By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit
Has the government declared war on trans people? That’s the million dollar question and its one I still don’t have a clear answer to. As some of you may already know, several weeks ago a memo being circulated by the Department of Health and Human Services was leaked exposing a plan by the Trump administration in league with their supposed enemies in the Deep State to officially establish gender as being defined exclusively by ones genitalia at birth. This would essentially erase people like me and leave us at the mercy of a bevy of bureaucratic tyrants from the prison industrial complex to its child abusing cousins in the tenured snake pits of the public school system.
When I first heard about the memo, released by the New York Times, I was skeptical for a number of reasons, most of them having to do with the foul circus of the midterms. Was the memo leaked by Trump’s frenemies in the Steady State in an attempt to use identity politics to shore up the youth vote for their allies in the Democratic Party? Or did Trump leak the memo himself to excite those fun-policing tranny-bashers, the Evangelicals, knowing they’d need the Spanish Fly of state sanctioned child abuse to get hard enough to vote for their local philandering whore-mongers in the GOP and, by proxy, our own philandering whore-monger in chief? Was this memo for real or was it just more hot air to fill Trump’s leaky balloon?
Infuriated, I dug like Lazarus to get to the bottom of this fucking thing and I still haven’t come any closer to the truth. The memo is out there, bouncing around from one grey-flannel federal bully pit to the next, but as to the question of “does it mean anything?”, I still don’t know, but I’ve come to the conclusion that ultimately that’s beside the point. The point isn’t whether or not the government will use their power to crush a maligned but growing minority. The point is that they can and they can use the federal machinery of ‘human rights’ to do it. Title IX, a law designed so the state could protect the rights of girls and young women, is now being considered as a possible weapon to define gender based on a horde of powerful mens’ Victorian notions of a pink and blue binary universe.
The question here shouldn’t be, Can gender be defined by the outward nature of our junk? The question should be, what gives the government the fucking right to make that decision? Regardless of your opinions on gender, do you really trust those pencil-pushing cubicle-Nazis in the Federal Government to tell you who you are? If gender then why not race or sexuality or religion? Where does it stop? The civil rights movement was supposed to be about empowerment, but once the government failed to squash it by force, they decided to co-opt it much the way they did the labor movement. The result hasn’t been an increase of rights but a buffet of privileges delivered by the same state with the fire hoses and rabid dogs. When this state decides that it wants to control us, it threatens to take back the privileges and release the hounds. Somehow, I don’t think this is what Harvey Milk got shot for.
The relationship between queer people and the state has always been an abusive one. By nature, being queer is an affront to the status quo that the state holds dear. They’ve tried to annihilate us, to make our love and our bodies illegal, to throw us away in padded cells and concrete tombs. When all that failed to correct us, suddenly Uncle Sam came around offering us a pocket full of candy. We were too desperate to realize this gift was poison. When the state can’t eliminate a threat, it subjugates it. The state tried to subjugate trans children with segregated safe spaces and other trinkets of bureaucratic largess but our kids refused to be tamed. They refused to fit into those tight little boxes that say male and female and they inspired many lost adults like myself to join them. Together, we’ve rejected the tired western notion of gender entirely, creating our own identities to mach the complex nature of our spirits. Spirits that couldn’t be contained by outdated science and social structures. Spirits called genderqueer, non-binary, genderfluid, genderflux, trigender, bigender, neutrois, genderless, and some without any name at all. This radical embrace of spiritual freedom and sexual diversity made it impossible for the state to control us. So now it looks like the poison candy may be replaced by the truncheons and bite wounds of yesteryear.
Well fuck them. They can’t tell us who we are. They can’t tell us what’s in our souls. If the government wants to declare war on my people then I say lets return the fucking favor. It is the state that has no right to exist, not us, and all we have to do is refuse to acknowledge its authority. Dress outlandishly. Refuse to answer to any name that’s not your own. Use multiple different gendered spaces in one day. Hold a shit-in and occupy the faculties own facilities. Drop out. Run away. Start your own damn families, your own damn schools, your own damn tribal institutions, and your own damn communities. We’ve already succeeded at rendering gender irrelevant, lets give the state the same treatment. Lets genderfuck Uncle Sam and give him a taste of his own poison candy.
Our movement was built around the wild flames of the counter-cultural bonfires of the Sixties and Seventies. We were wild, naked, and free. We rejected the false gods of the straight world. But somewhere between Reagan’s plagues and Obama’s platitudes we lost our way. The latest generation of our tribe has reignited the flame and reminded us who we are. The time is now, dearest motherfuckers. Come back to the fire. With any luck we can make it spread. Lets burn this motherfucker down.
Peace, Love, Anarchy, & Empathy- CH
Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post
* Be a Body by Grimes
* Children of the Revolution by T. Rex
* Losing My Religion by REM
* Monkeywrench by Foo Fighters
* Wake Up by Arcade Fire
* Mississauga Goddamn by the Hidden Cameras
* Oh! You Pretty Things by David Bowie
* Keep Yourself Alive by Queen