I am a bloody idiot.
I spent all day lying around in bed watching Sherlock and eating junk food. It’s now quarter past midnight and I have absolutely nothing scheduled to go up in the morning. I am now going to attempt to crank out three posts before my brain shuts down from sleepy.
First we have this awful business coming out of Baltimore. A new law is being proposed in Baltimore County that would outlaw discrimination in the workplace, housing and public spaces on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Effectively, it’s a “bathroom bill”, the kind of legislation designed to allow trans people to access basic services, rights, opportunities and necessities without our lives being needlessly complicated by the irrational fears of others. It protects us from the instiutionalized discrimination we typically face on a daily or near-daily basis, such as the inability to rent apartments, land a job or go pee in a safe, non-humiliating space.
The Christian Right, exemplars of reason and compassion that they are, are naturally fighting this legislation with everything they’ve got. How dare the liberal elite discriminate against them and strip them of their basic human right to discriminate against other people!
They certainly have some extremely well-reasoned, logical, emotionally measured arguments on their side:
“I have not had good sleep in the past few weeks because of this bill,” said Tina Siegert, a Catonsville resident. “The thought of a man being in a [women's] restroom just unnerves me.”
Oh my my my. Terribly sorry our existence unnerves you, Tina. We’ll just go back to quietly being oppressed and murdered and stuff so you don’t have to be bothered.
All the usual tropes are being pulled out: kids being taught how to lube up a cock before anal sex, and to remember to ease into things slowly at first! Evil “perverts” putting on lipstick, declaring themselves transgender, then holing up in a women’s restroom to record the sound of YOUR DAUGHTER peeing! The moral fabric of America will completely fall apart if we don’t rigidly impose our gender binaries in every single possible instance, and make life as difficult as conceivably possible for queer and trans people!
All of these arguments have exactly the same abundance of compelling evidence as usual. Which is to say none at all.
But sadly this ridiculous reaction and the surrounding debate, which has a very real chance of crushing this legislation, is getting incredibly little media attention. Instead, the Bible-thumping gender police are being permitted to control the discourse in the spaces that will side with them, and keep the conversation from happening at all in the spaces that may not.
Or rather: it’s receiving similar attention and well-researched, compelling journalistic coverage as did the recent rash of transphobic violence in the Maryland / D.C area. Which is to say none at all.
Readers who live in Baltimore or Maryland, please contact the city council, the county legislature, your representative in congress, or whoever you can think of, and make sure that the only views being heard here aren’t those of the “unnerved” cissexist majority. Please let them know that the fears being played up by the opponents of this law are completely groundless, and there has never been any credible evidence to suggest there is any meaningful risk associated with passing such laws. Other than the risk that trans people may be treated as equal citizens, deserving of equal rights and equal protections, anyway.