Naked Politics Blogger
Recently, the White House withdrew the guidelines created by the Obama administration regarding bathrooms in government-funded US schools that allowed young transgender people to use the bathroom they identified their gender with. The setback was sponsored by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a politician who, during his twenty years in Congress, has consistently voted against LGBT equality. When the ruling was presented to the Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (the billionaire who is completely clueless about how public school works? Yes, her) she rejected it, taking into consideration the suicide and suicide attempt rates among transgender teenagers and voicing her concerns. When called to resolve the debate, Trump picked the side of Sessions and made DeVos choose between signing on the ruling or being sacked. She chose to keep her job. So, here we have it: a ruling that destroys one of the steps made towards equality, promoted by the ruthless autocrat, the “American sniper” of equality and the lapdog who had the cheek to bark.
One thing is clear: this ruling will have negative repercussions on transgender people. The White House is supporting an antediluvian view that labels genderqueer people as unnatural. “You are a man but you identify yourself as a woman? There’s something wrong with you. You’re sick”. This is the message they’re giving. What hurts the most, is that they have no clue of how much that can affect someone’s life. Once again, they’re promoting a culture of “us” against “them”. This gives legitimacy to physical and verbal harassment and is turning a blind eye to bullying and hate crime. If you think that I’m exaggerating, just give a look at the news: This year, six transgender women have been killed already, two of them within the last two weeks in New Orleans, Louisiana. And remember, we’re just two months into 2017. Furthermore, a 2016 study shows that 30% of transgender youth has history with at least one suicide attempt, and 42% with self-harming. What is even crazier is that the defence of transgender people is left to Betsy DeVos, a totally unqualified Secretary who would rather keep her comfy job and Caitlyn Jenner, a prime example that belonging to a minority doesn’t automatically make you a champion for minorities.
Although she held back from publicly endorsing Trump, Ms Jenner made it clear that she would much rather have him as President than Hillary Clinton. She stated that he would be a “champion for women and LGBT rights”. Somehow, the way he treated and keeps treating women and the fact that he chose a Vice President who believes in shock therapy to cure gay people didn’t seem to bother her.
When the travel ban was first announced and it became clear that it was religious-based and blatantly racist, she didn’t say a word – Wait, aren’t we talking about minority rights here as well? Isn’t religious freedom protected by that piece of paper called the Constitution?! Somehow, that wasn’t relevant to her.
Neither was (and is) the way Trump talks about Mexicans (sorry, the bad hombres) and his pledge to build the greatest wall of all, a wall which, of course, as an American taxpayer, she would have to pay as well. That is no problem to Jenner either: she will have money to spare, after the awesome tax cuts for the wealthy that Trump will approve.
But then the President went for trans people and she lost her mind. In a twitter video, Jenner condemned the ruling as “a disaster”. Which without any doubt it is. But her message, looking at the record of inequalities against minorities she completely dismissed, was hypocritical. I’m still asking myself how the hell she didn’t foresee this. Furthermore, what sickens me the most in her statement, in her outrage, is that she embodies exactly the selfishness we cannot have if we want to resist the Trump tornado. Caitlyn Jenner poses as a hero for the trans community. In reality, she’s a hypocrite.
We cannot just sit and watch while our neighbours’ rights are being violated, but expect others to come at our defence when our back is on the line. What this ruling is tells us nobody is safe and that is why we need to be united if we want to survive this. Yesterday it was Muslim people, now the White House is targeting its own citizens. Who is it going to aim tomorrow?