Monday, May 2, 2016

A letter to the mom who told me she is boycotting Target


I've spent five years patiently, calmly, diplomatically trying to educate people on the importance of LGBT, specifically, transgender, rights. I have swallowed frustrations, taken the high road, made allowances for different opinions. I have even criticized some of my own trans parenting community for sounding "too bitter." Well folks, I'm done. I'm done with killing people with kindness. It's not working for me anymore. Big Mama is mad.

Yesterday morning, I awoke to someone responding to a post on my own Facebook feed...a person who barely knows me, doesn't know my family and certainly will never know my heart. She coolly explained, with pride, how she was boycotting Target not because she doesn't think that trans people shouldn't have rights but because she claims she is worried about her daughter. Worried some pervert will don a dress and sneak into the bathroom and do something unspeakable. She clearly feels the rights of her daughter are more important than the rights of mine...that some sort of accommodation should be made for Allie (how thoughtful) but that her privilege of comfort should prevail.

Of course, I'm paraphrasing, but it was the sure sentiment. And if she is reading this right now and is outraged that I am paraphrasing her words, here's my response: Don't post things on MY page that you don't want me to have an opinion on. Stay off my feed and I'll stay off yours.

And hey, guess what? I worry about a pervert sneaking into a woman's bathroom too. But I'm not going to use that as an opportunity or an excuse to lie to myself about the fact that I am discriminating against a group of people that have done absolutely nothing wrong and think I am doing something good by taking their rights away.

Truly, it's akin to saying, "I like black people. I just don't think they should be allowed to sit at the same lunch counter as me because one of them could get violent." 

An old high school friend cautioned me to not sound angry. Well, I AM angry. Here's why I am angry, and why you would be too, if you were in my shoes: my daughter's basic civil liberties are under fire in this country. They are under fire because people are creating hyperbolic hypotheticals and calling them real. They are under fire because people see some meme on Facebook, sign some nonsensical pledge and feel they are on some political high road to self-righteousness. Signing and reposting the pledge to stop shopping at Target is not brave or righteous. It's uneducated. It's uneducated because chances are you posted it from your Apple product, or your IBM computer. Chances are you used Google to search for some bit of information that you would use to discredit me. You used Facebook to share the post. Those companies I mentioned are supporters of LGBT rights. They donate money to the HRC who, in turn, uses it for things like fighting bathroom bills. 

You want to be outspoken and self-righteous? Then do it. But do it right. Do it all the way. Stop hiding behind stupid viral Facebook memes and think you have done hard work (because, as you've said not going to Target is going to be oh, so hard). Don't act like you have done a good deed or stood for the silent majority. 

If you are really concerned about people pretending to be a gender they are not to bring harm to another, start lobbying insurance companies to offer better mental health care services. Lobby your local and federal governments to do the same. Because someone pretending to be a gender they aren't so they can creep around a bathroom isn't an LGBT issue, it's a mental health issue. You aren't concerned about mental health and law breakers. If you are really worried, do something that matters. But don't think the solution is to take away my family's civil rights. It isn't the solution. And never will be. 

Skipping the Target trip isn't hard. Buying your paper towels at Walmart instead isn't hard (I'm sure there are no creepers to worry about in Walmart).

But, you know what IS hard? Finding a new pediatrician because your doctor refuses to see your child anymore. Hard is finding a dance studio who will allow your child to enroll in dance classes. Hard is finding a friend for your daughter whose parents will let them sleep over. Hard work is having to get a letter, explaining your child's gender and signed by your child's doctor and standing in line for hours to have your child's passport changed to reflect her appropriate gender so that you aren't suspected of kidnapping your own child when you take a family vacation out of the country. Hard is having to explain your family's journey to a new baby sitter and hope that she will love your kiddos just the same. Hard is saving money for the hormones that our insurance won't cover. Hard is explaining to your sweet, innocent child why some people don't want her in the bathroom. 

That's hard. Do all that, and then we can talk. Your little Target boycott petition (that let's face it, probably won't really last)? That's not hard.

37 comments:

  1. Love love love, knocked it out of the park!!! Very well written and makes all the points . That need to be said . You are awesome

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  2. Love love love, knocked it out of the park!!! Very well written and makes all the points . That need to be said . You are awesome

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  3. Yes!thank you! This is exactly how I've been feeling

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  4. Yes!thank you! This is exactly how I've been feeling

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  5. One word, Perfect! Thank you.

