 3 [8 favorites]


the Florida Board of Medicine is a 15-member panel (12 doctors and three consumers) appointed by the governor.

I wonder if there's any leverage that can be applied based on the Board members having to be physicians, at the national level? Like if the Board members vote for something that's clearly out of line with recognized standards of care, could they be censured or expelled by other physicians?

My understanding is that it's some mechanism like that which prevents US doctors from participating in executions, in states where lethal injections are used.

If it's illegal for a physician to participate in an execution and still call themselves a physician, it seems like it ought to be illegal for them to participate in a rulemaking process that will demonstrably lead to preventable patient deaths.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:22 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]




it seems like it ought to be illegal for them to participate in a rulemaking process that will demonstrably lead to preventable patient deaths

Not if you ignore or discredit the science that says it will lead to patient deaths, as the GOP and their followers are doing. These types view themselves as "saving" people from themselves by forcing trans people into conversion therapy and detransitioning them. They're happy to ignore the studies that show that this will lead to higher suicide rates and violent hate crimes, just like they ignore COVID and climate science.

As we've seen many times, these people will not use the same ethical playbook as everyone else. In fact, they'll throw it out and pick a different one to use. You can't hope for someone to make the correct moral choice when they're working with a whole different set of moral codes. This is the problem the left needs to deal with: it's pointless to wait for "justice" or "truth" to prevail, when it's clear that your enemies are willing to rewrite the rules to suit themselves.
posted by fight or flight at 8:27 AM on June 3 [7 favorites]


Yeah I'm not suggesting relying on their conscience or anything, more whether there's a state or national self-regulatory body that can make them into not-doctors if they go down this road.

Like I'm sure that there are doctors who can somehow perform the mental gymnastics necessary to justify participating in lethal injection executions, if they were allowed to do so. But that's apparently prevented by ethical standards that aren't open to individual interpretation.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:34 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]


From Longreads: A Reading List for the Queer South
posted by box at 8:34 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


America, fix your fucking shit.

I am, as an English-speaking non-American, old enough to remember when your country was the beating heart of culture, the shining light of democracy, and the actual Leader of the Free World.

That was another country, and besides, liberty is dead. A minority is holding your children hostage - those that it hasn't shot, of course. We love you. FIX YOUR SHIT.


How is this helpful? I'm sorry my native country isn't conforming to your idealized image of it, but I'm here to tell you that American propaganda is not indicative of how it is to live here and never has been. For chrissake, we were only a full multiracial democracy from 1965-2013.

And not only that, but this is not just an American problem. This is happening all over the world in various countries.
posted by rhymedirective at 8:35 AM on June 3 [20 favorites]


if you love america so much let's switch places, i fucking hate this shithole country
posted by i used to be someone else at 8:53 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]


I would like to ask people whether they literally think that all times and places in US history have been equally bad or whether they think that things can get worse or perhaps even are worse than, say, ten years ago.

2008: Barack Obama says "Marriage is between a man and a woman."
2012: Half of Americans support same sex marriage.
2015: The Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is a fundamental constitutional right.
2021: 70 percent of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, support same-sex marriage.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 9:01 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]


Support for gay marriage is not the issue under discussion in this thread
posted by june_dodecahedron at 9:03 AM on June 3 [10 favorites]


wishing bad on the state is a really shitty look.
Yeah, it's also super super counterproductive, given the state keeps on throwing national election after national election to the right wing wolves. Life gets shittier and shittier down here and increasingly this is the state that's setting the standard of shittiness for the whole country. I know: the rednecks are shooting themselves right in their own moran mouths, and IT'S HILARIOUS! But if the rest of the country ever gets done chortling about that, can you maybe think of any way you could, I dunno, help?
posted by Don Pepino at 9:36 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]


America, fix your fucking shit.

WE'RE FUCKING TRYING, MY DUDE.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:03 AM on June 3 [27 favorites]


Me? I gave up. It's only going downhill from here.
posted by Down10 at 10:08 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


2008: Barack Obama says "Marriage is between a man and a woman."
2012: Half of Americans support same sex marriage.
2015: The Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is a fundamental constitutional right.
2021: 70 percent of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, support same-sex marriage.


People have a fundamental misunderstanding here - we don't get the laws that the majority want, we don't get laws based on majority opinion. We get laws based on the needs and desires of the ruling class. Sometimes those coincide with majority opinion when they need to keep the majority on side.

The Supreme Court is not ruling based majority opinions or based on case law. They are ruling based on Christofascist opinion and the convenience of the wealthy. That's the whole point of capturing the Supreme Court.

