Mass Resistance made me mad enough to vomit.

by C.L. Minou, who blogs about trans and feminist issues for such esteemed locales as The Second Awakening, Below the Belt, and Tiger Beatdown, when she is not destroying the fabric of America by spending a weekend at a hotel in New England.

First Event is an annual conference held in January by the Tiffany Club of New England, a transgender support group. Like any conference, it consists of workshops, cocktail parties, and banquets with awards ceremonies and occasionally pompous keynote addresses. About the only difference between it and, say, a Linux convention is that there will be slightly more trans people at First Event. (There may also be more computer engineers, for that matter.)

But that's not all. According to Southern Poverty Law Center-certified hate group Mass Resistance, First Event is what America will look like in the horrifying post-Homosexual Agenda world soon to be imposed upon the honest, godfearing citizens of These United.

And to prove their point, they made a video.

[Paraphrase of video by Liss: Shitty video footage of people minding their own business, doing things like walking, using the restroom, and entering elevators. The various clips are labeled with alarmist language such as "The following clip shows a young girl entering an elevator with a man dressed as a woman." The entire thing is prefaced with the dire warning: "This is what you will see across America unless this radical movement is stopped." OH NOES!]

Yes, friends, thrill to the horrors you soon must endure! Tall people wearing short skirts! People playing punk rock while wearing bras! People eating bland food! People dancing! And, most horrifying of all, people riding elevators.

Wait...don't people do all those things now, you might ask? Don't tall people go to the bathroom, play in bands, and ride elevators?

But you see, those people aren't transgendered. That's the issue here. (The author reserves judgment on whether or not Mass Resistance considers trans people, well, people, mostly because her digestion is of a delicate nature and not up to the task of visiting their website.)

Now, I will admit, watching this video made me mad. Not mad enough to spit, but mad enough to vomit. I mean, legally there's probably nothing to prevent them from doing this, but morally? It's a phenomenal invasion of privacy, not to mention potentially dangerous to the livelihoods and even lives of the conference attendees who may not be out or generally public about their transness. (First Event tends to attract a higher proportion of crossdressing or questioning trans folk.) A conference like First Event offers people who might not normally get a chance to express their full gender a safe space to enjoy themselves with dignity and freedom from the disapproval of most of the people around them.

And, you know, the chance to grab a pint at the sports bar and play a game of pool in a cocktail dress. That's not a chance most people get every day.

The video is a primer on how to do trans hate. First, mock everyone's appearance, including, bizarrely, their height. (I have a theory: there were undoubtedly trans women there for whom the only clue that they might be trans would be their height; this so terrified the Mass Ignorance folks that they obsessively watched anyone taller than Dr. Ruth.) Second, show a bunch of perfectly ordinary activities that are now made sick and disgusting because they are being done by people...who might not look like the gender they were assigned at birth. Third, flog the old bathroom libel with its breathless "threat" that evil awful men will invade the sanctity of the Ladies' Room. Which of course would never happen unless godless civil rights laws are passed. Oh and fourth: What About the Children? (Although, think about it: isn't it likely that the little girl in that clip was the daughter of the trans person waiting with her? Ferfoooksakes?)

More than that, though: this video demonstrates exactly why trans, gay, and lesbian rights must remain part of the same movement. Because this is being used as a wedge issue: the unspeakable horrors of people enjoying a weekend at a rather pedestrian hotel north of Boston are the club they'll use to fight back gay marriage, housing and job discrimination legislation, and even hate crimes laws. They hope that enough people—even, I am sad to say, some gay and lesbian people—will find the sight of crossdressers so distressing that people will oppose all the other parts of bills like ENDA. Which ultimately will hurt gay and lesbian people, because there are many of them—despite the protestations of HRC—whose gender presentation is variant enough to earn them discrimination.

Now, as it turns out I've actually been to First Event. Like a lot of trans events, the hotel usually requested that the trans folk only used a designated ladies' or men's room. (I'll admit, that was often more observed in the breach, but there you have it.) And I'm sure they didn't tell any other guests, any more than the hotel I stayed at one time when I was in Texas to get some electro done warned me that an evangelical convention was being held in the hotel. (And honey, I was in a lot more danger from them than anybody in Peabody was from the First Event folks.) But do you know what the biggest irony about this whole hateful, awful charade from Mass Resistance is?

It's this: the organizers of First Event ask people to indicate on their name badge if they mind being photographed. Because they want to respect their privacy.

But of course privacy is a straight privilege.

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