Don’t Let Them Eat Cake

 

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We live in a society where my right to exist–or even, for some Christians, whether I even DO exist because they take the position that I am lying about what I experience in my inner life because their god would not create an abomination like me–is considered a topic that is up for debate.

My cisgender friends, imagine that whether your neighbors might be entitled to slowly torture people like you (whatever demographic you happen to be included in) to death were considered a notion seriously worth considering by your state legislature and possibly acting upon. If you can get your head around that, you have some idea of how it feels to have tens of millions of your fellow citizens think of you as annoying, disposable garbage that should be made to vanish.

In other coverage I have seen some of the comments that were used to argue that lower courts had an anti-religious bias. Some of the people involved in those decisions noted that many evangelical Christians are strongly biased against queer folks. Apparently stating facts about the real, often hateful and ugly, behavior of Christians is considered bias. I have experienced up close and personal hostility from evangelicals. The intensity of that hatred was chilling. In a few days, where I live, there will almost certainly be the usual “God hates fags” protesters out in force at the Pride parade. This is not mere dislike, this is active hatred, and we are not imagining this.

“We lose when our rights are considered debatable. Even if the Supreme Court had ruled unanimously against the baker, in fact, L.G.B.T.Q. Americans would still be considered second-class citizens in many aspects of civic life.

We can still be legally fired or denied housing in 28 states. More than 300 anti-L.G.B.T.Q. bills have been introduced in the states in the past three years. In Oklahoma, gay and lesbian couples can be denied the ability to adopt children.

Masterpiece wouldn’t have changed any of that, just as Obergefell v. Hodges didn’t change any of that, just as rescinding the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy didn’t.

The only thing that will truly enshrine equal protection under the law for all Americans, including L.G.B.T.Q. people, is an amendment to the Constitution.”

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A Vigil and the Possibility of Justice, March 2018

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The transgender community where I live will soon be holding a candlelit vigil for two transgender women who were murdered. I plan to attend. I hope it is as respectful and dignified as they deserve.

I hope I can get through it without sobbing.

It is a terrifying thing to know that people like you are frequently murdered in this country (the official numbers are an under count by a couple of orders of magnitude), and that the killers almost always get away with it.

The police simply don’t work very hard when the murder victim is a trans woman. They often think we had it coming. Even when we call the police because we have been the victim of a crime, we run a risk of being assaulted by the officers who are supposed to be there to protect us.

On a happier note, a dear friend of mine who lost her job for the crime of coming out as transgender has finally found a lawyer willing to take her case.  After she came out she experienced relentless harassment, ostracism, and even threats on the job.

They eventually fired her after they failed to drive her away.

She has been seeking an attorney for months, but discovered that straight attorneys shy away from taking on transgender women as clients, even in what seems to me, as a lay person, to be a clear-cut violation of our state’s legal protections for transgender people.

Her new attorney sees it that way as well.

But having rights doesn’t mean much if you lack the means to use them.

Her attorney is an openly gay man, who is making a conscious effort to aid the LGBTQ community.  Bless him!

She is primarily interested in hurting the company badly enough that the people running it will think twice before they put someone else through the hell she went through.

Having seem what my friend went through merely trying to find an attorney willing to take her on as a client, I think if I were younger I would seriously consider going to law school so I could represent transgender people in the legal system.

It doesn’t look as if we can trust straight people to do it.