The road to hell…

The road to hell…

blog post blurred photo(All quotes, unless stated otherwise, are written by Sarah Plake)

A friend of mine posted on Facebook yesterday. Okay, that part isn’t new or newsworthy, it’s why that matters. Someone on a Kansas City News Facebook page shared an anti-transgender meme that featured her then nine year old child. Even now her child is, just that, a child. She thought about ignoring it but, well, this is her baby. So she called in reinforcements. That’s where I came in.

I very rarely enter the comment section. I joke that’s where the trolls live but, in reality that’s pretty close to the truth. My first foray into the comments years ago was a shock and a half. I’d expected it to be the online version of The Letter to the Editor. Heavily moderated and edited for brevity. What I found was the online version of a drunken college party but with worse grammar. But I do make exceptions on wading in there for friends.

I found the offending comment right away and my friend’s request to please remove her daughter’s photo, stressing that she was just a child. I took this photo hours later, obviously he didn’t care. And that’s why his name has not been edited out of the image. I’ve edited the girl and I’ve removed everyone else’s names. I even removed my friend’s profile picture. But him? Pfft. If he can’t be bothered to remove a child’s photo off the internet, so be it.

blog post retortThe comment was on an article regarding transgender youths and medical procedures regarding them plus transgender athletes. It quickly became obvious that pretty much nobody had a frigging clue what the hell they were talking about. I mean here’s a quote about the bills being proposed in Missouri and Kansas.

“Kansas House Bill 2210 and Missouri House Bill 33 would make it a crime for doctors to perform any gender-reassignment services, procedures or surgeries for transgender children under 18, which includes puberty blockers and hormone therapy.”

Puberty blockers for pete’s sake. They’ve been used for decades to treat precocious puberty. You know, like when a five year old girl starts getting her period or an eight year old boy grows a beard? They are not new or experimental or dangerous or permanent. There is no reason to stop them. Absolutely none.

A Republican, of course, introduced the bill in Kansas to protect children because, in his words, “I don’t think a child would ever think about something like that if their parents or others around them weren’t telling them that they can choose to be the opposite gender. I think this is something that’s just being forced on kids.”

Meanwhile his co-sponsor is only opposed to children being “surgically altered”. She goes on to say that “if a child has a tendency or curiosity, or there is a ‘fad’ to be gay, the child [needs] a parent who is open to conversation with the school, [their] pediatric physician and then an experienced child therapist to work with the child before permanent decisions are made.”

Really? Really??? I mean totally ignoring the whole bizarre “fad to be gay” thing, what did she think happened? Sadly the reality is she doesn’t have a clue. I bet she’s never spoken to a single trans adult or the parent of a trans child let alone a trans child. Neither of them have reached out to a paediatrician or any other doctor who works with transgender youths. I mean that’s all just patently obviously. No one who’d done any amount of research would think children are being “surgically altered”.

blog post commentAnd they’re not the only ones. The more I read, the more I find there’s a whole swathe of people who claim to be fighting against kids transitioning on their behalf. They can’t believe a trans child would know their gender at seven years old; someone must be forcing them to think they’re transgender. Meanwhile they’re just as likely to say that of course their five year old son picked the blue ball, he knows he’s a boy. It’s only the trans kids who don’t know their gender. The cis kids not only are allowed to know it but they have their noses rubbed in it (gender reveal parties anyone?).

And multiple people, like the co-signer, are there wailing about the six and seven year olds getting surgery and how it’s abuse and it needs to be stopped immediately! Umm… it never started to begin with. I have no idea where they come up with this idea but there’s always someone new who’s positive a kindergarten student is going in for gender confirmation surgery.

And the people who just want to be “reasonable” and let trans kids minds have a chance to mature before starting any kind of treatment. Kids and teens change their minds so often and they shouldn’t be allowed to make such life altering decisions at such a young age.

Wait… what??? Teens can join the military and see live action. They can get their driver’s license and take control of a several tonne vehicle which could easily kill themself and/or the people around them. They can take out a massive loan for post secondary education, one that will take decades to pay off, and one which they could end up taking out on a program they ultimately don’t like. They can get married. They can have a baby (or more). They can have a tattoo and/or piercing in a variety of places. They can have sex, which, depending on the person they’re with and the STI they have, can be very life altering. Where the fuck are these people at recruitment centres with their signs reading “Getting blown up is a life altering decision”? Why aren’t they protesting student loans? Especially in the States where they can’t be forgiven no matter what circumstances you’re in. Why aren’t they fighting against child brides? But, no, it’s only against trans people.

