Signal boosting: When your existence is up for debate

I will one day try to articulate what it feels like to know an overwhelming majority of mainstream media that an overwhelming majority of voting people access are determined to accept the most dangerous trans-antagonistic premises as simply given when debating our rights. This was the case with Judith Shulevitz’s predictably inaccurate contribution to trans rights discourse, an article I could generously describe as a hit piece rather than a think piece: Is It Time to Desegregate the Sexes?

I struggled with how to formulate a response without repeating myself, as many of the assumptions made by Jesse Singal during his defamatory works on trans people have already been challenged by me, and many of those same assumptions are here. It feels a bit like I’m Hercules fighting the hydra–cut off one head and two more take its place. And chances are the only way I will avoid reproducing the same refutations to the same bullshit peddled by strange bedfellows (religious biological essentialists and radical feminists? ableist hippies and the alt right? under one banner? wtf?) is to eventually collect the bullshit in one place to deal with it all at once.

Thankfully, this time, Chase Stangio stepped into the ring for me, sparing me another grueling analysis and hours of research that trans-antagonists won’t even bother to access.

Whether appearing in the New Yorker, New York Magazine, or the New York Times, these pieces follow the same formula — a non-transgender writer poses a question about the impact of respecting transgender people’s bodies and identities framing it as a “debate”, “culture war” or “clash of values” then interviews a lot of non-transgender people, and concludes that the issue is difficult because unlike other civil rights struggles, transgender people’s demand for humanity infringes the rights of others. Or, as Elinor Burkett put it in a June, 2015 Sunday New York Times op-ed, “the trans movement isn’t simply echoing African-Americans, Chicanos, gays or women by demanding an end to the violence and discrimination, and to be treated with a full measure of respect. It’s demanding that women reconceptualize ourselves.”

What Burkett and Shulevitz do is normalize the idea that demands by trans people to, as Burkett says, “be treated with a full measure of respect” necessarily hurt others. For Burkett this is by “demanding” that “women reconcentualize” themselves and for Shulevitz it is by implicating/upsetting the privacy and modesty rights of others — mostly cisgender girls. Though their frame takes these tensions as a given, they are anything but given. Instead, this framing reflects the authors’ ideological views about transgender people disguised by the sanitizing language of clashing values. It is dangerous to accept the premise of these pieces without interrogating those underlying views.

Lacking the voices of any transgender people or advocates, Shulevitz’s “debate” is set-up to reinforce all the assumptions about transgender people that many people share — the view that transgender girls and boys are not real girls and boys, the view that the bodies of transgender people infringe the rights of others, the view that inclusion of transgender people would disrupt educational and extracurricular settings.

She systemically introduces voices to reinforce each of these assumptions and never offers the expertise of individuals who can show that none of these assumptions is correct. She quotes Alliance Defending Freedom, a libertarian law professor, a so-called “radical feminist” organization defined by their belief that women who are trans are actually men, and a select group of educators to ostensibly highlight the challenges that transgender people pose in educational settings. Absent from her piece are the voices of transgender people, advocates, medical associations, pediatric associations, school administrators, and others who could clearly explain based on concrete experience that none of these assumptions comports with reality.

If she is going to deem protecting transgender people “a revolution” of notable “magnitude” then it might be useful to include the many school administrators who have testified to the exact opposite of her provocative warning — that such protections caused no disruption at school and were implemented seamlessly. This hyperbolic suggestion that merely allowing transgender people to be present in the locker room with their peers — most of whom love and respect them for who they are — is a revolution is offensive to both the concept of revolution and to the humanity of trans people. All Shulevitz has accomplished through this framing is to reinforce the talking points advanced by anti-trans groups like Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

When I challenged Shulevitz about this on Twitter, she responded dismissively and defensively and then deleted her tweets and ended the conversation. My intention was never to demonize her but to draw attention to the risks of what she did on a platform as powerful as the Sunday Times.

As writer Imogen Binnie explained on Twitter, when reading pieces like Shulevitz’s, one must ask “what does this article propose trans people should do”

“[I]f the answer is something like ‘not be trans,’ please consider that most trans people have tried that and it didn’t work,” Binnie tweeted.

And the effect of Shulevitz’s piece is no better demonstrated than the comments over on the NYT. Self-professed Butlerians high-fiving evangelicals interspersed with calls to arms to “protect America’s women.”

