Time for a National Pee-in

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

An excellent commentary from Mischa Haider and Bruce Hay.

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Collectively and openly, in their rainbow of appearances, they should enter gendered spaces in defiance of the segregationists. The movement needs a ground campaign, a peaceful series of “pee-ins” across the nation that will bring a face and an image to this struggle. Americans need to know that trans people exist and use facilities like any other person, and should not be intimidated or threatened for the way they look. The nation needs to see the diversity of transgender identities safely and peacefully using gendered facilities and standing up to threats to their humanity. They should understand that existence and acceptance of people born with nonconforming bodies is not what threatens the peace and safety of our society, but the violent threats and actions of those who cannot tolerate human difference.

Without such a public campaign that will raise awareness, even laws granting legal protections to trans individuals will do little to change the daily intimidation and violence that trans people face in gendered facilities. Organizations fighting to stem the tide of transphobic legislation should also work to inform the public about the rights of and the risks facing gender-nonconforming people using gendered facilities. Everyone would be well served if signs were posted explicitly stating that intimidation, violence, or threats will not be tolerated against any person in those facilities, regardless of how they look, and that anyone who experiences or witnesses such aggression should report it. Additionally, men who make murderous threats against trans individuals for entering bathrooms with their “wives and daughters” need to be held accountable.

Of course, we must all fight transphobic laws in the legislatures and in courts, tooth and nail. However, we will gain most by pushing hard for acceptance and equality at the same time as fighting off oppression. States like North Carolina are a lightning rod, for their blatant and outrageous legal segregation, but let us remember that even in Massachusetts, a bill granting trans individuals protections in public accommodations is languishing on the governor’s desk. Trans activists and advocates need to show our politicians that the cause for justice will not wait, and that we mean it when we say that the incitements to murder, assault, and suicide must stop now. A broad grassroots ground campaign bringing transgender Americans from across the spectrum openly and peacefully into the gendered spaces where they are comfortable, in front of the nation and the world, will show just that.

Let us resolve to be more visible. All of us, transgender and cisgender, in every shade and stripe of presentation. Transgender and gender-nonconforming people should determine for themselves who they are and which facility they use, and not be governed by the bigotries of the segregationist who, like the Walrus, conceals his violence with nonsense syllables.

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I’m all for pee-ins. Everywhere. People having to pee while they are out an about should not be an issue, and it’s beyond absurd that it’s become such an issue here in uStates.

Mississippi Goddam

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant

Miss. Gov. Signs Sweeping Anti-LGBT ‘Religious Liberty’ Law

 

Mississippi now boasts the nation’s most aggressive anti-LGBT law, after Gov. Phil Bryant signed House Bill 1523 into law this morning.

The first-of-its-kind law will take effect in July, and allow businesses, individuals, and religiously affiliated organizations to deny service to LGBT people, single mothers, and others who somehow offend an individual’s “sincerely held religious belief.” It also directly targets transgender residents, effectively claiming that one’s sex assigned at birth is immutable, and will be the only gender recognized by the state.

The Republican governor announced that he had signed the bill in a tweet on Tuesday morning. It was accompanied by a statement contending that he signed HB 1523 “into law to protect sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions.”

“This bill merely reinforces the rights which currently exist to the exercise of religious freedom,” the governor’s statement continued. “This bill does not limit any constitutionally protected rights or actions of any citizen of this state under federal or state laws.”

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“Gov. Phil Bryant’s decision to sign HB 1523 into law is unconscionable,” said Jody E. Owens, managing attorney in Mississippi at the progressive Southern Poverty Law Center in a statement. “This newly enacted law — like the draconian anti-LGBT laws in other states — uses the guise of ‘religious freedom’ to justify discrimination, mistreatment and bigotry. It’s the same sort of rationale used by white supremacists in earlier eras to justify slavery and Jim Crow. The estimated 60,000 LGBT people in Mississippi deserve better. We need to stand up for the rights of all people.”

I don’t know what can be said here. I don’t know how to express the grief I feel. I don’t understand how people can be so filled with hatred and fear, yet think they are good people.

https://youtu.be/fVQjGGJVSXc

UPDATE: ‘#1 in bigotry’: Twitter unleashes its wrath.

Washington D.C.: travel ban to NC

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser

Washington D.C. Bans Employees From Traveling to North Carolina

The mayor of Washington, D.C., has banned all nonessential employee travel to North Carolina after the state passed an anti-LGBT law that bars transgender people from accessing public facilities like bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity and eliminates all existing LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances in the state.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted out the executive order banning travel for government employees, saying, “We stand with the LGBTQ community and against discrimination.”

[…]

D.C. joins Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Chicago,Vermont, and Washington State in barring employees from traveling to North Carolina.

When Indiana passed a so-called religious freedom bill last year, a similar backlash had entire states clamping down on travel. The governors of Connecticut, New York, and Washington all issued orders banning nonessential travel to Indiana until that law was amended.

[…]

The consequences to North Carolina, its economics, and its reputation as an inclusive state are piling up. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit. The entertainment company Lionsgate has relocated a television series. The mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, is asking North Carolina businesses to move to the Windy City in order to avoid controversy.

Full story here. It’s good to see people pouring on the pressure. Sooner or later, the message that hate is not to be legislated must hit home, and hard.

Pain & Piss

DT

By Turbotorque (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

My last appointment at the pain clinic was in December. At that time, I was assigned a PMP, had a contract shoved at me and told that it was a no choice sign – either I agreed, or no more meds for you. Thanks to the insanity of federal drug laws here in uStates, the contract stipulates that the patient agrees to random drug testing, urine, hair, or blood, and being pulled in for random pill counts as well. The tests are not only for illicit drug use (because fuck knows, you wouldn’t want someone in chronic pain smoking weed now and then or anything, why  it might help!), but a check on whether or not you are taking the correct amount of your prescribed meds. There are a wealth of problems with this, of course. A lot of people test negative for their particular meds, there are a host of known false positives, and gods forbid you take something prescribed by a different doctor – that’s a serious no. If you don’t test positive for the amount they think your sample should show, you can be placed under suspicion of dealing drugs to the ever friendly DEA.

The whole process is annoying and meant to be humiliating, and generally speaking, those who get to undergo this nonsense aren’t exactly getting the great stuff, med-wise. Anyway, what with all the holiday stuff happening right at the time of my last appt., my PMP forgot to get a test from me, so tomorrow is my first time being placed squarely under the federal thumb of drug paranoia. Oh what fun. I loathe the idiotic drug laws in this country.