I just read a tweet by someone who goes by the name Tamra Bonvillain, which reads, “Not allowing trans teens to go on blockers/hormones is also an irreversible choice”. This is absolutely true and absolutely never mentioned in these bills or in conservative discussions regarding transgender youths. These people are saying they’re trying their hardest to protect the poor innocent children and teens but have never spoken to a single transgender youth. They’ve never thought of the ramifications of their actions. Why not? Maybe it’s because they’re not trying to protect transgender children. They don’t want to believe trans children even exist. They don’t like trans people. They don’t accept trans people. They think of trans people as being horrible and abominations of nature. And there’s no way innocent children could be any of that.

So they claim it’s adults causing it and try to legislate them out of existence. If they’re not having name changes in the classroom, or using the correct washroom, or playing on their proper team… those people don’t have to think about trans children at all. They get total ignorant bliss. Unless they have to notice because a child simply won’t just go away and then it gets ugly. I read one story a year or so ago where a child, a literal prepubescent child, wanted to use the girls washroom. Parents of her classmates got together and she was called such things as “it”, “the thing”, and “half baked maggot”. Fathers were bragging about how it was going to be their son who beat her up. Parents. Of children her own age. How could they tuck their children in at night, kiss their foreheads, and marvel at how young and precious they were while literally referring to another child that same age as insect larva? It just doesn’t make sense.

Or, well it does. They don’t like trans people. They don’t know anyone who’s trans and they don’t want to know anyone who’s trans. Children are innocent and therefore can’t be trans, someone must be forcing them. Unless they prove they really are trans and then it’s fair game to call them a maggot and share their picture in a meme that mocks them. And, well, the kids get ignored until they’re adult and can’t be legislated out of existence anymore. And then they’re mocked and harrassed for looking different and not fitting into gender norms, like they picked the wrong puberty on purpose. And so on and so forth and I’m sick of it and furious.

Friends talk and share stories about health care woes. Of having to teach even the good doctors how to treat them. Of being called “it” and “he-she” by medical professionals. Of having doctors simply refuse to treat them. Of a man who died of ovarian cancer after a three year struggle to find a doctor willing to treat him. A woman hemorrhaging from her leg who was made to walk downstairs to an ambulance, while the attendants mocked her, because they didn’t want to touch her enough to help her onto a stretcher. I even found my own psychiatric intake papers from 2016, shortly after I broke up with my then fiance, stating I had a “recent breakup with a ‘boyfriend’, who was actually a transgender female to male”. She went on to state that the relationship “was perceived to be romantic in nature”. I really doubt she’d have written any of that if Lenny had been a cis male. The psychiatrist literally recoiled when she found out.

For the love of all we hold holy and/or dear can we not just listen to other people, care for other people, and accept other people? Can we stop trying to make decisions for people without finding out what they want and actually need first. Can we accept people as, you know, people instead of othering them in a derogatory fashion? And… this should be complete and utter common sense here… can we please not take the picture(s) of children, make derogatory memes about them, and spread them around the world wide web? It doesn’t cost us a single thing to be kind.

Colin’s second blog post (by Colin)…

So to start off with, I’m going to start off with the political thing I mentioned briefly in my last post, fining people for not using someone’s preferred pronouns or gender. Personally I don’t see how it would help. Because is someone going to sit there and say, “Oh I totally know what you mean by that, how I should use your preferred gender.” Or are they going to ban you from the establishment for something you did in the past, find just some reason to ban you, and not learn their lesson. And just be more upset with the LGBT community. If I thought it was going to help, I’d be all for it, but fining people? Like, think about speeding, right? People get fines for speeding, but isn’t it a regular thing? A fine really doesn’t do anything. And drinking and driving. We’re told endlessly not to drink and drive but there are still people who do that.

