Friday, May 23, 2014

Trans Is the New Black

Rochester got the biggest, most justified angrection™ this week! It all started when our aptly named mayor, Lovely Warren, announced that effective 1st January, City of Rochester employee health plans will include transgender health benefits. That is very new and rare. If you know, transgender health concerns a lot, from hormones to surgery.

Not this Beck.
THIS Beck.
What should have been good news was tarnished by two shock jocks on WBZA-98.9FM. Kimberly & Beck of The Buzz mocked the new rule as schlock jocks do, but it was pretty much a 12 minute hate-filled tirade that makes Rick Santorum sound like Mahatma Gandhi. Here is a link, but be warned, it hits EVERY rage trigger:

I only listened to 5 minutes before I nearly passed out from the ragegasm™ I got. So much filth, it made me want to punch stuff. If you care not to get as mad as me, I’ll just give you highlights:
  • It only took them 53 seconds to start playing “Dude Looks Like a Lady”.
  • It only took one minute for them to ask if you can just get a boob job if you cry enough.
  • 1:20: calling trans people “nut jobs” for wanting to transition, since psychological appointments will be covered.
  • 1:30: Insinuating that women who have to difficulties getting coverage for breast cancer treatment will be looked over for a person who wants to start gender reassignment.
  • 1:50: Claiming Beck should get a “mangina”.
  • 2:00: Balls grafted on Kimberly mentioned.
  • 4:00: Mention of a transgender girl softball player at a local high school.
  • 5:16: Second mention of “psychological issues”
  • 6:25: Second mention of cancer patients not getting care in lieu of the new provisions.
  • 8:00: Making fun of the transgender high school girl when a woman called in to correct them.
  • 10:00: Saying, “Thank you, sir”, to the woman who called in.
  • 11:30: Saying there’s not enough love in the world. (This does NOT make up for the previous 10 minutes.)
  • 11:44: Making the “Slippery Slope” argument.

Throughout the entire 12 minutes, the amount of ignorance they voiced over what it means to be transgendered and gender nonconforming was staggering. When the woman caller (who is transgendered) tried to educate them, they simply displayed more ignorance.

It only took the WBZA and Entercom about 12 hours, and then another 12 before they fired Kimberly and Beck for their transphobic the way, “Transphobic Diatribe” should be the name of an all transgendered punk band. Make it happen. Before I get to the point of this post, let’s get some things out of the way before I get a bunch of private messages:
  • Yes, the First Amendment allows you to express yourself any way you like. It does NOT protect you from people responding to your expression. Just as you cannot whine about the diarrhea you get from taking advantage of a free all-you-can-eat coupon from Taco Bell, you cannot claim your firing is a violation of your “freedom of speech”.
  • In a free market, your job is a privilege, not a right. If you violate a tenet of your contract or hurt your employer’s bottom line, your employment is in jeopardy. You piss off the boss: you get canned.
  • This one firing is not a sign that people in the public eye will be hindered from expressing themselves. Respecting people is not a hindrance, it’s a virtue. If a performer wants to say explicit things to an audience, he/she can. If it is not well-received or in violation of an agreement signed, he/she can’t claim that rights were trampled. You want to be edgy? BE EDGY! Just know that someone, including your boss, might not take kindly to your edginess. I am well aware that my own blog is giving some race-baiting, chauvinistic, gay-bashing gun-nut a HUGE angrection™ right now. I’m just glad it’s not my boss...or is it...Hi, Mike! I’m typing this on my lunch hour, off company grounds! :-)
  • Affording basic (or even complex) rights to a minority group does NOT take any rights away from the majority group. When the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were ratified, the US did NOT enslave and take away the voting rights of Christian white men. In the states where gay marriage is legal, they didn’t start forcing heterosexual married couples to divorce. The majority population will ALWAYS have his rights intact, no matter what. There is no rights-exchange. These aren’t baseball cards; they’re human dignity.
  • If you don’t know anything about a topic, then it’s in your best interest to shut the fuck up about it until you go read a book or two, or even listen to people trying to set you straight, lest you lose your job.
  • The American Psychiatric Association has already unequivocally dismissed the idea that homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgender/non-conforming people do NOT have a mental illness that makes them gay, bi, or anything else. There’s a good chance that the psychological appointments that transitioning people have more to do with dealing with the external abuse that they receive from family, former friends, and assholes on the radio than anything else. Besides, mental health IS a necessity, whether covered under a health plan or not. Your mind is in your brain, which is in your body, yes?
  • The “Slippery Slope” defence is getting tired. It was used to justify institutional racism, sexism, and homophobia. Now transphobia? The only “slippery slope” that will happen is that people will be able to live as they like, so long as they don’t harm anyone else.

I will likely STILL get a bunch of private messages, but hopefully, I’ll get much less. The rest of this is addressed to the trans community of whoever reads this:

We have made great strides in black and brown rights, women’s rights, and gay rights. It is likely that marriage, adoption, employee harassment protection, and all other basic human rights that every white Christian man enjoys will be afforded to all in this nation within our lifetime. Even the Southern Baptist Church, the America’s most historically prominent justifier of color-based slavery and Jim Crow, chauvinism, and hating gay people under the guise of “being a good Christian”, is re-examining its stance on such issues. Hate for Muslims and immigrants has always been there. It’s just reared its head in different forms. The United States needs a new primary bogeyman to publicly abuse. Newly freed blacks, the Irish, women who can do math, guys who kiss guys, Chinese rail workers, and Japanese Americans (among others) have all enjoyed the top spot for a while. Now, I fear it’s going to be trans people’s turn. 

Trans people, you’re the new niggers of the United States. You’re the new Black. Expect a lot of fight back, more so than usual. In the past, people would make jokes. The abuse you’ve felt in the past might ramp up, which is frightening, because it was pretty bad before. You’ll have allies, and you’ll have enemies, but you’ll have solace in the knowledge that you’re not going to be the Bull Connor of this chapter in your fight for rights.

There will ALWAYS be racism, sexism, and hate for “the other” in this country, but whether it will be tolerated in social circles is another question. It took over 300 years for blacks to get to where they are now in America. It took women another 100, and we’re seeing some exponential progress in gay rights. Let’s hope this bodes well for trans people of the US. If not...Let’s all move North. I always wanted to learn Anglo-French anyway.

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