So, the last time I posted something about LGBTQ issues, I got a comment criticizing me for bringing them into fat acceptance, because fat people are the majority, and LGBTQ people are “fringe” and their rights are a “far left” ideology. Apparently allo/cis/het fat people are supposed to ditch LGBTQ folks so that centrists and right wingers will be better disposed toward us. Yeah, fuck that.
And today was the Women’s March, and apparently some TERFS decided that instead of protesting the President’s ill treatment of women and minorities, or any of the current crises, they needed to use their time and energy at one of the marches to hold up a sign about how “trans women are men.” Look, sweetie, the fucking President sees you as either a pretty young sex object to be used, or an ugly old bitch to be ridiculed or ignored. It turns out that a bunch of the dudes in the media who relentlessly trashed Hillary Clinton were sexual predators themselves. People are getting murdered by Nazis and white supremacists. The HHS just created a new division dedicated to making sure your pharmacist doesn’t have to fill your birth control prescription, or your Catholic ob-gyn can stand around and watch you die from sepsis rather than complete your miscarriage. Flint still doesn’t have clean water, Puerto Rico still doesn’t have power, and our President keeps flirting with all-out nuclear war over Twitter. And you looked at all of this crap and decided that the biggest threat was trans women? Are you shitting me?
Like, seriously, if you don’t like trans women, you’re not obligated to have trans friends, or eat lunch with your trans coworkers. I doubt they’ll miss your company. You’re totally free to leave the restroom or locker room if someone you deem “insufficiently feminine” shows up. The primary thing trans people as a group ask of you is that you leave them alone, and stop getting them killed. Don’t falsely accuse them of being sexual predators, or assault them for using the restroom. Don’t make stuff up about sex changes on little kids in order to scare parents out of acknowledging that their kid is trans. If you want to go further along the path to “not being a total asshole,” you could also abdicate your position as the gender police, and call people by the names and pronouns they ask you to use. To misquote Thomas Jefferson, it neither picks your pocket nor breaks your leg for someone to identify as a gender that you don’t approve of. It costs you nothing to take people’s word on their gender and treat their genitals as need to know. (And you don’t need to know.)
I’m not even asking you to work together with them on common issues, because they’re at enough risk as it is, without choosing to associate with someone who sees them as Public Enemy #1. But it would be awesome if you could drop the anti-trans crusade and focus on one or more of the many actual catastrophes that could use that level of passion and activism, rather than continuing to kick a tiny and extremely vulnerable minority.
Every single progressive movement, every single movement for the rights of any group of people, needs to be intersectional. Women’s rights has to mean black women, queer women, disabled women. Fat acceptance has to be for poor fat people and gay fat people and trans fat people. Gay rights can’t just be for the white, cis gay dudes—it has to be for the whole alphabet soup of LGBTQIA, and the whole spectrum of race and class and gender and ability. Because it’s all one interconnected fight. And when we try to kick people out of the club, we dilute our power.
I’m not saying everybody has to get along and sing kumbaya. I am saying that we’re all minorities by ourselves, but a majority when we work together, and that it would be good and useful to focus on the people who are actually trying to harm us.