Your average CINO (Christian In Name Only) digs into scripture just enough to figure out which verses actively conflict with their personal belief system. They disregard those, and what’s left is all true. And when one of the CINO's verses aligns powerfully with one of their phobias, and someone goes against it, all hell breaks loose and—well, the sky falls. This time, it fell on a 12-year-old girl.
The acceptance of non-binary and fluid gender identity recently took major steps forward in California and Oregon. For some, the progress is glacial. For others, it’s sex run amok.
It’s a simple chemical reaction: Apply fear to ignorance and you get hatred. We’re seeing far, far too much of it lately.
Here in Massachusetts, the state legislature has been debating whether to pass a bill granting citizens the right to enter public bathrooms according to their true gender. I recently heard one misguided legislator insist that if the bill passed, women and girls would no longer be protected against assault. I understand what this guy and many other people who’ve said similar things are afraid of. What I think we need to get at is why they’re afraid.
Among the firestorm of articles about "bathroom bills" and "protecting our children," there are some sobering statistics that have come to light.
Although the discriminatory laws passed in recent days in North Carolina and Mississippi (with a close call in Georgia) claim to be about religious freedom, there is no question that the primary target is members of the LGBTQ community.
These three laws have subtle differences; NC's law seems to focus sharply on transgender individuals and bathroom usage; GA's law would have focused largely on marriage; and MI's law shoots squarely at the heads of all LGBT individuals. But they, and all recent "religious protection" laws passed in the last several months (such as Indiana, Arkansas, the list goes on), have the same goal: Protect good Christians from ... from what, exactly?
I’d like to say that my work has helped society move forward toward acceptance, and many people tell me it has. But as this progress continues, I’m beginning to feel a little left behind. I’d just about wrapped my mind around the concept of transgender and was getting really good at using “she” and “her” for trans women, and “he” and him” for trans men, when I started to see articles about the movement—largely on college campuses at first—for a whole host of other pronouns being insisted upon by people who don’t identify with the binary categories.
Dr. Ben Carson seems to be in the process of disappearing from that stage on which the GOP presidential wannabes gather every so often. But even if his campaign is running out of steam, some of the things he has said—specifically about LGBTQ people—represent fallacies that he points to as reasons to decry marriage equality and transgender rights. In a sense, he’s like the canary in the coal mine, except that he only thinks he’s dying.
The voters in Houston, Texas recently set LGBTQ rights back. The irony is that they didn’t do it because they have a problem with gays. Their problem? Bathrooms. The cause? Lizard brains.
This setback was the rejection of HERO, or the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which would have put in place state-based anti-discrimination prohibitions already covered by federal law, would also have prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, for which there is no federal law.
Simon Fitzroy-Hunt very much wanted to write this post, considering his experience coaching Toby/Kay Lloyd for the Scripps National Spelling Bee a couple of years ago.
Simon? You're on.
Thanks. As all of you know from reading my journal (yes, it was private, but I'm over that), I was shocked when young Toby Lloyd confessed to me, the first time we met, that "he" was a girl. I'd already seen "his" bedroom, which had the foundations of a little boy's room with a lot of pink overlay, so on one hand this made a certain amount of sense. But—was he biologically a girl dressed like a boy, or a biological boy with a girl trapped inside?