I’m old enough that my family of origin was caught up in the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. Between my love of fantasy literature, playing Dungeons & Dragons on a regular basis, and loving heavy metal music, the people who spawned me came down hard on me for simply liking what I like. Those people, who were raised – and raised me – in the Pentacostal tradition, entirely bought into the belief that I was drowning in Satanic influences and it was up to them and their beliefs to rescue my soul.
They dragged me to revivals, had me prayed over by circles of their peers, tried to have me exorcised, and did their utmost to beat the Devil out of me.
I was less than ten years old.
They are not parents. They never were parents. They brought me into this world and put a roof over my head and sent me to college and that’s bloody well it on the good side of things. On the bad side, they were abusive, manipulative, and mean-spirited. They turned my childhood into a three-person cult held together by threats, punishments, and the King James Bible. They don’t deserve names or affectionate titles and they have no place in my current life.
I bring that history up because of what I’m reading about and seeing happen in the legal world with trans people. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that this includes me. The structure of the attacks and outpouring of anti-trans legislation reminds me very much of the Satanic Panic: many of the same arguments are being used.
The backlash against trans folks is real and gaining momentum. I was reading an article the other day that pointed out how fascism works. It was interesting (and I can’t find the link now, much to my regret) because it stated that fascism isn’t a political structure, it’s a belief system and has been floating around on both sides of the aisle in American politics since the mid-1920s. And one of its hallmarks is to find an opportunity in public anger and frustration, mythologize a golden past, demonize a minority population, and instruct the majority to attack that minority to regain the golden past that never really existed.
That seems to be what is happening now against the trans community. There are groups dedicated to promoting anti-trans legislation, demonizing us and trying to enact laws equating gender-affirming treatment (of many kinds, usually aimed at children, but by no means exclusively) with abuse.
Think about that.
Me trying to be me is abuse. Me trying to be me should exclude me from healthcare. Me trying to be me is harming someone else’s children. That sounds an awful lot like the twisted, inverted things my spawn-people would foam at the mouth about when they were sure that Satan had my soul.
I am very fortunate. Most of the trans folks I know are living close to poverty level. They have so little support, so little access to the necessities of life. I don’t have that problem. I live in a state that is trans-friendly. I have a job that pays well and has excellent benefits (and my healthcare insurance company has been phenomenal in all aspects of my care). I have a partner who is loving and kind and supportive – as are her immediate family and her friends. So many trans folks don’t have that; they don’t even have close to that.
Maybe I’m weird, but I’ve never understood LGBTQ+ hatred. Even when I was very little and knew nothing of sexuality or gender issues, I would be appalled that my family of origin would stand in public places and shout their hate at passing gay couples. I’ve never understood racial hatred. I guess I’ve just never understood what causes someone to go out of their way to be mean and hurtful to someone who isn’t doing a damned thing other than living their life.
I know that it happens, but never understood why.
We’re just trying to live our lives, folks. Nothing sinister. We’re not plotting to take over the world, ‘corrupt’ your children, or spy on you in the bathroom (ick).
I don’t want to become a poster child for trans rights. But if I want to live my life on my own terms, I may have to.
I don’t normally do things like this. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve ever done something like this. But the cause is my own survival, so I’m including an article about how to support the trans community.
And thank you, my readers, my supporters, for taking the time to read this and maybe keep a little bit of positive energy for us in your hearts.