Minority rule is what we're looking at - because of long-term work by the GOP, because of gerrymandering and voter suppression, because of population movement the rule of law is in favor of the opinions of the 30% of fascists, and their ideas aren't just concentrated in their states and towns; their ideas are becoming hegemonic in states and towns where they are a tiny, tiny minority. So the 30% of racist nazis get to inflict their views even in cities and states where they do not represent anything like 30% of the population.

If we uphold the law, we uphold the fascists because they've hacked the law. That's what people need to understand.

There have been times and places all over the world where a small, armed, fascist minority ruled over a majority who hated their rule. Law backed by intense violence is how you do this. That's what we're looking at, because they are going to need to go to, eg, New York City and get everyone to cooperate with their iron dream and that will be difficult without intense violence.
posted by Frowner at 10:34 AM on June 3 [23 favorites]


Speaking as a trans person, I'm struggling enough trying to keep myself fed and bathed. I don't have the energy to argue with legislators who want me dead. Cishet people, especially white cishet people, and especially especially white cishet men: this is your time. All that rhetoric about rising up against tyrannical government? Put your money where your mouth is and do whatever needs to be done to save my life and the lives of my siblings. If you don't, my blood will be on your hands, not mine.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:09 AM on June 3 [32 favorites]


I would like to ask people whether they literally think that all times and places in US history have been equally bad or whether they think that things can get worse or perhaps even are worse than, say, ten years ago.
2008: Barack Obama says "Marriage is between a man and a woman."
2012: Half of Americans support same sex marriage.
2015: The Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is a fundamental constitutional right.
2021: 70 percent of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, support same-sex marriage.


fucking eponysterical. is this meant to be a retort?

six years ago, in 2016 north carolina passed hb2. the blowback was huge, north carolina ended up walking that back entirely, first by partial repeal in 2017, and by full repeal in 2020.

sure, there was some blowback to abbott in tx over the snitch order, and allies constantly shouted "gay, lol" at desantis in florida over hb1557, but the relative quiet over alabama and arkansas passing anti-trans laws and the full-court press the republicans are doing across statehouses across the country (in conjunction with their anti-abortion/forced-birth bullshit) means that they've flooded the legislative zone with shit. if we're going by the north carolina model, that's still four years, which depended on corporate pressure and large electoral wins, the latter of which are looking unlikely given headwinds and patterns of misinfo and disinfo exacerbating gerrymandering and voting restrictions.

they've appointed a frightening number of judges, many of whom are activists happy to legislate from the bench (like the fifth circuit) or play procedural games (liles burke fucking around w/r/t the alabama laws), and the supreme court is politically stacked at 6-3, so no justice can be expected from the judiciary.

that corporate pressure? just this past week state farm caved to hate and dropped support of a group supporting trans kids; this past month netflix decided to just go "fuck 'em" to trans folk. and that corporate pressure often came in conjunction with the media, except it's getting ever more clear that the us mainstream "liberal" pubs are going the uk route and platforming ever more vile transphobia to discuss the "controversy" and "tension" in rights. social media is no respite, what with massive campaigns appearing overnight calling all Queer but especially trans folk "groomers".

of course that has repercussions. it's not like trans people have a comparable platform. so when we see results like this? where 42% of younger democratic men agree that trans people are threats to children? where 34% of younger democratic women think trans people are trying to indoctrinate children? when our ostensible "allies" are starting to think this because "reasonable" sounding arguments hinting at trans nefariousness are appearing in the nytimes, in the atlantic, in the washington post, on joe rogan and so on...

yeah, i'd say things are worse than they were a few years ago.
posted by i used to be someone else at 12:12 PM on June 3 [23 favorites]


also, and i want to underscore this, i would guarantee that a majority of those 70 percent of americans supporting marriage equality probably thought the fight for Queer equality ended with obergefell and bostock.

it would not surprise me to find out that most of them don't know that trans panic defenses are still legal in most states, that they still, surprisingly, work. i would not be surprised to learn that most of those supporters don't know that anti-discrimination protections are at best a patchwork with most states being less than protective. or that obtaining legal documentation around transition is still difficult, with some states trying to raise the difficulty.

but yeah, let's try to use the shallow "love is love, see, everybody agrees" marriage equality comparison here. let's wave the flags and pretend things are going to be all copacetic, that the moral arc of history will just bend without bricks being thrown.
posted by i used to be someone else at 12:18 PM on June 3 [12 favorites]


Those of you who have read Andrew Sullivan (no, I'm not a fan, but bear with me) know that, in order to justify his own same-sex marriage, Sullivan made the argument that same-sex marriage is actually a conservative value. (That is, settling down in a marriage is good for social stability, regardless of the sexual orientation of the partners.)

