This will just take a second. It is a poor substitute for cute puppies, but I can’t not say anything about this, so please bear with me.
There’s been some recent news for people who have to pee in North Carolina. (And for people who live in Kansas, but I neither live nor vote in Kansas, so I’ll leave Kansas alone.) That news is that we no longer have to live in FEAR and TERROR of a transgender person INVADING our precious dichotomous elimination.
(A transgender person, in over-simplified binary terms, is a person who was born with one gender but identifies and lives as another. So a biological woman identifies as male and presents as male – meaning we would see this person out and about and assume this person was a male. Same for biological males identifying as female. We’d see this person and say, hey, there’s a lady. Moving on.)
This law, that passed the general assembly, which is made up of assholes, and was quickly signed into law by governor mccrory, an asshole, does a lot of really really shitty things. It’s one thing (and a terrible thing) to say that folks can only use the bathroom corresponding to the gender to which they were born. This is stupid, and unnecessary, especially as there are literally no reported cases of transgender villainy, bathroom-wise. (Whereas there are many reported cases of villainy inflicted upon transgender persons, presumably from people who equate transgenderism with creepery when in fact those are two very very different things.)
So that’s one shitty thing. The law forces transgender people into potentially dangerous situations while protecting the biologically comfortable from literally nothing.
(But wait. What about when you’re in a bar and the line for the women’s room is really long but there’s no one in the men’s room so you just go in and pee real quick? Is that going to be illegal now? IS IT.
No, Sarah, you’re thinking, that’s stupid. I mean, the legislation is clearly not meant to inconvenience my drunk, white, cis-gendered female ass. It’s only meant to inconvenience the perverts, and by perverts we mean transgendered people because there already is a law to protect us against actual perverts who are breaking an actual law that is preventing actually harmful things to people. Again, moving on.)
It gets worse. The way this law came to pass in North Carolina is that Charlotte, a big city, passed a law that said, hey friends, when you’re in Charlotte, you can’t not serve a gay person in your business because they’re gay. In addition to being bad business, it is also now a law. Great, right? Wrong. Because then the General Assembly was like THINK OF THE BATHROOMS and convened a special session – A SPECIAL SESSION DURING MARCH MADNESS THAT IS HOW STRONGLY THEY FEEL ABOUT THIS NON-THREAT IN PUBLIC RESTROOMS – where they passed a law that said, say, that nice thing in Charlotte? Where it’s illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation? That kind of nice thing is now illegal.
Let’s make sure you understand me correctly: The state of North Carolina passed a bill that made it ILLEGAL for LOCAL GOVERNMENTS to pass a law protecting its citizens.
This is exactly the situation the phrase “what the actual fuck” was invented for.
(Hidden away in that bill is also the provision that local government can’t pass a law requiring businesses to pay above the state minimum wage. Which means that places like the Triangle (where I live, and where shit is expensive and where many people who work for my town literally cannot afford to live in this town) could not say to its businesses, hey, you want to benefit from the great things in this area? You need to pay folks a living wage which, yes, is higher than a living wage might be in other parts of the state but sorry folks, that’s how we roll. Except it’s not how we roll, since it is now illegal for local government to pass laws like this.
Because smaller government only means smaller government when it’s not accidentally making life better for the villainously queer or the villainously poor. But let’s move on.)
This, friends, is bullshit. This law protects nobody from anything, and actively endangers people who need protection. It peels back the veneer of Southern hospitality and reveals the joker inside who is all, ha ha we only meant hospitality for people who are just like us.
I realize I am a writer of light romance novels that are fluffy and not particularly deep and that people probably seek out to be distracted from the shit like this in the world around us. And I am glad that I can provide comfort to people, because I do not believe that there are no good people in the world. There are. There are even good people in the NC general assembly, probably. And normally I stay away from posting things about my politics and religious views and such, because that has nothing to do with my writing, nor do the politics or religious views of my readers have anything to do with my writing.
But I can’t see something like this and not say something. This is some kind of superpower meta-discrimination, and it is couched in language that tries to make it sound like they HAVE to discriminate in order to protect us. That is a lie, and it is a dangerous, dangerous lie and a disgusting lie that I cannot even in the most accidental way condone. It is gross. I am against it.
I just finished listening to Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin and I know we’re all tired of hearing everything compared to Nazis, but here’s the thing. You read that book, and you think, what the hell, people of the 1930s? How did you not see that coming? And the way they did not see that coming is they saw things happening, and they said nothing. And while my writing persona pretends to be someone who keeps her mouth shut on issues that are not relevant, I can’t do it in this case. This law is wrong. It is probably also unconstitutional, but even if it’s not, it’s wrong, and it should be repealed faster than you can say Gay Panic.
If you want to do something about it, consider reaching out to the nice folks at Equality NC. Or just talk about it. Let it be known in your communities, in your churches, and in your families that this kind of political machination is hateful and wrong and fucking un-American. Transgender people do not present a threat to cisgender people in bathrooms. We’re all just sitting in there together, waiting for the other person to leave so we can fart.
So guess what, fuck you North Carolina. I hope you lose your stupid basketball game.
Now back to our regularly scheduled frivolity.