ColinBut let’s move on to the thing everyone probably has on their mind. How Obama completely wronged the gay community by legalizing gay marriage. Now it sounds weird right? You legalize gay marriage and you harm the community but, from what I’ve seen, that’s exactly what he did. When he legalized gay marriage, he put no protections under the law. So if everyone thinks back, you can probably remember right after they legalized gay marriage, you saw a massive thing where people were kicked out of their building, fired from their job, right after coming back from getting married, which is just fun. Now to me, it seems like it’s going to be more difficult to put the protections in the law now because, unlike the gender wage gap, which has been stopped, in most places, thirty years ago, it’s not a thing where you legalize gay marriage and it’s fine. You need to put specific protections in the law because, with the wage gap, you just had to say you have to pay men and women equally. But with gay marriage, Obama took the lazy way out. You have it where gay marriage is legal but not protected. So you can get fired still for being gay and kicked out of your apartment for being gay but you can get married. To me, that doesn’t seem equal. But Canada did make it illegal to kick someone out of a building for being gay but, to be honest, I don’t know about the last part because Canadians are so nice they probably weren’t firing people in the first place or kicking people out and they were probably just marrying them anyway <joke>.

The future and why free speech is very important. If we don’t have free speech and that kind of includes a bit of hate speech (that obviously doesn’t include death threats or threats of assault) you could have a situation which is entirely possible right now, where, if you say a word, your phone would pick it up and the police would be at your door in fifteen minutes to arrest you. Personally, that doesn’t sound fun, I don’t know about anyone else. And also, talking bad about people like the government, people in government, celebrities. I remember Anita Sarkeesian went to the UN and I’m surprised that no one in the news picked it up. She said bullying and stuff like that were people disagreeing with her on the internet. Disagreement is not bullying. But think about the future. If it is classified as bullying, what could happen next? You disagree with someone in government, you’re bullying them, you go to jail for like 20 years. But even, like, activists. You disagree with them, you could get the same prison time I bet.

Speaking of activism. Has anyone noticed the left is getting away with stuff they shouldn’t. Obviously in like the UK, Scotland, Canada, the US… places like that. Obviously not the place they’re getting fucking shot. But like antifa, they’re getting away with stuff like beating people up. I remember when the bike lock happened, the police said “we can’t track them, they have a mask on”. And then 4chan had to step in for the police and investigated it. And they brought enough evidence to get the guy arrested. Which, just a side note, don’t get on 4chan’s bad side. They found a flag that was inside someone’s house, which only had one window in an unknown location on a wall. It was on a white wall, with nothing around it, inside someone’s house. And they found it in a day. This is a thing that happened. They found it in a day or two. One more thing about 4chan, the news needs to stop falling for them. The OK sign is apparently “white power” and milk is apparently “white supremacists” but, you know, the news has a lot of investigative journalists to do things <sarcasm>.

And now good news. If anyone’s used Google Pay you can probably figure this one out. Soon your phone will do literally everything except gaming. You will have to play Steam games on the computer. So your phone will slide into a thing on your computer and will have everything on your phone be accessible on your desktop soon. But you’d still have all the functionalities of a desktop too, it will be a virtual interface but about gaming thing, try playing Fall Out 4 on the iPhone10 or the newest Samsung or any other phone from this year. Even the phone that was a dedicated gaming phone won’t play Fall Out 4. The desktop will aways be faster but the phone processors will be really good but most people will have a phone and a display for at home. But, in the future, you need your ID, grab your phone. You need your bus pass, grab your phone. We’re already paying with stuff on the phone so if you need your credit card, grab your phone, if you need your Visa, grab your phone. You need basically anything, you need your airplane ticket, grab your phone. You need to start your car, well grab your phone, that’s your key. But, in the future, your phone will be everything, which at first glance seems like, well this is horrible. If you lose your phone, all you need to do is grab your old phone, don’t trade it in because if you trade it in, you won’t have it anymore. And this is advice for if you’re going to get a new phone. Even though they say they’re going to give you a better phone if you trade your old one in, don’t. Unless if you think you can afford $100 to repair the screen. Maybe even $500 depending on the phone. Just get the best phone you can without trading in your old phone.

So to make a long story short. Free speech is important. No one learns anything by a fine. And the future will be you with a phone and, if you play gaming on a computer now, you’ll have a computer.

Yes guns kill people…

This Wednesday a young adult opened fire on his former classmates and teachers, killing seventeen of them. He obtained that assault rifle legally, despite the fact he was known to be unstable and people had warned the FBI about him.

Obviously so much went wrong. The FBI didn’t act on the warning and the store sold him an assault rifle. An assault rifle to a kid who wasn’t even old enough to drink. And now seventeen families have been torn apart. Seventeen futures are gone. Parents around the country are terrified to send their children to school. They have to answer questions like, “What if I get shot?” or “Will I get shooted in school Mommy?”

