So, here in Michigan, this happened:
Lansing — The Michigan Department of Education has generated a GOP backlash and complaints of “social engineering” by recommending that public schools adopt transgender-friendly policies but refrain from unilaterally telling parents if students identify with a gender they didn’t have at birth.
A House appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday stripped from a budget bill all travel and per-diem funding for the Democrat-dominated State Board of Education, a move the Republican chairman called “a message” to members who will consider the draft recommendation on May 10.
The amendment, approved in a party-line vote, came one day after House Speaker Kevin Cotter, R-Mount Pleasant, blasted the Education Department’s draft guidance memorandum as “a poorly written and poorly thought-out proposal that takes away the rights of parents and upsets the privacy and safety of Michigan’s children.”
Of course, hardly anyone knew about this until the Daily Caller did their usual subtle aggregation, virality happened, and then things got to a full boil.
Honestly, I don’t blame parents for being upset. In the LGBT movement, there needs to be a lot more education before the general public, which is finally pretty-much OK with the LGB part, figures out the T part, and gets comfortable with it. Believe me, there are plenty of nice parents who are perfectly cool with gay uncles and aunts and close family friends, who are not going to be cool with transgender locker rooms for middle schoolers.
I asked a gay friend of mine the other day, what does transgenderism have to do with gay people? If Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, has always been a woman, was born in the wrong body but is now free to be the full expression of womanhood, including dating men, then what does that have to do with homosexuality? He replied:
It is a divisive issue in the LGBT community for the reasons you suspect. There are plenty in the community, myself included, who struggle to understand what it means to see yourself as different from your physical gender. I think added to this is the fact that transgender folks have been so stigmatized and suffered so much mental anguish that they commonly struggle to be functional in daily life.
I honestly don’t know how true that is. Surely there are well-adjusted trans people in the world. And I know the locker-room assault thing is total bullshit, as are even the less-alarmist fears about trans women showering, dongs out, next to cis women. (If ever there was a group condemned forever to the middle-school experience of having a body, it’s them.) But understanding this isn’t going to happen overnight, and I wish someone would acknowledge that.
Meanwhile, on bathrooms: I bet most trans people just use the one they feel most comfortable in already. Like this man, who apparently was born a woman. Like same-sex marriage, this issue will eventually work itself out. I just wish we didn’t walk into these buzzsaws time after time. Change strategy.
In other cranky news at this hour, Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted Thursday. You probably don’t know who he is, but his CBC show, Q, runs in Detroit, and I was a listener. A year or so ago, he was fired, after it came out that he was …pretty much a creep, sexually speaking. He was fond of S&M and rough sex, and didn’t always clear it with his partners first. A few testified that casual encounters turned into smacking or choking, but the judge chose to discount them. He had a good lawyer:
The Crown’s witnesses were firm in their testimony and appeared ready for Henein’s notoriously aggressive mode of cross-examination. But when Henein began to lay out emails, letters, and photo evidence that she said contradicted their testimony, the women and Crown prosecutors seemed equally thrown.
She startled the first witness with an email the woman sent to Ghomeshi containing a photo of her in a bikini. The email, sent months after Ghomeshi allegedly punched her and yanked her hair, appeared to contradict the woman’s testimony that after Ghomeshi assaulted her, she was too traumatized to even hear his voice.
The second witness to testify was Lucy DeCouture, an actor who claimed Ghomeshi choked and slapped her. Henein confronted DeCoutere – who waived the publication ban on naming witnesses – with a photo showing the two of them “cuddling” in a park the day after the alleged assault. In a moment of high drama, Henein asked DeCoutere to read a handwritten letter she wrote to Ghomeshi following their encounter. The letter read: “I love your hands.”
Consistency. It’s what the world needs now. Or better witnesses.
I will be glad to put this week in the books and hope for better next week. Happy Easter, everyone.