Tonight at work I was shaken by having to deal with some very outspoken white male bigots. I heard one in particular shouting at somebody over the phone (and I beg you, please, excuse the language) “listen to me, you fucking nigger!” Several people in the group laughed, showing genuine amusement at the use of such a negative racial epithet. The same person performing the shouting later remarked that one of the members in the group was “a long-haired faggot” because he was neither drinking with the rest nor had any means of lending assistance to their situation. Again, members of the group laughed, but I could see the pain flicker in the eyes of the victim of the verbal abuse. He knew his compatriots were in the wrong, and attempted several times to apologize in their defense. I felt sad for him. He felt intrinsically complicit in the vitriloic behavior of his comrades yet seemed to me to appear powerless to stop it in that moment. I wished them well, him most of all, and left them to their own devices.
In a similar fashion, there was evidently quite the uproar at the end of last week over some very contentious articles written for various UK publications. The Trans community took offense to some writing by one authori in particular, who in turn rebuked the commenters via what I understand to be ad hominem attacks. This led to attacks on both sides, and spilled forth from there into more public forums. Both sides handled things particularly badly, but some good seems to be coming of the incident. In particular are those providing details of attacks they have suffered from the medical and media communities in addition to private persecution for having the courage to be resolute in becoming inwardly and outwardly comfortable with themselves. The fact that those in the Trans community suffer persecution, particularly in the form of violence, is no secret. What is surprising is how blind to that fact so many people seem to (willingly?) be.
Despite knowing better, I engaged in a comment war on Facebook over the past 10 hours. The comments have been on a picture posted by a religious group, across which was written “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” Despite how absolutely ridiculous and trite the phrasing of the statement sounds, the intention from the posting is very clear; God did not make gay people, nor any other kind of people, but instead only made straight people. This has led to a very exhaustive counter-argument on my part where I have knowingly broken my “don’t feed the trolls” mantra of online forum etiquette. Nevertheless, as one who identifies as part of the LGBTQ community and is becoming increasingly vocal in my support for the equal treatment of that community I could not in good conscience sit idly by as person after person praised the bigoted nature of this posting. Below are some of the thoughts I’ve taken away from this defense of my people. Fair warning: if you are a deeply devout Christian, I may be attacking parts of your faith. If this upsets you, move along now.