On the Resurgence of Trans Hate

A couple weeks ago, Peter J Reilly of Forbes published an article about the O’Donnabhain V. Commissioner case that went before the IRS a few years back.

The article references the article in the Michigan journal of Gender and Law by Professor Kathryn Platt regarding the case, where she analyzes and examines the particulars of the case itself — and it is this that I am focusing on for this post, because of a recent event:

The confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.

The rise to that position of a racist, homophobic, and transphobic person bring these arguments to a new forefront, and especially the way in which the arguments noted by Professor Price were used in court — because these same sort of arguments are almost certainly going to be used again.

This has bearing for the legal and advocacy word, in particular the USPATH (United States Professional Association for Transgender Health), because of the fact that the same groups behind the attacks made in that case are now behind Sessions, and he has long had a close association with them and used these arguments himself.

One of the hallmarks of those who argue against human rights, in this case, the specific human rights of trans people, is that they prefer to argue in areas where fact, truth, and science are not held in high esteem — the court of public opinion, where they can capitalize on fear, anxiety, aversion and animus to win over people who make laws.

These arguments do not always work in court, unless the judges themselves are  part of that group — the recent decision by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor is an example of this sort of active, intentional bias contrary to fact on the part of a Judge as a consistent and enduring act of opposition to human rights.

This judge was intentionally sought out on that basis for the ruling — just as he has been actively sought out in similar cases of opposition to human rights, destruction of human decency, and the use of structural harm. Bodily Integrity and access to health care are just two other cases where this judge was hand picked for his subservience to a source outside the law.

The three primary angles of the legal argument that are liked here all stem from the writing of the incompetent, dishonorable,  and pseudoscience supporting views of one Dr. Paul McHugh.  In his writings,  McHugh asserts that

  • Persons who “claim” to be transgender are delusional,
  • Transness is deviant “behavior,” not a condition of being or disease, and
  • Gender confirmation surgery (“GCS”) should be prohibited as “collaborating with madness” and a moral “abomination.”

The judge so chosen actually cites the ideas so prevalent when he blocked the legally requiring of states to cover surgery for trans people who are subject to the treatment of the state.

So these attacks are on the very systemic medical and scientific basis of transness as a whole.  The playbook, if you will, or those who oppose human rights contains many variations on this kind of foundation attack.

McHugh is of the camp that trans people “need their minds fixed” — that is, that this isn’t an issue of physiology, but rather of mentality.  He is, then, promoting the same ideas that held sway for several decades among many practitioners, and ideas which are consistently proven false through actual sceintific study.

It is worth noting that his ideas are, under the current treatment protocols — or Standards of Care — unethical and without any scientific basis.  These ideas appeal to the layman, and provide fertile ground for animus, aversion, and anxiety to flourish, though, and so despite their lacking any real basis in truth or fact — including ontologically — they continue to appeal, and judges do not always give credit or value to experts in the field in large part because of his work to discredit the entire field.

This becomes key, because as AGUS, Sessions has to deal with the legal ramifications of Transgender people and the law.  This despite Sessions’ own faith not having an issue with Trans people, per se given that Transgender Ministers are ordained within the church.

Gay and Bi people, however, are not so fortunate, and expressly denied much of this. As Sessions is suggested to see Trans people in the old “really gay, but pretending to not be” vein. this bodes poorly, especially given the action taken this week regarding the aeal of the stay on the Trans restroom in colleges issue.

This is brought up because it may provide us with a means by which we can urge local Methodist leaders to counsel Sessions in to supporting trans rights, but even then it is unlikely to have an effect, given that most of the folks he hangs with are of the “men in women’s rooms” variety.

However, there, Sessions is subject to the reality that their complaint does so, and as AG he has to acknowledge, in court, both  that by ordering trans men into restrooms he is indeed  putting men in women’s rooms, as well as having to ind a way around the argument that he ihimself has made previously about concern for those who are not trans using being trans as an excuse.

He is, then going to have to argue that one should treat one group of people poorly in order to deal with a completely separate group.

And make no mistake, the restroom issue is where much of this will find ground, and the focus will be on the inclusion of Trans people under title IX, and the idea of sex as being inclusive of trans people.

“Sex change” will become a term that is most likely going to be involved — and here the move away from the somewhat pejorative description has a chance of weakening the arguments in public.

His record, then, is decidedly anti-LGB — and for reasons that are thoroughly based not in law and justice, but in religious convictions that are immoral and anti-christian.

(The devil’s greatest trick was not in making people stop believing in him, it was in taking over the churches that opposed him)

His racism and misogyny are also well established, and with the understanding we have from sceince that such things are well linked, it will be very incumbent on trans men to be actively involved int he fight, as he will discount any trans woman, and in particular any trans woman of color who happens to be bi or lesbian, outright.