The petulant President, marching for trans rights, and what it feels like to be an ally.
By Scott King
I WAS INTO DYKE MARCH way before it was cool. I was at the various Black Lives Matter rallies, looking for a husband and a sense of justice. Still, I do believe that July 29 was my first experience marching as an ally for LGBT rights. That’s because we were marching for the T in march.
Trans rights are human rights. Human rights are trans rights. I’ve been saying it for years. Or, at least, a couple days. I can’t get that chant out of my head, because it’s so true.
Hillary Clinton was the master of empathy. Women’s rights are human rights, she declared. Human rights are women’s rights. Hmmm. LGBT rights are human rights. And so on and so forth. Until her victory in the popular vote ended her career.
I’ve always been mildly curious about the emotional complexity of heterosexual allies of the LGBT civil rights movement. I mean, I don’t doubt their motivations, but seriously, skipping brunch to endure the sun and support a march? That’s hardcore.
IT ALL CAME CLEAR ON July 26, when fake president Donald Trump tweeted that he would no longer allow transgender armed service members, citing the need for our military to be focused and decisive and that it should not be burdened with the “tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” [emphasis added]
First of all, yes, you know we all need to stop that “transgender” in the military. That transgender is such a nuisance, always all over the map. Right?
Second of all, fuck you. Fuck you, Mr. President. Fuck you hard and without lube. I’ve always wanted to see how big your hands really are.
Third, “would entail”? Would? Really? They’re already serving openly and bravely in the military, dumbass. I was surprised to hear that you actually consulted with “your generals.” Oh wait, you didn’t? Quelle surprise.
After Congress lifted the military’s gay ban on serving openly in our Armed Forces, my boyfriend President Barack Obama signed an executive signing statement clarifying that this included transgendered Americans. In July, for no apparent reason other than boredom and ego and a need to distract us from the impending Russia and/or Scaramucci scandals, Trump attempted to end this policy and ban transgender Americans.
Finally, he apparently thinks it’s OK to inform hard-working and dedicated American soldiers that they are out of a job and that their career in the military is over via Twitter.
TRANS PEOPLE ARE NOT A burden. They’re not a distraction. But they are a reason for me to get fired the fuck up.
After the Pulse nightclub tragedy in Orlando in 2016, my reaction was not necessarily sadness, but was a little more anger. Anger at the idea that one misanthrope with a good internet connection could kill 49 people in a matter of minutes, anger at the American idiom of having our cake and shooting ourselves in the face with it.
But with Trump’s tweet-order, I felt a different kind of anger. A burning up. An I-want-to-punch-someone-even-though-I-know-it’s-not-right kind of anger. A how-dare-you, fuck-you kind of anger. I’ve never felt like this before.
Marching through the streets of Atlanta with hundreds of others in protest, I got a fresh sense of what it means and how it feels to be queer. We got lots of honks, and we also got lots of blank stares, plus a few threats by the police to get out of the street or we would be arrested.
“We just want to watch our soccer game, don’t get all political on our ass,” the blank stares and sometimes frowns said.
This is what democracy looks like. It was like a fresh coat of bright pink paint sprayed with relish all over bourgeoisie Middle America.
We held the space. We held our ground. We held good energy. We held our heads high.
This is what the freaks and allies look like. I couldn’t have been prouder.
Scott King lives in Atlanta. Reach him via this magazine.