Guys, I’m tired of fighting. Jesus Christ.

-Shiv


Zack Ford has also taken Shulevitz to task.

Anti-LGBTQ fascist wants to warn you of the dangers of Islam

Alternative headline: Fascist appeals to Queer community by pointing out his anti-Queer genocidal plan never at any point invokes god.

I can’t help but notice that when the far-right attempts to appeal to me as a QUILTBAG person by framing Islam as a threat to my well being that they have a blind spot for their own activities. While there certainly are many institutions on the planet that would imprison, torture, or otherwise murder me for being who I am, and yes–some of those are explicitly Islamic institutions–the far-right conservatives pushing this observation seem to forget that they’re among the threats. If the far-right were serious in recruiting me, and I don’t think they are, they would remember to turn the spotlight inwards too.

This is demonstrated no better than through PinkNews’ expose of UKIP leadership hopeful Rasheem Kassam in his remarks on trans people in British & global news: (Content Notice trans-antagonism, non-binary erasure and hate speech)

In November 2015, he tweeted: “Also anyone see that advert after #bbcqt about “gender fluidity”? How much tranny-pushing does the BBC want to do? Radio 4, QT, BBC3, web…”

In April this year, when a transgender non-binary teen spoke to Barack Obama, he said: “Muslim Pakistani girl is ‘coming out’ to Obama as ‘transgender’ live now. Demands Obama acknowledge ‘non binary’ people”.

When someone asked why he had referred to the teen as a girl, he responded: “You ain’t gonna bully me into using tranny terms, love. Move along. “

In 2014, when a convicted murderer came out as trans, he wrote: “Ah yes, the ‘tranny defence’.”

In another 2016 tweet, responding to exercise guidelines, he claimed the NHS “wants to turn me into a teetotal tranny”.

Earlier this month, Mr Kassam denied he was responsible for former leader Nigel Farage’s repeated criticism of HIV patients, despite working as his key adviser at the time.

When asked which kinds of people should be allowed to enter the UK in 2014, Mr Farage said: “People who do not have HIV, to be frank. That’s a good start.”

Later, during the 2015 election debates, Farage claimed the UK is ‘incapable’ of treating people with HIV because of immigration, citing the high cost of HIV treatment.

Kassam insisted: “It wasn’t me…. Nigel Farage got up on stage and unbeknownst to any of us, he made this statement.”

Writing for Breitbart UK, Kassam has published a multitude of stories about the stance of Islam on LGBT rights – despite his own controversial views on LGBT issues.

Earlier this year Mr Kassam was linked to a petition to protest “insidious political correctness” in UKIP after the suspension of a candidate who advocates ‘gay cure’ therapy.

The petition claimed it was written by anonymous ‘UKIP Members and Supporters for Free-Speech’ – but it was first circulated on social media by Mr Kassam, who also took to Breitbart to promote it.

Make no mistake Mr. Kassam, the QUILTBAG community is keenly aware of which institutions support violence against us. It’s just that when you frame the issue as “us vs them” we can’t help but notice that “us” never actually included us, you know? It makes your concern for Islam’s impact on the Queer community, on Queer Muslims and ex-Muslims, a bit disingenuous.

You give atheists a shitty name. You’re the reason many of us seek support from progressive, Queer-affirmative religious congregations: Your opinion is every bit as shitty and inhumane as religious fundamentalists even without invoking god or allah to support it.

-Shiv

89 million views for videos of trans women being assaulted classified as “entertainment”

Content Notice: Violence, hate-motivated assaults.

In a report called Capturing Hate, a non-profit organization by the name of Witness has collected some statistics on the disturbing trend of “shock videos” as they pertain to trans women and gender nonconforming people. In most of these videos, the victims are being verbally harassed or physically assaulted, with participants on the offending websites advocating for further violence. Most of these videos are posted without the victim’s consent, a few of which have gone on record to say that these acts also sabotaged their careers.

Oh, and these shock videos aren’t even just being hosted by fringe websites feeding on a sadistic viewership. They’re on YouTube.

From the report:

Our analysis of the engagement with those videos — including ratings, comments and how the videos are captured, titled and described — proves that abuse and discrimination against transgender people is widespread and undercounted. And, the content condones, or even encourages, violent acts against them. The existence of these videos and the volume of hateful engagement pose a direct threat to gender nonconforming people and compromise a positive and empowered representation of these communities.

