North Carolina and the specter of the predatory ‘other’

North Carolina and the specter of the predatory ‘other’
“Give yourself over to absolute pleasure. Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh – erotic nightmares beyond any measure, and sensual daydreams to treasure forever. Can’t you just see it? Don’t dream it, be it.” –Dr. Frank-N-Furter, The Rocky Horror (Picture) Show

Think back to the vision of the “sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania,” the cannibalistic-murderer-mad-scientist obsessed with constructing the perfect Adonis to submit to Frank’s erotic pleasures. Served up as his next delightfully tasty prey, enter the young and naïve Brad and Janet at his doorstep for an adventure they will never forget, that is, if they live to tell the tale.

And who can forgot those conniving gay men who con-cock-ted the elaborate conspiracy to commit sex acts on heterosexual men by joining the ranks of the military, with all those hard bodies to pick from in the bunks and showers while just waiting for them to drop the soap?

In addition, we must still remain on guard to protect our fine white innocent womenfolk from the sexual pursuits of those wild savage black men and swarthy eagle-beaked Jewish men who want nothing more than to seduce and carry them away to their lairs of sin.

And we must stand forever vigilant in protecting our impressionable children from the exploits of the Jews and the homosexuals. We certainly can’t allow Jews access to our infant boys since they continue inflicting forced circumcision onto them in order to recruit them into their distorted cult-of-a-religion. Likewise, homosexuals need to entice and recruit our children into their disgusting and deviant lifestyle since they are incapable of producing their own. And don’t forget how the Jews kidnapped and drained the precious blood from our lovely virginal Christian male infants to use in the making of their sacred matzah, and to symbolically re-crucify our Lord.

Lest we don’t forget those disease-laden bisexual vectors of infection into the general (read “heterosexual”) population, and the devil-inflicted people with disabilities who are fixed on immobilizing the able bodied in angry retribution for their suffering.

As we can see, a crucial point in the psychology of scapegoating is the representation of minoritized “Others” as violent predators resolved to ensnare, torture, and devour primarily women and children of the dominant group. And when demagogues play on people’s fears and prejudices by invoking these images for their own political, social, and economic gains, the result in more instances than not amounts to loss of civil and human rights, harassment, violence, and at times, death of the “other.”

By passing House Bill 2, its notorious so-called “transgender no bathroom” bill, which Governor McCrory signed into law, the North Carolina legislature has played with fire by further stigmatizing and misdefining the state’s trans* residents. Some North Carolina proponents of the bill are calling transwomen “men in women’s clothing” (heard as “wolves in sheep’s clothing”), and the law effectively prohibits trans* and intersex people from going into the restroom facility matching their gender identities.

The “sex” designation typed onto many trans* and intersex peoples’ official records assigned to them at birth simply do not accurately and integrally reflect their actual gender identities. They had no power or control at the time of their birth to list the category that most closely matched their actual gender identities, and many laws today make it extremely difficult and expensive to permit any changes. This law, with the addition of those proposed in other states, will further marginalize and intimidate trans* and intersex people. But trans* and intersex people have exposed the utter falsehood of a binary gender system fully dependent on the sex assigned by others to us at birth.

Members of the trans* community often suffer the consequences of other truth tellers of the past. Nearly every two days, a person is killed somewhere in the world for expressing gender nonconformity. The vast majority of murders are of trans* women of color.

With chills and moist eyes of pride, I listened as Attorney General Loretta Lynch defended the federal government’s challenge to North Carolina’s House Bill 2 as discriminatory and illegal.

“Instead of turning away from our neighbors, our friends, our colleagues, let us instead learn from our history and avoid repeating the mistakes of our past. It was not so very long ago that states, including North Carolina, had signs above restrooms, water fountains, and on public accommodations keeping people out based upon a distinction without a difference. We have moved beyond those dark days, but not without pain and suffering and an ongoing fight to keep moving forward. Let us write a different story this time.”

Trans* and intersex visionaries, who are persecuted in their own time, will one day be perceived as the prophetic truth tellers they definitely are. Until that day, the harassment, the marginalization, the fear, the violence, the murders, and yes, the demagoguery and hate- and fear-inspired legislation must end. It is up to us all to work toward this on a daily basis.

US monument status doesn’t guarantee Stonewall Inn’s future

Previous article

Five perfect queer running mates Trump should consider

Next article