Hate trans folks all you want…
We're here to stay and determined to fight
Editor’s Note: This is the latest installment of “The Transchick Chronicles,” an on-going series of essays written by out transgender journalist Stephanie Haskins, as she documents her transition. Scroll to the bottom for links to her previous entries.
BY STEPHANIE HASKINS
The dictionary defines the word cruelty as “callous indifference to or pleasure in causing pain and suffering.”
Its list of synonyms include: brutality, savagery, and inhumanity.
In recent weeks and months, the amount of cruelty being foisted in the direction of transgender people like me is on the rise. And I don’t mean hate crimes—I mean concerted efforts to LEGALIZE cruelty.
As a newly-minted transgender person four years ago, I fully understood I might be in for some resistance and some tough times from transphobic people as I transitioned. I mean, let’s face it, when a middle aged White guy announces to the world that he’s no longer interested in maintaining his penis, you expect you’re gonna get some pushback.
From men mostly, I figured.
After all, penis-people—like our great Soldier of Orange, Donald Trump, or his Former Veep and Ass-Kisser-in-Chief Mike Pence, or the Florida Manatee Man Ron DeSantis—practically double over in agony when they consider the possibility of having their limp-biscuit scrotal tissue repurposed into vaginas.
They assume that would be about the worst possible thing that can happen to ANY person, except maybe actually being BORN with a vagina. And breasts. And consciences.
Being a woman. Unimaginable.
Oh, don’t get me wrong—they’re heterosexual guys, so they do just LOVE to express their reservoirs of seminal fluid (much like squeezing the anal glands of unsuspecting honey-badgers) into the genitalia of females.
I mean, that’s really just God’s plan for men-creatures, right?
OK, even taking all of these variables into account, dear readers, I honestly had no idea that I or my fellow transgender people would become the current targets of what can only be described as absolute hatred.
Yes, I knew that my decision wouldn’t be applauded by some, and snickered at by others, but I truly thought that I’d be, for the most part, accepted or at least tolerated, and allowed to live peacefully in the body I chose to surgically improve with a soul that had finally been set free.
I know. How naive.
But as bad as things were for transgender people back in 2019 when I came out, they seem to be much worse now than then.
Just check out these actual, horrifying 2023 headlines:
New Arkansas bathroom bill comes among wave of legislation targeting trans kids
Mississippi bans trans youth from seeking gender-affirming care
Kentucky lawmakers pass major anti-trans law, overriding governor’s veto
North Dakota governor signs trans athlete bans Into law
Florida GOP legislator calls transgender people ‘mutants’ and ‘demons’ during hearing
Advocates worry new Kansas anti-trans law might lead to genital inspections of children
Leaked emails reveal an anti-trans ‘holy war’
GOP’s coordinated national campaign against trans rights
Right-wingers use school shooting to push anti-trans rhetoric
Tucker Carlson spews truly evil trash about trans people in ‘Christianity’ rant
Samuel Alito dissents, with Clarence Thomas, against a transgender girl
Biden plan allows limits on trans athletes’ participation in school sports
There’s a new group helping trans people flee the U.S.
And it’s only April.
According to a report released in March by Movement Advancement Project (MAP), so far in 2023 lawmakers in 46 states have introduced more than 650 anti-LGBTQ bills with one deliberate aim: Erasing LGBTQ people from schools and public life.
Before I delve more into the perverse cruelty above, as counterintuitive as it might sound, let me also point out that in some respects, our lot has actually improved a bit.
A tiny bit.
Here’s how: We, and other queer people, are more out; we’re becoming more visible, and we’re starting to show up as less-secret parts of our often bizarre, male-dominated pop culture. Trans women, at least, are certainly becoming ever more-present faces of fashion and main line cosmetic houses. You see more of us in youth-oriented media.
Grammie and grampie media? Not so much, but a little recognition is better than none at all.
Here are some obvious, mainstream examples of some trans people who have broken through. My top 15, as it were.