We studied viewer engagement only with videos that captured physical assault and we analyzed data from four very different sites. We included YouTube, where we found the most videos, but the content represents just a small segment of the platform’s total offerings. World Star Hip Hop and Fly Height are “shock” sites that solicit and promote these videos to drive traffic and to monetize as part of their business models. And, Live Leak, a video aggregator that promotes itself as a cutting edge news outlet known for breaking particularly gruesome content (e.g., the execution of Saddam Hussein).

Significantly absent from this study is the viewer engagement data from eyewitness videos hosted on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Vine. In our URL harvests we found thousands of video links on these platforms matching the search criteria, and tens of thousands of Facebook “likes” from platforms we did analyze. In test studies we found that most videos were uploaded to a hosting platform then shared to social media platforms furthering viewer engagement. Capturing and analyzing that data exceeded project resources in both cost and capacity.

Even with this small sample size, LGBTQ advocacy organizations we consulted were surprised by the number of eyewitness videos of violence against transgender people and stunned by how widely viewed and favorably rated they were. Most alarming are the vitriolic comments that are ongoing. We found videos posted years ago that are still being engaged with today.

Have some of their statistics:

64%

of total videos analyzed were found on YouTube
Despite policies that explicitly prohibit content that incites hatred or promotes violence against individuals and groups based on race, sexual orientation and gender identity, we found more videos on YouTube than on all three other platforms combined. We do not, however, know how many videos of this kind have been removed for violating these terms.

39%

of YouTube videos categorized as entertainment or comedy
The most popular category was the default “People & Blogs” at 42%.

99%

of total ratings were “likes”
Viewers gave the content favorable ratings — e.g., liked, LOL, thumbs up, hilarious, etc. — overwhelmingly more than negative or critical responses.

71%

of total views were on World Star Hip Hop
Shock sites World Star Hip Hop and Fly Height hosted fewer videos, but dominated viewer engagement. Several of the most brutal were viewed by millions on these platforms.

For trans folk, none of this really comes as a surprise. Even as we attempt to report our mistreatment to police, we are often treated as punchlines instead of victims. Most of us are already aware of the intense disdain expressed by violent trans-antagonists. And while it’s true that most people don’t deliberately seek out material of trans women being assaulted and murdered, it is also true that there are people who do–explicitly for the purpose of celebrating the violence depicted.

89 million views. 99% approval.

This is what trans & gender nonconforming folk are up against.

-Shiv

 

Transition Reactions p11: Facts don’t care about your feelings

It cannot be understated that the sheer volume of ignorance about gender variance weighs down on me. I see the same shit repeating itself over and over. It is not the ignorance that is the problem, at least not by itself–but the belief that knowledge is somehow unnecessary to form an opinion on something, which is likely the sole contributor to my blood pressure problems. That is a belief which should be nuked from orbit, because if people actually practiced it, we wouldn’t have cis people passing shitty laws about trans people based off of knee-jerk “eww cooties” reactions or an entire lobby calling itself pro-“life” despite advocating for policies that continually endanger women.

i pun gud

i pun gud

As today’s Transition Reactions is about facts, I will not be including the usual disclaimer about anecdotes and personal experience.

So let’s dismantle one of the more irritating bludgeons used against trans women: “Facts don’t care about your feelings.”

Facts exist regardless of how we feel about them–that is true, unless you’re a solipsist. The problem is the people employing this deepity seldom understand the establishment of what makes a fact to begin with.

[Read more…]

Alt right rallies behind U of T prof who refutes his own argument

When you blow the dog whistles, the dogs will eventually come. Or, so tenured University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson will hopefully learn.

In doing the homework for this piece I scratched my head with around 40 windows open, most of which were articles uncritically framing the issue we’re about to explore as being a fundamental case of freedom of speech vs. censorship, because that’s the debate Dr. Peterson claims he wants to have. In every single one of these articles, a mob of anti “political correctness” commentators floods the article with anything ranging from blatantly incorrect statements as to how free speech works to openly advocating for violence against the protesters criticizing Dr. Peterson. One of the articles even predicted this effect weeks before it would swamp other websites. Al Donato over on the torontist wrote with seeming clairvoyance “Let’s be real. Writing this is a trap. There’s no winning when critiquing U of T professor Dr. Jordan Peterson plays into what he wants: proof that “political correctness” is something insidious and the “social justice warriors” are out to get him.

