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.

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.

Medical Drama

g-InsuranceDenied.widecThose who follow the Facebook page for my blog likely saw me make a post yesterday regarding the shooting and denial of medical care of a trans activist in Pakistan recently. Along with that link, I mentioned that I’ve been dealing with a lot of medical drama the past month or so, which I will discuss somewhat today. While I will be explaining why I’ve not made a post in close to a month, I’ll also go into how this is an issue for the community at large as well as some basic educational stuff. Now that the basic “introduction paragraph” that all your professors harp on you about is out of the way, let’s get on with the details! Continue reading

Heterosexual Fallout

Angry Gamer Girl Okay folks, today, I’m going to tackle a touchy subject. You’ve probably guessed from the title of this post that I’m going to talk about the whole forced heterosexuality at the start of Fallout 4. Thing is, that’s only going to be part of it. What I’m actually going to address is the fallout (pun intended) that has come about because of discussions over it. See, here’s the thing, it’s reached such epic levels, that even discussing it now has become a reason for someone to be attacked. Continue reading

TDoR 2015

Candlelight VigilHey folks. As many of you already know, today is the annual transgender day of remembrance in which we honor those who have fallen in the past year. I won’t say much on the subject, because I’ve already said it all. I wish this day didn’t have to exist, I look forward to the year when there are no names, etc. etc.

What I do want to discuss is something of a related note. As I mentioned, I’ve been watching a lot of Arrow and Flash recently, and at the start of season 3 of Arrow, during either the first or second episode, Ollie has a moment where he’s trying to tell Felicity what the five years on the island did to him. It goes something along the lines of “I learned not to trust anymore, and when you can’t trust, you don’t see people. You just see threats. Or targets.”

This stood out to me as it’s an apt description of what PTSD does to you. And while most don’t have the kinds of lived experiences that I have, many trans people have some form of PTSD, simply because in order to survive in this world, we have to think in that sort of way. Any individual COULD be a threat. Especially with the rise of murders brought about by the rise of visibility. To paraphrase from Dr. Van Helsing discussing Dracula in the classic Bela Lugosi film, the trans person’s greatest strength (historically) is that people do not believe in them.

What this means is that in the past, we could walk around and people would write off a guy being shorter, or a woman having large hands, or whatever other subtle physical hints there might be. But now, with trans people everywhere in the media and the news, people are less likely to just gloss over those things, examining harder. Add to this the fact that there’s been an increase in non-binary presentation (such as the individual I’ve seen around campus a number of times who wears either a skirt or a dress while rocking a full beard) and the bigots out there are suddenly more aware that we exist.

This is why the numbers of murders have been increasing dramatically the past few years, and why here in the States alone, we’ve nearly doubled last year’s numbers. Remember that nearly everything is a double edged sword, and the very tools we use for activism can turn around and hurt us as well. Stay safe out there, readers.

Far From Over

c2189-transgenderprideflagThose who follow the news have likely seen a number of events lately involving trans issues that seem to have gone in the favor of trans rights. I mentioned last week that the military here in the states is looking to repeal the ban on trans service members. Earlier this week, Brianna Wu wrote a piece about how Samus is most likely trans (which made me so very, very happy). A few weeks ago, when yet another trans woman was murdered, news outlets never once referred to her using her birth name or said “was born a man” or any other form of their typical misgendering. Sadly, those are all just one side of the issue. Continue reading

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