Monday, January 12, 2009

Transphobia In Action

Privilege uses fear as a mechanism to support its power. Privilege continually seeks to construct marginalized bodies as predators.  Gainsville, Florida introduced an ordinance allowing trans gendered individuals to use the bathroom to which they most closely present as.  Of course such a victory to cisgendered privilege could not go unchallenged.  The Citizens for Good Public Policy have released a commercial to make the public aware of "the threatening position" that "we "are placing ourselves in by allowing this law to stand. 

In the commercial we have a male person entering a female bathroom.  With all of the violence that transgender individuals face, the chance that someone appearing male entering a female bathroom is ridiculous.  The ad further equates a trans identity with paedophilia. A predilection to be sexually attracted to children has absolutely nothing to do with a  trans identity. Gender and sexuality are two separate issues; but to these bigots they are readily interchangeable if it means that they will be able to use their power to ensure the continued marginalization of a vulnerable group in society.

It is further extremely misleading to construct trans gendered individuals as criminally inclined.  When we look at the statistics it is clear that cisgendered individuals are the ones committing the crimes that are violent, as well as the crimes that are of a sexual nature. If one group of people should live in fear it is the trans community, because they are the ones that are daily assaulted, raped, brutalized, and murdered by people to threatened by the loss of their own privilege to have  respect for life. 

How many times do we have to see the trans panic defence used to justify homicide?  Where is the list of cisgendered bodies murdered by trans people?  Where is the list of cisgendered people assaulted by trans people?  The aforementioned lists do no exist because the victims of violence and hatred are trans people, not the cisgendered majority.  This commercials posits a possibility that in reality is completely reversed.   Allowing someone with a trans identity to use the bathroom of the gender to which they most closely represent is not going to harm anyone.  What these people fear is that we will all move just a little bit closer to deciding that everyone deserves to live with human dignity.

So if you will just excuse me for one moment to share with you my first thought upon viewing this commercial.  Fuck you Citizens for Good Public Policy.  A good public policy entails the validation and recognition of our shared human rights, not pushing your petty hateful agenda.

H/T Box Turtle Bulletin


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