September is the birthday month of this blog, Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters. Seventeen years ago, I created it as a way of announcing a self-published book of the same title.
The book - badly written and edited - died quickly but got me introduced to many folks. The blog, as it turns out, has lasted longer and has been monumentally successful. My entire goal was and continues to be calling out anti-LGBTQ tactics, lies, and junk science which threaten LGBTQ rights and health. I've seen a lot, gotten into a lot of national fights, lost some battles, and ultimately took part in a lot of national victories. And it has all been wonderfully brutal.
(Editor's note - for a good idea of how many fights I've been involved in, check out the 'Best of Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters Part 1 and 2' posts to the right)
I'm older now, my hair is grayer, my movements are slower, and I'm constantly besieged with primal doubts about this entire project.. Meanwhile, fake 'policy analysts' from religious right groups have been replaced by big money thinktanks funding a vast right-wing ecosystem with tendrils connected to so many parts of our government. Also, social media bloodsuckers . . . I mean influencers have been infesting the online world like computerized lice. They can always be counted on to amass an army of dumbasses via a distorted incident or mindless memes.
Now it's all directed to taking down the trans community. The anti-LGBTQ industry have gone after the community's rights, their safety, and their healthcare. Using the same tactics they've used in the past against the gay community - lies about kids being harmed, verbal detransitioners (in my day, that type was called 'ex-gays,'), fake spokespeople, cherry-picked and junk science, and saturating the media with their narrative - the anti-LGBTQ industry have been pretty effective.
So what do we do?
The first thing we do is to not be silent. To continue to tell our stories. Hell, continue to live our lives to the fullest. Don't allow fear to control us. Don't let these haters buffalo you. This is your country, your state, your city. You have a right to be here and a right to live. And also, educate yourselves on the community. Don't assume that your definition of being an LGBTQ is the only one. Listen to each other before you talk. Be vocal, especially in your community and to those elected officials who are supposed to be working for you. And help your trans brothers and sisters in any way that you can. When they come after one of us, they come after all of us.
And that's only a first step. But it's an important one which many of us don't do.
On the risk of sounding jaded, this is an old battle. The scapegoats are new and the techniques are new. But the tactics are still the same. We've beaten it before and will do so again.
But it won't be pretty. None of our victories in the past have ever been pretty. But they've been victories. And sometimes that's all that matters.