* Patti Harrison, a fabulously talented MTF (male to female) actor and comedian, was cast in the lead role as a young cisgender woman who carries a baby as a surrogate in the 2021 movie Together, Together. She was fabulous. Perfection. Funny. Absolutely feminine, absolutely authentic.
* Jesse James Keitel, who identifies as non-binary, was cast as a transgender sex worker-turned-private investigator in the ABC series Big Sky. Jesse is truly one of the most charismatic young actors in my recent memory. And one of the most striking. Jesse was also just featured in the Showtime revamp of Queer as Folk.
* Elliot Page; it was big news when the Oscar-nominated star of the hit film Juno came out as trans masculine in 2020. And Page did so with such authenticity, charm and class. Again, such a talented person who has become an outspoken advocate for other transgender people.
* E.R. Fightmaster, a non-binary Chicago actor who plays a somewhat inscrutable queer doctor on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy; not the usual pretty face, but very striking, and oh-my-God sensuous. E.R. was in a bunch of episodes last year, but has been limited in appearances this year. I hope the ubiquitous Shonda Rimes (creator of the show) understands what a fascinating actor Fightmaster is. Message to Rimes and ABC: Don’t fuck it up.
* Andreja Pejic is the face of Makeup Forever, was an androgynous Bosnian/Australian who modeled both male and female clothing for several years and has been featured on the covers of magazines like Vogue, Elle and Marie Clair. Pejic fully transitioned in 2013, and is truly one of the most stunningly gorgeous humans on the planet.
* Kim Petras is a superstar MTF pop singer. Look at her. Listen to her latest tune –“Unholy”–with Sam Smith. Petras is fabulous. Just fabulous.
* Dylan Mulvaney; She’s one of the hottest influencers on TikTok with some 10.8 million followers. Mulvaney is known for producing goofy videos tracing her transgender journey over the past year, and she recently highlighted her recovery from facial feminization surgery.
Before the March Madness basketball championship tournament, Mulvaney partnered with Anheuser-Busch for a special Bud Light promotion, and as part of the celebration, the beer brewing giant gave her a special can of Bud with her picture on it.
Dylan Mulvaney, as seen on a Bud Light.
That small act of corporate kindness totally enraged a couple of loony-tune right-wing, has-been singers, Kid Rock and Travis Tritt. The former released a video of himself wearing a MAGA baseball cap shooting up a bunch of cans of Bud Light with an assault rifle (what else?) to protest the company’s connection to Mulvaney. This deranged “Kid” is seen screaming “Fuck Bud Light and Fuck Anheuser Busch” as he pumps hot lead into the defenseless cans of beer.
Tritt kept his pistols holstered. but petulantly announced he’s sworn off all Budweiser products on his tour bus. OOOOOOH. Now THAT stings.
All this over ONE CAN OF BUD LIGHT WITH MULVANEY’S PICTURE ON IT.
The way I see it, anyone who can so provoke the always-disgusting Kid Rock is an absolute hero of mine—and Mulvaney IS that hero.
And yes, Anheuser-Busch is now my favorite beer brand.
Stephanie “The Transchick” Haskins sips from her new favorite beer.
* Laverne Cox; She exploded in pop culture for her Emmy-nominated role in the hit series Orange is the New Black a decade ago. Trans people owe Cox big time for her pioneering work and her always classy style and activism.
* Alexandra Billings; She recently had a recurring role in ABC’s The Connors. She’s an ACTOR; not a TRANS actor, right? The producers handle Billings‘ perfectly. Isn’t that way it should always be? People are people. At least I THINK that’s the case.
* Teddy Geiger; songwriter, singer. Geiger composed pop star Shawn Mendes’ Grammy-nominated hit “In My Blood.” Can you say “Wow?”
* Hari Nef; Simply stunning model, signed a few years by IMG Models. Nef is one of the first trans women to walk the runway for a major agency.
* Suzy Eddie Izzard; What can you say about her? Or him? Or They? Yes, he’s okay with all three pronouns. “You can’t go wrong with me,” says Izzard. So funny. Great standup comedian. Fabulous actor now on Broadway with a one-person version of Great Expectations. Plays all the parts. Can deliver gags in what, five or six languages. Izzard reminds me of a slightly more wrinkled version of superstar singer Pink. I think he’d like that comparison.
