This year's political season was as if two people were shouting very loud, because both were deaf to the others' legitimate concerns. We had the two most disliked candidates in recent memory, and (sadly) one of them had to lose. In an ideal world, both would have lost, and we'd have another election if "none of the above" were to win.
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I'm not going to focus on the merits of either candidate. Instead, I'm going to focus on what the following "hit and run" comment in a recent post means to transgender people like me. The comment:
I am truly amazed at just how dangerous and subversive your ideas are. Just because we won't let you into our restrooms in your shabby wigs and ugly dresses. When was the last time you were beat up or even called out for being a man in a dress?
"Create cognitive dissonance"? This is exactly what the Nazis did in their campaign of extermination against the Jews. You are either completely selfish and self centered or just plain ignorant when advocating for the undermining and destruction of the most prosperous, open and tolerant society on earth.
This person has no clue about what he or she is talking about. First, I am not calling for undermining America. I am calling for undermining the power of a potential tyrant. Everything that comes out of Trump's mouth is a lie, including the words "and" and "the". And he has used countless lies to gain power, manipulating people who do not care about lies, promises, or even personal ethics. All these people wanted was change, and they didn't care about what that change was.
I responded to this person with the following:
You ask when I was attacked. I have seen people attacked who are cisgender, for the crime" of looking butch. In one case in Detroit, a security guard hassled the "Butch" looking cisgender female while she was in her stall - resulting in a lawsuit against the establishment. Others have reported that there are people who peep through the cracks in lavatory stalls to determine whether a person is cisgender or trans. So don't give me your crap. You are part of the problem, defending a corrupt subgroup of the larger society.
If you don't think I'm right, look at one interview which had a right wing person and Jennifer Boylan. The host asked the right winger to say where Jenny could go pee (Jenny is a post-op transgender woman), and the right winger would not answer - as if he were talking about Blacks and Colored washrooms in the 1950's. Are you advocating a return to this era?
All I do when I go to the washroom is go potty, wash my hands and leave. Are you going to deny a person that? Or, are you afraid to defend your position with rational argument? But I'll fight for that right, using ALL of the tools that people who hate us use against us, when fighting for our rights.
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This is the type of problem that us transgenders will be confronting in the months to come. Trump has effectively given bullies permission to harass anyone not conforming to the 1950's social order. And we are the low hanging fruit for now.
I suggested the following course of action:
We should present a message that takes advantage of Trump's flip flopping and lying. If someone says that the president supports "this", then quote him as supporting "that". Create cognitive dissonance, so that people will want to question the status quo. It won't be easy, but what else can we do while mobilizing for the 2018 congressional elections?
This is subversion at its' best. Once faith in a irrational leader has been destroyed, it becomes much easier to remove (by elections) the people who supported him. But this window only will exist as long as we remain a democratically elected republic. But there is a fly in the ointment: State governments (especially in the South) are removing polling places and making it harder for many people to vote. And when they are not doing this, state and local governments are using gerrymandering and election rule changes (such as in Pasadena, TX) to limit the powers of minorities.
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Even if one is a Transgender who is also a Republican, this does not excuse the party as a whole for not cracking down on regional abuses of power. The same applies for those of us who vote for Democrats. The only way for us to conquer hate is to insure that we have honest political discussions and debates coupled with honest, meaningful elections. The 2016 election has proven our system to be broken. And the longer it is broken, the more likely it is that we will be used as scapegoats by bullies who want to retain power.