So since Peterson’s many proponents seem to think that any criticism of his argument constitutes a “mischaracterization,” and since we have about 4 week’s worth of evidence that you will swarm any article critical of him, I’ll start by getting one thing out of the way: My comments policy. Specifically:

So what gets you filtered?

  • Making a point refuted in the post you just opened.

Remember this when you’re railing against The Gods in the deplorables trash bin.

[Read more…]

Death threats and doxxing: The rent we pay for our rights

If you search “Jordan Peterson” and “University of Toronto,” you’ll find nothing but stories about his freeze peach being suppressed by counter-protests following his remarks that he would refuse to respect the gender identities of transgender students. Suspiciously absent from the reactionary hand-wringing over non-existent “privacy concerns” and “thought crime” is that the protesters responding to Peterson’s remarks were doxxed, have received death threats, and fled their homes for their safety.

The threats come as the university grapples with controversial comments made by Jordan Peterson, a psychology professor who refuses to use gender neutral pronouns and been critical of efforts amend the Canadian Human Rights Act to include protection for gender identity.

One Facebook message shared with Metro by Lourenco appears to threaten an attack.

“There will be a time when the Western world wakes up from its shackles and smites down people like you … It won’t be tolerance kindergarten-land tomorrow. There will be blood. Be very afraid,” reads the post sent to Lourenco.

Lourenco said other posts have revealed trans students’ addresses, forcing them to leave their homes.

“We are working closely with University of Toronto Campus Police, Toronto Police Service, and the UofT Community Safety Office to support the individuals who have received these threats. The situation is being actively monitored,” the university said in a mass email to students Friday.

Lourenco believes the threats are related Peterson’s case, and he criticized the school’s administration for not taking a stronger stand against the professor.

This is why we have the phrase “freeze peach.” Reactionaries are quick to stand up against “political correctness” yet suddenly vanish in a puff of smoke when threats of violence are used to silence people who disagree with them. This hypocrisy we mock. You are not in favour of free speech if you tolerate the publishing of private information expressly for the purpose of issuing threats of violence.

That is vile. That is fucking terrorism. And I am frankly sick of the way so many media outlets are spinning this as an assault on the free speech of the professor when it is the transgender protesters receiving death threats for expecting the most basic of human dignities to be extended to them.

Unbelievable bullshit. I am sick of the false equivalency. I am sick of the hypocrisy. I am sick of being called a rape threat, a totalitarian, because I support laws that redress the crushing rates of discrimination affecting my community.

And I am sick that doxxing and death threats are the rent we pay for our advocacy.

Peterson and his supporters are ignorant and fractally wrong. Suck on that fucking free speech.

-Shiv

I really don’t think Republicans can lecture on privacy and safety in bathrooms

Content Notice: Victim blaming and trans antagonism.

It wasn’t even half a year ago when we were watching reactionaries come out of the woodwork to defend McCrory’s odious HB2. People who often admitted they had no knowledge or experience with gender variance suddenly felt justified in passing legislation that they deemed was for the “protection of women and girls.” The sentiment has been repeated many times by Republicans since, with no shortage of spewage coming out characterizing trans women as men, as rapists, as privacy violations, as monsters, so on and so forth.

I’m sure you’ll be devastated to learn that the reactionaries have a very odd idea of what constitutes “protection.” Zack Ford compares a number of prominent Conservative responses to Trump’s self-confessed behaviour in serially harassing and sexually assaulting women to their stance on transgender protections. (all emphasis added)

Gov. Mike Pence

On transgender protections: “Policies regarding the security and privacy of students in our schools should be in the hands of Hoosier parents and local schools, not bureaucrats in Washington, DC. The federal government has no business getting involved in issues of this nature. I am confident that parents, teachers and administrators will continue to resolve these matters without federal mandates and in a manner that reflects the common sense and compassion of our state.”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “It’s absolutely false to suggest that at any point in time we considered dropping off this ticket… He said last night very clearly that that was talk, not actions. And I believe him and I think the contrast between that and what the Clintons were involved in 20 years ago — the four women that were present last night — was pretty dramatic.”