* Brian Michael Smith; gorgeous Black trans masculine actor who’s all over television on shows like Chicago PD, Blue Bloods, and 9-1-1: Lone Star, where Smith is the first trans man to win a regular starring role on a network series. And he’s also been on People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” list. The guy is a yum-boat.
* Nicole Maines is an actress and transgender rights activist. She was the anonymous plaintiff in a 2014 lawsuit in the state of Maine in which the courts ruled that barring trans students from school bathrooms consistent with their gender identity is unlawful, the first such ruling by a state court. Maines became the first transgender superhero on the CW series Supergirl and recently joined the cast of Showtimes’ Yellowjackets.
* Lana and Lilly Wachowski are siblings who birthed the mammoth Matrix film series, and the much-misunderstood Cloud Atlas of a few years back. Lana came out in 2010, Lilly in 2016. Keep in mind that these two trans women had everything to lose by acknowledging their gender identities, and yet they chose to do so when it would have been way safer to stay closeted. These sisters are…what? Heroes? Sure. Absolutely.
Every trans person I know has had to make the same decisions, face the same losses, endure the same inevitable hate. The Wachowskis were rich and famous before they told their truths. It would have been easy to hide, but they chose not to.
That’s what strong, brave people do. It’s what WE do.
And surprisingly (or not), there are lots more. All of whom were kinda invisible just a few years ago, when there were just a few out trans people in a cohort of young entertainers who braved the usual God-knows-what sorts of tumult in their private and professional lives to live their truth.
In the pop culture world. In FRONT of the ENTIRE world.
So fucking brave—incredible souls who are rightfully celebrated by many straight, cisgender young people who pretty much don’t give a rat’s ass what hunks of flesh exist (or not) between these people’s legs, or the differences that exist in their souls. They choose to be entertained by other young people who just happen to be transgender.
I’m not aware of any Fortune 500 CEOs who are transgender—there may indeed be some—although a few are certainly queer and out. Tim Cook of Apple, for example. And others. Look ’em up.
And there ARE some politicians. And yes, you guessed right. All are Democrats.
You know why.
According to a list on Wikipedia, as of 2021 some 77 persons who identify as trans, non-binary or intersexual held a public elective office of some sort. Hmmm. Let’s see…in a country with 330 million-plus people, a whole six dozen have been elected to something on some level.
Talk about underwhelming.
But that number is five times what it was in 2018.
The most prominent of these is Dr. Rachel Levine, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health who was appointed by President Biden in 2021. Her nomination was controversial and her confirmation hearing in front of a Senate committee became outright hostile when good-ol’-boy Kentucky Senator Rand Paul—a man whose little pinched face is framed by a rather unkempt pubic bush-like hairdo (wig?) of ringlets (and who’s perhaps best known for the fact his next-door neighbor hates him so much he attacked him)—simply couldn’t resist his usual prick-like tendencies to ask Levine about genital mutilation.
Above: Dr. Rachel Levine, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health; Below: U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky)
What a guy.
And what does genital mutilation have to do with being transgender?
Surgeries to find body-soul congruence = genital mutilation.
Ol’ Rand undoubtedly likes to hold HIS dick really close at hand.
Just one of many piss-ant Republicans who delight in making fun of Levine’s body and appearance—to her face, no less.
So much class.
It was one of the more disgusting displays of twisted, misogynist hubris I can recall. A showcase of needless acrimony and an absolute low point of elderly, hostile, White male-entitled attack tactics toward a queer/trans person. Toward a woman with a life-long record of academic achievement and public service.
Dr. Levine is the very definition of a talented and decent public servant. Too bad Senator Paul doesn’t give a shit about his own legacy. Not sure that “asshole” is a future remembrance of which to be proud.
Another point I want to make here is that trans people are successful citizens everywhere, even if they aren’t famous. I know young, hard-working trans folks who are long haul truck drivers. And store managers. And others who do all sorts of every day, regular-people work—and are NOT celebrated.
