Monday, February 29, 2016

Bathrooms...are you fucking kidding me, South Dakota?

Sooooo I'm not used to having things work this well or this fast in the realm of LGBTQ+ rights. After writing this 11th hour plea to motivate a final push of public outcry for Governor Daugaard to veto the bill, he did. Read the impassioned post if you'd like. There's a couple sexy pictures of Buck Angel and Bailey Jay, a metaphor about house spiders I'm pretty proud of, and the usual number of jokes. Or just read it to enjoy a battle we won!

Bathrooms...are you fucking kidding me, South Dakota?

And really high waisted shorts apparently
 I don't think much of South Dakota, which is a change for me since I used to not think much about South Dakota. But then they decided to do something really stupid, regressive, and bigoted. Before we get into that, I need to kick myself in text form because I got all excited last July (newly wed buzzed maybe?) and declared the next big fight for LGBTQ+ was going to be adoption laws! Yay! We'd moved on from...wait, what? Bathrooms? We're going to have to have a big fucking fight over bathrooms now? Oh, come on, America.

Add "get arrested" to either side in South Dakota
 South Dakota, under the despicable "we're using our children as weapons" heading of dickhead things to do, decided they were going to pass a law forcing trans children to use the bathroom of their birth gender regardless of how much transition they may have done or how negatively doing so might impact them. And then, get this, they blamed Obama. I'm not kidding. The arguments for why they had to pass this disgusting law included blaming Obama for changing the Title IX requirements to be more trans friendly. So, since Obama did something nice for trans kids, it was up to the fuckwit Republicans in the South Dakota legislature to pass a state law to make sure trans kids never felt safe in bathrooms again...thanks, Obama.

Welcome to the ladies room, Buck.
 It's no secret, I had a pretty shitty high school experience being a weird, Buddhist lesbian girl in a conservative school in a conservative town in a super evangelical Christian county. But, as much as it sucked and it did suck, nobody ever passed laws about where I could pee to make things even more difficult just for me. And certainly nobody in the state legislature vilified me (that I know of) as being far more dangerous than I actually am, which is to say not very. That's what South Dakota is doing to trans kids, though. Passing laws to make sure they don' stuff in the wrong bathroom? That's where their "argument" really falls apart--even the people who made up the regressive, bullshit law can't really explain what might happen if a transgendered person goes into a different bathroom than the toilet assigned at birth. This is because trans people are like house spiders. Let me explain....

I have a feeling the real plan was to get Bailey Jay into the men's room.
 No matter how you feel, no matter how deep your phobias go, you are always going to be more dangerous to house spiders than they are to you. This is coming from a deeply arachnophobic lady. The worst thing that happens to you if you see a house spider is that it might touch you*. The worst thing that might happen to the spider if you see it? It gets killed. That's the reality for transgendered people. They are far more afraid of you than you are of them because, just like with house spiders, one side has all the power and the other side gets stepped on, but you'd never know which is which based on how people (talking to you here South Dakota) behave. The similarities go on and on. The violence tends to be extremely lopsided about who actually hurts who. You're around far more of them than you're ever going to be aware of (see the two examples above if you think you can spot trans people). They're doing helpful stuff for you that you don't even know about. They tend to mind their own business better than just about anyone else, probably because people pass despicable laws about their business whenever someone hears about it. Um...they both like hats? Okay, that one might be a stretch, but you get the point--a lot of irrational fear over a group that is in far more danger than it is dangerous.

*This probably isn't true in Australia--I've seen scary videos of their house spiders

It's wearing a water drop hat and looking at butterflies! Ruuuuuuuun!!!
 This is one of the things that bugs me most about South Dakota and their fear-mongering law. A version of it happened in California during the Prop 8 battle too. Using kids as a weapon as if transgendered kids, lesbian kids, and gay kids don't exist or their lives don't matter. So, ostensibly, this law will protect cis gender kids from having to pee next to transgendered kids'll somehow harm them to pee next to a trans person? During the Prop 8 thing, there was actually several commercials saying "You don't want to have to explain to your kids why two princesses can get married, do you?" What about the little girl who wants to marry a princess? Fuck her, right? Her feelings don't matter as much as those shitty parents who would have to have a five second conversation with their kids about the existence of homosexuals! Can you imagine the horrific damage a girl might undergo if she had to sit, and pee, in a stall, next to another little girl, who changed her name!? The horror!

The South Dakota dipshits...I mean, lawmakers, argue that it's a sex crimes thing, right? Someone is going to pretend to be transgendered to go into a bathroom and molest people. Okay, if the laws against molesting strangers don't stop someone, a ban on them using the other bathroom will? Also, if South Dakota was actually interested in fighting sex crimes, why are they among the worst offenders when it comes to allowing sex offenders to use reservations to cover their crimes? Imaginary sex crimes perpetrated by people pretending to be trans, they need laws for that. But actual sex crimes against indigenous people....meh, let the feds handle that. Also, in the fucked up, completely insane scenario they used to justify their bigoted law, they're punishing transgendered kids for hypothetical behavior carried out by cis-kids. "A cis boy might pretend to be trans to carry out sex crimes, so we made a law endangering trans girls!" Also, PE class and showering at school fears? What the fuck decade do these lawmakers think it is? May as well pass laws for zeppelin crash safety courses and do some duck and cover drills just to be sure.

On a statewide level in South Dakota

There's not many Ts in the LGBTQ+ nation, mostly because they're a naturally small part of the population as a whole, but also because it is extremely difficult, extremely dangerous, and they have a frighteningly high rate of suicide attempts (somewhere around 41%). But when you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us, and our kids are precious to us. We've all had a hard road growing up because some frightened bigot decided our childhood needed to be harder for their comfort and insecurities and we don't want future LGBTQ+ kids to have to endure the same. Flood Governor Daugaard's office with calls, messages, emails, and tweets demanding he veto the bill (if you're reading this on leap day). If tomorrow he signs the bill, we can still flood the legislature with demands for the law to be repealed and petition the ACLU to take up the cause.