First it was Dylan Mulvaney. Now it’s TDOV & Easter. They really just hate trans people.

Dylan Mulvaney
Dylan Mulvaney Photo: Shutterstock

It’s been a year to the day since trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney posted a 50-second video to Instagram where she showed off some custom Bud Light cans, which caused the right to lose its collective mind and start perhaps one of the only successful anti-LGBTQ+ boycotts against a major brand in U.S. history.

And this past weekend showed once again that the right is still capable of massive and widespread idiocy in response to the idea of trans people merely existing. This idiocy only shows that they have no principled objections to gender-affirming care, anti-discrimination protections for trans people, or guidelines protecting trans students’ rights to use the bathroom while at school.

No, all those issues are, at best, cover for the fact that they just plain don’t like trans people. Just like how the national debate around marriage equality in the 2000s and 2010s wasn’t a dispassionate discussion of policy outcomes, it was just a proxy for how much people valued gay and bi people.

For historians in the coming decades, it will be hard to overstate just how disproportionate the reaction to Mulvaney’s April 1, 2023 video was when it happened. She didn’t say anything particularly controversial in the video. She didn’t talk about politics. She didn’t criticize Christianity. She didn’t say anything about children. She didn’t say anything hateful or violent towards anyone. She just had some cans of beer with her face on them.

Conservatives decided that that was enough to wage a full war against Bud Light for working with a trans woman at all. Some shot up cases of Bud Light. Others posted sad videos to social media pouring out the beverage. Republican politicians started investigations and threatened to sue to stop the scourge of trans women drinking beer in moderation.

For those of us who follow the LGBTQ+ news daily, it was a cavalcade of stupidity. And there was no pretense that it was about any substantive issue that could materially affect anyone. They just hated that Bud Light worked with a trans person. That was it.

They didn’t even provide a fig leaf to at least pretend that the entire thing wasn’t motivated by their irrational antipathy toward trans people.

This past weekend, pretty much the same thing happened, although conservatives did try to come up with some fake reasoning to make it seem like it wasn’t just about trans people. The right was outraged that President Joe Biden issued a proclamation for the Transgender Day of Visibility – something he has done for years – which fell on the same day as Easter, just by coincidence. They claimed it was a coordinated effort to target Christians, even though Biden himself is a Christian.

There are plenty of recognized awareness days that fall on the same day as other awareness days and holidays, and they never cause such indignation. And there’s nothing anti-Christian about celebrating trans people’s contributions to society. In fact, many trans people are Christian themselves.

Out actor George Takei called the outrage what it is: a pretext for disparaging transgender people.

“The right assumes that there is something *wrong* with recognizing the date at all, never mind when it falls,” he wrote on X. “To them I say, your undisguised hate and intolerance is a great example of why we need days like this in the first place.”

“You want the trans community to simply disappear, to be invisible like before, just like you wanted the gay community to before. Well, sorry, that’s not going to happen. Get over it.”

If anything, this is a reminder that there just isn’t an argument that can be made to change these people’s minds. There is no way to convince people who haven’t had a problem with Bud Light working with hundreds of other influencers that working with Mulvaney is just another banal partnership. And there’s no way to convince someone who feels like it’s an insult for a day to be set aside to raise positive awareness of transgender people that it is not, in fact, personal.

Their hearts could be won over one day, but not because of rational discussions on social media. And, in the short term, the best strategy to secure rights for trans people despite the existence of this hatred is to disempower the haters at the polls.

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