I have my groceries bagged at my local Safeway by trans feminine and trans masculine kids who are working their asses off just to survive. And lead “normal” lives.
I’ve been served egg-white omelets at a local restaurant by a young trans woman who is sweet, eager, and conscientious.
Or there’s the young trans masc dude who sells me THC gummies. Or the one who brings me my beer at a local bar.
And on and on.
And yes, I do understand that’s because I live in a great California town—Sacramento, the state capitol—one of the most diverse larger cities in the country according to a 2020 U.S. News and World Report article. Sacramento is #3; Oakland, CA, about 60 miles west of Sacramento, is #2; and Stockton, CA (about 40 miles south of Sacramento) is #1.
Above: The state capitol in Sacramento, California; Below: A view from the capitol toward the Tower Bridge
By God, that’s a ton o’ diversity within a 100 mile radius in northern California! It’s easy to be out and queer and trans here. Not so much in many other places. Maybe most other places.
How sad. We’re decent law-abiding human people who simply can’t live in our birth-assigned bodies, and who struggle every single fucking day not to attract too much attention so as to avoid being clocked and humiliated in public.
We’re people who are often ostracized by family or former friends who should be embracing us, loving us, and taking care of us.
I have on-line friends who, every day, sob about the transphobia they face and suffer with, and from.
Disgusting stuff. One young woman I was chatting with a few weeks ago wrote to me, “Someone just called me ugly.” Apparently some other young, mean-spirited chick from some obscure small town decided it would be fun to go after her and break her spirit.
Transphobic monsters apparently come wearing bras as well.
Anyway, this attack was so random and so out of nowhere that it threw my friend into a spiral. I was broken-hearted to watch it happen in real time.
And sadly, even most of the more well-known trans people in the entertainment/pop culture world are forced to live with conditional fame. I mean, let’s face it, as marvelously talented as they might be, they’re mostly noted and celebrated by those under the age of 40 or so.
Older people (usually, but not all), in my own past experience as a supposedly cisgender, straight White male, simply don’t notice, don’t know about, and candidly, don’t give a rat’s ass who these people are. Or what they do.
They’re uncomfortable around us, would rather we didn’t live or work near them, and certainly don’t want us as family members. But they’re decent enough not to call us out and try to hurt us. They pretty much leave us alone.
However, I’m certain that most of these older humans, when scratched, or asked directly, are still largely contemptuous of our skills and achievements. And, usually, they’re perplexed/annoyed/disgusted when they DO learn that a friend or relative or some up and coming celebrity is NOT cisgender or straight. And maybe even (gasp!) trans.
Oh, the horror!
So, how do I know this?
Painful confession time.
I know this because I fucking LIVED it. I WAS it.
Before I came out, when necessary, I was full of internalized transphobia. I truly hated/despised my whole being, and I simply could NOT admit to myself that I was a transgender person.
Do you have any idea how painful that is, to live in a soul that’s struggling to inhabit a body, that mostly wants to walk in front of an 18-wheeler, almost every freaking day of their life?
So, yeah. I lived with what’s called internalized transphobia. I get what it’s like to be transphobic, or feel the searing mania that trans-hatred is because, my God, I loathed every fiber of myself.
What a pathetic, sad MOFO I was. I was contemptuous of transwomen who had started out as sad little male caterpillars such as myself, who had surgically altered their bodies and had become butterflies. While I instinctively understood that these people had—at times—led often terrifying lives, they’d also triumphed and found a measure of happiness that I had never known.
Never. I’d existed in a compartment as a cisgender person. I look back at those years, and I see a life of duality. I cherished much of what I’d accomplished and achieved as a masked and supposedly cisgender straight male—my television news career, and my roles as a husband and father—but those experiences had been lived in another “room.”
And when my peers, even well-educated people, voiced their ignorance about transgender people, I joined in. Quietly, mostly, but I DID join in. I was the one who tut-tutted and tsk-tsked when people around me would express dismay about men who wanted to live as women and women who longed to live as men.
What a fucking monster I was.
