A Blast From the Past

Angry Gamer GirlSome of my long time readers may remember back in 2013, in the early days of this blog, when I addressed the Arizona bathroom bill issue. If not, the link is Really Arizona? Really?. Today feels like a repeat of that one, three years later. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to talk about today, aside from not the elections (because that’d be a full time job with all the crazy stuff happening), so I did a google search for transgender news. The first thing that popped up in my feed was various versions of this story. Short version is this: a school county in Virginia went to the Supreme Court to try and overthrow a court ruling that they have to allow transgender students into the restroom of the gender they identify as. The court’s response was basically “we’re not in session, but sure, do what you want until you can bring it before us when we are in session.” It was a 5-3 agreement that the county did not need to follow the ruling of the 4th circuit court of appeals.

So once again, I’m left simply going “really?” We’ve been dealing with the bathroom bills issue for years, but it’s been getting worse and worse, and this is just the newest string of things to worry about. While this isn’t an official stance on the issue, as one Justice who would normally oppose bathroom bills did say he wanted to have this come up in full session, the reasoning behind his siding with the conservatives, it is not a good sign. I really wanted to do something nice and lighthearted today as I still have to go to work, but I’ve got nothing. This is the world we live in. I just hope things go better when this does reach the court when they’re next in session, as even a 4-4 deadlock will support the lower court’s ruling. Until next time.

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Learning From History

Angry Gamer GirlIt has been far too long since I updated. Was just telling a classmate about the blog the other day when he remarked on my shirt (the one I use for my cover pic up at the top), and so, when I linked him to here, I was surprised it’s been six whole months! Well, we’re gonna rectify that right now. I’m gonna try and get back to blogging at least twice a month, but hopefully back to once a week before long. Before I get into today’s topic though, I’ll pass on some good news related to why I’ve been so busy. In addition to school, I’ve finally got a job, working at a Lion’s Den (largest chain of porn/adult toy stores in the country), and that’s taking up a lot of my time when not in school. In other good news, I have officially graduated and received both of my bachelor’s degrees, one in psychology, the other in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. And my last day of classes is next Wednesday, so I’ll finally have some days off again.

Speaking of school, let’s get into today’s topic. Those of you who can remember your schooling likely remember a phrase that was often bandied about by history teachers. It goes something along the lines of “learn from history or you’re doomed to repeat it.” So imagine my surprise and concern to find an article confirming that history is repeating itself again, and this time, it’s happening within the schools of a certain district in the state of Wisconsin. See, there, transgender students are required to wear green bracelets to identify themselves as trans, and the staff and security are required to prevent them from entering restrooms of the gender they identify as. If that doesn’t outrage you, you might need a bit of a history lesson. Which is what today is all about.

See, lots of people have been making comparisons between Trump and Hitler, and rightfully so. Especially when it comes to his policies regarding Muslims. In fact, many Jewish activists have been protesting his rallies with signs that read things such as “when we say ‘never again,’ we mean it.” Trump wants all Muslims to be registered, carry documentation, etc. before deporting them to elsewhere. He’s also said things like he would endorse killing the families of people who are suspected of having terrorist ties. Very reminiscent of the holocaust. Yet, there’s something in that which is already happening for another minority group… the identification.

Burning BridgeSee, those who don’t know their history think that Hitler rose to power and instantly threw the Jews into camps and began killing them. That didn’t happen. Not all overnight, anyways. It was slow and subtle over the course of a few years, and in fact, the Jews weren’t the first ones to be put into concentration camps, nor were they the first to be euthanized. Those that came first were the “undesirables” of society: the homeless, the beggars, the alcoholics, and the unemployed. In fact, they were put into concentration camps the very year that Hitler first took office, 1933, while the Jews were largely sealed off in ghettos beginning in 1939, before being moved into concentration camps (particularly Auschwitz and Majdenek), and in the case of the former, a deathcamp, in 1942. For a timeline of the holocaust, check out Timeline of the Holocaust.

So what does all of this have to do with transgender kids in Wisconsin? That kind of thing could never happen in America, right? Wrong. First off, Hitler was appointed to his first position, and when the President died, he was elected into the role of fuhrer with a 90% yes vote. Second, we already had concentration camps on American soil during that same time. Asian Americans were shoved into them, whether they were immigrants or natural born, of Japanese descent or some other country. George Takei spent part of his childhood in the camps, and his Broadway show Allegiant is all about that time. And there’s people who want to do it again with “the gays,” which often includes trans people. Don’t believe me? Well, Baptist Pastor Suggests We Round Up the Gay People and Put Them in a Concentration Camp one such example from 2012, with Pastor Charles Worley from North Carolina (because of course he’s from North Carolina with everything else going on there now) saying he wants to put gays in concentration camps so we can’t reproduce and will die out. Yeah, these people don’t get the whole being gay thing prohibits reproduction without some serious help (and we’d come together to do it too).

