The Next Four Years?

| Dec 5, 2016
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When I was 6 years old we lived in Germany. My dad was stationed there. One thing he did was to take me to see films of the camps and I have never forgotten those images. Even at that young age I knew there was something terribly wrong about seeing skeletons in ovens, emaciated bodies piled high, and mass graves. It’s probably not a recommended means of presenting that lesson to a young child, but he wanted me to understand what had happened. Over the years he continued to teach me about the dangers of hate coming to power.

We frequently had people over to our house for holidays, and it wasn’t until later that I was able to appreciate the fact that those people included those from all over the world and not just white people. In the mid ‘60s we lived in the south and I got to see segregation and Klan marches and hear of church bombings, and hear the hate filled rhetoric of bigots. Later in that decade a friend and I stumbled upon a Klan gathering and cross burning in some woods and fields we roamed in. I remember the white robes and the sound of someone saying “They’ve seen us. Get them!” Thankfully we knew this area well and managed to evade our pursuers.

This childhood served to make me a student of history and so I learned about the internment camps for Japanese Americans, the government “Indian Schools” where Native American children were essentially imprisoned and forced to adopt white culture, the forced sterilization of those deemed unfit, the Tuskegee Experiment, human radiation experiments, how those of us in LGBTQ community were considered mentally ill and criminals, and used to be arrested and jailed, and other things done and sanctioned by our government for some supposedly greater good.

Now, after the election I find myself increasingly worried at this growing white nationalism that is sweeping our country and has placed Mr. Trump into office. I hear people say it’s not going to be that bad, but I, like so many others, am worried. I know that at its core the GOP is ruled by a group of people who believe they have their god on their side and a mandate from him and millions of Americans to “make America Great Again.” And I know that for them, part of that is to eliminate or at least neutralize those they see as a threat, which is basically anyone who is not a cisgendered heterosexual white Christian (as they define that word) American citizen. For these people those of us in the LGBTQ community are “sinners” at best and at worst we are demonic evil beings that need to be exterminated. According to them our very existence is a threat to the nation and Western Civilization. I hear them speak of our alleged “agenda,” which they claim is to take over the country and persecute Christians while coercing children into becoming gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people. That latter part reminds me of the blood libel about how Jews allegedly used the blood of Christian children to make matzah. Their whole view of us reminds me of Nazi propaganda depicting Jews as vermin, as “untermensch,” that is, sub-human, and the antisemitic laws that legalized their persecution.

Mr. Trump has seemingly dialed down his rhetoric of hate since winning the election and this is supposedly evidence that it is not going to be that bad and that we should just get over it. Yet I am aware of the choices the man is making for cabinet positions and appointments, and the people he is choosing suggests otherwise. As of the time this was written Pink News carried a story that every one of Mr Trump’s cabinet appointments is opposed to LGBTQ rights. Also, it is likely that whatever replaces the Affordable Care Act will have religious or conscience clauses that will allow providers to deny services (i.e., discriminate) based on their religious convictions (i.e., prejudices), and will contain exclusions for trans specific care. Basically, I believe the rhetoric has been dialed back so that he can focus on getting all his players strategically positioned before he starts making good on the promises of hate he repeatedly delivered during his campaign.

Like others in the transgender community, I believe we will be the first group targeted. We are the smallest, have the least power, and seem to inspire a special level of hatred amongst the hatin’ for Jesus folk and other Trump supporting hate groups like the Klan. And a quick “victory” will encourage and rally them to press on in their crusade. But it won’t stop with us. The remaining members of the LGBTQ community will come next or will get targeted along side us. Those who point to Mr Trump’s concession that marriage equality is “settled” would do well to remember that, for now, the 5 justices who ruled in favor still sit on the bench, so he really doesn’t have much choice but to accept it. While this should give us some measure of relief, it is worth noting that it is highly likely that one or more of these justices will retire during his term and the kinds of people he has promised to appoint will not hesitate to reverse what people like Ted Cruz call “judicial tyranny,” by which they mean LGBTQ rights, amongst other things. After they have dealt with us they will go after their other targets.

And so, here at the end of 2016, as a 60 year old transgender woman, for the first time in my life I am afraid of my government and the actions it may inspire amongst some of its citizens. And I know I am not alone. I do not believe that the decrease in hate speech signals anything other than the calm before the storm. I hope with all my heart that my fears will be proven unfounded and several months from now you will all be laughing that I was such a “Chicken Little.” In the meantime I should like to suggest that members of our community might want to make some arrangements just in case, e.g., actions like legal name and gender changes, updated identity documents, securing access to appropriate healthcare — if possible, learning what anti-discrimination laws (if any) protect you in your own state, basic self defense skills (though know that a single course does not a ninja make), etc. Until we know how things will play out, I offer that it would be a good idea to adopt and practice the Girl Scout motto and “Be prepared”.

