Trigger Warning for transphobia
In Iowa, a so-called “pro-family” group of hate-mongers have put out a statement admonishing the Governor for doing the absolute bare minimum in terms of acknowledging the state’s transgender residents, by signing a declaration recognizing the Transgender Day of Remembrance last November. Governor Culver was so lackluster about proclaiming it wrong to murder people even if they are trans, that he didn’t even put out a statement about the declaration. But that hasn’t stopped the Iowa Family Policy Center ACTION from protesting his stance, anyway:
A pro-family policy group today is taking issue with a proclamation Gov. Chet Culver signed that declared a “transgender day of remembrance” in Iowa last year.
The Iowa Family Policy Center ACTION released a copy of the proclamation that Culver signed last Nov. 20 which the Pleasant Hill-based group acquired from the governor’s office through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The organization’s president, Chuck Hurley, said he views the proclamation as an attempt by Culver to use the power of the governor’s office “to promote sexual confusion and deviant behavior.”
Hurley said the action follows Culver’s failure to keep his 2006 campaign promise to defend marriage as only between one man and one woman.
“Iowans know that Gov. Culver does not share their values,” the Iowa Family Policy Council ACTION leader said. “As if the governor’s unwillingness to exercise the influence of his office in the defense of marriage wasn’t evidence enough, we now know that he is spending his time creating special days celebrating sexual disorientation. The question that Iowans ought to be asking is why Gov. Culver wasn’t proud enough of his work to make his actions public?”
This is beyond appalling. Usually, I wouldn’t want to give publicity to this type of hate being propagated by a smaller scale group. But what it openly reveals, in this case, is astounding enough to make me see it as worth mention. It comes as little surprise that they refuse to acknowledge the gender identities of trans people, and instead portray them all as cis gay folks. And it comes as little surprise that they would somehow try to tie the “issue” of Culver’s small show of support for the TDOR back into their opposition to marriage equality.
But that they would take support for this day, the Transgender Day of Remembrance — a solemn and emotional day of mourning for the trans community, a day in which the violence committed against that community on such a wide scale is finally given just a tiny bit of mainstream attention, a day in which those who are so regularly forgotten are in fact remembered — and attack it is despicable. That they would connect it to what they call “deviant behavior” is even more so.
Because what it suggests, rather blatantly, is that they view the very act of trans people being alive as deviant. They view the suggestion of a world in which trans people are not under constant threatened and actual physical assault as an attack on their belief system. To say that the governor’s decision to sign this declaration goes against their values is to say in fact that their values involve trans people being dead.
The fact that they feel this way doesn’t shock me. The fact that they’d so casually admit it does, however, come as something of a surprise. Even the organizations most dedicated to vitriolic hatred of LGBT people will profess to believe that the people whose rights they so vehemently fight deserve life and safety. It’s not that they want people dead, they will claim, so much as they want them invisible. This statement here belies that common assertion. Here, they let us know that they believe folks who don’t fit into their rigid gender and sex norms not only don’t deserve to have their safety defended by the government in even the most passive, hidden, and symbolic ways, but also don’t even deserve to have their lives mourned once they have been taken.