More and more editorials, opinions and allies are stepping up and standing beside us saying enough is an enough.
Trans people face 'horrifying' rhetoric at statehouses
AP via Yahoo News
By Andrew DeMillo
February 27, 2023
It was pharmacist Gwendolyn Herzig's first time testifying before a legislative committee when she spoke to several Arkansas lawmakers in a packed hearing room this month about a bill restricting gender-affirming care for minors.
Herzig, who is transgender, spoke out against the legislation and told the panel that one of the biggest obstacles trans people face is a lack of empathy. Only a few minutes later, a Republican lawmaker asked her an inappropriate question about her genitalia.
“It was horrifying," she said.
The exchange, which was livestreamed on the Legislature's website and has since been widely shared on social media, is an example of the type of demeaning questions and rhetoric that transgender people meet when they show up to statehouses to testify against new bills targeting their rights.
That was demeaning, insulting, crude, and rude. And of the other adjectives.
Advocates worry that increasingly hostile rhetoric about transgender people could have a chilling effect on those who want to speak out against new restrictions and could do lasting damage to a community of trans youth that is already marginalized.
And that is their goal. Questions like the one asked by the Republican are designed to shut us up, intimidate us, and to rally their base.
Herzig said she probably would not have testified had she known she was going to be asked about her genitalia.
“I felt like I was pretty much prepared for any combative question," she said. “Except that."
And other Republicans states are also passing anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.
The GOP is attacking LGBTQ youth through legislation and our children will suffer: Opinion
Louisville Courier Journal
By Willie Edward Taylor Carver Jr. Opinion Contributor
February 27, 2023
They deny that any such attacks exist by pretending that LGBTQ youth don’t exist–while simultaneously sexualizing their innocent existence.
Kentucky Senate Bill 150 and House Bills 173, 177, and 470 are four of over 350 anti-trans or anti-LGBTQ bills filed in 2023.
They all target children’s lives, especially HB 470.
One Kentucky bill wouldn’t just ban trans youth from using the safest bathroom–it could ban any shared bathroom, given it defines “community standard of dress” by birth certificate.
How is it not an attack to segregate children like criminals?
That bill would ban “discussing” orientation or identity tied to gender in K-12. Discussion is “talking about with.” A kid referencing his moms, being a flower girl for her two uncles, or being a boy who likes pink will be silenced. A teenager talking about life–being bullied, left out, having a crush–will be silenced by teachers at the threat of government punishment.
Last year, three in five trans youth considered and one in five LGBTQ students attempted suicide.
It’s not because they’re trans. We know why: 94% of LGBTQ youth say recent politics harms their mental health, and just one accepting adult reduces suicide risk by half.
Re-read that last line.
Republicans know this yet use politics to create barriers to feeling accepted. Introduced legislation would illegalize pride flags, Safe Space stickers, and “affinity groups” like GSA clubs.
But that is exactly what the want… to criminalize us just like in the 1950s. They want to force us back in the closet! And they don’t care if they hurt us because they see us as sub-human. Their warped mind cannot twist around the fact that we are born being LGBTQ+.
HB 470 would illegalize any “gender transition service” for children, even with their parents’ and doctors’ support, even to prevent death.
Affirmation surgeries are effectively non-existent in youth: Florida only found two among 5 million youth, both teens. Puberty blockers are equally rare, prescribed to only 1 in 53,000 youth. These interventions exist as final suicide prevention.
The bill would put politicians between the patient and their doctor. The government will be telling doctors how to treat their patients… and the Republicans have used as their motto “Get the government off your backs” now they want government looking over their shoulder in the doctor’s office. They even want to tell parents how to raise their children.
Parents’ rights are important. But these bills remove the parents’ rights to decide the name and care of their trans child. And rights have nothing to do with harming or targeting one group.
I oppose anti-trans bills for the same reason I’d oppose similar bills targeting religion: because people deserve freedom from government attacks on their safety, identity and beliefs.
They Republicans are up on the roof top shouting “Parental Rights” but only if you raise your child their way. They care only about “their rights” and not about our rights.
They say that we are grooming the children with Drag Story Hour and they criminalized us!/p>
Tennessee is set to become the first US state to ban drag
Why the Tennessee ban on drag shows should terrify us all
This is our state and our country, too, and I will not surrender my sacred rights
By Skylar Baker-Jordan
February 25, 2023
Several weeks ago, I went to Walmart wearing a long, flowing dress. “Excuse me, sir,” a woman said to me, before taking a second look. “I mean, ma’am.”
“You were right the first time,” I told her, laughing. “I’m just a man in a dress.”
“Oh!” she exclaimed. “Well, you’re still pretty.”
Most folks here in East Tennessee have a similar reaction to me, a gender nonconforming gay man with both Dolly Parton and Karl Marx stickers on his car. There’s a real “live and let live” mentality among most of our people, who are good and decent and strong believers in individual liberty and minding one’s own business. Most of the state even supports equal marriage. The people of Tennessee are not foaming-at-the-mouth bigots.
But they vote for people who are, so what does that make them? Enablers?
The ACLU of Tennessee has correctly reminded lawmakers that “dance, fashion, and music – essential components of a drag performance – are all protected by the First Amendment,” calling the bill “a malicious attempt to remove LGBTQ people from public life.” I agree. This bill, which will likely be signed by reactionary Republican Governor Bill Lee, already has me questioning whether I wish to or even can remain in the state.
That is no doubt part of the point. It is a legislative gay bashing. It is not the only point, though. This law is a full-frontal assault not just on the LGBT+ community, but on liberty itself.
So what will that do to Pride Parades? Does that mean television station that broadcast RuPaul’s drag show can be arrested? Here is Connecticut Tootsie is playing at the Bushnell could a theater be “arrested” for presenting the play?
That is, of course, the point. This bill is not being passed solely to limit the rights of drag performers, gender non-conforming folks, and transgender people – though that is of course a happy consequence. It is designed to allow the Republicans who possess a stranglehold on Tennessee government and law enforcement agencies to use state power to curtail the rights of their political opponents. The verbiage is vague because it is meant to be.
The Republicans call us groomers but in reality they are the groomers… grooming the children to be bigots, to hate people who are different from them. They are being taught to detest people whose skin is not white. They are being primed to dislike anyone who speaks with an accent. They are being prepped discriminate against trans people, lesbians, and gays.
These bills do not exist in isolation from one another. Rather, they show a Republican Party that is determined to impose harsh limits on speech, expression, and assembly on the rest of us. These states are testing grounds for a national authoritarian crackdown on anything the far right dislikes, from gay pride parades to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives to, eventually, free and fair elections themselves.
I wish that I didn’t have to write about all this anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation but I feel that I would be remiss if I didn’t report on the legislation, I can’t sit by and idly do nothing.
I wish that I could write nice positive stories, but I see too much pain. I see too much depression. I see children hurting themselves to be quite.