The New Year will be here soon, how about we try to have a little bit of empathy for one another, how about we don’t equate trans people with child abusers, just for one day, or forever, and how about we spread that peace, love and joy we talk so much about at this time of the year.
December 24th 2020, Christmas eve of what we would probably all deem the year from hell, we’ve had a deadly pandemic, the worst wildfires ever seen, and a hate campaign that just won’t quit.
Most people are, on Christmas eve, settling down with their family to get ready for Santa coming down the chimney with their presents, they’ll go to bed that night and tell their kids to leave a cookie and milk for him, as he has had a very long hard day and nights work on the 24th and 25th.
I believe people teach their kids to do that because its kind, it’s a kind thing to do for someone on Christmas eve. It’s a way to instil values of compassion, empathy and kindness in a way that will last for their whole lives.
which is what Christmas is all about, isn’t it? Kindness, love, peace, joy; spreading and sharing positive feelings and experiences with each other.
And yet, the issue I want to talk about here is the antithesis of what Christmas spirit is all about.
The Scottish national newspaper regularly publishes letters from people, this is a normal thing for newspapers to do, however, the letters they printed on the 21st of December were of the kind of meanspirited, cruel, hateful and unkind letters you would never expect to see on the week running up to Christmas day. Christmas eve I read these letters online, there are a couple, at least two are filed with transphobia.
However, I want to discuss briefly one letter written by Isobel Lindsay – a member of and vice chair of Scottish CND – in which she discusses the resignation of Andy Wightman from the Greens. Isobel states that she believes trans rights (and by association the wider LGBTQIA rights) “seems a very marginal issue”. Well, yes, it’s a marginal, issue because bigotry within our society has marginalised trans and non-binary people. That is kind of the entire point, this is why they are called marginalised.
She goes on to say “I can remember that in the 1960s there were …at least one lobbying group who openly advocated the legislation of sex between adults and children”
I read this letter, and this comment in particular, with both awe and disgust. I am in shock that someone would think it appropriate that, four days before Christmas, they attack trans people by equating their fight against a hate campaign with that of child abusers wanting to be allowed to legally abuse children.
We all know the argument that trans people are predatory cis men lying in wait to attack women and children, we also all know this argument is a tired, old, bigoted argument made against gays and lesbians in the 70s, 80s and 90s (once again *see the thread by @implausiblegrrl).
I was equally amazed by the subsequent request to have ‘respectful debate’ which followed this unwarranted conflation without being “intolerant and abusive”.
Transphobia is both intolerant and abusive, and yet it seems to be deemed an acceptable form of intolerance and abuse, because it relies of fear and the guise of “genuine concerns” for women and children’s safety, just the same as every anti LGBTQIA argument before it ( and I talked a bit about fear and cognitive bias in my previous article, so won’t digress here).
What I want to say is it’s Christmas, and the New Year will be here soon, how about we try to have a little bit of empathy for one another, how about we don’t equate trans people with child abusers, just for one day, or forever, and how about we spread that peace, love and joy we talk so much about at this time of the year.
People have lost so much this year, family, friends, their livelihoods and their lives, a bit of compassion would go a long way.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.
Let’s make 2021 a year in which we care for each other instead of make life even harder in a time it’s already impossible.
To my LGBTQIA kin, an extra special Merry Xmas to you. Make 2021 yours.