According to every recent poll, the majority of Americans favor marriage equality under the law (individual religious institutions remain able to define – and redefine – marriage any way they like, as they have for millennia). So, having lost this round of public opinion, the so-called “family values” crowd is looking for another group of people to demonize.
If my reading of the various news sites is correct, the victims-du-jour are transgendered people, specifically transgendered children. This hits close to home with me. I am likely to be skeptical of the right’s position in general, but I start to froth at the mouth when their assertions violate the reality I see every day.
Massachusetts recently passed a law that accepts the reality that young children sometimes have issues with gender identity. The law allows kids to dress as the gender they identify, to use the restroom they feel is for them, and to generally allow them to be the people they think they are. You know, basic human respect.
For the right wing, it all comes down to bathrooms. To quote from the linked article:
“Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said the new policy puts students — particularly girls — in harm’s way.
“‘The School Commissioner’s first duty is to protect all students, from kindergarten to grade 12, not endanger them,” Mineau said in a statement. “The overriding issue with this new policy is that opening girls’ bathrooms to boys is an invasion of privacy and a threat to all students’ safety.’”
Maybe things have changed since I was in school, but I don’t remember anything threatening happening in the girls’ bathrooms. We peed or pooped, washed our hands, talked to each other, and went back to class. We didn’t watch each other. We didn’t inspect each others’ genitals. For that matter, when I’ve lived in women’s dorms, and had roommates, we didn’t inspect each other’s genitals. Breasts, yes, certainly. Stomachs and thighs and butts, to see who was thinnest, yes. There was more danger of competitive eating disorders than some boy trying to get over by pretending to be intersexed.
Somehow, this scam (boys pretending to be transgendered so they can see boobies in the bathroom) is what really scares the right. Bill O’Reilly perhaps reveals too much about his subconscious desires when he goes off on this rant.
The trends seem to be against them. There are celebrity parents of transgendered youth, so that maybe Middle America can relate. It’s better than relating to the Kardashians.
I find more solace in stories like this, where a non-celebrity parent defends his child by example. My husband was like this. When our son was four, his favorite color was pink. One of the girls at his nursery school informed him that only girls liked pink. Rather than getting into an argument with her (which I would have done. Arguing with four year-olds greatly increases my odds of winning), John went out and bought a few pink shirts. When he wore one, he’d point out to our son that Daddy liked pink and was still the same person. Wearing pink didn’t change the way people treated him. Mommy still loved him.
Mommy still does.
Media Goddess Martha Thomases wishes her friend, Johanna, the happiest of birthdays.