Unpacking the Sausage: The gloves are off

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EqualityMaine, MaineTransNet, and other LGBTQIA+ organizations have to handle Democratic politicians with kid gloves, even (and perhaps especially) when they fail to show up for trans people.

They do this because providing political cover for the status quo is generally safer than risking leadership by people who are actively pursuing genocide. The idea is if you come to the table politely, you might get some scraps.

Bre KidmanI, however, have already eviscerated any chance at political influence in Maine and am free to flip the table and start brawling. Here’s an abridged list of liberal transphobic nonsense for which I have lost even the thinnest veneer of civility:

Bette Midler, Macy Gray, JK Rowling, Margaret Atwood, numerous columnists in The New York Times, Hillary Clinton, and everyone else who has trended on Twitter for transphobic “feminism” should be drowned in the blood of trans people who will die because of the political, interpersonal, and medical violence their remarks will be used to justify.

If you’re a woman who’s angry because trans people are asking you not to make reproductive health care a “women’s issue,” please don’t conflate this with not being allowed to call yourself a woman. Trans, non-binary, and other non-women who can become pregnant are merely asking that you not refer to us as women or erase us from the discourse.

In a similar vein: Gov. Janet Mills can eat my entire ass. 

Pulling an innocuous (if imperfect) video geared towards teaching LGBTQ+ history to grade-schoolers in a kowtow to a Republican attack ad full of Holocaust-era rhetoric was bad enough. MaineTransNet’s statement excusing her for that move read like the script of a hostage video. 

Now, despite plentiful information about the importance of using non-gendered language to talk about abortion, Mills tweets promises to protect decisions “between a woman and her doctor” because “the lives of Maine women depend on it.” 

Cool story, Janet, but my legally genderless uterus remains unimpressed with your silence about the lives of trans and non-binary people. It costs nothing to simply say “people” instead of limiting a health care issue affecting a spectrum of identities to cisgender women. It also reinforces the surprisingly still-controversial proposition that women are people.

But let’s talk about men: President Joe Biden can choke on a gallon of pus extracted from Monkeypox lesions. Under his leadership, guidelines largely limiting Monkeypox testing to the medically nonsensical Reagan-era classification of “men who have sex with men” allowed the smallpox-adjacent virus to gain notoriety as another gay plague. This, in turn, enables the masses to ignore the strong probability that more than 600 confirmed cases in more than 30 states (as of July 8) represent a serious undercounting.

Neither this nor the proliferation of laws allowing states to forcibly separate trans kids from supportive families motivates many “resisters” to stand up from their Biden-enabled return to maskless brunches. Every pussy-hat wearer who stayed comfortable until the Dobbs decision needs to make good on those “burn it down” protest signs. Assuming they’re not just cosplaying civil disobedience under the protection of police escorts at permitted events, they should be careful not to let Molotov cocktails get too close to all that flammable yarn. Of course, I imagine they’ll be too busy telling the internet the only path forward is to “vote blue no matter who” and tithe to Planned Parenthood’s shady PAC. 

Speaking of people who launder corporate money through deceptively named PACs: Sara Gideon can suffocate on the trans flag t-shirts she started selling soon after folks noticed she misgendered me during the primary she bought before handing Susan Collins her seat. Her non-apology from a blocked number was predictable:  “I’m sorry if you feel like I would ever do that.” She ignored requests to switch to gender-inclusive language about abortion as a show of good faith.

The “allyship” is staggering, but still more staggering: Gideon’s campaign still had more than $6 million on hand in the first quarter of 2022 – an increase of more than  $100,000 since the last quarter of 2021. Maybe she could help the 2022 Democratic candidates who keep hounding voters for ad money during a financial crisis?

I haven’t forgotten the feigned helplessness of our Democratic-majority Congress or the blatant calls for genocide from the right. I’ll need several columns to scratch the surface there. I’m just going to spend the off-week developing a plan with my partner for when “allies” ignore the fight long enough to force us into seeking asylum.

Bristle and finger-wag all you want in the meantime. Historically, change starts with those willing to be unlikeable enough to take a swing.

Bre Kidman is an artist, activist, and attorney (in that order), and the first openly non-binary person in history to run for the U.S. Senate. They would be delighted to hear your thoughts on the political industrial complex at [email protected].