The following is an excerpt from Queer Identities and Politics in Germany: A History, 1880-1945 by Clayton J. Whisnant:
As early as the turn of the century, Berlin’s gay scene was attracting such notoriety that it frequently was mentioned in tourist literature, lifting up the city’s gay scene as proof of the evils of urban life and the dangers of modernity; in them, Berlin became the country’s Sodom and Gomorrah put together, a sure sign of the land’s degeneracy.
The simple-minded cannot conceptualize these economic realities, so they turn to biblical “violations” of society as the explanation; and Republicans have exploited this social ignorance for generations!
In November 2015, voters in Houston repealed that city’s human rights ordinance, known as HERO, after a relentless campaign by opponents claimed that the law would permit “men in women’s bathrooms.” The ordinance protected 15 classes of people— including transgender people— from discrimination when accessing public accommodations like hospitals, movie theatres, restaurants, and restrooms. Supporters of HERO ran a campaign that failed to effectively stand up for and defend transgender people and did not take on the insidious myth that protecting transgender individuals from discrimination opens the door to “men in women’s bathrooms.” As advocates for the transgender community, we failed in Houston.
We could have explained that protecting transgender people from discrimination does not increase public safety risks. We should have explained that when a transgender woman uses a women’s restroom there are still zero men — biological or otherwise — in that restroom. This is straightforward: Transgender women are women; transgender men are men.
In 2003, when I overheard a girl in my class talking about how, at some party, she’d drunkenly slept with that ginger guy who always bullied me. I took her aside after the school bell rang.
*Me* “Tell me: He was fucking horrible, wasn’t he? I know it’s a weird question, But, please, I need to know.”
*Her* “ “Um…it was a bit of a sad fumble in the dark. It was lame. It was painful. How did you know?”
*Me* “Because any guy who mistreats a girl the way he verbally abused and mistreated me will never, ever successfully make love to a woman. They lack the basically empathy and romance skills to do so.”
While the lawsuit Texas filed against the feds for directing school districts to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identities makes its way through court, Paxton has got to work on a new anti-trans project, this time suing the feds for issuing a rule that prevents healthcare providers from discriminating against transgender patients.
Now, Paxton is pushing to give physicians the right to deny transgender people medical treatment — similar to the way he attempted to give cake bakers and even public officials the right to deny gay people service and rights.
The Taiwanese government has appointed Audrey Tang, a transgender software developer and self-described “civic hacker” to its executive council to head digital policy. Tang, 35, will be the youngest and first transgender official in Taiwan’s executive government, known as the yuan.
Tang will be tasked with making the government more transparent, and making data about how it works available to all, as well helping form Taiwan’s “Asian Silicon Valley,” a new tech zone devoted to the“internet of things” industry. On Facebook on Aug.25, she said that her mission was not to do propaganda but to “serve as a channel” that combines “intelligence and power.”
When, as happened recently in France, an attempt is made to coerce women out of the burqa rather than creating a situation in which a woman can choose what she wishes to do, it’s not about liberating her, but about unclothing her. It becomes an act of humiliation and cultural imperialism. It’s not about the burqa. It’s about the coercion. Coercing a woman out of a burqa is as bad as coercing her into one. Viewing gender in this way, shorn of social, political and economic context, makes it an issue of identity, a battle of props and costumes. It is what allowed the US government to use western feminist groups as moral cover when it invaded Afghanistan in 2001. Afghan women were (and are) in terrible trouble under the Taliban. But dropping daisy-cutters on them was not going to solve their problems.