Is it too far-fetched to suggest a similar argument for transfolk? I have this idea that transgendered people are supporting traditional gender roles, going so far as to physically transition in order to conform to society's rules. This is an extraordinary step that speaks to their powerful motivation to mold themselves to meet the traditional gender models.

It might make you gag to suggest that transitioning is a "conservative" action, but if it were framed in this way, in supporting "traditional" male and female roles, could some conservatives be persuaded to go along with transitioning?
posted by SPrintF at 1:03 PM on June 3


Is it too far-fetched to suggest a similar argument for transfolk?

Yes. Being transgender is nothing like getting married or conforming to capitalist marriage structures.

This is an extraordinary step that speaks to their powerful motivation to mold themselves to meet the traditional gender models.

Not every trans person wants to present as a binary gender. Not every trans person wants or can access medical transition. Not every trans person wants to become the cis idea of what their gender expression should be. Not every trans person, even when they have gone through medical transition, fully "passes" or wants to "pass" as a different gender. Furthermore, there are lots of non-binary trans people who would be marginalised even further if the definition of trans people became "goes from A directly to B". This concept would essentially be throwing one part of the community under the bus in order to make the rest of the community acceptable to conservative values, which I doubt many trans people will agree with.

I get where you're coming from, but the answer to fascism isn't "how do we break and contort ourselves into an acceptable shape for fascists to understand and accept us". The answer is getting rid of the fascists who are trying to dictate how people live their lives.
posted by fight or flight at 1:09 PM on June 3 [41 favorites]


And kinda building on i used to be’s excellent comments, “Love is love” says zilch about the fact that I get misgendered always, or get looked at and judged weirdly for not fitting the binary, or I get called out for using a bathroom that people don’t think I belong in. It was and is important for the marriage battle; it pains me when people try to use it for the trans & NB battles because it totally doesn’t apply.

Plainly, there are people who do not think trans people are real. And one of them is in power in Florida.
posted by hijinx at 1:31 PM on June 3 [13 favorites]


I have been looking around trying to determine the extent to which federal standards for Medicaid preempt state ones. The law mandates that certain types of services be provided, but I'm not yet sure about whether a state can determine care to fall into an "experimental" exception when it's not so treated at the federal level.

Still, pretty fucking bleak. I hope all those "oh we're just so worried that all the lesbian little girls are going to be forced to transition by irresistible peer pressure" types choke.
posted by praemunire at 2:27 PM on June 3


Just wanted to say that I come here to learn and the kind of response I see from @fight or flight is awesome.
posted by drowsy at 2:33 PM on June 3 [3 favorites]


could some conservatives be persuaded to go along with transitioning?

There is no level of being "one of the good ones" that a trans person can stoop to that will make conservatives accept them. You can adopt their shitty gender politics, throw other trans people under the bus, and debase yourself in every other way imaginable and they will still harass, slur, and deadname you like they do to Caitlyn Jenner. At best the ones who take this route will be tokenized and used as a shield to deflect from criticism only to be discarded when it is no longer convenient.

I have this idea that transgendered people are supporting traditional gender roles

I want gender liberation for all. This means putting an end to the coercive assignment and enforcement of gender rules, roles, and norms. Wanting people to be able to freely choose to express their gender knowing that some will do so in a way that may superficially resemble the ways that have been traditionally forced on to people via social and sometimes physical coercion is not at all support of 'traditional gender roles'. The 'traditional' part is not merely the aesthetic or role, it is those aesthetics or roles being socially imposed on people by force with any deviation being used as justification for abuse. I can't speak for all trans and/or nonbinary folks and we are by no means a monolith but to say that 'trans people support traditional gender roles' seems like not only a failure to understand what 'traditional gender roles' are and how they function in our society but also a misunderstanding of how most trans folks think about and relate to these social forces and how we want to change them. It's the gender equivalent of the Matt Bors comic
posted by metaphorever at 2:59 PM on June 3 [22 favorites]


It is also worth noting that "trans people support traditional gender roles" is a TERF argument used to paint trans folks as opponents of liberation. I'm not accusing you of that, but saying it touches a nerve.
posted by eruonna at 6:20 PM on June 3 [12 favorites]


I have this idea that transgendered people are supporting traditional gender roles, going so far as to physically transition in order to conform to society's rules

No. Just no. To be blunt, if you think that I have done all of this, gone through the hell of being out as trans and trying to access medical care, etc, for the sake of society's rules, then frankly, fuck you. Hopefully that isn't what you're saying, and you simply haven't thought the implications of what you're saying through.

