Signal Boosting: Convert, Cure, Closet, or Kill — the Religious Right’s Plan for Trans Folk

Medium has a post up that is equal parts delightful in its thoroughness (so many citations, thank you!) and also… horrifying, in its thoroughness (egads, that’s so much hate being cited). It explains that the plan the Religious Right has for trans folk can be reduced to “Convert, Cure, Closet, or Kill:”

Almost 60 anti-transgender bills were introduced this year, most of which targeted transgender youth, restricting access to public accommodations, defining “sex” in non-discrimination laws to exclude transgender people, or permitting health care providers to refuse to treat transgender patients. Another six states introduced laws banning protections for LGBT people, which would join Tennessee and Arkansas in nullifying local non-discrimination ordinances. Twenty-two states introduced “Religious Freedom” laws making discrimination against LGBT people legal and consequence-free.

The vast majority of these laws did not pass, but HB2 in North Carolina did. It functionally accomplished two of the Family Research Council’s goals by nullifying all legal protections for transgender people, and effectively banning them from public bathrooms, while setting a nearly impossible bar for obtaining legal recognition of a gender change.

Also noteworthy is that while NC requires “sex change surgery” (the preferred term is gender confirmation surgery) to change a gender marker, they are adamantly opposed to state provided insurance from covering such procedures. Many transgender people do not want such surgery, or are physically unable to have it. Most simply cannot afford it.

This is why the transgender community has reacted so vehemently to HB 2: it is the realization of many of the goals of hate groups intended to legislate a community out of existence. This is something that has not been pointed out in the mainstream media, though it should be. How would the media react if North Carolina had passed a law targeting black people that was explicitly proposed and endorsed by the Klan?

I strongly recommend this post in its entirety, as it demonstrates the contradictions and inanity of religiously motivated positions to antagonize gender diversity. It also demonstrates why trans folk are generally suspicious of researchers, as so-called scientists have been well known to abuse us to further political agendas (see: Dr. Zucker, asshole extraordinaire, standing proud among the ranks of abusive anti-trans researchers like Alice Dreger, J Michael Bailey, and Ray Blanchard). It predicts that these strategies, tried and tested as routine failures against the LGB, will ultimately flop as they did before–but not before they’ve claimed a body count.

The authoritarian war machine needs lives to fuel it, after all.



  1. Great American Satan says

    Holy crap, I followed the link and it said the article was deleted by the author. What gives?

  2. Siobhan says

    Not sure what happened but another author appears to have posted it?

    No idea what’s actually going on but the link should work now.

  3. johnson catman says

    Interesting article. Definitely a boost of optimism at the end. I hope it doesn’t take so long. It will definitely help if Clinton is elected in November. It would also help tremendously if the US voters would reject republicans overall and get democratic majorities back in Congress. Fingers crossed!

  4. AMM says

    I would be more dismayed, I suppose, if I hadn’t already known all this. It’s been pretty obvious that the religious right and the Republican party want me and people like me dead, and they are frightenly close to obtaining complete power over the USA. I wonder if this is what it’s like being a Jew in Nazi Germany, or being black pretty much anywhere in the USA. Millions were murdered before the Nazi regime was destroyed, and every day we are presented with graphic evidence that Black Lives still don’t Matter.

    I came out to myself recently (and am in the process of coming out to others) because I realized that not doing so would kill me (literally), so the closet isn’t an alternative, it’s a tomb. But just as I’m coming out and becoming myself (and trying to figure out who “myself” is), it’s looking an awful lot like there’s a whole movement taking power that wants to exterminate me and everyone like me and maybe everyone who sees me as human. I suppose if I were younger I’d be angry and active and fighting, but I’ve been fighting all my life just to convince myself that life will someday be worth living and I’m tired, physically and morally. If the rest of my life is going to be as much of an unrewarding struggle as the first 60, is it worth it?

  5. says

    The item says:

    Unlike LGB people, the religious right is still pushing the myth that transgender people are mentally ill and are best served by seeking a cure.

    Let’s assume for a second that the bigots are right and it is a “mental illness”. Are they also advocating job discrimination, housing discrimination, social discrimination, violence and other assaults upon people with schizophrenia, PTSD, bipolar disorders and other conditions? If not, then why single out transgender people?

    The attitudes of bigots can be described by paraphrasing and reversing Martin Niemoller:

    First we targeted the women and no one spoke out because women were powerless and socially unpopular.

    Then we targeted black people, latinos and immigrants and no one spoke out because black people, latinos and immigrants were were powerless and socially unpopular.

    Then we targeted gays and lesbians and no one spoke out because gays and lesbians were powerless and socially unpopular.

    Then we targeted transgender people because there was no one left we could get away with hating.”