Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Conservatives angry because trans girl won an Irish dancing competition (I am not kidding)

Editor's note - Erin Reed is a trans journalist who has been covering legislative and public attacks on the trans community for some time now. I'd venture to say that her work is the best and I consider her as the go-to person for anyone needing to be educated about today's climate of transphobia and the basic bigotry it entails. I invite everyone to support her work. It's top notch.

An effective tactic of the anti-trans crowd is claiming that trans women hold an unfair advantage against cis women in athletic events. The claim relies on a combination of preconceived notions about male and female athletes, stereotypes about female trans athletes in general, and a concern by cis female athletes - and their parents - that they would be cheated out of wins and acclaim.

The tactic is so effective that transphobic folks are attempting to stretch it to fit any category. Even to the point of inanity

From Erin Reed:

On Dec. 3, a young transgender girl won her age category in the 2023 Southern Region Oireachtas Irish Dancing competition in Dallas, Texas. This means she will qualify to compete in the World Irish Dancing Competitions. For those who have been following transgender participation in other events, you can probably guess what happened next. Predictably, a slew of right-wing media articles dropped, claiming the 13-year-old girl had a “biological advantage” in competitive Irish dancing. Right-wing media personalities like Riley Gaines and major conservative outlets such as The Daily Wire and The Daily Signal decried her victory, claiming that she had a “biological advantage” in competitive Irish dancing. 

 Irish dancing is a style of dancing well suited for competition. It typically features quick and graceful foot movement combined with a rigid upper body. According to the Teelin School of Irish Dance, judges grade on things such as good timing, pointed toes, graceful and energetic movement, confidence, and pleasant affect. It is a competition where grace, poise, and technique matter. On that same note, supposed “natural advantages” of transgender competitors after transitioning do not appear to be relevant to participating. 

 . . .According to reports from the event, parents of girls who lost later discovered that the winner was transgender. These parents then reached out to conservative media outlets, claiming the transgender girl “cheated” by competing according to her gender identity. In an exclusive article from The Daily Signal, one parent expressed that the transgender girl's victory was so upsetting, it made her want to cry. Another adult competitor, who is also a legislative strategist for Conservative Women for America, Maggie McKneely, clearly outlined that a transitioning dancer would likely face disadvantages due to having to learn differences in the dance style, in an attempt to portray the girl’s participation as wrong. 

Erin pointed out how the various anti-trans activists, seeing an opportunity for a spotlight, all took their turn attacking the young girl. The links to their attacks can be pulled up via Erin's original article. She has them there for the sake of clarity. I refuse to allow those bullies to invade my space:

 Following the article’s publication, right wing conservatives took to twitter to attack the 13 year old girl. Riley Gaines, the swimmer who tied for 5th place with Lia Thomas and has used that event to lobby against transgender people in congress, stated that “a boy stole a qualifying spot for the upcoming World Championships in Irish dancing” and then urged people to sign a petition. Prisha Mosley, an anti-trans political detransitioner, thanked her for “bringing awareness and attention to these issues” and “the girls and families affected.” James Lindsay, who has been credited as one of the people responsible for the “groomer” slur towards LGBTQ+ people, said that “the trans menace in women’s sports is even showing up in Irish Dancing.” Colette Colfer, an anti-trans activist in Ireland, decried the girl’s participation and proclaimed, “Irish Dancing has fallen.” 

The trans girl is getting a lot of support, though. And that includes a petition which you can sign here.

'Conservatives blow up field trip misunderstanding into lawsuit against trans kids' & other Tue midday news briefs

CO: Conservative Parents Disrupted a Trans Girl’s Field Trip, But That Wasn’t Enough - Anatomy of a right-wing smear on trans children. As the article points out, the conservative ecosystem pushed up salacious inferences about sex and the possibility of sexual assault. What it may turn out to be was an innocent misunderstanding. However, thanks to conservative ecosystem and the anti-LGBTQ hate group the Alliance Defending Freedom, this has blown up into an ugly and needless lawsuit. This article points out how certain entities omitted a key part of the story (which was given by an area television news station): 

 In a statement to Crisis in the Classroom (CITC), JCPS (Jefferson County Public Schools) said "student safety is paramount and partnership with families is a priority." The district noted it is "still determining facts" as it was only "recently informed" of what allegedly occurred during the trip. "However, it appears that the student’s transgender status was not known when room assignments were made and our understanding is that as soon as their transgender identity was known, room assignments were adjusted," JCPS told CITC.

 Basically, this situation didn't warrant the controversy it is receiving except for how some people are salivating to use it against trans people, especially trans children. 

State Economies Suffer When Lawmakers Pass Anti-LGBTQ+, Anti-Abortion Laws: Study - If they are willing to pass these awful bills, then they should be willing to pay the price.