History has vital lessons when it comes to brazen attacks on trans identity and people.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
As a trans woman who transitioned in the late 1980s, I watched silently for years, keeping my head down, seeing and privately cheering for progress while hiding my past for my own safety I chose to publicly come back out a few years back because of the push back that trans rights and acceptance have been getting.
We have existed, we have been there but we were often silent to protect ourselves.. but it is clear to me and has been for some time that we need to raise our voices to speak up and refuse to be silenced / refuse to be "othered", refuse to be the butt of jokes or a trope - we are valid - trans men, trans women, nonbinary, genderqueer, genderfluid, agender - all of these and more are valid ways to be, valid expressions of identity and people who identify this way are every bit as capable of lives worth living ... the idea of a life not worth living comes directly from and out of the hate - trans people who start a transition then decide to stop often do so not because transition is not what they want but because of push-back from unsupportive family and friends - from the hate and discrimination they face.
And most of all, the anti trans rhetoric is the fascists attempt to find a marginalized group that they think is small enough and not well enough protected that they can get away with using us as a focus for hate and fear - they're also going after Drag queens (not the same thing as being trans, but part of our wonderful larger gender non conforming family) and against the greater LGBTQIA+ community - they're using language equating all of us with predators and child molesters. They attack immigrants,, asylum seekers, Women's reproductive health and rights, BIPOC,.. anyone and everyone who is not White, heterosexual, christian nationalist.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it
Those who do learn history are doomed to watch those who did not learn it ... repeat it.
In Hawai'i we have mahu (trans) that can navigate between man and woman and our chiefs normally had consorts of both gender. These Republicans sound like the missionaries who came to our Islands and suppressed our culture. "In Hawaiian culture, there was space for monogamous or polyamorous relationships. There was also a broad understanding and acceptance for a variety of sexual orientations, gender expressions as well as sexual and non-sexual relationships allowing people to avoid stigma, trauma and shame. If anything, this seems to indicate that Kanaka Maoli (Hawaiians) of the past saw that having these spaces for varieties and identities to exist and flourish helped to maintain strong relationships with each other, the ancestors and the land itself because everyone felt part of the community and loved." Adam Keawe Manalo-Camp
It’s devastating. And I see the same passivity in many Americans that was seen in Germany in the 1930s. All it takes is for one good man to do nothing.😔💔
I believe what I need to do is be at every protest and march, sign every petition, read and comment and support whoever, whatever group is being pointed at and victimized by these unholy, pathetic, power-hungry animals who think living in an authoritarian state is ideal.
I am a peace-loving, compassionate, caring human who is a Jew, a woman, mother of a disabled/able son, a human-rights advocate, and today and from now on; I STAND WITH PEOPLE, ALL PEOPLE, as I believe I have always done or attempted to do.
I am no more and no less than any person.
It is truly terrifying how certain GOP elected officials (not least, their infantile cult leader) and their supporters continually and brazenly use the Nazi "playbook" with impunity. The choice is clear. Vote these monsters out.
Thank you for this. I wish more people understood just how dangerous this rhetoric is and what kind of alarms it should be raising with all of us. It feels like too many folks think that this doesn't really effect them, so they don't spend much time thinking about, speaking with friends and family about it, or speaking out against it. We all have to amplify this. If we don't stop it, it is a harbinger of things to come.
Rather than wanting to eliminate transgender people (who do not harm anyone ) they should try and eliminate the right wing Christian men who among other things shoot up schools , supermarkets and black churches , are racist , homophobic and sow hate in this country but of course they can't do that .........as they are affiliated with the same people who perpetuate that
When DeSantis says, "Florida is where woke goes to die," he isn't kidding. The fascist, "christian" nationalist right is dead serious about eliminating democracy and the rights of anyone who doesn't adhere to their abhorrent crypto-theological beliefs. Trans rights are just the beginning, because it is easy to target a relatively small, misunderstood, weak and marginalized group. But I have no doubt that if the Republicans succeed in gaining power nationally, they will seek to silence and eradicate all who do not agree with them.
Unfortunately history seems to repeat itself time and time again. Just the targets change….As the politics keep going further right and they establish themselves in positions of power they will do this once more….all these attacks on Gays, trans, Jews, immigrants, etc are just a way to gain control …..human nature at its worst. If we thought Trump was bad….the next election will be even more frightening Im afraid.
Thanks for this, Jay. I read the comments exactly the same way you did and value your call for all of us to speak out as hard as it is to do so. This won't end with the LGBTQ+ community, MAGA has already shown their disdain for women (excepting, of course, those that accept being barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen is their rightful place), Jews (according to the JDL, attacks against Jews are up an astonishing amount), people of color, and anybody else that doesn't fit their cis-gendered white protestant or catholic male dominated model of society.
But let's start with the LGBTQ+ community and women. The Senate is currently reviewing the simply worded ERA to determine if it should be brought up for passage. "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex." Because the term "sex" today covers a wide variety of people (IOW not just women), it seems to me that we should all be calling our Senators advocating for the removal of the deadline. There are 38 ratifications, the number needed, but the pesky arbitrary deadline needs to be removed.
Defining "sex" in 2023 is a hell of a lot harder than it was in the 1970s when Phyllis Schlafly and Anita Bryant were advocating for women to show up for their husbands "after a hard day at the office" wrapped in saran wrap.
Let us NOT forget that right up until Japan bombed Pearl Harbour, which caused Roosevelt to declare war against the Japanese, and only a few days later Germany declared war against the USA, the USA had the largest Nazi Bund outside of Germany! A wide swath of Americans supported Nazism, and for the exact same reason you have listed here Jay! There has always been an underlying hatred against “other”, any other. If they weren’t white, straight, Christian, English speaking Americans, then they were suspect, and were discriminated against.
From my point of view, it’s time to use the same language against the haters. How about speeches where white supremacists, “must be eradicated”? Or right wing extremism, “must be eradicated” or. Fascism, “must be eradicated”, and see how those folks who use that language to disparage others, react to the same language being focused on and directed at them!
It’s a sad time in out history that this is happening and applauded.
Follow the Substack “Erin in the Morning” for detailed reportage on anti-trans legislation across the US. We are in a critical period to resist this hateful movement and must speak/vote/march in favor of trans lives before these haters give them full legal license to do the unthinkable.
Thank you for your clarity and call to action.
I worry a lot about what I hear from people like DeSantis and worse. It’s really hard and super sad to know that it isn’t safe for my 14 year old trans daughter (and us as her parents) to visit more than 1/2 of her/our own country.