Transgender Rights: The Far Right and a New Wave of Discrimination — Protect Thy Neighbor
Another tactic of the far right is to claim a propagandistic purpose behind the most benign efforts by any government official to handle an issue. Enter the “gender unicorn.” Franklin Graham, recipient of vast quantities of tax dollars and an ever Islamophobic evangelist, issued a statement to a conservative radio network about this mythological figure creeping into the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District in North Carolina.
Here’s what he is talking about: The Trans Student Educational Resources group created an educational resource to help people better understand gender identity and sexuality. Its purpose was to educate, which could also help curb bullying. Graham seems to believe, however, that this is some nefarious plot to push an agenda of “normalizing” transgender people. He seems to think that without any affirmation, transgender people would not even exist. (I do recall former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while speaking at an American university, asserting that gay people don’t exist in Iran.)
There are transgender officials in the United Church of Christ, which is where I first became aware of both the struggles and triumphs of such individuals. I’ve learned more over the years, and just weeks ago I got an even deeper understanding at one of our “Voices United” events in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at Club Passim.