Monday, July 24, 2017

The Real "Gay Agenda"

One hears ad nausea from the Christofascists - who ARE seeking special rights to discriminate and be above the law - about the so-called "gay agenda."  These "godly folk" who are motivated mostly by hatred of others and a fear of modernity itself - science and knowledge that raise questions as to the truth of the myth based world view must be stamped out - project on gays what they themselves are guilty of.  For gays, all we want is (i) to have the same rights as others, and (ii) to enjoy the same level of safety from violence and bigotry that Christians have enjoyed for over two centuries in America.  There truly is no other "gay agenda."   A column in the New York Times by a transgender author looks at the aspects of this gay agenda as Christian zealots in Texas seek to enact a special anti-transgender law through a special session of the Texas legislature.  Read the piece and decide who is really seeking special rights.  It's not the LGBT community.  Here are excerpts:
My wife and I spent the morning riding our bicycles to the beach. It was a beautiful day. Seals dived in the surf, a couple played Kadima with their grandchildren, and Deirdre and I lay in the sun.
We celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary this summer. Our sons are in their 20s now. One is working as an actor. The other is an engineering student, researching the effects of lasers on glass. Both of them called us that day, to say hi, and that they loved us.
Meanwhile, in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott opened a special session of the Legislature, during which Republicans will attempt to portray me, and transgender people like me, as sexual predators. The legislature is expected to vote once again on a bill to restrict which bathrooms transgender Texans can use.
Somehow, during my time in the ladies room, the republic had failed to collapse.
I hear a lot about the “gay agenda” in my work as an advocate for L.G.B.T. people. Sometimes I hear that we are agitating for “special rights.”
Which — let’s be honest — is true. I do want special rights.
I want the special right, for instance, to not be beaten or murdered by ignorant bigots. At least 15 transgender women have been killed so far this year for the crime of being themselves.
I want the special right not to be fired from my job. In 28 states, it’s perfectly legal to terminate an employee because you don’t like the gender of the person that he or she is in love with. In others, gay employees are protected, but trans ones aren’t. In some states, it is even illegal for local governments to pass or enforce anti-discrimination laws.
I want the special right to not be homeless. In this country, an estimated 1.6 million young people experience homelessness each year; 40 percent of them are L.G.B.T. A third of the homeless queer young people ran away from home because they faced physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
I want the special right to be able to turn on the television, or go to the movies, and see, maybe just once, a person like myself on the screen. I mean someone other than a murder victim in a crime show, or a straight, cisgender actor getting a trophy honoring his bravery for pretending — ineptly — to be someone like me, or trans people being interviewed on talk shows as if gender transition is something as distant as the moon . . . .
I want the special right to open up the newspaper and not have to read one more clever “think piece” in which the humanity of people like me is held up for public debate.
What I want above all, is the special right to be left alone, and to be considered half of just one more unextraordinary American couple — just as the two of us were as we sat at the bar watching the ocean and drinking our beers.
You’d think that most of this would be common sense — that protecting American citizens from violence and unemployment and homelessness would be something we’d all agree upon. You’d think that respecting the privacy and humanity of some of the country’s most vulnerable souls would be a common goal.
But then, maybe you didn’t know that in the last six months the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services have already withdrawn or revised policies or proposals meant to protect L.G.B.T. Americans. Maybe you didn’t know that the governor and lieutenant governor of Texas feel that the state is so endangered by the prospect of leaving transgender people alone that they felt it necessary to call a special session of the Legislature to enshrine discrimination against us into state law. Maybe you didn’t know that Vice President Mike Pence has said that gay parents like me bring about “societal collapse” and the “deterioration of marriage and family.”
But you should.
The number of Americans who continue to have no idea that 28 states allow gays to be fired at will simply for being LGBT is staggering.  Here in Virginia, the vast majority support unemployment non-discrimination protections yet every year bills that would add such protections are defeated by Republicans yielding to the demands of The Family Foundation, Virginia's largest hate group which masquerades as a "Christian" "family values" organization.  Are hatred of others and the desire to have the freedom to mistreat others "family values"?  When you hear the bleating of Christofascists about special rights, please remember that it is they, not the gays, who are demanding them. 

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