Congratulations to President Elect Trump for winning, however that hasn’t helped solve some of the fear and concerns of the anti-Trump crowd. Protests all across the US broke out yesterday, and Twitter is lit with the tracer fire of concerned citizens worried about their future. Somewhat notably is the LGBT crowd, who are claiming that the world is basically over. So as a trans woman, I wanted to have a look into whether Trump is actually bad for trans people. Here’s what I found.
The first thing I did was Google it, of course. Which is how I came across this article by Fusion. In the article, there are multiple paragraphs which suggest Trump may be bad for trans people, so I had a quick read through. I don’t really agree with a lot of what’s being said, it seems more like fear mongering than actual fears and concerns, but lets address them all the same.
The first concern is that Mike Pence, the VP, has suggested Trump is planning to roll back the guidance given to schools about allowing transgender people to pee in the bathrooms of their gender identity. Pence said in a radio show “the transgender bathroom issue can be solved using common sense at a local level”. This isn’t really equivalent to what the article claims is going to happen. It’s merely one man’s opinion on the subject – one man who, yes, has influence, but isn’t the president and doesn’t make the decisions. Pence believes thats how the issue can be solved – that doesn’t mean its going to happen. Whereas I agree, be cautious and keep an eye out, but to act like its a sure fire certainty is a stretch, and tantamount to fear mongering.
The transgender bathroom issue is a confusing issue considering the two wings occupying the transgender label. I wrote about it here, but in short there are trutrans people and transtrender people. The latter camp are the ones causing the concern and this issue and the negativity around them impacts trutrans rights more than Pence does. Transtrender people tend to be the kind who don’t fully transition their gender presentation, the ones who don’t suffer gender dysphoria. The ones who gotta catch ’em all when it comes to labels, and new ways to “identify”. The ones who try to enforce laws about “misgendering” and pronouns. They’re the vocal majority of the transgender community who believe throwing on eyeliner, not shaving and wearing a blue wig with a dress makes you a woman. Like in this example. They are a far cry from the trutrans people who aren’t wearing gender as a sociopolitical statement of non-conformity, and instead suffering a real medical condition.
The next paragraph discusses the Supreme Court, which could now affect trans rights negatively. There’s nothing to actually suggest it has, and again, this is just tantamount to fear mongering. Then the rest of the article continues to fear monger and doesn’t actually provide any solid evidence for how and why exactly Trump’s presidency will be bad for trans people. Merely suggests that it could be. But so could Obama, so could Clinton, so could anyone. Fear mongering isn’t facts, and isn’t helping anything.
The only other concern is about allowing employers to discriminate on the grounds of religious freedom. To which I say okay? I’m a trans woman, and if someone is religiously against my existence, then I probably won’t want to work for them anyway. A heavy amount of corporations and companies in the US have employed trans people without being forced to though. A lot of them stand up against discrimination all on their own, and that’s amazing. I can appreciate wanting everyone to, but I think that legislating that into existing and forcing it upon people only gives them more reason to be resentful towards trans people. It doesn’t solve the root cause of the discrimination at all. Its still there still growing, just hidden.
Part of the reason I’m anonymous online is because I’m actively and visibly trans here, but not in real life. I’m what we call “stealth” in the trans community, meaning nobody is aware I’m trans unless I tell them or they knew previously. I’ve assimilated into the social experience of my gender, which most trutrans people would tell you is what they’re hoping to achieve too. If I apply for a job, nobody is going to discriminate against me on the basis of being trans, because I’m read as my gender, straight up every time. Same for if I go pee in the ladies’ room. I worked hard to achieve that, out of necessity, because I needed to for my own well-being. The problem is there are transtrenders who don’t want to change themselves, who refuse to put the effort in to assimilate and instead want to change everyone else and their understanding of gender. It’s a sociopolitical statement, not a necessity for these people.
When you keep asking others to change their ideas but refuse to meet them half way, you’re going to get people pushing back against you. Trutrans people have nothing to worry about from what I can see regarding a Trump presidency. When it looks like there’s going to be issues, hit me up and I’ll be on the internet front lines arguing against it. But currently there isn’t, and I think its horrible of articles like the one quoted to fear monger so strongly. You’re fostering the environment for violence and anger, not helping people.