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.


What If My Kids Are A**holes?

What would you say about someone who exhibited the following behaviors:

  • Demanding things over and over, without even giving you time to respond?
  • Letting every minor inconvenience or frustration spur a complete screaming, crying meltdown?
  • Ordering you around without ever saying “please” or “thank you” unless specifically requested to do so every single time?
  • Dismissing your well-intentioned efforts with a loud “No!” and a contemptuous swipe of their hand?
  • Being completely unmoved by rational arguments?
  • Responding to disappointment merely by increasing the volume and intensity of their demand?
  • Cutting you off with an insincere “Sorry!” when you’re upset in hopes of avoiding a lecture?

Sounds like a real a-hole, right?  But what if they had a face like this:

Only a real douchebag would call them a-holes, right?

And yet… that’s exactly how I would describe that kind of behavior in anyone else.  When I encounter an adult who acts the way my kids do, I distance myself from them as quickly and thoroughly as possible.  I’ve ended friendships over that kind of behavior.  I’ve quit jobs.  I’ve asked to speak to the store manager.

But because they’re my kids, I’m stuck dealing with it.  Even worse, I’m expected to correct their obsessive, petty selfishness and turn them into decent human beings.  Geez, no pressure or anything.

I know this is supposedly a phase that all kids go through, but it’s hard not to worry that what I’m seeing now is something darker, the first true glimpse of my children’s souls.

What if my kids are… just jerks?

What if I’m not dealing with the terrible twos… but with terrible people?

Every short-fused, condescending egotist in the world was 2 years old once.  How do you tell the difference between them and the ones who are just going through a healthy stage of human psychological development?

Can you?

Bennett’s such a happy kid, always laughing.  But sometimes I wonder if he’s laughing at me.  Tell him not to drop his bowl of yogurt on the floor, and he won’t… until your back is turned.  Then you’ll hear a thud, accompanied by a precious little cackle.  He’s a prankster, but what if it’s not just some innocent boundary-testing that he’s doing?  What if he’s a budding Bernie Madoff?

Sutton’s verbal abilities are superior to those of most grown-ups I know.  Drew and I are stunned how quickly she learns and how well she remembers.  It’s gotten to the point where we don’t even have to quiz her on new concepts anymore.  She’ll ask and answer her own questions.  “What does ‘busy’ mean?  It means you have a lot to do!  Who’s that?  Dora’s friend Tico!  What does an elephant say?  [insert trumpeting sound accompanied by upward arm motion]”  It’s impressive and adorable, until we start wondering… are we nourishing a young Cliff Clavin?

Face it.  What’s cute at 2 isn’t going to stay cute much longer.  By 5, it’ll be unbearable.  By 10, it’ll seem downright pathological.  And yet, some kids are undoubtedly headed down that very path.  The world has a long history of a-holes.

I’m sure it was positively adorable when toddler Dick Cheney spat a mouthful of strained peas in his dad’s face.  But spraying his friend’s face with buckshot during a duck hunt?  Not so cute.

What about Donald Trump?  I’ll bet the first full sentence he ever uttered was something along the lines of “I am without question the most admired baby who’s ever lived.”  When he said it, everyone probably went, “Awww!”  Then look what happened.

I try to steer my kids in the right direction.  I give time outs when they’re being particularly prickish.  I reward those increasingly rare occasions when they’re actually nice to their fellow man.  Then they turn around and misbehave again, and I feel like a chump.  Am I painstakingly shaping their malleable little psyches… or fighting a losing battle against their inner nature?

I mean, if one of my kids is the next Newt Gingrich or Shannen Doherty, they’re still my kid, right?  I’m not saying I’d vote for them or cast them in a serialized drama, but I’d set a place for them at Thanksgiving.

So I’ll keep trying… for now.  But at some point, I’m just going to give in and embrace who they are.  It’s not so bad, I guess.  After all, you can get pretty far in life behaving like a 2-year-old.

English: Newt Gingrich