Content: Discussions of mental health (i.e., I’m not okay), transphobia, anti-trans and anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation, racism, abuse and murder of BIPOC by U.S. police, and current events.
I’m not okay. I don’t think a lot of us are, and that, in itself, is okay. Hear me out. The world’s on fire. And before you type out a strongly worded email about progress and incremental change, how about we dish some truths about that progress?
Whether in medicine, technology, or civil rights, every leap forward isn’t taken by all of us at once. And there are people with a great deal of power who intentionally leave others behind, ignoring and excluding them because they don’t fit their particular definition of “deserving.”
Racism, climate change, sexism, poverty, the cluster fuck that is end-stage capitalism, homophobia, transphobia, and disability discrimination. All of these issues impact each other. Oppression rarely occurs along just one axis of a person’s life. (If you aren’t familiar with Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw’s theory of Intersectionality, start with this NPR broadcast “What does Intersectionality Mean?”).
I’m just saying, it would be deeply weird if I was okay.
One terror-inducing current issue that is on my mind constantly is the flood of anti-trans bills in U.S. state legislatures. More than 80 anti-trans bills exist around the United States. And all that legislation is focused mainly on trans kids who don’t have the agency to protect themselves.
On April 14th, the Florida state legislature passed HB 1475, “The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.” Among the same, tired transphobic language about biological sex is a clause that allows institutions to demand children submit to a genital inspection if their gender is in question.
Yup. The new law restricts trans children from playing on sports teams that align with their gender. The legislation’s language is below:
"biological sex" is in question to submit to an examination by a health care provider. may verify the student's biological sex as part of a routine sports physical examination by relying only on one or more of the following: 1. The student's reproductive anatomy; 2. The student's genetic makeup; or 3. The student's normal endogenously produced testosterone levels." Section 1 of Florida Statute 1006.205, Part 3(c)
It is literally physical and psychological abuse sanctioned by the state. It’s devastating.
But again, none of this, from racism to transphobia is new.
The U.S. police began as slave patrols, armed militias who hunted down slaves fleeing bondage. Law enforcement in the U.S. maintains the status quo in this country. And that includes (though not explicitly stated, most of the time) ensuring that BIPOC (Black People, Indigenous People, and People of Color) remain aware of their oppression in all aspects of their lives.
Anti-LGBTQIA+ laws are old-hat for the U.S. and the U.K. In fact, the religious right has been trying to rewind the clock and criminalize our existence for decades. The most virulent and harmful of the current spate of bills aim to block LGBTQIA+ people, especially transgender and nonbinary people, from accessing the mainstream.
They focus on everything from state-issued IDs to bathrooms to criminalizing health care for trans kids. Aiming their bigotry at children is a deliberate act. They’ve taken trans kids’ health and dignity hostage to cow parents, community support, and supportive service providers (i.e., physicians, teachers, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists) into submission.
They want us to shut up, to not risk being seen.
Fuck. That. You may have noticed I’ve been relatively quiet in 2021. I haven’t had a lot to say about filthy delights because I haven’t felt very filthy or delightful. My sex drive is way below sea level, and I’ve been agonizing over what to do to fix myself. Then it occurred to me – there’s nothing to fix. In fact, I’m having a totally rational reaction to my environment. And that’s what I wanted to share with you.
I’m not okay.
And if you’re struggling, please know you are not alone. For now and the near future, my focus here on annestaggwrites.com is going to change. I don’t know exactly what that’s going to look like. I’m planning more action-oriented posts about wellness and LGTBQIA+ rights (focus on the T because “Hey, GOP, leave trans kids alone“). Perhaps a video or two. Who knows what’s going to happen?
Well. I do. I know what’s going to happen.
Be well. Be wonderful. And, as always, be you,