Often times, the talk wasn’t vicious, not even particularly hurtful, but it WAS ignorant. And it was talk that came out of our (my) mouths because we chose not to understand these other people’s very strange imperatives. Their struggles. Their souls.
I was such a good Nazi. I went along to get along.
So, while I’m now hugely contemptuous, and truly despise all of the vicious fuckers of the world who torture transgender people with their words and actions for the sport of doing so, and who hate us “just because,” or who simply cannot find it in their hearts to allow us a modicum of grace, I get it.
And I get sick to my stomach remembering that evil. That sublimated, self-mandated evil. I’ve spent hundreds of hours in therapy to forgive myself and allow myself some grace.
But even as I write this, dear readers, that stinging fury of self-contempt washes up and down my throat; I feel it in my spine. And It runs out of my eyes as tears.
So many of my fellow humans, Americans, hate us, me, for all of those same reasons.
Because we’re “mutilators” of our bodies. Because we’re queer. Because we’re intolerably different. And worst of all, just because.
But we’re slowly, very gradually, perhaps glacially, boot-strapping ourselves into the consciousness of the culture. We’re starting to show up, if nothing else.
And that is something, dear readers. Not much, but something.
While I applaud my fellow trans siblings who are starting to be noticed—and are perhaps incrementally less hated—there are lots of caveats. SO many caveats.
Largely, age is a reason. Maybe the main reason.
“Big Showbiz” conglomerates and the people in charge of them (mostly men) seem to have few problems these days seeking out and publicly supporting and promoting young trans people (like those I gave shout-outs to, above) because they know they’re simply too talented to ignore any longer, and because they’re beginning to grasp that sexuality and gender no longer matter as much to most of their pop culture consumers under that magic age of 40.
Let me repeat that for emphasis: Under the age of 40.
Those consumers just want to be entertained, and may the best person(s) do so. Gay? Lesbian? Bi? Trans? Non-binary? Non-conforming?
Dude, who cares? Give us great tunes and shows on all of our media platforms.
But what about the rest of us?
What about the incredibly brave people who choose to come out and proclaim their truth? Ordinary teens and young adults (and even old fuckers like me) who understand in their very battered souls that we can no longer—under any circumstances—hide behind the pretend-personas that have fooled so many for so long. And that we simply cannot play the parts any longer?
What about those who feel compelled to risk every goddamned thing in our lives, to say to anyone who’ll listen, “I am ME!”
Well, what ABOUT us?
We transgender people comprise a very small minority in this country.
According to a recent and very thorough study by the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, there are more than 1.6 million adults (ages 18 and older) and youth (13-17) who identify as transgender, non-binary or gender non-conforming in the U.S. That’s about 0.6 percent of the nation’s population aged 13 or older.
Those numbers equate to about 1.3 million adults (18 or older) and about 300,000 young people (13-17).
Of the 1.3 million adults, about 515,200 are trans women—like me—480,000 are transgender men, and another 341,000 identify as gender non-conforming.
The research shows that transgender people are younger on average than the U.S. population.
Young people 13-17 are significantly more likely to identify as transgender than adults over the age of 65. I’m not surprised. Older people such as myself often see ourselves as having too much to lose by coming out, while younger people are more likely to figure they have NOTHING to lose.
In my case, it was either come out or head to the big dirt dessert. That was MY rationale, anyway—I had to live as transgender, or not live at all. I think that’s how most trans people feel, for better or worse, at one point or another.
I still do.
That aside, all things considered, we’re not a large part of the American experience.
The Williams Institute’s study shows that of the 1.6 million trans people, 731,000 are White, 289,000 are Latino, 173,000 are Black, 77,000 are Asian-Pacific Islanders, 14,500 are Native American, and some 51,000 are of mixed ethnicities.
And one last set of numbers worth considering:
* California has the largest number of persons on the trans spectrum, about 150,000. No surprise there. It’s likely the safest place we can live because of a righteous civil rights tradition of live and let live, and because the state has some of the most queer-inclusive and toughest anti-discrimination laws in the country. There is NO possibility that the liberal-Democrat dominated legislature will EVER pass any law that could harm any queer or trans person. Just won’t happen. California is seen as a haven for trans people, because of our sense of fair play for everyone.