I did this for me. That it is a thing people do just to conform to social pressures is an argument against trans people, a TERF talking point that ties in so lovely with the idea that young people are being pressured into being trans. No. Just no.

Being trans is not an extreme expression of homophobia. For one thing, gay trans people exist. But just, the very idea that this is what transness is - a physical rejection of homosexuality and/or gender-non-conformance - is just awful and offensive on so so many levels.
posted by Dysk at 6:50 PM on June 3 [20 favorites]


Trying to pressgang trans identities into being the ultimate expression of heterosexual ideals is so incredibly wrong, throws far too many people under the bus, and plays into anti-trans eliminationist rhetoric. Trans people in this thread are telling you that the idea is abhorrent. Listen to them.
posted by Dysk at 7:17 PM on June 3 [23 favorites]


I am a bisexual trans person. I didn’t come out to myself as bi until after I came out as trans. I will never be acceptable to these people for one reason or another. I don’t even see a reason to try. I’ve never really fit in except with small groups so I’m not going to try now.

I’m thinking about Duolingo and learning French, because if it goes to Hell my best bet is to try to get to Quebec to beg for asylum. (Also because when your new name is Genevieve Dantes, French seems like a thing to learn, along with swordfighting and everything possible for terrible revenges.)
posted by mephron at 9:27 PM on June 3 [8 favorites]


I have this idea that transgendered people are supporting traditional gender roles...
This is a bad idea and will not work.

Why is it a bad idea that will not work?

First, presentation and framing. Recently I've been made aware of the large group of people in the US who a) think that my existence as a trans woman is an enabler of child abuse, and b) have ready access to firearms and a philosophy of using them to 'defend' their family/property. This accompanies the larger issues described in this thread, like the structural denial of healthcare for transgender people, and how that denial will result in deaths for people like me.

This is the kind of harm we are discussing here: that the party line on the right is that we are things that should die.

And the thing is, when the window has been pushed so far to an extreme like that, you don't court the people who inhabit those extremes - it's literally meeting the dishonest man in the middle, and the thing you are compromising on is the people you're trying to help - you are going to the people who would happily see us dead, and trying to appease them.

When you say things like 'When you use phrases like 'If you're only response is "endless war grar!", then you aren't going to shift the balance in favor of respecting transfolk', it sounds like you are saying that we are the problem, instead of the people who want us to die.


Second, your argument is not a new one. 'Trans people support traditional gender roles' is an argument used to perpetuate ideas like 'trans women perpetuate misogyny'. This is an argument that TERFs have been spouting for ages - and these same TERFs are often in bed with the hard-line right.

Congratulations, you've made the same point as the frothing people who think we shouldn't exist. Please understand why transfolk might find this objectionable.


Third, it's not a good argument because cisnormative gender roles are deeply rooted in a concept of biology, and conservative ideology inherits from that. For conservatives, one of the core purposes of a woman is that they are someone who can bear children - something which trans women are physically incapable of, and is likely distressing for trans men. Trying to argue that that trans people support their traditional gender roles will not hold water, because we cannot do that as we are.


Fourth, by arguing that 'trans people support traditional gender roles (and therefore should be accepted)', you're making the point (however inadvertently and indirectly) that the only trans people who should be accepted are the ones who can blend into those roles and not be noticed.

In doing so, you are repeating the thought process of early providers of transgender care: that what matters is how well the trans person will fit into the world around them... and if you don't meet the arbitrary requirements to make that fit, then you will not be provided with transition care.

Too tall? Can't be a woman. Too old? Can't be a woman. Don't think their facial features are a good fit for feminizing surgery? Can't be a woman. Your doctor doesn't think you're attractive enough, or questions your willingness to go through with the process? Can't be a woman, no transition for you.

And as I've mentioned previously, lack of transition care kills trans people.

This also fails to account for individuals who don't clearly slot into the gender binary, like people who are genderqueer, genderfluid, or nonbinary.

It also doesn't include trans folk who are in the process of transition, which is a process that takes place over time, and trans people have to exist within that time, they have to have lives as they transition, and the argument here would make these people's existence unacceptable to the world at large until their transition was 'done'.


Fifth? Fifth, is that this will not work because you cannot debate with the right, because their positions are not ones you can question through debate.

Conservatives don't go 'ah, That Kind of people are A and B and C, and I find those unacceptable so I hate them', conservatives go 'I hate That Kind of people because I was told to, and I will utilize whatever reasoning supports that conclusion.'

That is not a position you can debate, and that is not a speaker you want to appease.


