I am an American and a human being and I deserve rights, the same rights as you
I just heard a new word today that struck my heart in a sickening way: "Gendercide", "the deliberate effort to destroy traditions of gender fluidity…". That was a quote from an extremely insightful book I'm reading called Reclaiming Two-Spirits, Sexuality, Spiritual Renewal & Sovereignty In Native America by Gregory D. Smithers (if you get the chance I highly recommend it).
It struck my heart because I feel it on multiple levels. As native and two-spirit myself I feel great sadness for my ancestors who suffered at the hands of radically conservative colonialism that committed unquestionable genocide and ethnic cleansing of the natives of this continent. The cruelty inflicted upon gender fluid people back then was especially horrific, from being murdered by vicious dogs to being indoctrinated out of existence by religious intolerance. I thought things had changed, but I was wrong.
There are now 242 anti-LGBTQ introduced bills with at least 238 of these being anti-trans bills. That is more this month alone (January 2023) than in all of 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 COMBINED.
Today we are facing the continuing barrage of threats on not only gender fluidity, but on the female gender itself with the similar assaults on the rights of women. There has never been true gender equality but to have your rights deliberately taken away I think is another form of gendercide. But again, no one is a bigger target than gender fluid people, none more hated and reviled in the world, which makes us easier to attack.
There are now 242 anti-LGBTQ introduced bills with at least 238 of these being anti-trans bills. That is more this month alone (January 2023) than in all of 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 COMBINED. This is a war on trans existence. I know radical conservatives don't want people of transgender experience like me to exist, and they're doing everything they can to make it harder for us to exist. They'e committing a similar genocide as with natives — legally, with the laws written by them. Bills have been introduced this year alone that attempt to undermine and weaken nondiscrimination laws by allowing employers, businesses, and even hospitals to turn away LGBTQ people or refuse them equal treatment. Despite the safeguards of the First Amendment's right to free expression, politicians are fighting to restrict how and when LGBTQ people can be themselves, limiting access to books about them and trying to ban or censor performances like drag shows. These bills also target access to medically necessary health care, like Medicaid, for transgender people. Many of these bills ban affirming care for trans youth, and can create criminal penalties for providing this care. These bills exempt identical treatments offered to cisgender youth or forced onto intersex youth. Other bills block funding to medical centers that offer gender-affirming care, or block insurance coverage of health care for transgender people. These transgender hate bills are blatant and brutal and will cost lives.
The trauma that we are now suffering is going to once again be generational and we haven't even healed from the pain of our past.
The fight for bodily autonomy has never ended, only abated at times, but now its increasing intensity is almost unprecedented. Radical conservatives want to force women (and GIRLS) to carry unwanted pregnancies no matter the circumstances or cost to the mother, stripping women of the right to say what happens with THEIR OWN BODIES, and they want to completely annihilate the transgender community altogether in much the same way — by criminalizing our healthcare, taking away our rights as women to make our own choices for our lives, our bodies, our futures. So that word "Gendercide" feels particularly appropriate to our current time.
I feel so disheartened, and quite honestly, weary, but I know I can't lie down; someone has to be willing to fight. But unless we all care and fight together I fear the same fate as my ancestors with sparse survivors. The trauma that we are now suffering is going to once again be generational and we haven't even healed from the pain of our past. A past that is not so much past, for "the past is never dead, it's not even past."
Resilience is difficult in such times, but vital for survival. It can be so hard to be optimistic when you can see your rights being washed away like footprints in the sand. Your life, your humanity, your existence deemed worthless, a threat to society, and even criminalized. When and how does this end? This country was built on genocide, ethnic violence, gender inequality, class divisions and hate of all kinds so it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you're the most reviled demographic in the world, especially when not many are willing to stand for you, fight with you, and vote for you, but as hard as it is I must hold on to some small hope that I won't be eradicated from the earth. Regardless of what you think of me or my decisions, I am an American and a human being and I deserve rights, the same rights as you, or do we live in a new America where only the privileged deserve to live free? Just remember, if they can take my rights away, don't think that yours are safe.
Gendercide might not be a real word, but it's most certainly a very real reality, one that will take all of us standing together to overcome.
As always Katie, your blogs are thoughtful, well written and impactful.
"The trauma that we are now suffering is going to once again be generational and we haven't even healed from the pain of our past."
This resonates on a lot of levels. Humans arm each other in so many far reaching ways and it extends generation to generation.
I applaud your resilience, admire your strength and voice and tenacity and support you friend. Blessing and light.