* Florida—yes, FLORIDA—has the second highest number, with about 95,000. This stuns me. I simply cannot imagine identifying as transgender and living in a cultural swampland like Florida, where trans lives aren’t precious. More on this in a moment.
* Texas comes in not far behind with 92,000. I also can’t imagine trying to live an anonymous and peaceful life in a place that practically embraces misogyny and bigotry and transphobia. Again, more on this in a moment.
* New York (which makes sense given its size, progressive values, and diversity) and North Carolina round out the top five, with 82,000 and 74,000 respectively. The Williams Institute report didn’t investigate further as to why or how North Carolina ranked so highly. My guess? It’s attracted some heavy duty financial institutions and tech companies in the past 30 years, so it follows that many educated trans people would be attracted to those kinds of jobs, as are many younger, queer people..
* Vermont, Wyoming, North and South Dakota and Montana have the fewest, with around 3,000 trans people in each. No surprises there. They are sparsely populated states and, with the exception of Vermont, are populated with folks who are usually very conservative, right-wing and strong gun rights advocates. I can’t imagine being an out trans person and even TRYING to make a life in any place where there is likely not a shred of sympathetic support. It must be absolutely terrifying for the few trans people who live in the MAGA states of the mountain west.
At any rate, we trans people are everywhere here in the United States—just more in some places than others. Lots of us fit in pretty well and can live relatively normal lives; we feel that even if we’re not exactly embraced, we’re likely not targets.
But lots of others ARE.
Florida and Texas are excellent examples of states that absolutely go out of their way to degrade and belittle us, make us feel entirely unwelcome, and where we’re actually in very real danger.
Let’s start with the Sunshine state. Just a grand state, where a fascist governor like Ron DeSantis delights in banning abortion, books, the word “gay,” Black history, and, at least in his case, silverware. (He apparently ate pudding with his hands, in case you missed that breaking news last month.)
Side note: I also take great offense at the white go-go boots DeSantis wore while touring hurricane damage last fall. VERY reminiscent of Nancy Sinatra’s look for her 1966 hit “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’”—but I imagine DeSantis humming the song’s lyrics (“One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you”) while salivating over his desire to stomp out even more rights of the fragile, needy, queer and trans Floridians he rules over.
Above: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis; Below: Singer Nancy Sinatra
Florida is also a state that just introduced a bill that would ban school discussions of menstruation with kids in the sixth grade or younger. Under any circumstances.
No explanations of what periods are, why females have them, and what girls and women have to do to care for themselves each month.
Periods are VERY nasty secrets, apparently.
That means if a nine-year-old girl, let’s say, who’d likely be in the fourth grade, might suddenly start her first period in class, her teacher couldn’t legally talk to her about what’s happening to her body. Or what to do about it. And the child, apparently, could not legally ask her teacher to help her, or be able to question what’s happening to her body.
Cuz menstruation is dirty.
It’s not clear exactly what this young girl is supposed to do—just sit in her menses? Walk around in stained, wet, bloody underwear ‘til she can go home? Could she even call her parents and actually tell them what’s happening?
Another absolutely unbelievable, brain-dead piece of nonsense legislation—faux lawmaking—proposed by another female-hating older (Republican, of course) man. This bill passed the Florida house in early April and was headed to the state senate as I write this. If it passes, it will no doubt be signed into law by DeSantis—and take effect July 1.
DeSantis is out of his bloody mind. Pun intended.
Transgender people comprise about half of a percent of Florida’s population. Yet DeSantis and his Republican sycophants have introduced almost 20 bills so far this year that directly or indirectly target trans and other LGBTQ people.
They’re fucking terrified that trans kids might choose to use or at least have access to so-called puberty blockers—meds that pretty much pause the effects of puberty on teens who don’t want to develop secondary sexual characteristics until they can legally start their medical transitions. They think it’s a fine idea to criminalize or make it a third degree felony if doctors choose to help trans kids.
