Stop It!

I don’t know about you guys, but I am sickened and disgusted by the recent surge in intolerance and downright hatred against the LGBTQ community.  We are all humans, for Pete’s Sake!  What does it matter who another person chooses to love or how they choose to live?  I was surprised and pleased to see Dan Rather address this topic, so I will turn the floor over to him and Elliott Kirschner now …

Stop It

Attacks on the transgender community

Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner

15 April 2023

We are facing many threats and challenges to our nation’s prosperity and security. These include a belligerent China, the war in Ukraine, economic disruption, our global climate crisis, and even the specter of artificial intelligence, just to name a few. 

These are the issues government should be debating and legislating. 

And yet Republican statehouses and Fox News would have you believe our greatest threat is drag queen reading hour. 

It’s meant to be a divisive distraction. 
It’s lunacy, but it is also a dangerous injustice. And a tragedy. 

You can tell a lot about a society by how it treats its most vulnerable, marginalized, and ostracized. 

History is replete with the horrors inflicted by those who wielded the power of position and privilege against those who had little to none of either. Persecution has taken many forms — legal, cultural, economic, and social. It has led to unimaginable suffering, violence, and death — even reaching the scale of genocide. 

About this, there are many lessons from the past to be heeded. Divisive hatred should be called out and rebuffed. And it is especially incumbent on those outside the group being persecuted to stand in meaningful solidarity. An attack against one segment of society is an attack against all whose existence might challenge a narrow definition of what is considered “acceptable.”

Right now, few groups face more direct hostility than the transgender community. There is a wave of animus sweeping the nation. It is being codified into law, wielded as invective, and used as a springboard to violence. 

This divisiveness and scapegoating pose a threat to our ideals. And thus they are a threat to all who care about freedom in a pluralistic constitutional republic based on the principles of democracy. 

More fundamentally, those under attack are fellow human beings who deserve the same respect and opportunity to live their lives as anyone else. 

There are a lot of reasons bigots are focusing their hatred on transgender people. Gender fluidity is a concept foreign to how many were raised, and thus it can be disorienting to comprehend. It challenges the binary many of us learned as children and believed to be utterly fundamental.

“What did you have?” is often the first question new mothers are asked from family and friends. And the implications of the query are understood even if they go unstated: Did you have a boy or a girl? 

It is also understood that the implications of that question will endure far beyond infancy. Gender is seen as portentous for what the rest of life will entail. There was a time when biological sex determined everything from one’s likely occupation to one’s legal rights. Boys and girls have different aisles in toy stores and sections in clothing departments. 

In many ways, we have made progress toward gender equality. We have women in positions of political power and leading businesses. We have women firefighters, police officers, and pilots. But we also still have a ways to go. And the recent rollback of abortion rights shows we are capable of losing ground. 

Into all of this complexity comes the rise in trans awareness and its backlash. While it is understandable that children and adults who do not fit into a traditional gender overlay could be a challenging reality for many, we should be clear that this makes it all the more important that we try to understand. 

Science informs us that gender is often a blurry concept in nature. History proves that transgender identities in humans are not new. We can gain understanding from medical and mental health professionals about responding with care and empathy. 

And we should be clear that claims of “this is abhorrent,” “this isn’t how things should be done,” “this isn’t natural,” or “this is dangerous” are the kind of rhetoric long used to attack the “other,” no matter who it may be. 

We have seen these attacks lobbed at other members of the LGBTQ community. We have seen them target interracial marriage, the customs of non-Christians, and communities of immigrants. 

We have seen discrimination wielded time and again as a cudgel for those with power to bolster their standing by picking on others. It is bullying, pure and simple. 

The attacks on drag queens and others in transgender communities as “groomers” or prone to child abuse are particularly despicable. There is no evidence backing these allegations. And those who push them are often conveniently quiet about those who have been prosecuted for abuse but belong to groups more aligned with conservative values, like the clergy, Boy Scouts, and even Republican politics (former House Speaker Dennis Hastert comes to mind).

The purpose of these attacks on the trans community is transparent. It’s about political power, and a power built on division. It’s about picking on those who have the least ability to defend themselves, including and especially children. 

We can try to wrestle in good faith around the implications of a changing society. We can discuss what this might mean for sports or bathroom design. We can be sympathetic to those who are still early in their journey of understanding. 

But as history has shown, we should not be quiet. We should not look the other way. We should not allow this hatefulness to take root and distract us from the real problems with which we must contend. 

Those who are being targeted must know that they are not alone.

26 thoughts on “Stop It!

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:

