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March 31, 2021 — Thoughts for a designated day of visibility

Today is the annual Transgender Day of Visibility, which comes at an interesting time in American history.

In a number of states, activists and lobbyists have been proferring and pushing through laws which seek to do the clumsy work of trying to define who gender non-conforming people actually are.

I say “clumsy,” because the “trans” person of today isn’t as simple as the Hollywood trope of the transvestite, someone who dresses in the other gender’s clothing. These days, there are persons who may have undergone gender reassignment to become the other gender.

But there are also a number of occasions of persons born with genetic changes which may have any number of reasons, including the environment, relaxed regulations on blood tests for marriage licenses, and also relaxed regulations on the marriage of first cousins.

There are hundreds of thousands of what can be called “trans” youth all across America. There are different names for them: genderfluid, non-binary, intersex, etc. A number of states, however, see threats to people who are gender-conforming. Activists and lawmakers have actually been able to pass anti-trans legislation in a number of states.

These activists and lawmakers couch their rhetoric in mostly two scenarios: the effect of transgender people on women’s sports, and which bathroom transgender people can use at the mall.

Now, I can understand what could happen with mixed-gender athletic competitions, especially in competitions where size, strength, and speed are prized. But recent moves by the WNBA, the NWSL, and the International Amateur Athletics Federation have shown that it is the ruling bodies of sport who should be the ultimate arbiters of who should participate in a particular event, and not the government.

The same can be said for public accommodations and even gender-affirming health care, the latter of which is under threat in Arkansas.

The problem, it says here, is that these laws are solutions in search of a problem. Trans people are already among us, and don’t intend harm to others.

Trans people are people, and it is not the job of self-styled culture warriors backed with the infinite power of the state to become bathroom police, health-care police, or sports participation police.

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