James Dobson

On transgender protections: “If you are a married man with any gumption, surely you will defend your wife’s privacy and security in restroom facilities. Would you remain passive after knowing that a strange-looking man, dressed like a woman, has been peering over toilet cubicles to watch your wife in a private moment? What should be done to the pervert who was using mirrors to watch women and girls in their stalls?”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “The comments Mr. Trump made 11 years ago were deplorable and I condemn them entirely. I also find Hillary Clinton’s support of partial birth abortion criminal and her opinion of evangelicals to be bigoted. There really is only one difference between the two. Mr. Trump promises to support religious liberty and the dignity of the unborn. Mrs. Clinton promises she will not.”

Gary Bauer, American Values

On transgender protections: “This is yet another example of the Obama administration’s bizarre obsession to force women to be unwilling participants in a radical social experiment… Now Obama’s HUD bureaucrats are putting those women at risk for abuse and worse by men claiming to be women.”

On Trump’s 2005 remarks: “ The comments are obviously disgusting and unfortunate. But Donald Trump did not run as a evangelical or as somebody who ran the kind of campaign that a Pat Robertson would run. We’ll still support him, still work hard for him. His policies are 100% better than Hillary clinton’s for the country. I don’t see how any values voter that is sensible would take a tape from 11 years ago with totally inappropriate language and says somehow that leads me as a voter to stay home or vote for Hillary Clinton or throw your vote away on a third party candidate.

In other words, Republicans are just fine with endangering women, as long as it’s Republicans who get to do the endangering.

We could check the criminology stats to see how often trans women commit crimes and what kinds of crimes they are… but that would be the rational thing to do, and Republicans are a little too busy moralizing to do any kind of introspection. They don’t see the contradiction between “all women lie about rape” and “all men talk like that.” Obviously, we can trust their judgement.

-Shiv

Some thoughts on coming out

We have a lot of odd ideas about coming out of the closet.

For one, it’s not always clear when we begin being in the closet. Certainly many of the QUILTBAG people I know reported some subtle hints, the tiniest whispers of self awareness, long before they had learned about the concepts of gay or bi or trans. So is it the first time you learn the word, and realize “this is me”? Is it the point at which you identify with the term internally, but don’t necessarily express it? Was I in the closet when, at age six, I asked my daycare worker when it would be my turn to be a girl–only to be told that this was a “silly fantasy”? Was I in the closet at age 14, when I said I was tired of being a boy? Or did I only begin being in the closet between my “eureka!” and my first announcement that I would be transitioning, which would be winter 2013, to the friend who had made me confront the possibility during one of my TERF episodes?

Two: We’re always in the closet. Being QUILTBAG isn’t always visible. When I meet new people, I’ll sometimes get polite smalltalk about whether I’ve met any boys (nevermind that as an adult, I would be dating men), or someone will unknowingly probe into a part of my past prior to my transition, which can make things real awkward real fast. One time, a cis woman who was a new acquaintance at a function had expressed dismay that she forgot her pads and asked to borrow some from me, which probably took me a few extra seconds to parse out as to why I was being asked to begin with (she’s assuming I have a uterus). These things happen because we still tend to assume heterosexuality and cisgender identity, and also tend to erase the broad range of human intersex development in general.

In other words, we never stop being in the closet, because we have to constantly come back out of it to contradict the assumptions every time we meet someone new. Sometimes, if we’re bi+, we have to remind observers that a relationship can be heterosexual-passing but that doesn’t invalidate our polysexuality or result in us no longer being “gay.” (The difficulty in acknowledging what bi+ sexualities actually are is prevalent)

Three: Hardline prejudice against a minority is reduced by knowing a member of said minority. When people in positions of institutional power legislate against the QUILTBAG community, one of the strategies attempted by advocates is to put a face to the concept. It is easy to debate on gender variance or sexual orientation as if it were a theoretical, something abstract–harder (though not impossible) to advocate for its restriction through force or coercion when you are speaking directly to a QUILTBAG person. On the one hand, this produces a moral imperative to be out of the closet, because it results in fewer prejudiced people. …On the other, some of those prejudiced people will be prejudiced either way, and might murder you if they know you’re Queer-spectrum, which certainly punches holes in said moral imperative.

I liken it to a classic exercise in morality & ethics. You pass by a lake and see a drowning child. Are you morally obligated to save the child? The answer is contextual: Weak swimmers would likely only get themselves killed without saving the child, so the moral imperative shifts to finding help. If you happened to have rescue training, and were a strong swimmer, it is much harder to justify ignoring the drowning child. The only calculus considered there should be whether to attempt the rescue yourself or to find help.

