When I was in high school there was wonderfully bluesy song on the radio by Carole King called “Way Over Yonder” and I would listen to that song and think of what my future world would be like “way over yonder”.
It was the Age of Aquarius then. We were the generation just behind the hippies-the last of the “baby-boomers” and we were dedicating ourselves to get in touch with ourselves through Yoga, group therapy in search of a personal cathexis, women’s liberation, the first stirrings of the gay civil rights movement through the Gay Liberation Front.
Of course that’s discounting a lot of pot smoking sessions. Yes, I’m not ashamed to admit that I was completely human and normal back then. Some of the greatest minds of my generation followed the match trails others made in front of their eyes.
Now I’m on the long side of “over yonder”. I passed “yonder” about a decade ago and looking back at this hideous path of destruction of hopes and dreams of true equality we had in our starry eyes back then.
We went from the “gay” rights movement to lesbian feminist’s wondering where their share of equality was. No sooner than the lesbians entered the argument then bisexuals spoke up and the early civil rights movement was the GLB (Gay, Lesbian & Bisexuals).
Of course then transgender people felt completely left out and many people in the GLB thought so, too. So then it became known as the GLBT movement.
Then the feminist portion of the lesbian community made the note that gay men always had to come first even in the homosexual community so then it became the LGBT so the gay men didn’t have to listen to screaming lesbians anymore.
Whoa, dude! Those transgender people never seem to move around in line, do they? Nope, and they’ve continually been thrown under the bus for the past 40 years just to prove it.
They opened the doors at Stonewall and the homosexual community said “thanks” as they ran them right over as if they were a Warner Brother’s Cartoon. For the better part of “yonder” the transgender community stood in the protest lines right alongside the homosexuals and when local and state governments sat down at the table to negotiate civil rights for everyone, opps! Sorry, transgender folks! We got rights for us but we couldn’t get them for you at this time. Maybe in the future?
Even Congressman Barney Frank, who has been lauded for his long career as an out gay man serving in elected office, used a catapult to throw transgender people under the big yellow taxi during his first submission of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in 2007. In order to do a spin job on his image after that disaster he hired Diego Rodriguez, his own personal bulldog, a female-to-male transgender, as his Chief of Staff. Heaven forbid he should hire a male-to-female transgender!
In thinking about this whole situation looking back from my “yonder” vantage point I’m reminded of some fundamental things that were arguments a very long time ago but are still applicable now: We have the same issues of gender prejudice today that we had 40 years ago.
I seriously doubt that we’re dealing with some caveman genetic disorder here but even some of the most radical, effeminate gay men I’ve met still have acted with the utmost misogyny. Apparently, even queens with peckers out-trump a woman every time.
When the issues of transgender equality come up all people can concentrate on is the dumbest of all possible arguments about who uses which bathroom, as if someone’s bodily secretions might cause gender dysphoria to be contagious.
Here in Florida, all that a woman has to do is to start steroids, removes her breasts, uterus and ovaries and still not get the penile construction surgery (in other words, he still has a vagina) and the State of Florida fully regards him as a male and will allow him to get legally married, get a driver’s license with “M” for Male on it and if he was arrested they would put him in with male prisoners.
If a man gets estrogen treatments, breast implants, an orchiectomy (removal of the testes or castration) and the Department of Social Security will acknowledge that person to be fully female but the State of Florida refuses to. They will force her to have “M” for Male on her driver’s license which invites police brutality in a traffic stop and should be arrested she would either be thrown in with the male population and brutally raped at the amusement of the guards or thrown (to what the jail considers to be “merciful” treatment) into solitary confinement where they’re either ignored and can go days without food or just for a BONUS, some of them get midnight raids of guards who come piling in the door, roust them from a sound sleep and then repeatedly Taser them until they pass out repeatedly as they upped the voltage.
There is still an underlying misogyny in our culture that needs to be addressed both inside our homosexual culture and also in the heterosexual one as well.
We can never call our society truly equal until we embrace the transgender community and our failure to embrace the transgender community is directly related to the overwhelming presence of misogyny.
All I know is that standing where I am and looking forward into “way over yonder”, please plant my ashes under the tree marked “Common Sense-No Misogyny”.
By Stephanie Donald
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