When you are faced with intolerance, when you are faced with someone performing acts that are unacceptable, you don't appease them, you don't court them. You don't go 'well, what if you didn't do it in front of them' or 'what if we let you be hateful only X times a day instead of giving you free reign' or 'well ACTUALLY they support the gender roles you love, so you're okay with that, right?'.

When you are faced with intolerance, your goal should be showing that it will not be tolerated: either in terms of showing the intolerant one that you disagree with them, or by supporting the target of their intolerance.
posted by mikurski at 9:40 PM on June 3 [28 favorites]


The thing with transgender people is that we force people who hate us to go along with something they have been conditioned to find upsetting, at best. Gay marriage requires no active participation, the bigots can just sneer and be vile quietly in their bubble without having to actually do much.

But transgender people? We demand active participation. Use the correct gender and pronouns, please. No, my birth name is irrelevant, and I told you the name I use. Yes, my dress is really nice, and no, I don't give a damn if me wearing it upsets your narrow world view. I'm not hurting anyone.

And in a sane world, they would realize that we are just trying to live our lives. Work, school, appearing in pretty clothes in public, having to use public toilets. It's who we are, not some sort of plot to send them to canceled jaill immediately. But haters gonna hate. It's profitable to someone somewhere.

I'm not even upset anymore, it's just time to get out or get crushed
posted by Jacen at 9:54 PM on June 3 [10 favorites]


Mod note: One deleted. SPrintF, because of past comments you've made, I 100% believe that you are not trying to confuse, derail, and disrupt discussion about attacks on transgender rights to exist, yet that is what you are doing. You don't mean to, but you are, so I will ask you just to read along and learn more rather than, eg, throwing out unsuitable strategies and insisting that people just don't understand your point and must continue to debate your erroneous ideas. This isn't the first time, so going forward, please refrain from commenting in threads about transgender issues. Thank you.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:06 PM on June 3 [4 favorites]


Mod note: Super long comment deleted; this is probably better for an FPP on the appeal of authoritarianism, generally.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:57 AM on June 4 [1 favorite]


I've been wishing/wanting for a defense of queer people based on, well, liberty? American freedoms? For adults that argument very obviously has legal legs - that's why these rules target children, so far. But I'd hope it would have emotional legs too. Like, an argument that this kind of freedom is what makes our country better than (lol let's say) Russia. I saw a Tiktok calling this kind of argument "homonationalism" as if it's a bad thing, which it might be, but honestly it also something I kinda truly feel.

example from tumblr: "I’m a red-blooded corn-fed AMERICAN MAN and if I wanna get my tits chopped off that’s my god-given right as a tax payer", which includes a picture of a t-shirt that says "AMERICAN by BIRTH, TRANSGENDER by the GRACE of GOD"

also there was my own tumblr joke that went like "if we lived in a free society i could get top surgery at walmart"

you know, tapping into the instinctive low-level anarchism that's latent in the American spirit. British tradition has historically had similar elements of tolerating eccentrics, and maybe being a little bit proud of just how weird our weirdos can be. To paraphrase sentiments from Terry Pratchett, there's the sense that if someone so wrong-headed and obnoxious still has the freedom to row their stupid boat their own stupid way, then it's a sign that we live in a free society.

Both American and British societies also of course have other traditions, other constituent elements (like the Puritans) because all societies do, because societies are made up of lots and lots of different kinds of people. It's not like this is a neutral and factually true statement that American identity = freedom = including gay freedom. It's a political statement attempting to shape reality. It's a natural evolution of identity politics, trying to activate an American identity and fuse it with this political goal (which is queer freedom).

The Christofascist arguments are all pretty neatly lined up to evade and sidestep this line of argument, and I think that's a sign of how powerful it is even when it's not stated out loud. But i could be totally wrong and it could mean that this line of argument isn't actually worth making. Idk.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 8:26 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


There also should be room for queer religious people to bring God into how they talk about themselves and their queerness, if they want to, I think. example from twitter: "God blessed me by making me transsexual for the same reason he made wheat but not bread and fruit but not wine: because he wants humanity to share in the act of creation. I am only doing the Good Works here on Earth as intended!"
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 8:34 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


I haven't commented in a while. I don't know if folks remember me from a previous era of trans threads. But in the intervening years, I've somehow stumbled my way into a whole-ass career doing state and national trans advocacy, policymaking, and lobbying. Dealing with the attack in the FPP is part of my job now. I just wanted to offer a small assurance, for whatever it's worth, that there are very passionate, very dedicated, very intelligent people (and also me) doing absolutely everything they possibly can to stem this tide.
posted by Corinth at 9:27 PM on June 5 [25 favorites]


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