And always, keep calm, be strong, and be a girl!


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Category: Transgender Opinion, Transgender Politics

Emily

About the Author ()

I am a mature transgender woman. I have been trans since I was four and possibly before that but my memory of birth through age three is a little hazy. After decades of struggling first to deny and later \\\"cure\\\" my \\\"problem\\\", at age 57 I reached a point of self acceptance in my life. Shortly thereafter I began my journey of transition. Over the years I have written a blog along with opinion, political, and history articles, some of which, to my great surprise, were actually published. I have two grown daughters, five grand-children, and a Bengal cat.

Comments (12)

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  1. says:

    “As for fear, 2015 set a record for the number of trans people murdered here in America. We broke it this year.”

    Hmmm…

    Record set and broken on Obama’s watch…

    So we have what actually happened in the last two years contrasted with what ‘might’ happen going forward.

    Is that the definition of ‘deflection’?

    • KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

      >“As for fear, 2015 set a record for the number of trans people murdered here in America. We broke it this year.”

      The murder of trans-women in 2015 and 2016 remains a highly disproportionate number of black transwomen in major cities. It’s a discussion that few want to make: We have very dysfunctional neighborhoods in many places of urban America, too many young African-American men are carrying guns and using violence as a reaction. And again street hooking and prostitution for anyone is as dangerous as it gets. The trans community likes to speak of sex work as a last resort for trans-women unable to find a job. No it is a choice, a dangerous and deadly choice. Don’t do it, don’t be stupid, we all know the volatile mix of male sexual arousal and pornography, and alternative sexual behavior.
      Many find the arousal and confirmation of teasing men to be something of a joy, well if you go the route of sex work or hookups, beware…it’s ends badly for everyone no matter the orientation.

      • says:

        Extremely well-said Kool.

        If one removes the trans-prostitute statistics, it’s obvious that your ordinary transgender persons, such as the white, middle-class ladies who visit/write for TG Forum, face virtually no mortal danger in their comings and goings, even those living full-time.

  2. Emily Emily says:

    If you cannot discern a potential threat to the LGBTQ community based on Mr Trump’s words and actions, then there is probably little I or anyone else can do to convince you otherwise. But, just by way of example, consider that he has promised to rescind President Obama’s executive order prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ persons, he has also promised to sign the First Amendment Defense Act which would legalise discrimination against LGBTQ people by employers, businesses, landlords, and healthcare workers so long as they claim their discrimination is based on their religious beliefs.

    You mention North Carolina, but that state merely elected another governor, it remains to be seen if they will actually repeal HB2. You also neglected to mention that a similar law is in effect Mississippi, that state Republicans tried to pass similar legislation in Minnesota this year or that South Dakota and other states appear to be considering this or other types of transphobic legislation next year.

    And yes, is has occurred to me to work for the rights of other groups besides the trans community and I do that, regularly. As for my job, my performance reviews are always excellent and I have on numerous occasions over the last 19 years, put myself in harm’s way for my teammates and will likely do so again before I retire. In those 19 years I have also personally saved 2 lives and participated in the saving of more. However, since this article was written about the incoming administration and its potential impact on the trans community and to some degree the LGBTQ community as a whole, it did not occur to me to go into such things.

    Also, I did not anywhere say that those who voted for Mr Trump are “stupid” or “duped” or “deplorable”. They freely voted for a man who has in his own books repeated bragged about his vindictiveness and how much he enjoys getting even, on multiple recordings about his disrespect for women, whose defense against accusations of sexual assault was that the accuser was ugly and therefore her accusations were unfounded (which implies that he would assault a woman he found attractive enough), who once told his radio host it was okay to refer to his (Trump’s) daughter as a “piece of ass”, and on television made fun of a reporter with a neurological condition and on another occasion suggested that if his opponent won she could be assassinated to prevent her from appointing SCOTUS justices, whose solution to our economic problems involves a tariff war with our trading partners, who advocated killing the families of our enemies and had to be informed that such actions would be illegal before he reversed himself, who reversed his position on transgender rights, who promised to appoint justices who would curtail women’s reproductive rights, and the list could go on. No, I do not think Mr Trump’s supporters are stupid or duped or deplorable, what do I think is that none of these issues or others truly matter to them. Now we will all have to live with their choice.

    As for the comparison to “Indian killers” (your term, not mine), etc., the examples cited are illustrative of actions taken or supported by our own government against American citizens in the alleged pursuit of some greater good.