I live in Canada so the topic of guns rarely comes around in real life. But I’m also online and have many friends in the US so I get to read all the arguments every time there’s a school shooting. Which, sadly, is often. And those arguments infuriate me. Most of the reason is because people, quite often children, have just been killed by guns and part of it is because the arguments are so ridiculous.

I hope I never read another post claiming guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Followed along with, “If I put my gun down on the table, it does nothing.”

Seriously, are you that dense? Take the gun away and how many people would that shooter kill before he gets tackled? Probably none. Maybe a couple if he had a knife. Guns definitely need a person to operate them but they do kill people, and a lot more easily than a knife or other weapon.

Another argument that comes up often is that the gun is an inanimate object. When it’s left alone it does nothing, as all inanimate objects do. My water bottle is inanimate as well and it doesn’t do anything either. But if you pick up a gun and I pick up my water bottle, you have the potential to kill as many people as there are bullets in your gun. I have the potential to squirt someone and get them damp.

I can’t understand why people are allowed to buy assault rifles in the States. Guns are designed to kill but assault rifles are solely designed to kill people. One person tried to argue with me on that point but stopped when I asked if he was planning on shooting a deer fifty times. There is no reason to own an assault rifle. Absolutely none.

Then you get the people arguing that everyone should have guns. Could you imagine how many bullets would be in the air if everyone started shooting after the initial shots? The body count would be horrific. Besides, even trained professionals like police men and SEALs get shot and killed while alert and wearing a gun. If they can be shot to deal while armed and ready, what makes you think an already scared teacher or teenager has a chance. Arming teenagers and teachers is a recipe for disaster.

I don’t have any pat answers. I can point out that Australia banned certain kinds of guns after their only school shooting but the pro gun people claim it’s different in the States. The only difference I can see is an accent and the attitude that property is more valuable than lives. Pro tip, the court of law doesn’t not offer the death penalty for breaking and entering so neither should you.

I can also point out that the indigenous POC in Australia get harassed by the police, similar to how POC are treated in the States. Heck, I knew as soon as I read that the shooter was in police custody that he was white (or at least appeared white). Having armed police doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safer for everyone. Yet I don’t see how having a gun would change that. Just as many people would get attacked, having a gun would mean getting treated worse, and using the gun would either end up with someone looking like swiss cheese or a lifetime in prison.

At the end of the day, I believe that if people want a gun they need to train on how to operate it safely first and pass a security check. They need to keep the gun unloaded in a place out of reach of children and the bullets secured in a second location. This would at least stop the heartbreaking deaths of small children playing with guns and accidentally killing a sibling, cousin, or friend. And there should be an age minimum. If you’re too young to drink then you’re too young to shoot. I’m sure an exception could be made for those who are currently in the armed forces.

I applaud the students who are planning on walking out on March 14th and April 20th. I hope enough of them leave to make the government take notice, although I’m not sure if Cheeto Hitler would even care. Maybe politicians in their areas will initiate changes.

But for now we’ll keep reading about school shootings until the US government realizes that “thoughts and prayers” aren’t the answer.

sketchers

The sky is falling?

I am not afraid of the trans woman making small talk with me in the elevator. I am afraid of the person yelling that the sky is falling while claiming it’s the trans women’s fault, using poor Chicken Little and his acorn as a prop in his tale. A misdirection.

Trans women are being used in a game of shells.

Look here, the politicians say, see the danger! As the other shells swirl and hide. Look! A trans woman is in the bathroom!

I look and see her minding her own business. The politicians continue to bleat danger and wave their hands.

What are they hiding?

In the States, poor children lose their breakfasts, seniors their lunches, and families their health care… while the President golfs every weekend and lets the country pay the cost so his wife can live in gilded splendour.

Meanwhile an orange bus putts along the country, ignoring biology and bleating “peaceful” hatred. It’s freeze peach, they say. Trans people are the liars, they say. But they aren’t, so who’s the one who’s lying?

And the shells continue to spin and the sky stays firmly in place. And trans women continue to die from carefully targeted hatred.

And Chicken Little shows off his acorn as proof and the ignorant listen.

