Most Texans Would Agree That The Future Is Really Fucking Queer / LGBTQ Nation

I love Texas. It’s hot and it’s cheap! Well it was cheaper when I moved to the state 22 years ago but frankly having grown up in the UK lived in two other countries besides New York and DC I can tell you confidently say that even as a queer woman, Texas feels like where I belong.

The people are warm and friendly, and studies report that 70% of Texans — of many political persuasions — think discrimination against the LGBTQ community is wrong. Hell, I was in a crawfish boil yesterday afternoon during South by Southwest and hugged a woman wearing a t-shirt that boldly read, “Mothers Against Greg Abbott.” She told me she was a seventh-generation Texan, but if Abbott is re-elected, she’ll just have to leave because her actions are “murdering children.”

Related: MSNBC Almost Brought Keith Olbermann Back To Replace Rachel Maddow. She sucked the idea.

She was beside herself with a mixture of anger and sadness because days after a new Gallup poll reported that 21% of Gen Z Americans identify as LGBTQ, Texas Governor Greg Abbott took a decision that would best fit the culture in the 1950s directing Family and Protective Services to sue parents for “child abuse,” if they met their transgender children’s life-saving health care needs.

The governor apparently thinks using his supporter’s lack of understanding of what it means to be transgender is an opportunity to use his ignorance for political gain. But the ripple effects of his actions are like a tsunami against children, who are already incredibly more likely to self-harm and/or be attacked by others simply because their sense of gender doesn’t match up. label given to them at birth.

His actions reinforce a stigma that kills. And leading health care organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychological Association, agree that health care for trans* children saves their lives.

Basically, Governor Abbott is throwing Texas’ LGBTQ families into a pit, using them as bait for his base, at a time when the number of American adults who identify as LGBTQ has doubled over the past decade.

We could say that there is nothing wrong with not understanding what it means to be trans* as long as no harm is inflicted on trans* people. But this ignorance causes harm, as politicians use it in manipulative ways to stay in power. If we become an educated electorate, then we the people cannot be used in this way.

Let’s start by asking why 7.1% of all American adults identify as LGBTQ, 57% of whom are bisexual. And why the numbers remain stable in older generations, but being LGBTQ is increasing among younger people.

First, being LGBTQ is nothing new. It feels new because we’re talking about it in a way we’ve never expressed before. Gender and sexuality have always been on a spectrum, but older generations have conformed to the social structures that were put in place during colonization. And the younger generations refuse to stay in these boxes. We become more aware as a collective of who we really are and how we were humanly created.

When you peek into history, you can see how gender and sexuality have fluctuated. Starting with the very first pornography, which is 3,000-year-old rock carvings in China depicting bisexuality. In India, trans* Hijra women, recognized as having a third gender, have long been deeply respected for their place in society. Their existence, documented for over 4,000 years, places non-binary gender firmly in history (or should we say, “their history”?).

Indigenous peoples around the world did not have two strict categories of gender that everyone had to fit into. Trans* people were documented thousands of years before Jesus was documented in the Bible. And while women and men were known for their unique contributions to society, they were not confined by the social structures that were later imposed on them.

Now, I don’t want to paint too rosy a picture, because we know that horrific acts of violence have also taken place. However, before colonization, cultures around the world already had a concept of gender and sex as being non-binary. People were freed to express their inner sense of self as they wished. Intersex people were not coerced into non-consensual surgery. And two-spirited individuals have been put on a pedestal for their binary-breaking superpowers.

But we’ve gotten a little confused about our biology over the years. Not only is gender on a spectrum, but so is sex; mainly visible through our genitals between our legs. About one in 100 people is intersex, meaning they have variation in male and female sex tissues, chromosomes and/or hormones. Humans have a whole range of possible sexes, not just two.

Our gender identity is programmed into our brain. Gender is what we know we are. How we express ourselves to the world. And how the world sees us. Some people know their gender is 100% male, some people know they are 100% female, and others, like people who are genderqueer or non-binary, know their gender is somewhere in between. . And some people know they’re not on that binary spectrum at all.

Yet we are still subject to a structure of gender, genitalia and sexual orientation designed to control us.

As a white European woman living in this century in the United States, I cannot go back to what my ancestors did, but I can help expose the spectrum of gender and sexuality that has always existed. The non-natives who “discovered” the Americas not only imposed violence and genocide against the indigenous peoples who had already lived on this land for centuries, then robbed Africans from their homes and made them work as slaves, but they also forced strict rules in two brackets for gender – male and female – and one bracket for sexuality; law.

Now we know better. It’s time to pull back the curtain and realize that there is actually a whole stage full of people of different races, ethnicities and cultures, with a natural spectrum of gender, genitalia and sexuality that have been here from the start. And now we see this fact in the figures reported by Gallup.

Fortunately, so far, Texas judges are blocking these unconstitutional child abuse investigations against parents seeking gender-affirming health care for their children. On a spiritual level, I can only trust that we as a community will prevail to ensure the safety and protection of all families. And if a Texas governor really wants to rule with the best interests in his heart and keep kind-hearted Texans like my new crawfish-boil friend, then he should allow parents to support their children instead than to use them as political pawns. Because my dear friends, the future is very strange.

Emmy®-nominated and award-winning filmmaker, author of the forthcoming book, “Are bisexuals just greedy? And 20 other rather direct questions posed to the LGBTQ+ community.”

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