San Antonio: not as mature as their children

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San Antonio adults standing up for their right to discriminate.

For the past month, the adults of San Antonio have been wringing their collective hands in very public displays of “concern” over a city ordinance that would extend equality to *gasp* trans citizens. While the notion of trans/cis equality has set the adult’s tongues awaggin, their children already extend this equality to trans children.

San Antonio ISD has, for some time now, had a trans-inclusive policy in place and you know what’s happened? Nothing. Not a damn thing… other than trans and cis children living side-by-side (and yes, even using the hygiene facilities) as equal citizens. Apparently being as mature as their children is asking way too much from some San Antonio adults. In response to the bigoted hyperbole pushed by the radical right, policymakers have recently added a provision to the proposed “equality” ordinance that will preserve the right of cisgender people to have transgender people jailed for using a restroom.

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I feel for the council member’s (CM) aid as she tries to defend the CM’s “compromise” on San Antonio’s LGB(t) equality bill. Acting as a secret shopper, I pose as a well informed Texas-style bigot trying to make sure that the CM doesn’t violate my “right” as a cisgender person to have transgender people arrested for emptying their bladders.

The purpose in my role as a secrete shopper was to reveal the bigotry and cisprivilege inherent in the CM’s “compromise.”

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I guess this is what passes for “equality” for some San Antonio adults. While San Antonio kids have no issues with trans/cis equality, the adults are ready to take to the streets if it means an end to trans/cis segregation. I know it’s strange to think that you don’t get to lock your trans neighbors in a cage when they pee, but the folks at GetEquel want you to support the idea that adults need to be at least as mature and rational as their children. I know… The concept is totally wackadoodle, but there you go.

“If you look up the Texas vs Littleton case that might give you the information that you’re looking for… To, um, have gender specific bathrooms that are permanent” – Council member’s aid

The same San Antonio councilwoman who was secretly taped plotting against gay people, was – as it turns out – thinking about how best to use trans people and equivocation to fear monger:

Jeff: You get the most political points by standing up for traditional values with this one. It’s not an economic argument. This isn’t a small government argument. This is a social, cultural argument right here and this is how you… And you’re going to score the biggest points by taking that stand.

James: I agree with that but to play devil’s advocate, you could try to swing the conservative gay vote, who are, they’re conservative in their beliefs but…

CW Chan: No, I don’t think that’s…

James: It would be way fewer points though.

Roger: But if she’s, if you’re in a Republican primary against anyone that you could conceivably be against, they’re also going to be opposed to gay marriage. So that means that anyone who is gay, that’s their only issue.

CW Chan: You know, I voted no when that was put on the Constitution about a marriage should be between a man and woman.

Roger: Yeah.

CW Chan: Okay? And I’m telling you, that’s how… That’s okay if you want… This is my philosophy, guys. Whatever you want to do in your bedroom, that’s none of my business, but do not impose your view on other people, especially become a policy. And I’m, that’s all. Because personally, I think it’s just disgusting just to even think about. All the… definitions…

Jeff: But, but if you are, but if we are going to write something, I suggest it, to score the most points, it be, you know, a pro… It doesn’t have to be anti-gay, but pro-traditional values.

CW Chan: okay, I’m for that, but I don’t want to go against, necessarily… I don’t want to beat up anybody.

Jeff: No, you’re not going to beat up… That’s what I’m saying. It’s not anti-gay, it’s profamily.

Roger: And then the other thing I think you should do..

CW Chan: Maybe what we can do, can we maybe throw some questionable confusions like okay, this transgender… Because this definition is so broad, we don’t want to go into detail, but if you, I look up, I had a… Maybe I say I was not educated on what transgender is about. I look up the, the Wikipedia, whatever, and I’m very surprised how broad the definition can be and it can cause a lot of troubles. What is the, would that, in other words start to have a lot of questions. Would we be discriminating someone if a person go to uhh, uhh, go to a female bathroom?

Roger: Yup.

CW Chan: Because the person that I am…

Jeff: I feel like I’m a woman.

CW Chan: … I feel myself that I’m a woman…

James: That gets down to, umm, what’s on the driver’s license. In some states, you can get, if you have…

Jeff: In the state of Texas, identifies you with what you were born as.

James: By chromosome, right?

Jeff: It’s about what you were born as. By the equipment you have at birth…

CW Chan: Exactly!

And it seems that her plan is going off without a hitch.

San Antonio isn’t the only Texas town with cis/trans equality policies that kids have no problems with. Here in Houston, our trans youth have full access to everything that their cisgender counterparts have access to. Yes, that means restrooms, sports, and changing facilities… And you know what? It’s been that way for years and if you haven’t noticed yet, the doom and gloom the radical right is forever forecasting hasn’t materialized.

No chicken little, the sky isn’t going to fall.

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Texas Attorney General wrote to San Antonio mayor urging him to crush equality or risk everyone’s right to religion.

Apparently San Antonio children are far more capable of dealing with trans people than their parents and by gowd, many adults seem to like it that way.

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Cristan

Cristan Williams is a trans historian and activist. She started one of the first trans homeless shelters and co-founded the first federally funded trans-only homeless program, pioneered affordable healthcare for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. Cristan is the editor at the social justice site TransAdvocate.com, is a long-term member and previous chair of the City of Houston HIV Prevention Planning Group, is the jurisdictional representative to the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS), serves on the national steering body for UCHAPS and is the Executive Director of the Transgender Foundation of America.

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