Dear Don Plett

I read a letter you wrote to a member of a parenting group I belong to regarding Bill C-279. You seem very concerned about women who don’t want to share change rooms with trans women and one lone woman on a Native reserve who doesn’t want trans women (who are escaping assault and trauma) in the shelter she’s running. There are a few other people I’d like you to be concerned about.

I’d like to introduce you to my 17 year old child Jeremy, who is transgender and identifies as both male and female (also known as bi-gender). Jeremy uses the pronouns zie and zir. Zie replaces he/she while zir replaces him/his/her.

Jeremy is an amazing kid. Zie loves computers and electronics. I just watched as zie set up a webcam on our guinea pig’s cage and connected it remotely to zir cellphone so zie can check up on our piggy during lunch at school. Jeremy also set up our new printer a few days ago and connected it wirelessly to our computers and cellphones. I don’t know when I’ll ever need to print a document from my phone but if I do, Jeremy’s made sure it’s ready for me. Jeremy’s a huge Doctor Who fan and zir favourite colour is purple. Zie’s a kind child who always remembers to give me a hug before I leave to work in the morning.

I want Jeremy to grow up in a country where zie, and other trans youths, are supported and protected. Transgender people face extreme amounts of discrimination. They have high unemployment rates due to prejudice, struggle to find housing, face staggering amounts of verbal and physical abuse, and have correspondingly high suicide rates.

Last year I used to send my child off to a group for LGBTQ youths. Each night I’d sit by my phone hoping zie wouldn’t get beaten up on the way home. That’s not a worry this year simply because zie’s too scared to go out anywhere on zir own. Jeremy’s entire social life consists of going shopping with me.

Picture going shopping with your child and seeing person after person not just staring but continuing to stare after they’ve walked past, turning their heads back to continue looking. Picture standing in the line at the cash register as the person in front of you spins around away from the cashier to stare in blatant shock. You turn to realize they’re staring, open mouthed, at your child and continue staring for several minutes. Picture taking a quiet walk with your youth to the local greenspace while people scream obscenities out their car windows at your teenager. Picture walking home from the store while a couple of grown men laugh and point at your child, pretending to run away. The reality is there’s nothing Jeremy’s doing to stand out. All of Jeremy’s clothes are from the mens department and, while zir hair is just a bit below shoulder length, it’s not unusually long for someone who’s biologically male. Zie simply and naturally looks both male and female. Zie can’t try to fit in.

Jeremy had kids approaching zir in the boy’s bathroom in primary school, wanting to see zir privates to make sure zie had a penis. Zie had children harassing zir at 7 years old in the school yard, telling other kids not to play with Jeremy because zie was a he/she. And when Jeremy was around 8 or 9 years old we had an adult neighbour gather a group of local children and teach them to call zir “faggot” and throw pine cones at zir. We managed to get her evicted but what she taught lingered.

While you don’t come right out and say it, I get the feeling your biggest concern is sexual predators. You never mention trans men using male change rooms and washrooms, instead you focus on trans women in female change rooms and washrooms, as if all trans women are predators. The reality is they are no more likely to be predators than anyone else. We have laws to deal with predatory cisgender woman who want to sexually assault other women. Those same laws would deal with predatory trans woman and both incidents would be shocking simply because of how rarely they occur. If our sexual assault laws are weak then continue to work to strengthen them. Don’t strip a bill that’s designed to give some of the more vulnerable members of our country equal rights.

This bill also protects innocent children who are trans. These children look and act like the gender they identify with and they want nothing more than to be treated the same as their peers. Being able to use the same washroom and join the same team as their friends not only helps them emotionally but protects them as well. A young child who looks and identifies as female does not fare well in a male washroom.

Yes, some transgender people are gender fluid and some may indeed use one change room or washroom one day and the opposite the following day. This wouldn’t be for any nefarious reason but simply to use the washroom they felt safer in. I’ve talked to people who will not use the washroom for hours on end because they’re scared of the reaction they’ll face no matter which bathroom they try to enter. We, as a society, need to stop worrying so much about who’s in the bathroom with us and let people simply relieve themselves in peace. More single stall gender neutral washrooms would be a help as well.

You have a chance right now to protect truly marginalized people. You have a chance to allow people equal rights and the ability to simply be themselves. Please help keep all our children safe. Please give my transgender child a safe Canada to grow up in and let bill C-279 pass.

Thank you,

Michelle
(address and phone number redacted)