I'm thinking now of Kendall Baker, a Texas pastor who warned that children will be victimized by "trans predators" if Houston passes a bill that gives equal rights to trans people.
Hmm...A pastor violating the Ninth Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Had it not been for an experience of mine, my reaction to this story would be "What, this shit again?" But because of a particularly ugly incident in my life, that news turns my stomach.
You see, that "trans predator" trope has been used to rationalize all manner of bigotry, harassment and outright violence against us. I know: It happened to me.
I take that back. It didn't happen to me. Someone did it to me. If you've been reading this blog, you know who that somene is. Yes, Dominick.
After I ended my relationship with him, one of the ways he retaliated was to start rumors that I was preying upon my students. He not only told people I did that, he also sent e-mails and made "anonymous" complaints to my employer.
Worst of all, he tried to claim that I "accosted" him and that he spent five years in a relationship with me only because he was "afraid" of what I would do.
Hmm...That "trans panic" claim all over again. That's particularly interesting coming from someone who claims he's victimized in all sorts of ways because he's gay. (Right up to the time I had my surgery, he hoped that I would change my mind and live as the gay man he believed I was.) Plus, if he was so afraid of me, why did he not only spend as long as he did with me, but also threaten me when I left him and wouldn't go back to him.
Oh, wait, I answered my own question: He acted as he did because he was afraid. People who lie and start vicious rumors about others are always so. Sometimes they're just pure and simple cowards. Other times, they're guilty of the very thing they impute to others.
In Pastor Baker's case...You guessed it...He's preyed on women at his day job with the city's 311 call center.
I'd call him--and, for that matter, Dominick--a chickenshit, except that I have too much respect for chickens.
Oh, here's another irony: When Dominick was trying to win me back, he'd make some sort of appeal to me before making another threat. Once, his grandmother was dying. Another time he claimed to have cancer. And--you've probably guessed this one--he "got religion" and was praying for me.
And, no doubt, he was telling people I preyed on somebody. After all, that's what we do, right?