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  6. One word, Perfect! Thank you.

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  7. Great post. Thank you for sharing. I couldn't agree with you more.

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  8. Thank you for clarifying the malicious intend of ignorant individuals that have no concept of the constant discrimination that transgender children and youth face on daily basis. You are an inspiration!

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  9. Powerfully said. Bless you for your clarity and intelligence. Bless this child of yours for being your teacher, and bless you for being willing to learn. What a gift to have a parent like you, my mother suffered so trying to fix me when all i needed was acceptance and love, I could handle the rest.

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  10. Veronica PhillipsMay 3, 2016 at 7:32 AM

    Your children are so very fortunate to have an intelligent and fiercely loving woman as their mother.

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  11. Well done. I'm glad that you kept the anger in your "voice." It is certainly justified. Everyone needs to read this. I have linked it at to my own blog at http://thinking-outloud.com/home/the-hypocrisy-of-the-american-family-association Although my blog is new and my readership is small, I hope it will impact a few people that wouldn't otherwise see it. Thank you for being a voice for so many.

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  12. Thank you sooooo very much for this wonderful message. I wish you a VERY SPECIAL and VERY HAPPY Mothers Day coming up.

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  13. I wonder if she's boycotting her church, since priests and pastors have repeatedly abused children...

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  14. you make some very good points but what about everyone else's rights, gay and transgender people are all supposed to have the same rights as us not more rights but the same rights. No your daughter should not be discriminated against but by allowing someone with a penis into the ladies room you are opening the door to allowing anyone with a penis to enter the ladies room because in order to tell another man with a penis he can't go in would be discrimination to him. Personally I would worry about sending my transgender child into either bathroom for fear of there safety. There are perverts in every group be they gay straight bi transgender so that isn't even the point. The point is most women don't feel comfortable with anyone with a penis using the ladies room and it is well within there rights to feel that way. It's not about stepping on your daughters rights it's more about protecting there own right's. I know you are just trying to do what's best for your child but so are the majority of people who are against this. Instead of fighting one another maybe people should start writing there congressman to get a law passed to have unisex bathrooms in every public place of business so no one's feels there right's are being violated.

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    1. Excuse me intersex people also exist and your view that trans women are some how men is wrong. Trans men whom take testosterone look like men forcing them into the ladies room because of their vagina doesn't make anybody feel better about the beards... A penis makes you uncomfortable that's about all I understood from that rambling and guess what it doesn't matter! How would you know unless you are being perverted also it a perversion to constantly reduce people to gentials. Trans people will always be in the restroom trans men who Are men or trans women whom are women.. Aswell as intersex people ...

      Do you know what a trans man is or of any ? I'm sure you wouldn't be ok with that either regardless of their junk...

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    2. Besides u dont have to have a penis to be a perv! A transgender can't help the equipment they were born with. U can't fault her for having a penis. She isn't her penis..she's a little girl a daughter a person who has a right to go and sit down on a potty like anyone else. Would be wrong for her to be wearing a dress and walk in to the men's room just bc she has a penis. She is who she is. Penis and vaginas are not who people are.

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  15. Women's rooms have stalls. You will never, ever know what is between someone's legs unless *you* are being a creepy asshat and peeking at someone using the bathroom. Your "what if" game is asinine. Not one single incident of a transgender human ever assaulting or harassing anyone in a bathroom. Not one. "Every group has perverts" is such a ignorant argument to make in favor of putting people who just want to pee is real, actual danger. The majority of people in favor of bathroom bills aren't protecting anything but the right to be shitty humans to other humans. Your kids are in no danger. Grow up and do some research before you open your face hole.

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    1. how about the 14 year old girl who was drug by 2 guys 17 and 18 in to the mens room and brutally raped over and over.why not just have individual restrooms with a lock on the inside? that way any person can go into any restroom lock the door and know they are safe doing whatever

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  16. The problem with ignorance is that it is very contagious. More people need to hear the facts and hopefully have an "aha" moment that eradicates the ignorance.

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  17. The problem with ignorance is that it is very contagious. More people need to hear the facts and hopefully have an "aha" moment that eradicates the ignorance.

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  18. Amen! U are a wonderful parent. Supporting ur daughter and loving them for them. I wish that people were more accepting. I pray one day this won't be an issue. But.know u have many supporters.