    As for fear, 2015 set a record for the number of trans people murdered here in America. We broke it this year. In addition CBS, CNN, and the US Commission on Civil Rights have reported an increase in hate crimes and harassment since election day. Many people in our community are afraid, especially those living in less tolerant parts of the country.

    Finally, perhaps you are correct and the majority of members of this forum are conservative people who face little if any threat to their way of life regardless of what the incoming administration does. If that is the case then I am in the wrong house and speaking to the wrong group of people. I apologise for having offended you. Clearly you have no need to be concerned, and I have no interest in further debate.

    • says:

      Emily, if you’re responding to me, I never said the ‘majority’ here are conservative. Kool and I are the only readers really taking issue with the irrationality of the columnists here; I would assume we speak for others but who knows how the ideologies break down.

      Also I am never ‘offended’ by what people say – in fact I love to hear the opinions of others, especially when they disagree. I love the First Amendment!

      I understand that you have no interest in further debate. In my long, long life experience (as a callow youth, I was extremely left-wing) liberals seldom enjoy being challenged. That’s why they are so upset when they don’t get their way, made crystal clear in an election such as this one.

    • KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

      >I have no interest in further debate.
      Neither, do I. My initial reply was to again point out the absurdity of Hitler analogies. We often tell the newly transitioning what to do to be taken seriously as a woman. Same goes for politics, advocacy, persuasion, and debate, avoid Hitler comparisons to be taken seriously.

  3. Lydia L Lydia L says:

    As a long time crossdresser, I am bugged much by those among us whom are of one issue all is good or all is bad mentality.

    I have lived through 2 of the worst presidential administrations ever. Those that affected my quality of life. So, I am ready for a fresh start.

    Yet, I do not fear that any president of the US with such a full plate of serious decisions will somehow affect my lifestyle.

    The sky will not fall. Pull on your most comfortable panties and enjoy life.

    • KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

      >I do not fear that any president of the US with such a full plate of serious decisions will somehow affect my lifestyle.

      Exactly, the government may not always legislate, decree, or speak in the way we like, but I have never seen a four year period where society did not become more tolerant and accepting of free expression and the forms it takes.

  4. says:

    “What is with you people and Trump = Hitler?”

    Kool, it’s the only way they can begin to process the election results. Like I mentioned in the other thread, they’re in absolute shock and simply can’t understand that maybe something they did or would do doesn’t appeal to a majority of the American people. Certainly they had a very flawed candidate who was rejected despite her claim to the office simply by virtue of her sex but note the overall weakness of the Democrat’s party in the Congress and the various state houses.

    The election was, essentially, a rather narrow rejection of their social welfare state world view. But because they feel so strongly in their own righteousness they have to denigrate those who have different visions of what America is and what she can be.

    That’s actually perfectly understandable – I certainly feel that my world view is the ‘right’ one’, or I wouldn’t have it. I would be (and am) happy that others share my way of thinking.

    The difference is that I don’t label the other side as despicable (‘deplorable’ even!) and threatening beings. I don’t write long articles comparing ‘them’ to slaveowners, Indian-killers etc, and I certainly would never play the Nazi/Hitler card right off the bat.

    But appeals to reason like you make so eloquently are likely to be brushed off. It’s more emotionally satisfying and validating for them to think of half their fellow Americans as either evil or stupid, dupes of evil leaders.

    I would wager that a good percentage of Angela’s readers are conservative or moderately conservative and don’t share the gloom and doom of her columnists. We’ll never know, of course, but when union members voted 40% or so for the neo-Hitler maybe members of our own ‘community’ don’t share the dominant hysteria of the published contributors.

    As time passes in the new TrumpWorld, reality ‘may’ sink in and our suffering sisters will slowly step back from the ledge they put themselves on and get on with their lives in our enduring and wonderful free nation.

    And there’s always 2020!

    • KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

      Indeed, my biggest concern remains how transgenders are perceived in society. America has been listening the past couple of years and well…
      Many of us just come of as silly.
      By the way the Republican governor of North Carolina has conceded to the Democrat who says he will repeal HB2.
      So strike North Carolina off the Hitler World Comeback Tour 2017.

  5. KoolMcKool KoolMcKool says:

    What is with you people and Trump = Hitler?
    Did it ever occur to you folks to go out and help the community outside of transgenderism, how about going back to school and building your mind, how about staying active over 60 and helping a 90 year old who lives alone.
    Why not try to make some money in real estate, start a business, learn a language, travel to China, or teaching a young person how to succeed.

    I HATE fear. It is a destructive emotion.
    Listen to me, there are opportunities out there, if you are welded to government policy as dictated by the current president you are operating at 60% efficiency.
    Go out and build the reputation of trans folks as something that an employer or society will say:
    “Trans people? Hell they bust tail and are damn smart, try to be like them”

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