    Of course, I am … I’m sickened by this shyte!! I’m a proud emember of the LGBTQ+ commnity!! … “I don’t know about you guys, but I am sickened and disgusted by the recent surge in intolerance and downright hatred against the LGBTQ community. We are all humans, for Pete’s Sake!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Stop It! | Filosofa’s Word | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  3. I recognize that it’s the modus operandi of Republicans to avoid focusing on the IMPORTANT issues facing our nation, but their incessant and unceasing attention to THIS particular issue is ridiculous. From my understanding, these folks have been around for a very long time, but the Repukes seem to feel it’s vitally important to single them out now — primarily so they can avoid addressing the very REAL problems facing this nation. (Hint: gun control)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I fully agree with you, Nan! They are, as my mother used to say, making mountains out of molehills. Why? To cover for the fact that in the areas that really matter, they are deficient. They are either hurting people to help the wealthy, or simply doing nothing, again to help the wealthy. One example: gun laws. Another example: climate change. Another example: women’s rights. Another example: income inequality. Need I say more? So, to cover their fat arses, they have taken this and made it a talking point, riling the masses (not hard to do, since most of them sold their brains long ago), and inciting violence to distract us. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr ….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for reblogging this, Jill, because it fits right in with an idea I have been working on for days, but not getting quite right enough to publish. (I take no credit for coining this term, because I think I may have read it somewhere before under other circumstances, and please note it does not refer to all adherents of a religion, but only to certain factions within the larger grouping.)
    Republ8cans right now are pushing a toxic brand of Christianity that does not allow its followers to love their neighbours as they love themselves. If nothing else, this is the greatest commandment contained within the Bible, but it is seldom applied as it should be, to include every living being, human or not, Christian or not!
    Toxic Christianity is being preached not just in the USA, but all over the world to the point where it is becoming Pandemic Toxic Christianity, but it has gained a foothold in the USA bigger, bolder, and more dangerous than anywhere else.
    The Republican message is, as Dan Rather and Eliot Kirschner so eloquently put it, “divisive hatred.” Divide and conquer those who are different tha you. The lesson that we must keep within our hearts and minds is, to this point in the history of humanity, divisive hatred has never yet won a war. And while as it has been said there is always a first time, we cannot allow there to be a first time where divisive hatred wins. Divisive hatred must always be stomped out, and in present day America it must be soon.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, rg … I’m glad Dan & Elliott helped you clarify the thoughts you were working on! I love it when that happens for me. As you know, I am a non-believer and am not a fan at all of Christianity, or any religion for that matter, as I see all religion as exclusive, as toxic, as arrogant, and as the major problem that keeps humans from learning to accept and get along with each other. Everything I’ve ever been told about Christianity is being nullified today when I look at what Christians claim to stand for. I was told that Jesus called for kindness, for charity, for love of everyone, not just white-skinned straight people. I was told that Christianity was a religion of tolerance and love … you sure as hell could fool me today! I’d swear it is more about hatred, about exclusion, about violence, and about bigotry in its every form. That said, there are many other nations where a different religion is as toxic to the nation as Christianity is to ours, so I have to think that it is just religion in general that is causing at least 90% of the world’s problems. Looking forward to your post!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I consider myself a Christian (albeit not a very traditional one, obviously) and I was attracted to Christianity precisely because of those teachings of Jesus you list above. Tragically, I see very little of those values being demonstrated by most of his followers, and I unfortunately have to share with you some of that pessimism about whether or not humanity will ever evolve to be empathetic, compassionate and tolerant. Sure, we can start with ourselves, but it can feel pretty darned lonely sometimes!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you!!! I try not to offend friends and readers who are Christians, I try to be respectful of everyone’s religion or lack thereof, but sometimes it’s hard to express my views without stepping on a few toes. That is what turns me off about Christianity … there seems to be so little of the values they claim in view today. As you say, we look inward, we try to be the best that we can be in our values and the way we treat others, but sometimes I honestly feel that there are two completely distinct sub-species of humans.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It’s hard not to feel that way. And it’s genuinely painful to me to see so little of the teachings of Jesus in the Christian church. Also, please, don’t try too hard not to offend! You should be free to express your truths 🙂 as we all should be!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Thank you, my friend! But … I see that “freedom of religion” thing as meaning that I can be a non-believer, you can be a Christian, and my friend Maha can be a Muslim, but that none of us have the right to attempt to force our own views on others. I’ve had far too many people try to shove their religion down my throat, and I never want to be someone who tries to convince others to change their core beliefs to match mine. It’s a thin line we walk in trying to express our own views without being offensive to those who believe differently.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. The attack on the trans community is horrifying. It reminds me how gays and lesbians were targeted – and still targeted – decades ago. History tends to swing towards progress and while it is horrible what’s happening right now, I have faith we are on the right side of history and will prevail, Jill. Love always wins over hate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Here in the U.S., the LGBTQ community is still fighting for the very right to exist, and it gets worse instead of better, with some calling for the Supreme Court to overturn Obergefell v Hodges, the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that allowed same-sex marriage. After they overturned Roe v Wade, nothing would surprise me. Sigh. I hope you’re right, my friend, and that Love will defeat hate … hopefully SOON! I’m so sick of bigotry, violence, and some people believing their views are the ONLY right ones, that they are superior because of their bigotry.


  6. Thank you for sharing!… Mankind and science has evolved over the centuries, however a number of ideologies have not, especially in the world of religion… what you are witnessing is a closed minded element of society that is in denial and desperately trying to hold on to the past.. They do not have evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to support their ideology so they have to attack that which opposes their thinking… in the past one could do like Daniel Boone and find a place to hide from reality (believe they are trying in places like Idaho, etc), cannot do that in todays modern world… 🙂
    Two quotes come to mind; “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom” (Isaac Asimov), “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark, the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” (Plato)… 🙂

    Until we meet again…
    May the dreams you hold dearest
    Be those which come true
    May the kindness you spread
    Keep returning to you
    (Irish Saying)


  7. Bravo, Dan Rather. I totally agree that this is just to divide and distract, but it is building so much hatred. I know you are not a believer, but I do pray for all those marginalized people and the those pig headed conservatives will smarten up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right … the vitriol is almost palpable and sooner or later will lead to violence — more than it has already. I keep hoping for people to wisen up, to understand that we’re all on this planet together and that what affects one, affects all, but I’m losing faith in humans to overcome their prejudices and smarten up. I hope I’m wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

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