Just a month ago, in the wake of the Orlando shooting, one of the most brutal mass shootings in the history of the world, Sacramento pastor Roger Jimenez was preaching about how the government needs to just round up the gays and killing them via firing squad. You know, like with Nazi death squads. Now, I’m not saying we’re heading in the direction of Nazi Germany, but these are some seriously disturbing trends. Remember, gays were some of the people who were put into concentration camps back then as well. Sure, the Jews were the major target (eventually), but there were lots of other groups who were included in that as well. It was a long term plan by Hitler and his team, and they started with “criminals” first before working their way through other undesirables. The Star of David sewn into shirts wasn’t the start for the Jews, and it certainly wasn’t the end either.

These calls for trans people to show their papers (something that the Jews had to do at first), or wear identifying markers, or be rounded up… These are disturbing parallels, and we’re also seeing these same parallels directed at Muslims with the current election too. We need to learn from the past, not repeat it. I urge all of my readers to go out and vote, regardless of your country, and tell your government that you won’t be repeating the mistakes of the past. For Americans, that date is in just a few months, when November rolls around. I also urge all of my readers to get all of your friends and family to vote as well. If you have to, just tell them that there are rare Pokemon at their polling places. And hopefully, Nintendo will actually do that. Either way, get out there and do your part to prevent even the slightest hint of the past repeating itself.

A Good Day

ObamaHey all. Today’s gonna be a short post as I’m not feeling well, but I did want to mention the news of the Supreme Court decision legalizing marriage equality in all 50 states and all US territories earlier this morning. While this is a good thing, long time readers already know my stance on the whole marriage equality fight: it really only helps the more privileged members of the LGBT community, and that there are more important issues to be fought for. One such issue is employment non-discrimination, another is the treatment of queer detainees. These are issues that I hope the queer rights movement will fight for using the momentum of today’s success, though I suspect they will instead push for trans military service, based on what I’ve been reading lately. While that is an issue that would benefit me and many other trans veterans, it is still benefiting a relatively privileged group. We can’t keep doing this kind of “trickle down activism” where we focus on what the most privileged members of our community want. We need to instead do “trickle up activism,” focusing on the needs of the most disenfranchised for the betterment of all. That’s what Transendent Lives is all about, and something I will continue fighting for. And next week, I will resume the fight. But for now, I’m going to go lie down. Have a good week everyone.

Black is Always the New Black

Butterfly WomanHey all, sorry I missed last week’s post. Orange is the New Black season 3 came out on Friday, and I’ve spent the last week marathoning through it as best I can to write about it today. There will be spoilers, obviously, so if you haven’t finished it, go do that and then come back. However, before I get to season 3, I wanted to address Orange is the New Black isn’t accurate little article that came through my feed earlier this week. For those who haven’t read it, it’s basically a list of four ways in which OitNB misrepresents women’s prisons in this country. Well, some of these criticisms are accurate, but some are based on information we simply don’t know. So let’s address those before addressing stuff from the new season. Continue reading

An End, and a New Beginning

QuestionToday’s post marks the last one I will be doing as a journal entry for my class. Rather than going into the issue of trans legal issues (which I could still go on about, and likely will at some point in the future), this one is supposed to be about what I took from the class. Honestly, I had a lot of fun with this class, particularly with our final presentations. My group covered the topic of performance art as a form of activism, and each member drew on the inspiration of an activist or group we liked, and in my case, I drew on the style of Kate Bornstein, particularly hir (Kate prefers the ze/hir/hirs pronouns) play, Hidden: A Gender. I took the part of Doc Grinder, serving as the MC for the whole group’s presentation, announcing each person’s skit. Continue reading

College Woes

Butterfly WomanSo, before my laptop broke (the part did come in and it should be fixed by tomorrow, hopefully), I was playing another visual novel game called Roommates. The basic premise is that you play as one of two characters who is beginning college and has chosen to live in a communal house on campus. It’s sort of like a fraternity or sorority house, except it’s not a frat or sorority, it’s just a co-ed house with a communal bathroom and kitchen. The thing that struck me about this game is the sheer level of attention to detail given regarding diversity in this game. Yes, like many games with a small cast, it is primarily white folks with token racial minorities (one Indian roommate, one Hispanic roommate, and one black guy as the friend and bandmate of one of the two playable characters). However, they go more into detail with this game to the point that they actually have one character (the Hispanic girl, who is actually a Mexican citizen and attending college to get a degree in teaching so she can go home and improve the education of kids in her small hometown) explain the difference between pansexual (her) and bisexual (the Indian guy) to you, as she’s pan and another character is bi. Continue reading

The Government Sucks

Angry Gamer GirlIt’s been a bit thanks to finals and broken laptop, but there is a bright side. First, all of my finals save one are done, which I will be taking on Monday. Second, the part to fix my laptop should be arriving today or tomorrow, so I should be able to fix it (I hope). That said, I plan on getting in three posts this week: one today, one tomorrow, and one Friday. We’ll see if I manage to pull it off.

Anyways, today after my final, I stopped at the local tax commissioner’s office to change my vehicle title and registration over from Georgia to Texas. While there, the woman helping me started out by calling me Ma’am, recognizing my presentation as female. However, during the course of asking how my being a vet affected the fees (it dropped the plate fee and let me get a custom veteran plate), I had to show her my DD-214, otherwise known as my separation paperwork. After she saw this and my name change paperwork, she changed to calling me Sir, though she did apologize for it when I corrected her. I bring this story up for a reason. Continue reading