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.