In the political chess match of Gender and Sexual equality, today was a banner day. The legal papers were flying between NC and DC as lines were drawn in the sand.
Nearly six weeks of rhetoric, bantering, fear mongering and social media wars came to a head as the powers that be both in Washington and Raleigh filed suits against one another over HB2, North Carolina’s sweeping legislation that basically legalized discrimination against nearly all gender, sexual and romantic minorities (GSRM) by prohibiting any local governments from explicitly protecting them.
At the heart of the legislation was the mandate that everyone use public facilities that aligned with the gender they were assigned at birth, regardless of the journey life has brought them on since then.
NC says they are “protecting religious liberty” and has concocted fears of women and children being in danger without this legislation to protect them. DC says NC is violating the civil rights of the transgender community with these needless laws. Next stop: federal courts.
In a press conference that aired nationally and streamed live, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch made the most comprehensive statement in favor of the transgender community that has perhaps ever come from a government podium. The sum of her message to us: “We see you.”
I have to say it’s good to be seen.
- It’s good to be seen by the Department of Justice as they take up the mantel of fighting for our civil rights in the federal courts.
- It’s good to be seen by the Fort Worth, Texas Independent School District as they have adopted very transgender friendly policies. (The school board will meet this week to determine the future of those policies as state and local officials continue to weigh in.)
- It’s good to be seen by our allies – cis, straight, gay or lesbian – as they stand by us at rallies and protests, on Facebook walls and Twitter feeds.
- It’s good to be seen by business leaders of places like PayPal, Target and Bank of America (just to name a few) as they have reacted to the discriminating laws passed by North Carolina and proposed in other places around the country.
It is good to be seen but please understand: we see you too.
- We see you as you comb the legislative halls using us as tools to wage your war against Americas alleged declining morality.
- We see you Franklin Graham, James Dobson as you encourage your followers to demonize us and speak out against us – even those of us who call on the same Jesus that you claim to emulate.
- We see you at the United Methodist Convention using us as pawns from the pulpits in some game of god pleasing that has little basis in actual, practical faith or religion.
- We see you, mother of two, our best friend from childhood or roommate from college, as you buy into the fear being peddled and blindly pass it forward in the from of quotes and memes from people with biases they would just as leave you remained blind too.
Our lives will truly change when what we see on a daily basis tells us we are your equals in the eyes of the law, in the hands of our neighbors and under the thumb of the church.
It is good to be seen by people willing and able to make a difference.
We see you too.
What are you going to show us?