Remember back in August when Governor Jerry Brown of California signed AB 1266 into law?
The questionable, widely debated part of the law is described below:
(f) A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.
The law felt like progress, a victory, for transgender students in California – at least to some of us it felt a victory. To others, it seemed like an affront to the safety of cisgender students, particularly ciswomen. Cue the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), the organization that is crusading to reverse the progress made with AB 1266. With views ranging from the idea that Trans* identities don’t exist to the idea that allowing Trans* students to use facilities that coincide with their gender identity is dangerous, the PJI has launched a full campaign against the new law and the students it was meant to benefit.
PJI hopes to have AB 1266 put up for a vote. In the meantime, their campaign is anything but civil. As mentioned above, they have lied about violence between cis and trans* students in the bathroom and Fox News has helped to drum up fear that this new law will spell trouble (including prominent Fox personalities laughing about how they’d abuse the law).
The ironic and unfortunate thing is that while PJI & Co. are crying wolf about violence, Trans* students are being bullied – their private lives are being made part of public display – and while the PJI hoped to bring them to light by accusing them of delinquencies, what is actually getting attention is the fact that trans* students, as ever, are the ones being bullied, not the ones doing the bullying.
Having had been bullied myself in middle school for my sexuality and gender expression, I’m glad I wasn’t a heavy consumer of news. I can only imagine what it would be like to be treated like a social pariah at school, like a disease, like a freak, and then to come home and turn on the news and to be treated like a joke.
On my personal blog (originally I was going to link, but for the other blogger’s privacy, I’ve decided not to) I had a fellow blogger inform me that Gutfeld’s comments (seen above) were simply for humor, and that Gutfeld is actually accepting of everyone – he simply doesn’t care about a person’s personal make-up, as it were, he just likes a good laugh.
To quote the blogger exactly:
“Greg doesn’t give two shits how you live your life, because it’s your business, not his. And he respect your choices as long as they aren’t harmful to him…”
“… But again, anything and everything is a joke with this man. He’s made comments that bugged me, but I don’t run around complaining, because I also get at the end of the day he doesn’t actually mean it.”
I found this to be very curious. I see no joke in the idea that people have the right to use facilities that match their gender identity. Nor do I see any joke in a cisperson lying about their gender identity in order to abuse this new rule – and I certainly do not see a joke in going on the 8pm, prime time news slot and making these statements to an audience.
It is hard not to be bitter… I would call this irony, except I cannot say I did not expect it. It is to be expected that the privileged can sit upon their privilege and make light of situations that are very serious to the people who have to live those situations everyday. I won’t, for my own mental health, quote to you here the amount of reported murders against Trans*people, or the amount of reported Trans* people who commit suicide, or the amount of Trans* people who report being bullied, or harassed, or denied employment. It’s all out there. There are wonderful organizations doing wonderful work to bring to light the severity of all that the Trans* community faces, and while PJI makes its memes, gathers its signatures, and even lies to perpetuate its goals, I’m supposed to find a way to not to let comments made on a news network get to me.
As long as the war against Trans* rights rages, I will be bugged, and I will be heard. We will be heard.