Note: It has been a while since I was on the American Family Association of PA (AFAPA) website. It looks to me like it has undergone a major facelift and looks very right-wing Republican. Â To bad the info there is still so off the mark and manufactured BS, based on half truths and misinformation.
OK, so anyone involved had to know it would be coming, and here it is- the backlask to the DOT’s fair treatment of Trans persons is under attack by the AFAPA.
Yesterday it was announced that PennDot would begin allowing transgenders (those who claim to be born in the wrong body) to obtain the driverâ€™s license of whichever sex they â€˜prefer.â€™ Â No sex reassignment surgery is necessary â€“ simply put : if a â€œfully-equippedâ€ man thinks he is a woman he can now get a Pennsylvania driverâ€™s license.
This Â isn’t really surprising, but it is disappointing given how many misrepresentations are present in it.
- Transgender isn’t simply a matter of someone claiming to be “in the wrong body.” Â There is enough science to know that it is far more than a matter of someone simply making a claim. Here the AFAPA perpetuates the idea that gender is always perfectly clear as male/ female, when we know this just isn’t the case. There are a large number of babies born who are gender ambiguous, and upon whom gender assigmnent surgery is performed directly after birth. Later in life, gender re-assignment surgery is often a matter of correcting what was screwed up after birth. There are other “markers” of gender in terms of hormones, proteins and brain morphology, that may also play a role in gender, that this misconception fails to recognize.Â I could buy the attempt to justify things by “fully equipped” except that who has a penis or a vagina is not the way gender is determined in reality. For example, I wrote a number of posts about a female athlete, Caster Semenya, who was accused of being a male, when in fact she isn’t.
- When a person is transitioning, there may be a period of time when they have begun hormone therapy and other treatments, but have not had full gender re-assignment surgery yet. They may be pre-op.
- As always, the AFA forgets to consider the number of Female to Male transgender persons who exist. For the AFA, it is only about “a man who thinks he is a woman,” and that just misses the mark entirely.
Driversâ€™ licenses are used for IDs for entry into many places. Â Does your local YMCA or pool require photo ID? Â If so, then if a man comes in wanting to use the womenâ€™s locker/shower room, and he presents a driverâ€™s license which says he is a woman these facilities must allow him to use the womenâ€™s locker room! Â Imagine the unsafe scenarios that will be created by PennDotâ€™s decision!
If a trans person is trying to go to the gym, there is a pretty strong likelihood that if their driver’s license says “female” then, they present as female, and don’t look like a man.
But the real fallacious statement here is this: “these facilities must allow him to use the womenâ€™s locker room.” Â This is utter bull shit, and outright lie. Doesn’t the AFA know their commandments, and realize it is a sin to bear false witness? but indeed, they have chosen their language specifically and carefully- especially the word “must.” They need to generate fear in the reader, and create a false sense of being a victim. The truth is that a YMCA or similar facility is not under any requirement to do anything based upon a driver’s license. But the next few sentences lay out the AFA’s real motivation with what they have written.
Additionally, H.B.300 would add â€˜sexual orientation and gender identity or expressionâ€™ to the PA Human Relations Act which deals with employment, housing and public accommodation. Â Passage of this bill would require all â€œpublic accommodationsâ€ to allow men who think they are women to use the womenâ€™s restroom, locker room/shower facilities.
This is fairly misleading because the AFA fails to actually deal with what a “public accommodation” is, but they get their dig in anyway in their attempts to harm the passage of PA HB 300.
I can’t stress this one point enough. The AFA really has their own narrow fallacy point they are trying to manufacture. For them, gender identity or expression means “men who think they are women” and that is not a description of transgender at all. I’d say this comes from the fact that they really don’t know what they are talking about. In other words, their fear generation isn’t based on real life, but on some fiction they are pushing. The DOT change will have no negative impact on any YMCA or other facility, and many states or municipalities provide protections for employment, housing and public accommodations, and there has never been a single case where this has been a problem.
Not all Republicans….
Not all Republicans or conservatives take this fear mongering approach to trans people or issues. Iran across this via a Google Alert. In Florida, a Trans candidate, Donna Milo received 22% of the Republican vote in a primary race there. This still left her in 3rd place, but still 22% isn’t a bad showing at all.
Diane Gramley and the AFAPA can try all they want to generate fear mongering, but there is truth in every situation that will be uncovered. Hopelly I’ll be doing my part to shed some light on that truth.