19 August 2013

Smaller And Meaner

When we have the most reason for optimism, we are in the most danger.

I came to that conclusion after writing my Huffington Post article about AB 1266 in California--and hearing the remarks of San Antonio (TX) Councilwoman Elisa Chan.


The more people realize that giving us--I mean, all people who don't confirm to societal, cultural or religious notions of gender and sexuality--the same rights as everyone else won't bring down this country or bring on the Apocalypse, the more bigots will resort to mendacity, belligerence and even violence to continue a battle they can only lose.

Ms. Chan, though, is even worse than all of those people who trot out their far-fetched "what if" scenarios (for which they can never provide even a single concrete example) to keep trans people from using public bathrooms designated for the gender in which they live.  Those people, at least, can be seen as merely clinging to an irrational fear.  Chan, on the other hand, is trying to be a local version of Ann Coulter:  Because she cannot think, let alone form a rational, cogent position, she is trying to build her career on hate and fear-mongering.  (At least, that has always been my theory about Ms. Coulter.)  As one of her advisers tells her, "It's not an economic argument; it's not a small-governnment argument; it's a social-cultural argument and you'll get the most points by taking a stand".  

While Chan herself admits that publicly saying that she finds LGBT people's lives "personally disgusting" would destroy her career, she says that she's willing to lie about her "confusion" about trans people in order to take a position against adding language that would protect them in local ordinances.

Chan is an example of something against which we need to gird ourselves:  As the number of our opponents dwindles, they will grow meaner, more dishonest, more vicious and, in some cases, more violent. They will ultimately lose, but I (and, I assume, you) want to be alive and well to savor our victory.  So, be aware!