Letters

Trans is not necessarily gay

Dear Editor,

In your report by Travis Cartwright-Caroll, regarding the parents “disturbed” by a trans student, one parent is quoted as saying, “But a guy wearing a girl’s uniform is not protocol. It doesn’t matter if the student is gay. It’s a distraction.”

Point one: Being trans is not being a homosexual.

One’s identity has nothing to do with one’s sexuality. That parent needs to do some reading and inform themselves better before making ignorant statements to the press. (And see what I did there using “they” as a singular when gender is unclear? Yep, it’s grammatically correct, people).

The parent added, “My kids don’t go around at school professing their heterosexuality.”

Point two: I’m pretty sure those kids do profess their heterosexuality (especially given who their parent is) because they are conforming to the gender norms that say a guy in pants and a gal in a skirt is “normal” and straight.

And if one is not “professing their homosexuality” (i.e. simply existing openly as a queer person), then one is, by default, professing their heterosexuality.

Teenage boys and girls are professing their sexuality at all times because that’s what they (and we) have all been well-trained to do.

Rom-coms, Disney princes and princesses, baby blue and pink, prom kings and queens. Heterosexuality is being professed loud and clear at all times.

Then, one queer character pops up and everybody clutches their pearls and has a mental breakdown.

Queer people have lived among us for centuries and will continue to live among us. You can carry on being straight around them. It’s OK; they’re not going to get distracted.

Also, let’s just get this straight (pun intended), a trans person is not necessarily homosexual. Those are two different things entirely.

And if a child or adult is in gendered clothes that don’t conform to their birth identity, they are not “professing” anything; they are just being themselves, as we are all allowed to do (as cisgendered straight people) every single day.

Let the kid be. Focus on your own kids.

I hope they’re not in the closet because you just made it harder for them (and any other kid at that school) to feel safe to come out. But that’s where this person wants them, right? Deep in the closet, not “professing” who they are — something that leads to misery, mental health deterioration and self-harm.

Point three: Homosexuality and trans identities were common in many early civilizations, African, Native American and otherwise. It was the colonizer who made it transgressive and punishable. Why not look at it as an act of decolonization?

Point four: In 1920, girls in pants would have been SHOCKING!!! And what a distraction!!! Ankles. Egads! Now, it’s normal.

And men wear tunics, djellabas, togas, sarongs and kilts all over the world as normal everyday wear. Priest and rabbis wear gowns. They are all just dresses and skirts with different names. Get over it.

And would a girl in a boy’s uniform cause an uproar? Very unlikely, unless you’re back in 1920 when a woman going to work was also “distracting”.

Point five: Heterosexuality is a massive distraction every day.

Teenagers obsess over this person or that person ad infinitum, have crushes, go on dates, pass notes in class.

Being gay or trans doesn’t make one more or less sexually active or distracting. If it’s normalized, then it ain’t no big deal anyway, and everybody can get on with their math and science.

These parents are the ones making it a distraction. Uniforms and the policing of bodies/dress and respectability politics were also brought in by the colonizer, just sayin’.

Lastly, it’s also shocking that this CHILD has had their image shared repeatedly in WhatsApp groups, etc. Be decent.

You shouldn’t be sharing pictures of other people’s kids, period. And if you can’t have a conversation with your kids about queerness, they’re just going to have it with someone else.

This generation has an entirely new perspective on identity; racial, sexual, and otherwise.

Let them dream of a utopia and get back to minding your own goddamned business and maybe help your kid with their math homework, if your excuse for their bad grade is because someone in a skirt is “distracting”.

Thank you.


— Enough Already

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