Yep, that’s a bullhorn, and I’ll get to its significance in relation to this post in a moment. In her new illustrated post, Hannah laments about the amount of legislation various lawmakers across the United States have proposed or are considering, legislation that’s specifically aimed towards — or against, to me more precise — the transgender community. Maybe you’ve heard of some of those proposals; perhaps they may be taking place right where you live.
Such legislation has taken the form of “bathroom laws,” in which those who need to use a public restroom must use the restroom that corresponds with their birth gender (i.e. what it says on their birth certificate). Several various reasons have been cited for their proposals, perhaps the most expressed of which has been the fear of a predator disguising themselves as female, entering the women’s restroom, and *ahem* having their way with innocent, defenseless women.
“‘Fear’? I think I know where this post is going.”
Well, stick with me, Disembodied Voice; odds are I’ll prove you right. In all reality, these proposed laws have become a way for conservative-leaning lawmakers — and those making these proposals are almost exclusively conservative — to throw their weight around and feel superior. I’m thinking they’re thinking, “We lost on the same-sex marriage issue; at least we have trans people we can direct fear towards.”
Unfortunately, society hasn’t completely evolved to the point where these naysayers are denied their opportunity to shun the trans community. I noted the marriage equality issue in the above paragraph, as society has indeed gained an understanding, appreciation, and acceptance of those who love or are attracted to those who are the same gender (be they gay, lesbian, or bisexual). But while the odds are everyone knows or has encountered a gay person and is okay with it, not everyone may know of someone who has battled or is battling with issues of gender identity. It’s led to some disappointment in the trans community over not feeling an ample amount support from the gay community, an issue I addressed last fall.
That separation between the gay community’s successes and the trans community’s wanting has turned into an opening for the conservative, anti-trans community. Which leads me to the bullhorn reference. It’s a hidebound yet backward-looking agenda that these politicians propagate; and thanks to the bullhorn that is having political office and legislative power, they’ve gotten away with promoting a shunning and shaming of a community that many people may not yet understand or accept.
“Fear of… them?”
Exactly! It’s the fear of the unknown that these anti-trans, anti-gay people are reveling in. And if you truly pay attention, you’ll find that with the bullhorn of power and influence in their hands…
Yeah, they and their ideology do indeed look ugly.
“Yikes! He sure looks ugly with the megaphone of hate in his hand.”
Bullhorn, megaphone, whatever. I’m glad you understand the point behind the unflattering imagery. When I added my comment to Hannah’s post, I used the allusion of a bullhorn in reference to how those who harbor a hate for the trans community (if not the LGBT community as a whole) are spreading their hate. It’s a misguided fear, as Hannah noted in her post.
But as Hannah also noted, and this is a direct quote, “Hate is a result of not understanding.” Indeed, there must be an understanding of the trans community by those who foster the hate — and wallow in “the dark side” — as well as cisgender people unfamiliar with the trans plight. The least they could do is just listen, because I’m sure there are many trans people who are willing to enlighten them through their own stories and fears. It may be hard for the two sides to come together and explain or understand (Hannah noted this in her post), but if they at least make an effort, then the ice between them will have a good chance of softening… and then the bullhorns of hate can be put away for good.