Sunday, April 26, 2015

Trans Political Partnership (the other TPP)


The title of this post is a bad, political wonk double entendre about a trade partnership that...I just realized anyone who doesn't already know what TPP is probably won't care and explaining a joke never made it funnier. Moving on.

Bruce Jenner recently came out as trasngender in an interview with Diane Sawyer. I'm going to stick with Bruce and male pronouns for this post because to my knowledge he hasn't stated a new name he'd prefer and hasn't specified his pronoun preference. If and when he does, I'll put an addendum on this post, if I'm still paying attention to the story, which I might not be.

For the most part, this is happy news. Someone who felt compelled to hide who they were was finally ready to publicly be themselves. And, the news around it has been largely positive. Bruce's children seem mostly supportive. The media's reaction ranges from vague interest to support (a far cry from what would probably have happened if he'd made his transition public in the 1980s when he first attempted the change). Even his ex-wife, the notoriously unpleasant Kris Jenner, has been pretty cool about the whole thing. Aside from former step son-in-law Kris Humphries posting an asinine tweet that he immediately regretted and apologized for, this looked from the outside like a very smooth coming out story.

He added a gold medal in coming out to his collection

Yay, so we can all move on. Bruce can transition with the support of friends and family. We can be glad society has become far more tolerant of transgender people in the last 30 years. End of story. Except, no, he kept talking and came out again. This time as Republican.

I've made no bones about not comprehending LGBTQ+ people who swing to the right politically. It seems a little like mice advocating for cats or fire saying it's really water deep down. Why would people openly identify with a group that is actively trying to destroy them? And before you say, "Destroy? Really, Cassandra? They just don't want to bake gay wedding cakes." Yes, destroy, really.

The mouse only thinks they can get along

Believe me, I get that a person is a sum of many parts, and those parts don't always have to fit together with the other parts to make sense to everyone else. Just because Bruce is transgender doesn't mean that defines who he is in every respect. Also, being LGBTQ+, the perennial underdogs in most conflicts, doesn't mean we're all saints who wouldn't betray our own allies. Dick Cheney has a lesbian daughter, who is as big of a right wing shithead as he is as Dan Savage pointed out awhile back. Not that Dan Savage doesn't have his own issues with the bisexual and transgender parts of the LGBTQ+ alliance. Then there are the entirely baffling Log Cabin Republicans...more on them later.

Bruce went on in the interview to say he wasn't a fan of Obama (despite the president recently saying transgender people needed better legal protections) and that Jenner thought John Boehner and Mitch McConnel (Republican speaker of the house and senate majority leader respectively) would be receptive to listening to him about transgender rights legislation, which is about the time I rolled my eyes so hard that I sprained my sardonic muscles.


I could list all the ways in which Republican leadership, not the fringe lunatics barking at their rabid followers on AM radio and blogs, but the people who are in actual positions of power in the party and the country, have attacked the LGBTQ+ community. But then this blog post would turn into a long, gross book about Republican bigotry. Let's just look at this week, shall we. The Republican controlled house (speaker John Beohner) just repealed the Human Rights Amendment Act to allow discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in schools. The Senate (majority leader Mitch McConnel) already has similar bills in progress and is eager to move forward with what the house has passed. The repeal won't make it through the senate (because Democrats have sworn to filibuster it), but even if it did, Obama said he'd veto it.

Do you see the problem in Bruce Jenner's thinking? He's not a fan of Obama (the guy who swore to safeguard his already flimsy legal protections) and he thinks the two guys who are voting to remove one of the only protections LGBTQ+ people have would be receptive to hearing ideas on expanding the protections they're currently trying to get rid of. I think spending so much time with so many Kardashians may have permanently severed Bruce's connection to reality.

"Reality TV is my reality!"

Log Cabin Republicans were thrilled to death about Jenner's comments. They couldn't agree more. For those of you who haven't heard of the group, they're the gay Republican organization that doesn't have a seat at basically any of the GOP major conventions and who have never successfully donated money to a Republican president's re-election campaign because no Republican president would accept money from gay people. Let me say that again--Republican politicians turned down free money because it came from gay people. In a political party where money = speech/influence and is viewed nearly as valuable to continued existence as air and water, gay people can't even buy a voice with a group who is for sale to anyone with a checkbook.

I'm happy for Bruce Jenner. I'm glad he's finally becoming the person he always felt he should be. But when it comes to the fight for equality in treatment, rights, and protections for the LGBT+ community, he needs to get a fucking clue.

Or a raging clue, whatever.

I wonder what he's going to say when he realizes he's also giving up his hetero male privilege. He probably thinks his Republican buddies will be interested in hearing what he has to say about the rights of a transgender woman who likes sleeping with other women.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pretty nice blog post to start a conversation. I wanted to add a few things to consider.

You make a case that since he is trans he has no clue because you can't be trans and be a Republican at the same time.

Here is the problem with that reasoning. You pretty much assert that sexual orientation or the fact that you are transgender is the number one determining factor when it comes to selecting your political party. Isn't that assertion rather simplistic? The basic necessities for us as human beings are food and shelter, which translates to the economy and jobs.

Well, as it turns out, sexual orientation, gay rights, transgender rights are usually pretty low on the priorities list when it comes to importance in the grand scheme of things.

Economy, security, community safety, taxes, foreign policy are all much more important issues in the grand scheme of things. If you don't have a job, can't provide for your loved ones, or are being attacked by enemies foreign and domestic, sexual orientation or being transgender take a back seat.

