“With marriage equality a reality and gay folks enjoying increased rights, social progressives are looking for the next cause du jour,” openly gay lawyer and author Joseph R. Murray II writes in a new op-ed for USAToday.
That case, Murray says, is a proposed bill in South Dakota that bans trans students from using any school bathrooms and locker rooms that don’t correspond with their “chromosomes and anatomy as identified at birth.” The bill passed and is currently sitting on Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s desk.
“Seeking to halt any momentum that might develop in the states, trans activists are trying to rally the LGBT community and hinting at federal lawsuits if Daugaard signs the South Dakota bill,” Murray writes. “The aim is to build on the major victories gays and lesbians won last year with the Supreme Court.”
But, Murray argues, this isn’t the right strategy.
“Is the plight of the trans person the same as the gay or lesbian person?” he ponders. “Are gay and transgender folks one and the same, or is there a good cause to argue that ‘L’ & ‘G’ should drop the ‘T’ from their movement?”
“Make no mistake,” he continues, “the gay community needs to file for divorce with the trans community. They are no longer working toward the same goals, and South Dakota is Exhibit A. The issues facing the transgender community today are wholly different and separate from those facing the gay community.”
Gay people, Murray says, “are not seeking surgery or hormone treatments. They love the same gender; they don’t want to be a different gender.”
And then there are trans celebrities, who Murray suggests are doing no favors for the gay community.
“Can it be said that the drama surrounding Chaz Bono and Caitlyn Jenner will help sustain gay equality?” he asks. “Or would they embolden opponents of gay rights and undercut our progress?”
“It is one thing to seek acceptance of two men saying ‘I do,'” Murray concludes. “It is another to ask Americans to accept boys sharing bathrooms and locker rooms with their daughters at school.”
“Trans folks should no longer be grouped with the larger cause of gay rights … If the gay community allows the trans community to co-opt its success and redefine the movement as one seeking to upend the human experience, it does so at its own peril.”
What do you think? Is it time to drop the “T” from LGBTQ? Why or why not? Sound off in the comments section below.
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