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Cold today. Again. But sunny, and the world is getting properly green. Currently, it's only 56˚F, and we had a frost warning this morning.

Yesterday afternoon I read about Oxford, Alabama passing a law so that anywhere within the city’s police jurisdiction, it is now a criminal offense for transgender people to use restrooms that match their gender identity unless they have undergone surgery and successfully changed the gender marker on their birth certificate. That, of course, is a very, very small fraction of transgender folks. Surgery is expensive, dangerous, often requires travel, and isn't desired by everyone. Moreover, many states will not change the sex on a birth certificate, even when proof of reassignment surgery is provided.

Each individual violation will result in a $500 fine or up to six months in jail.

Oxford's about forty miles east of Birmingham, on I-20, on the way to Atlanta. I read the article, and it truly hit me that I am a sort of exile. It is becoming increasingly unsafe for transgender people to live in the South, and if I were to move back home, or even go visit my mom and sister, I'd be facing this crap. The fact of it hit me like a load of bricks. It shut me down for the day. On Facebook I wrote:

How long now until Southern states (and cities) begin forbidding people to dress in a way that is considered inconsistent with their "sex at birth"? There are already places where laws against appearing in public "in disguise" are on the books (old, old laws), and those would be easy to tweak to use against transgender persons. There is no longer anything outlandish about this fear. How long before there are attempts to criminalize everything from drag shows to sex reassignment?

And I'd hoped that today would look silly and alarmist, so that I'd have to take it down. But it doesn't look silly and it doesn't look alarmist, and I can't take it down. After I transitioned, I lived in Alabama and Georgia for another fifteen years (1993-2008). And I took a lot of bullshit off people, but I did at least have the protection of the law.

It seems to me now that, for all that time, I was living in a sort of cultural cold war, and now the South is engaged in an all-out shooting war against transgender persons. And I feel I should be doing something, but I have no idea what that could be.

Later,
Aunt Beast

Comments

( 9 comments — Have your say! )
everville340
Apr. 28th, 2016 04:53 pm (UTC)
And I feel I should be doing something, but I have no idea what that could be.

What you are, and have been doing: being yourself, and saying or posting whenever and whatever moves you to do so.

This has become our 21st Century SILENCE=DEATH.
ashlyme
Apr. 28th, 2016 04:57 pm (UTC)
This "law" is vile and it is bullshit.
corucia
Apr. 28th, 2016 07:01 pm (UTC)

We were quite worried last year about exactly this type of possibility, and although we looked at a few universities in the South initially, we strongly discouraged Alia from applying anywhere in the region for because of safety concerns.

Can't say I've ever given any thought to the nether regions of the person in the next stall over; gotta wonder what's wrong with all the politicians who can't seem to stop their minds from going that direction...

I'd like a poll to see how many of them have single-gender bathrooms at their homes. I'd be willing to bet that the overwhelming majority of bathrooms in the US are not gender-divided - certainly the one in our house isn't.

martianmooncrab
Apr. 28th, 2016 07:17 pm (UTC)
until Southern states (and cities) begin forbidding people to dress in a way that is considered inconsistent with their "sex at birth"?

then Kilts and Priests who wear the long robes are going to be in trouble.
Marc D. Goldfinger
Apr. 28th, 2016 07:20 pm (UTC)
The Dark Ages
It appears that we have re-entered the Dark Ages.
sovay
Apr. 28th, 2016 07:27 pm (UTC)
And I feel I should be doing something, but I have no idea what that could be.

You are being yourself and you are not being silent; that is valuable.

There are different words in Latin for what is legally permissible and what is right. The anti-trans bills may be licet in the sense that they can be passed as laws, but they are not fas.
Ray Cornwall
Apr. 28th, 2016 09:09 pm (UTC)
"And I feel I should be doing something, but I have no idea what that could be."

Go the bathroom where you damn well want.

Stupid, stupid law.
ladyblue56
Apr. 29th, 2016 05:46 am (UTC)
I feel it is cold comfort (no pun intended) for you to not be able to move back at this point during this chaotic time. Sadly, if there was ever a time to not be in the South, it is now.

Seriously, if I were not ill and had the money to do so I'd move from the state. I don't know where I'd go but the toxic atmosphere keeps getting worse and I expect it will continue until the Presidential candidates are chosen by the parties.

Then from July to November, I have to hope there will be a saner grasp on reality and less of this screeching hysteria that we're seeing now as far as the elections.
Kiki Lang
Apr. 29th, 2016 10:19 pm (UTC)
Worse than you think.
There are people I know, places they live. I don't talk about them on social media because it is monitored. We like to read stories about criminals who were arrested for what they say on line, but when extremist make the laws, who are the criminal?

Edited at 2016-04-29 10:23 pm (UTC)
( 9 comments — Have your say! )