Puberty blockers are often key to alleviating gender dysphoria in trans kids, which is defined as extreme anxiety about one’s body and sense of identity. Most transgender people suffer from gender dysphoria at some level.
I did, but less so than most.
Republicans used to posture that government is too intrusive in ordinary people’s lives, and ought to butt the fuck out. Now, they want to butt IN, crawling up the asses of trans people to constantly meddle with our personal choices. But, as usual, they absolutely fail to see the hypocrisy of that.
Other Florida bills are just mean spirited: Some would mandate that ONLY licensed physicians can provide medical care to transgender people, and would outlaw nurses or physician assistants from doing so. That would overwhelm doctors who often pass on more routine care to nurses and PAs, so being mandated to handle all cases themselves would effectively result in WAY less care to transgender people. That would also mean many clinics dedicated to trans care would either have to close or significantly scale back operations.
Other bills would restrict state and local government spending on gender affirming care and insurance coverage for public employees who identify as transgender.
Hurting trans people and making their lives even more complicated and difficult and miserable is just fine by Ron DeSantis. All in a great day’s work for him.
As for Texas, it’s home to the nation’s only PINK state capitol building (I’ve seen it myself)—and the irony is no doubt lost on Republican lawmakers (or it makes them extremely queasy). It’s also home to homophobic, queerphobic and transphobic people who elect politicians who wear shiny cowboy boots and ten gallon hats, even if they only have ten ounce brains. (The average human male brain weighs about 47 ounces, FYI.)
Above: Texas’ (pink) state capitol in Austin; Below: Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Like Florida, Texas politicians have introduced a gaggle of bills aimed at torturing queer and trans people. Some of those bills include criminalizing gender affirming care for ALL trans people—surgical or not—for almost 100,000 trans Texans, eliminating ANY spending of ANY public funds for ANY trans care of people at any age, banning trans kids from competitive sports, making it harder to change gender markers on official documents like birth certificates, and limiting the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in schools.
In all, some 70 anti-LGBT bills have been introduced in the Texas legislature this year.
Talk about gay panic.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott wants to go so far as to classify any gender affirmative care for kids as child abuse. Guess he doesn’t see his policies as child abuse, though.
But then again, the bottom line here is that the only good trans person is a dead trans person.
You’re just a fucking prince, Greg.
But wait a minute!
Doesn’t all of this anti-trans legislation actually consist of MORE examples of Republicans wanting to insinuate government into the private business of ordinary citizens?
Yes it does.
But! But! But!
Isn’t that what SOCIALISM is all about?!
Why, I do believe that might be a question for Gov. Abbott, who always looks like he’s slightly puzzled about stuff, and you get the sense that when he tries to look serious, he’s actually trying to remember how many toes he has.
Remember: Abbott is pals with the equally despicable U.S. senator, Ted Cruz, who always looks like he’s smelling something stinky that might be stuck in his raggedy beard.
What a fine pair of hypocrites.
Oh, never mind that professional organizations like the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics all say that gender affirming care is “critical” to the overall health and well-being for trans and non-binary youth—that it’s a LIFE AND DEATH ISSUE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.
But hey. These are just sicko trans kids we’re talking about, after all.
Just expendable, right?
A May 2022 article in Scientific American magazine cited research that 50 percent of FTM (female to male) trans teens have reported attempting suicide at some point in their lives—FAR higher than the average of youth suicide in general.
But again, so what? Trans kids are human garbage, right boys?
Anti-trans policy is a linchpin for GOP politicians.
It’s such a red meat, hot-button issue for them and their equally hateful base of voters because it’s SO easy for these evil cats to despise and demonize trans kids—or trans ANYONE for that matter. It’s about stomping on the most delicate and fragile people among us to score political points, raise money, enrich themselves, prolong ignorance that keeps them in power, and cling to past belief systems in which “Men were MEN!” and women were subservient and devoid of most rights.
Mental health advocates say policies such as those advocated by these Texas rattlesnakes—or any state rattlesnakes for that matter—would, if enacted, prove to be catastrophic for trans people of any age.
But hey: Only 1.6 million Americans?
