Let’s Move “T” to the Front of LGBTQ

tlgbqIt’s pretty obvious that trans people need our help these days, so I suggest we update our acronym to TLGBQ as a show of support.

When I was in college in the early 90’s, I was still a few years away from coming out as gay, but I did notice when the campus’ main gay organization changed its name from the GLA (Gay & Lesbian Association) to the LGBC (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Coalition). They felt like the group was becoming too exclusive, and they wanted to make lesbians and bisexuals feel more welcome.

It was the right idea, but looking back now, it’s glaring that even in the reshuffling, the letter “T” didn’t find its way in there at the time. It’s only recently that T has become a permanent fixture of LGBTQ. I won’t go into the debate about whether transgender rights should be considered part of gay rights. As far as I’m concerned, it’s settled. They should be, and they are, and if you disagree, you can go form your own movement, because there’s no room for transphobia in mine.

Let’s remember who fought back at Stonewall. Some of the most prominent protesters were transgender women like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. The L’s, G’s and B’s of that period in history, in most cases, were happy to blend in or live in the shadows or the closet. Trans people, on the other hand, refused to or couldn’t fit in, and at some point, they’d had it with being abused and marginalized. As far as I’m concerned, we’re lucky they let us join their movement.

And what have us cisgender LGBQ’s done to thank them and show them our support? Well, at some point, we tacked a “T” onto our acronym and started including them in our nondiscrimination laws.

It’s not enough.

Especially today, when trans rights are under attack, we need to do everything we can to let transgender people know we have their backs and we’re going to fight for them the way they’ve always fought for us.

It’s disgusting that Donald Trump has taken away protections for trans students. There’s no question what this shameful move will do to trans kids across the country:

It will kill them.

It will drive more trans students toward suicide suicide and embolden bullies to attack them even more than they already do. We’ve seen how the anti-Semitism in Trump’s administration has led to a rise in anti-Semitic harassment (which Trump refuses to adequately condemn).

The same goes for Muslims and immigrants, who this administration has come after as well. There’s no doubt that an increase in transphobic attacks is on the horizon.

And then which group is next?

Would any of us be surprised if it’s the rest of the LGBTQ community?

Still, it’s clear which members of our community they’ve chosen to attack first, who they consider the most vulnerable and the easiest to defeat. Let’s not give them any impression that trans rights are in any way an afterthought to our movement. Let’s put our trans allies right up front.


Sure, the people who already make fun of our cumbersome acronym will have a field day.

Let them.

They’ll do all the publicity for us, and we can focus on calling our representatives to support TLGBQ rights and fighting the government in court.


Start using it now.

Do it to thank the trans community for giving birth to the movement.

Do it because they need our support.

Do it to show the bullies in our government that if they want to come for trans rights, they’re going to have to go through all of us, and we’re going to stand together and fight like Hell.


Does Belle Have Stockholm Syndrome? Emma Watson Responds – and so do I.


As pretty much everyone in the universe knows by now, Disney’s live-action version of Beauty & the Beast comes out on March 17. And as readers of this blog know, my book My Rotten Stepbrother Ruined Beauty & the Beast (along with 3 other books in the series) comes out August 1.

beautybeastdisneySo I was really excited to read this interview with the new Belle, Emma Watson, from Entertainment Weekly, where she addresses the tricky subject of whether Belle’s love for the Beast stems from Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological condition where prisoners fall in love with their captor.

“Belle actively argues and disagrees with [Beast] constantly. She has none of the characteristics of someone with Stockholm Syndrome because she keeps her independence, she keeps that freedom of thought.”

– Emma Watson, Entertainment Weekly

It’s a great point, although I address the subject a bit differently in my version. In My Rotten Stepbrother Ruined Beauty & the Beast, Holden, the rotten kid in the title, enjoys needling his fairy tale-loving stepsister by pointing out plot holes in her favorite stories. With Beauty & the Beast, one of the things he mentions is how messed-up it is that Belle falls in love with a creepy recluse who’s holding her prisoner.

Yes, I’ve written a kids’ book about Stockholm Syndrome.

It’s all presented in a fun, kid-friendly way, of course. Holden insists that there’s no way Belle really loves this guy, and soon, the feuding step-siblings are thrust into the tale, where they become characters who have to give the story back its Happily Ever After. Holden is a lawyer who has to defend the Beast against kidnapping charges, and his step-sister Maddie is Belle, whose father is trying to deprogram her and get her to date other men.

I love that Emma Watson put so much thought into this topic, and after you see the movie, I hope you’ll check out my version of the story for a whole different perspective, with an unexpected fairy tale ending all its own.