|The Family Research Council exploits yet another horror anecdote about gays and children to drum up support for homophobic South Dakota bill.|
"It's an absolute nightmare for a mother to live through." Elaine Davidson's voice shook as she talked. "I found out about the surgeries after the fact," she says haltingly. It was social media, she explained, where she first saw the photo of her daughter's chest -- bloody bandages covering the places where her breasts had been cut off. Elaine's daughter was 17. She had a double mastectomy and hysterectomy without her parents ever knowing -- and without a single psychologist signing off.
. . . She watched, helplessly, as her daughter changed the course of her life forever. And she is determined that no parent should ever have to suffer that agony without a say again. She joined the Kelsey Coalition, a movement of parents from all across the political spectrum, who are pleading with schools, lawmakers, and doctors to stop pushing children into a lifestyle they can never escape. "I'm speaking out because I love my daughter... She has been a victim of 'gender affirming' medical procedures, and I was powerless to stop doctors from harming her."
This vulgar tale from an alleged mother of a trans child is designed to scare people. That's why it emphasized the stuff about "bloody bandages and de-emphasizes telling the the actual story of the situation. It's a key part of the anti-LGBTQ right's attack on the trans community.
If you think the tactic sounds familiar, then you would be right. Personal stories with very little details but graphic depictions designed to speak to people's stereotypes and fears about the LGBTQ community have been the modus operandi of groups like the Family Research Council (on whose site
this article is featured). In this particular case, FRC is attempting to drum up support for a South Dakota bill which would undermine the care of transgender children, among other things.
Personal stories are a very important part of the war against LGBTQ rights and safety.
When the anti-LGBTQ industry used a personal story to promote the "ex-gay" movement, the person spotlit generally claimed
that child molestation triggered his or her homosexuality. Then there would be a segue into how he or she had a lot of sex, or did a lot of drugs, and/or found no fulfillment because their relationships were shallow, transitory, or devoid of commitment.
When the anti-LGBTQ industry used a personal story to attack marriage equality or same-sex families, the designated teller
would claim to have been brought up with a gay parent who had lots of sex, did lots of drugs, and/or engaged in extremely irresponsible behavior which left the child warped for life.
In all three examples, the goal is the same - to play up negative stereotypes about the LGBTQ community, to scare people, and to take attention away from positive personal stories from members of the LGBTQ community. When you are bombarded with anecdotes from people who tell biased renditions or from people who blame their sexual orientation for their own bad choices, you have less time to hear actual facts
. And when it comes to trans children
, there is plenty
and positive stories
which don't involve lurid and false information.
And there are other considerations.
In this particular case, the Family Research Council won't tell you that the woman in the story belongs to a group, the Kelsey Coalition, which pushes fraudulent data and lies
about the trans community. Nor did FRC mention that the South Dakota bill would not only harm care for trans children, but seek to eliminate other rights
of the LGBTQ community, including marriage (which we already won fairly) and attempts to create anti-discrimination laws.
FRC figures that as long as you are distracted by images of bloody bandages and so-called body mutilations, truth is not necessary.