Now, we can discuss the merits of Republican and Democrat economic policies another time. All I want to say is, if you believe that Republicans have the right ideas when it comes to the economy, job and business growth and foreign policy, and you do not agree with Democrat policies on those issues, why is it such an outrage that someone can prioritize those things over sexual orientation or transgender rights?

I usually vote Republican not because I agree with their social policies, I DO NOT. I vote Republican because as a business owner I believe that Democratic policies when it comes to the economy are awful at best. Unfortunately, I have to worry about my business, my job and my loved ones first, before I worry about my sexual orientation. Bad economic policies will hurt me MUCH MUCH more than the fact that I can't marry my significant other.

I hope my post adds to the discussion and can be added to the consideration. Please don't assume that just because you support a policy or oppose a specific policy you have to automatically be thrown into one party or another.

Cassandra Duffy said...

First of all, marriage is an economic issue. There are survivor benefits, tax benefits, loan application benefits, insurance benefits, retirement, and several others that are all tied to a legal marriage vs an emotional marriage. So to claim personal economics and marriage have nothing to do with each other is patently untrue.

Secondly, isn't that thinking extremely short sighted? You don't see the importance of non-discrimination laws as a business owner? Say all the banks in your region decided they didn't want to offer financing to businesses owned by homosexuals? Or if a supplier decided to charge you more because you weren't straight? Or if you were contracted by someone for whatever it is your business does, they find out your homosexual, and they void the contract?

Thirdly, if you have children and one of them turns out to be gay, lesbian, or transgender, don't you think it'd be nice if they couldn't be discriminated against in schools and the workplace? If there were legal protections that meant they couldn't be denied equal access to healthcare, services, education, and jobs? Aren't all those economic issues you'd like a level playing field for?

Fourthly, if you're paying taxes but you're not getting all the same benefits, rights, and legal protections as everyone else because one party says you don't deserve them, why would it matter what else they believed in?

Fifthly, no, Republicans aren't better for the economy or businesses unless you're a fortune 500 company or a multimillionaire. It's pretty well shown by economists again and again that their policies are bunk and their talking points about small government and fiscal responsibility and promoting business are all bullshit.

Sixthly, your post kind of smacks of privilege so I can't imagine you actually are LGBTQ+, and since you're posting anonymously, I have to assume you were trying to hide that fact. But for people who are LGBTQ+ and considering supporting Republicans, let me just tell you how luck you are that there are people like me pushing back against what the Republicans are trying to do so you won't, if me and many others like me have anything to say about it, find out what the Republican vision of America is for LGBT+ citizens. The article I linked in this post to the people in California who want to execute gay people for being gay is real. Those people exist and they are Republicans. The Republican controlled congress is passing legislation every day to make the lives of LGBTQ+ people harder, less successful, and far more frightening. If those people didn't have opposition, if everyone was like the anonymous poster who voted Republican because of some misguided belief that they're better for business what exactly would be left to stop them from passing the "kill the gays" bill? Isn't that exactly what Republicans do? Talk economy, jobs, taxes during the elections, but when they get in power, it's all legislation to eliminate LGBTQ+ rights, the reproductive rights of women, and redefining rape.

No, anonymous poster, it does matter which party LGBTQ+ people support because without the liberals, the democrats, the progressives we'd be going right back to the days before the Stonewall Riots where disowning was common place, hate crimes were acceptable, conversion therapy was forced on people, bullying drove countless people to suicide, and homosexuality was listed in the DSM as a mental illness. That is what I'm pushing back against and what Bruce Jenner should be pushing back against too. The only reason he felt comfortable enough to do that interview and become the person he's always longed to be is because the liberals, the democrats, the progressives fought to move society to a place where he could do so. And it bugs me to think he's spitting on that by acting like Republicans would do the same for him.

Anonymous said...

Interesting approach.

I wanted to have a constructive conversation but your response was very disappointing. Instead of arguing policy you were condescending, you implied that I was stupid by agreeing with Republican economic policies and worse of all you called me a liar because my post smacked of privilege? I am not sure how else to tell to you that I am gay short of recording a video and sending it to you?

But I digress.

I will not engage in an argument because I do not believe that you are a lesbian fighting for our cause. Your response smacked of totalitarianism so I think you are secretly a third world dictator working to spread your cause through bullying your way to power. See, I can play "make-believe" too.

I will say one thing. Your famous economists and progressive ran Detroit into the ground. The city is now bankrupt. In the meantime Apple is starting operations in Texas. Yes Apple, the company with a gay CEO. And yes, Texas. That evil evil stronghold of those evil Republicans. Turns out, just like me, Tim Cook also supports Democrats when it comes to social issues but is in the Republican camp when it comes to business growth. But hey, maybe he's a privileged liar too and his real name is not Tim Cook.

See, I did say I agree with Republicans on the economy but disagree with them on social issues. Nevertheless, you proceeded to call me a privileged liar and wasted your keyboard's lifetime on trying to convince me that Republicans were wrong on social issues. So much for civilized conversation.

I hope that in the future, whoever decides to post a comment on your blog and dare to disagree with you, will be shown more respect. Unfortunately, that person will not be me.

Thank you for your time.

Cassandra Duffy said...

I am extremely happy to disappoint you. If someone is willing to sell out their civil rights and the equality of minority groups in the future for something as trivial and fleeting as money, then they are not anyone I want to impress.

Andi said...

Speaking as somebody who sacrificed herself, for you, even though you did not want it, need it, earn it, or privilege from it, so it was basically a waste of my time and life - fuck off. I tried.

You don't get me. I don't get you.

Can I now have part III of Vaelandrian?

Science IT and Leisure said...

Great