It is an apt metaphor for being out. If you’re privileged in other ways, it can be less risky to be out of the closet, just as someone with both strength and training might be able to attempt a rescue. Of course the risk is difficult to quantify, and in general we should allow for any given Queer person to decide for themselves whether to be out. And it is definitely worth emphasizing that the risk-calculus only has to be taken to begin with because of the prejudices against Queer folk. In essence, the closet only exists because cishet folk build it, either through erasure or violence. Although we ought to concern ourselves with children drowning, imagine if there also existed a serial child-thrower who was continuously throwing children into lakes, and we focused all of our energy on the rhetorics surrounding the rescuers and none of our energy on the child-thrower. I think we could all agree that as necessary as the rescues are, there too exists a need to address the root of the problem: In this example, the asshole throwing children into lakes.

I’m all in favour of Queer folk finding empowerment in our coming out narratives. I will, however, still remind my cishet readers that each story is its own risk calculus, and advise that you separate one’s status as out or not from any kind of moral stance. In reality, whether or not one is out is largely a product of their environment, more an indication of dumb luck than anything else.

Above all else, remember this: You are part of that environment.

-Shiv

Chicago trans women of colour protest violence, discrimination

Approximately 160 activists gathered in Chicago to protest the violence and discrimination trans women, and especially trans women of colour, have to deal with. Particularly in the light of Trump’s inflammatory campaign, hate crimes against the QUILTBAG community have increased in many areas of the world, even outside the United States. With another murder in Chicago, the number of trans women murdered in the United States has already exceeded the previous year’s count.

It was a rare public moment for a group long relegated to society’s margins: These transgender women of color, along with their supporters, said the act of civil disobedience was intended to shed light on the violence they fear because of the combination of their gender identity and skin color — what they consider a scary confluence of transphobia and racism.

“We face violence within our own family, when we walk outside our doors, when we actually apply for jobs,” said organizer LaSaia Wade, 29, of the Chicago-based group TGNC Collective. “We deal with oppression within our own community, we also deal with systemic racism. … So it’s a double negative.”

The night started with a vigil mourning the recent killing of a local black transgender woman. The body of T.T. Saffore, 28, was found with her throat slit and multiple stab wounds, lying near train tracks in the West Garfield Park neighborhood. While a knife was discovered nearby, police say no one has been arrested in the Sept. 11 homicide.

Nationally, at least 21 transgender people have been fatally shot, stabbed or killed by other violent means so far this year, according to The Advocate, a publication and news site dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues. At least 16 were transgender women, and the majority were women of color, according to the Washington, D.C.-basedHuman Rights Campaign.

Five days after Saffore was killed, a black transgender woman was shot to death in Baltimore.

“At a time when transgender people are finally gaining visibility and advocates are forcing our country to confront systemic violence against people of color, transgender women of color are facing an epidemic of violence that occurs at the intersections of racism, sexism and transphobia — issues that advocates can no longer afford to address separately,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, in the organization’s 2015 report on anti-transgender violence.

Three jurisdictions, all under Western democracies, all reporting elevated levels of hate motivated crime against the QUILTBAG community. It just goes to show you that nationalism is linked to so many types of supremacy, and why most of us Queers are justifiably suspicious anytime reactionary lobbies try to claim to protect us against “foreign threats:” The moment we accept that there is one correct way to “American” is the moment anything perceived as deviant, including gender & sexual diversity, becomes a threat. Why on dog’s green Earth would we accept or promote this premise?

#SayHerName.

-Shiv

In which the Pope makes Siobhan’s irony meter explode

Favourite irony meter-breaker Pope Francis opened his mouth again, and this time I think I fainted.

Then in the plane ride back to Rome, the pope told reporters that he had intended only to be critical of teaching children in school about what it means to be transgender. He reportedly used the word “transgender,” and he compared it to being gay. The church acknowledges people are gay but claims it’s a sin to act on same-sex attraction.

“It is one thing for a person to have this tendency, this option and even to have a sex change, but it is another thing to teach this in schools in order to change mentalities,” said the pope on the plane, according to Catholic News. “This I call ideological colonization.”

Catholics. Lecturing on colonization. I just

Wat.

-Shiv, Annihilator of Man, Fashionable Communist, who can’t even right now