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  19. As a mom of a trans girl who is also fighting the good fight, taking the high road, and tiring of it all, thank you. I feel your pain and strength. I'd add: Hard is taking your suicidal teenager to the hospital for 3 different stays and making sure they let her be in the female wing because, legally she is still male. Hard is creating a lockdown room in your own home because you are afraid to leave her alone with anything that she could use to self harm. Hard is going in front of the school board and begging them to let her stay in their school when you've had to downsize your home and move out of the district to help pay all the legal and medical bills. Hard is making sure she never uses a public restroom alone because you're scared of what might be said. However, Easy is seeing your daughter flourish once she gets the medication she needs. Easy is seewinf flowered ribbon on her prom dress. Easy is listening to her be frustrated about College Prep Algebra but not wanting to self harm because of the frustration. This is the real life of the parent of a trans child. People have no idea. I wouldn't change being her mom for anything in the world.

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    1. Angela, you just have no idea what it must mean to her to have you in her corner. I'm speaking from experience. From the time, at a very young age, that i was abruptly forbidden to play dolls with my friend the little girl next door and made to play with her brother instead, right on up to being undermined and denied as an adult by my family of origin, it's been a rough ride. Keep being brave, God bless you and the the woman who wrote this post, and know that you are both awesome.

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    2. Thank you so much. I wish all parents could find a way to live unconditionally. I'm so sorry yours couldn't.

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  20. Applause applause applause! You go mom! People need to shut up and start listening to the whole truth... God bless you

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  21. I just happened across this as I noticed you verbally assaulting me and my children on Pinterest (how brave). I'm guessing this post is aimed at me but you added quite a lot of "paraphrasing" from a half sentence I wrote on a random picture that popped up on my computer. I honestly had no idea that it was connected to this blog. I had no intention of attacking you by pinning the picture I saw. I don't understand why I am the bigot when it is you being intolerant of me and my beliefs. I am not rioting at target in anyone's face shaming them for what they are going through. I simply do not agree therefore I will remove myself. That's the difference between us. We take our stands differently. I'm not trying to force anything on you as you are me. As mothers we will do anything for our children. But we also have to be responsible with what we teach them. If my child decided to be gay or transgender I would always love her more than anything but that does not mean I will automatically change all my values and beliefs to accommodate her and shame others.I think that's what beliefs are. I am very sorry your child is suffering along with anyone's child suffering from anything. If a kid is a heroin addict is the parent supposed to defend the addiction if they think they can not live without it. I know to you this is different. But to me it all involves not being an enabler and trying to get your child the help they need. I will not go back and forth with you on your blog. i wish you and your child the best in life as I do mine.
    And also it's very sad the things you said like having another child spend the night, but honestly how did you feel about that before your son wanted to be a girl. Would you really allow a girl dressed as a boy to spend the night with your son? If your answer is a honest yes, I truly cannot understand that and I have to think maybe that is the stem of the problem. thank you for letting my true beliefs be heard.

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    1. I don't remember attacking anyone on Pinterest. Can you please send me a link to that. I am concerned that this is something people are seeing and that perhaps there has been a mistake in linking it to me?

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  22. I also have to add that I have no Facebook because I have children to take care of and when I click on the photo I pinned it leads to nothing connected to you it is only a photo. So I cannot understand how you think I seeked you out to attack your "feed" whatever that is. You actually came after me. For most mothers Pinterest is just an outlet to wind down after the kids go to sleep and look at pictures that they relate to. Before I pinned this that says men are allowed in target restrooms I watched several videos of men dressed as men being told by target they can go into the women's room. So why don't you be mad at target for starting all this without having clear rules in place. They could have easily said all their stores will now have a unisex bathroom for anyone to use and avoid all this. They sought out this controversial attention which I would think only hurts the lgbt cause?? But how would I know? I'm just an uneducated idiot bigot who doesn't read like you said. Oh yeah and so are my kids As you say.

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    1. I never called anyone (or their children) and an "uneducated idiot bigot" and i certainly never went after anyone on Pinterest. I really think you might have me confused with someone else! Would you please send me the link to the photo you are talking about? I am very concerned that someone may have compromised my account.

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  23. Ok then I am sincerely sorry I posted this comment which actually took me a while to do. This person made me think this was about me with a host of hateful things to say. This is why I do not use social media. I do not know how to send a link and if I did I would probably receive a lot more hate from your followers as well. I regret entertaining this as it is not in my character. It caught me off guard. I wish your family well.

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