Who gives an actual fuck.
Just sickos and perverts all of ‘em. So fuck ’em.
And then there’s this: ALL of these people are just batshit obsessed with drag queens! They pretty much want to outlaw all drag shows and drag performers, and ANYONE who might dress in a way that isn’t congruent with their birth gender and who happens to sing and dance in any public venue. And they want to charge said performers with criminal penalties if any minor person happens to be present while this alleged debauchery is going on.
A drag show at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.
Some wags say the laws could even be applied to people like ME who now dress as women (even though I have a vagina) if I happen to be practicing my yodeling skills or getting down to a Lil Nas X song in front of one of my friends’ kids.
Off to jail, Steph.
YOU’RE A PERVERT, you…you…WOMAN!
Or as one pundit put it, I guess that also means I couldn’t stand up to sing the national anthem at a Dallas Cowboys game.
According to The Washington Post, Tennessee is leading the charge in passing laws targeting LGBTQIA+ rights. “The state passed three separate transgender bathroom bills in recent years, with a one-of-a kind measure in 2021 that required businesses to hang warning signs outside restrooms if they allowed transgender patrons to use bathrooms different from their sex (sic) assigned at birth,” the Post reports. And in early 2023, it enacted a law banning most gender-affirming care.
Furthermore, Tennessee has enacted at least 13 laws that restrict LGBTQ rights since 2015, the most in the nation in that time frame. Georgia and Arkansas enacted at least nine similar laws in the last eight years, followed by Alabama with six laws.
Long live the Confederacy.
And now, the state has just passed a law lumping drag and female impersonators in with strippers, deeming drag to be “adult-oriented performances that are harmful to minors.” The law banned performances from public property anywhere minors might be present and those who break it more than once risk being charged with a felony.
Again, is that ME? Am I impersonating a woman in their eyes? Will trans people who dress as their presenting gender in Tennessee—residents or tourists—be banned, arrested, charged, prosecuted, and sentenced to prison?
For being ourselves?
Oh, no, say the authors of these bills, that’s not what we mean!
But what if someone wants to apply those laws to do exactly that? What then?
Kristallnacht was just the other day, it seems.
Interestingly, the Republican governor who signed this into law, Bill Lee, can be seen dressing in women’s clothing in a 1977 yearbook photo.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, today and in a 1977 yearbook photo.
He fails to see the hypocrisy.
As of this writing, Tennessee’s anti-drag law is on hold after a federal judge temporarily blocked it just hours before it was to take effect, siding with a lawsuit claiming it violates the First Amendment.
According to The Washington Post, “This year has seen a particularly rapid acceleration in efforts by GOP-controlled legislatures across the country to pass bills targeting transgender rights, with more legislation introduced since January than in all of 2018-2022, according to a Post analysis of ACLU data.”
Even one anti-trans bill is too many.
My mind is just totally, fucking blown.
So many, MANY Americans just flat out loathe us, I guess, And I still can’t wrap my mind around that hatred and the reasons behind it.
What has so radically changed about our country? Our society? Our culture? Many Americans are NOT becoming more tolerant and sophisticated as a people, but rather, MORE hateful and ignorant.
And yes, way more cruel.
Trans people (like me) are under an unprecedented assault and it’s clear that we have no choice but to get off our collective asses and start fighting back. We can no longer be the pathetic victims. If it’s head-knocking (literally and figuratively) that transphobic right-wingers and their ilk want, then we’d better get in the mood to reciprocate.
That means no longer backing down from possible confrontations, getting trained in self-defense, and learning how to effectively come to the aid of others who are being harassed, taunted or bullied.
We have nothing to lose—except our freedoms, our lives, and each other.
Stephanie Haskins is hard at work on the next chapters of “The Transchick Chronicles.” Sign up for our e-newsletter here to be alerted when they’re published.
To read her previous installments:
Stephanie Haskins can be reached at
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2 people commented on "Hate trans folks all you want…"
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Sandra Hanks says:
Kimberly Venarchick says:
Your article speaks the truth!! Let the truth be spoken!!!