Watch Your Back

Watch Your Back

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When I began to consider whether I should live my life as female, I knew I would face numerous obstacles in the process. I knew some people would not understand the journey that I had to make, and that they would look down on me to one degree or another. I could hear the sneers before the transition. I well knew that some people were beaten and even killed for their desire to live as they truly were.

I also knew that a few people truly hated transgender persons and considered us to be perverts. In fairly recent times, we were arrested and prosecuted as such. An episode of the television series Barney Miller from the mid-1970s featured a crossdresser who was required to send for male clothes to put on before Capt. Miller would let him out of the precinct. This was in Greenwich Village, one of the most socially tolerant venues in the entire U.S.

We have faced a lot of persecution over the decades here in this country, not to mention the other places that will torture and execute us such as the Muslim countries, Russia, and a few African Christian countries like Uganda. You can probably add China and India to the list. I knew all of this history and was willing to face it. I did not believe that the current local situation was that bad.

But I never expected to deal with the level of pure hatred that has been directed at transgender persons in the last few years. I did not expect to be thrown into a situation where I would have to limit where I could travel in the United States because some states would no longer be safe for transgender persons. I did not think I needed to worry about whether my own home state would try to persecute me just for being transgender. I believed that if I behaved properly as a cisgender person would, I would be able to live my life quietly and respectably.

But times have changed for us. We transgender folk are now in a situation almost as bad as that of the Jews in 1930s Germany. I wonder if we are being secretly tracked by some government agency so we can be rounded up and sent to prisons when the opportunity presents itself. I wonder if we will someday be required to wear an identifying symbol the way the German Jews were required to wear the Star of David.

This may sound hysterical or very much over the top, I will agree. But look at what is happening to transgender people right now. The Substack blogger Erin Reed has documented much of the legislative assault on transgender persons. Perhaps the most energetic public official is the attorney general of Texas named Ken Paxton. He has issued demands to organizations outside Texas to supply information to him regarding Texan transgenders who may have used medical services outside the state. As far as I know, he is completely outside his jurisdiction in trying to enforce demands in other states. But he is doing it anyway.

People like Ken Paxton are why I have the paranoid nightmares I sometimes suffer. I can imagine police storming my door to arrest me and drag me and others like me to long-term imprisonment just for being transgender. I did not believe it was possible. But now I can imagine it.

Then look at all of the legislators and executives who introduce ever more insulting and demeaning bills in their various legislatures and mandates in their governments. It would be happening at the Federal level if the Republicans had veto-proof majorities at that level. Some of these clowns seem to be competing to come up with the most outrageous bill or mandate possible.

Here is a good example. The state of Arkansas had previously adopted a provision that allowed people to use the letter “X” as the gender on their driver’s license. A few hundred people used the X. Now the current Governor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the daughter of former Governor Mike Huckabee and White House press secretary for Trump, just endorsed a new policy that prohibits people from using X and requires them to use the gender on their birth certificate. She remarked, “. . . [T]here are only two genders. As long as I’m Governor, Arkansas state government will not endorse nonsense.” I used to like Gov. Sanders. My feelings have changed (Story on KARK).

As for other politicians, when he first ran for President in 2016, Donald Trump acted like he supported LGBTQ persons. Not anymore. Now he wants to take the worst of the state bills and make them Federal law. Even a supposed mainstream conservative like Nikki Haley loathes us. In general, Democrats support us. But conservatives would never vote for a Democratic administration. If Trump runs against President Biden in the general election, I cannot vote for either one of them.

The whole situation has turned into a maelstrom of hatred and disgust directed against us. There is a special passion about this hatred that we did not see in the hatred of African-Americans that typified the Southern U.S. The haters act like they want to hurt us, or at least lock us up forever. A few of them might even be willing to think about executing us, to eliminate us from the gene pool.

This is the situation that we now face. How do we deal with it?

Part Two: Dealing With the Hate will post on TGForum next Monday.

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Category: Transgender Opinion


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