Good morning friends. I am in a very contemplative state this week, but especially today. Today being election day in the US. We have a very broken system, that cannot be denied. The powers that be tell us it is a Democracy, which is nothing but a pipe dream, we are much closer to an Oligarchy, and our current President would have it be a Monarchy or a Facist state with him and his family as the “Dear Leaders.”
There are so many human rights that are being put on the ballot with this election…which, to be perfectly frank, is a load of bullshit. Human rates should not be up for debate, they should not be along party lines, or linked to politics at all. They should just be standard. If you are an human, you get the same rights. This, however, is not the case, at least in the US.
If it were, there would not be this massive dread and (as) extreme polarization between Democrats and Republicans. I am not going to use left and right, because, while that may have been the case in the past, decades of the right moving further right, and the left bowing and scraping and making nice has moved them out of “The Left,” and deep into centrist territory. I am not a Democrat, haven’t been in a very long time, but at least their main party lines don’t want me dead and forgotten.
Onto the human rights that are on the ballot today. We have so many that are being infringed upon, as the BLM protests, Children in cages, families being separated (and parents not being able to be found), rape and molestation victims being forced (in some states) to carry a literal reminder of one of their greatest (if not the greatest) traumas to term and care for it…
But that is not the ones that I am going to focus on. As I am trans and a lesbian there are more than enough rights that may be ripped away from me and my siblings.
The LGBTQIA+ community has been a focus of this administration literally from day one, starting with removing all references to us from the White House website the day Trump was sworn into office in 2017, and many more, including trying to make it illegal for same sex couples to be able to adopt.
However, the focus of this piece is going to be on the transphobic bigotry that will likely become legal if Trump is elected for a second term, as these will directly affect me.
One of the biggest human rights violations that this administration has tried to push through was allowing healthcare workers to deny care to trans people. Whether this is because of their religious beliefs, bigotry, or any other reason, this is scary, and a very slippery slope. If I am in a car accident and need lifesaving care, and the EMTs don’t want to save my life, I don’t want to suffer the same fate as Tyra Hunter did in 1995 in Washington DC.
She was a Black Trans Woman whose car was hit by someone that ran a red light, and the EMTs stopped working on her when they realized that she was trans, even with bystanders yelling at them to help her. She only received care after the supervisor arrived, over 5 minutes after they had stopped administering care. She ended up dying an hour after arriving at the hospital, and was misgendered even on being admitted as a “Justice Doe.”
This could become the norm if Trump’s administration had their way and he is re-elected. Go to the hospital with heart problems, cancer, or a broken bone, they find out you are trans and will not treat you. They will not directly kill us, but allowing people’s bigotry and religious conviction be the guide will kill a lot of trans (and intersex) people.
In addition, if this administration had their way, we would be placed in lockup/jails/prisons with people of our AGAB (Assigned Gender At Birth), having to use the wrong bathroom, etc. even after legally changing our name, gender, and medically transitioning. They use the Transphobic Dog Whistle that “Biological Males,” in a women’s space (completely disregarding trans men and non-binary people) are going to rape/attack other women. The facts of the matter are that trans women (especially black trans women) are sexually assaulted in higher percenta(by a huge margin) than our cisgender counterparts, and if a cisgender man wants to rape a woman, he is not going to bother dressing up as a woman, he is simply going to rape her. A sign on a door is not going to stop him.
Being able to have stable housing and income is something that everyone wants and works towards. This administration does not want that for trans people. Removing gender and gender identity as a protected class in the DOJ gives them an edge to do it nationally, and gives them (and others) precedent. Most states in the US do not have protections for their trans workers. If someone wants to fire you for being trans (or LGBTQIA+ at all), there is not a damn thing you can do about it. SCOTUS did rule that being LGBTQIA+ people are protected from workplace discrimination, however if you are not a part of a union (which most people are not) they can make up other reasons or just fire you because “It just isn’t working out,” or “you just aren’t a good fit,” even if there were no problems with your work, you could be fired for being trans, without being fired for being trans.
This extends to housing. Most states (the only one that I know of that does have protections is NY state) have zero protections for being evicted for being trans. In addition to that, HUD (With Ben Carson at the head) proposed a new rule that would allow emergency shelters to not allow trans people to be housed with people of their gender (using the same transphobic dog whistle as prisons/bathrooms), instead forcing them to be housed with people that have the same AGAB, or deny service completely.
All of this is completely outside of the realm of the very real threat of sexual or physical assault or murder which trans people (Black Trans Women, in particular) face for just being themselves. There have been 35 murders of trans, non-binary, and Gender Non-Conforming people in the US in 2020 so far (more than any year before with 2 months left in the year), and that is not counting the ones that are mis-identified and mis-gendered in death or their families do not allow them to be identified as trans. The number is probably much higher than that.
In addition, the Gay/Trans Panic defense is still a valid legal defense in 39 states. This basically states that finding out that someone is gay or trans can be so shocking that you go off the rails and react violently. It is essentially saying that because of the cishetnormativity of the world, being outside of that is so earth shattering that violence and murder are valid reactions. It is also continuing the rule of victim blaming and excusing white cis men’s behavior (the majority of the people that kill trans people are from that demographic) that our country has made the rule in assaults, no matter the victim.
With Amy Coney Barrett being confirmed to the Supreme Court, there are a lot of rights which would be able to be ripped away, not the least of which is for Gay/Bi/Lesbian people to marry (if it is a same sex marriage). I am a lesbian, and I am legally Female, so I could personally be affected by this when I am ready to marry another woman. It is also important to note that the right to marry was only given to LGBT+ people five years ago.
This may sound dramatic, but given this administration’s push this summer to ban same-sex couples from adopting children, I do not believe that it is a far leap from that to removing the ability to get married.
So, when people say “Agree to disagree,” or “Different political opinions,” I cannot take them seriously, and know that they are just so privileged that they have never had to deal with their rights being ripped away and their existence and human rights being made into a political tool that can change with every administration.
This administration has done absolutely everything that it can to reduce our ability to live happy, productive lives.
So, this article has been all gloom and doom, and what might happen, and for some people, that might send them into a place where they are unable to move/act. That is not the case for me, and I hope for you. I am MORE incensed to push for change, to hold people (locally, regionally, nationally, and globally) accountable for their atrocious and abhorrent behavior and treatment of trans people (and LGBTQIA+ people as a whole), and to be even more visible, out and proud. I don’t want one more person killed because of who they are or feel that there is no hope for them and end it all because they see the bigotry rampant in our world, whether it is because of the color of their skin, their sexuality, or their gender.
If you are trans, you know most of these things already, as you live it. If, however, some (or all) of these things are surprising/shocking to you, I have a challenge for you.
- Reach out to your LGBTQIA+ friends and family, make sure that they are OK.
- Stay informed about the laws that are being passed/debated (both in your state and nationally).
- Call your elected officials and tell them that you do not support (or you do, if they are protecting rights instead of stripping them away) this particular laws.
- Hold these officials accountable to their campaign promises, and do nopt back down.
- Support your LGBTQIA+ friends and family as needed. They may not feel comfortable with opening up to you, but they may. I know that having people that actually give a shit has been so important for me when these atrocious laws are being passed and these abominable bigotry and fake science is being spewed from elected officials and people that have no idea what being trans is, and think it is a kink or has anything to do with sexuality.
- Hold your friends and family accountable and correct them when they parrot the vitriolic garbage that transphobes want people to think is fact.
We are tired of having to defend our identities and our right to exist. Please, just help us.
Let this inspire you and incite you to help us, and help yourselves.
I will leave you with this:
~Justice Faye Dazzle