Now that McCain and Clinton have won the Florida primaries it is time to press forward and ask them about the real issues confronting real Americans. The issues that we all grapple with daily. Those quirky realities of our everyday lives that creep up and scare, humiliate, embarass, worry and befuddle us. For example, my hat goes off to Gainesville, Florida for being at the forefront of just such an issue. The issue you ask? Well, frankly you shouldn’t have to ask–after all–this issue “transcends” all of us, it defines who we are as Americans and as a people. It is the age-old question, dating back to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night–“Where can a Transgender individual use the restroom?
What to do indeed if you are a person whose “inner sex” differs from your “outer sex.” (Psychiatry comes to mind) I mean if you don’t really know your gender–choosing a bathroom can be very stressful. What to do, what to do…
So what do the candidates have to say about such things?
First let’s check in with Hillbilly Clinton:
It would seem that the first set of co-Presidents might be very sensitive to this issue but wait, a recent column on a website called the “Transadvocate.com” had this to say:
Clinton demonstrated her knowledge of transgender issues with her own wording back in 2001 (during an HRC published interview) was “I have not been told that (transgender issues) is a concern by my gay and lesbian friends.” How would that statement have been taken if she said “I’m unaware of African American issues as no one from the Anti-Defamation League has approached me on this”?… Why would it never occur to the Senator to go to the community directly on what our issues were, or the difficulties on housing, employment, health care, etc?
We in the transgender community would easily be painted with the “screaming tranny, always complaining” stereotype should we decide to voice opinion on this. Instead, we held our tongue trying to contradict the stereotype. Later Clinton was posed a question from New York trans activist Melissa Sklarz on transgender inclusion in ENDA (Employment Non Discrimination Act). Sen. Clinton replied by saying that she supported gender identity inclusion in principle, but that she misgivings about supporting a bill that would place transitioned transgenders in “positions of responsibility”. Improvement? Sure. But is she a solid supporter of transgender employment? No.
Wow! So Senator Clinton is not very sensitive about the problems facing the gender confused community. That is such a shame since many of us in the gender-confident community are confused about hers. But I digress into meanness which is certainly not called for–I apologize (but my inner apology is rescinded).
I am proud of the transgender community though–I am glad they didn’t voice their opinion because we really don’t need any more “screaming trannies” running around.
Well what about Obama?
Much more sensitive—almost. Here is what he was quoted as saying recently on this issue:
“The transgendered community has to be protected. I just don’t have any tolerance for that sort of intolerance. And I think we need to legislate aggressively to protect them.”
“Them?!?” Seems awfully insensitive to refer to the gender confused as “them” or “those people.” He may as well be saying they should live on their own island or shop in their own dress stores. But he is much more sensitive that Hillary so I suppose with the most obvious choice out of the race today…
Obama must be the pick for those who are gender confused. By the way…just a thought…are there so many gender-confused people in society that this will have an impact?
Hard to say but apparently this problem of bathroom identity crisis has affected Gainseville enough that the city government had to make its move.
Hats off to Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan
I suppose she won’t mind if a gender confused male wanders into a girls bathroom where her 3 year old daughter is doing her business. Of course she won’t because she is much more tolerant and sensitive than the homophobic, right-wing, archaic, conservative republicans who have demonized such activity (with the notable exception of one Idaho congressman) for centuries. Maybe now the bathroom signs will look like this:
Americans, as you go to the polls in the upcoming weeks, remember that if you are gender confused, if your inner sex is having a raging battle with your outer sex (kind of like the guy in Silence of the Lambs), if you just don’t know whether you want to stand up or sit down, then vote for the candidate who understands your needs, who understands that “you people” need to not be burdened with a choice day in and day out of male vs. female bathrooms. Vote for the man who knows restrooms better than any other–the man whose every word sounds as if it came right out of one–Barrack Obama. And then maybe, just maybe we can do away with segregationist titles like male and female and just be people. And further, we can just allow people to decide whether they are male or female without regard to silly things like anatomy.