Commentary

3 weird new myths about transgender people debunked

Myth #3: Gender nonconforming people do not herald the end of civilization

If we lived in a rational world, most people would realize this is as hyperbolic as it sounds.  Unfortunately, of all the myths in this article, this one has the strongest backing by religious organizations and conservative media.  The Federalist has argued that transgender people destroy everything in their wake, and will end “the concepts of male and female entirely.” Conservative outlets have also argued transgender people will destroy feminism, the Democratic Party, and “Greek life” on college campuses (seriously).

Leaders at well-funded anti-LGBT legal organizations went as far as claiming transgender people will “destroy marriage, morality, and objective truth.”  Pope Francis denounced transgender people as, “the annihilation of God in man.” Pope Benedict compared the destructive powers of transgender people to nuclear weapons without a hint of intentional hyperbole.

The problem is, they’re pretty fuzzy on the details one how this will happen or why.

Transgender people date back to the earliest parts of recorded human history.  Other cultures have traditions of gender nonconforming people for millennia. For example, the Kama Sutra mentions transgender people.

And yet, human history marched on despite the continued presence of transgender people, and the Earth’s 7.5 billion inhabitants are strong evidence that transgender people did not cause cisgender people to forget how to get married and procreate.

Many of the reasons proffered as to why transgender people will destroy life, the universe, and everything seem to be based on religious beliefs. They worry that accepting transgender people will destroy religion in America (never mind the fact that two-thirds of American transgender people identify as Christian), or that God will smite America in retaliation for accepting transgender people.

The fears often closely mirror those expressed during the debate over same-sex marriage. Many similar organizations also promised a good smiting over Ellen DeGeneres, Lawrence v. Texas, the repeal of DADT, the end of DOMA, and the Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage.

So far, no smiting; even if 2016 felt like it.

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