Like a scattering of cities around the nation, Rochester, New York recently added transgender health care to its city employee benefits package. And, like a scattering of cities around the nation, the haters are striking back at the progressive-minded policy change in Rochester.
In one of two notable examples of intolerance, local minister Jerry Houston, a man who is obviously incredibly ignorant of biology (or unable to use Google), was quoted as blathering:
…the state should not indulge the needs of transgender employees. “God said from the beginning he made the male and female,” said Houston. “And for the state to indulge in these kinds of things, I believe you are supporting and spouting something that’s going to cause a lot of problems, not just for Rochester, but for our country in general.”
I simply relish the irony of those who believe in a God who is omnipotent and omniscient, and yet try to stuff God into their own little frame of reference. First off, Jerry, intersex people exist – they exist in every country on this earth, and have existed throughout every era of history. This is not opinion, this is not conjecture, this is fact. Furthermore, transsexual persons have been proven to have physical differences in their brains. Again, this is not opinion, this is not conjecture, this is fact. So why wouldn’t a “man of God” just accept the most obvious solution – that God intended for transsexuals and intersex people to be born – rather than trying to put God’s powers and abilities into one’s own human-sized box? By doing such, Jerry, you show contempt for the same God you purport to worship.
Then of course we have the morning radio “personalities” of Kimberly and Beck, who upon hearing of Rochester’s health care expansion decided to unashamedly make a string of transphobic jokes and slurs during their morning show.
“Transgender or gender nonconforming. What the hell does that mean? Like you’re not a woman or a man??
“The dude can look like a lady and the city is going to pay for it!” (cue “Dude Looks Like a Lady” music)
“Does that mean then if women want a boob job they’ll pay for a boob job because that’s only right.”
“The services that will be paid for under the new coverage – gender reassignment surgery, PSYCHOLOGICAL COUNSELING, because you’re probably a NUTJOB to begin with!”
“It’s a slippery slope. Then if some woman can go to a doctor and it’d be proven that she’s got mental issues because her rack’s not big enough then you know what? she deserves a boob job, Right Kimberly? Or she deserves liposuction.”
“Right, IF YOU CAN PROVE YOU’RE A NUT, I guess.”
Kimberly and Beck then go on to discuss female trans athletes, including one at a local school, and how they should definitely not be able to play sports…
“When he steps up to the plate, doesn’t he have two bats?”
Finally, a woman calls in to tell them “it’s incredibly disrespectful towards transgender people. Please don’t spread any misinformation especially when you’re joking about it.”
One of the hosts replies: “Thank you, SIR” as the others laugh.
Let’s face it, morning radio DJ’s are not generally hired based on academic or critical thinking credentials. One might give them some slack and just say “oh well, they make fun of everyone.” Well, no, I’ll bet they don’t slur and demean other minority groups, or they would have already been booted off the air and back to the deep-fryer. When ignorance is not just coming from one mouth to one ear, but to the ears of tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of ears…then we have a problem.