By D’Anne Witkowski
Whenever someone begins a statement with, “I’m sorry, but…” that’s usually a sign that 1) They are not sorry and 2) They’re about to say something nasty.
Which is exactly the effect of Michael Brown’s Feb. 27 Townhall column titled, “I’m Sorry, But Caitlyn Jenner Is a Man Wearing a Dress.”
Brown is the host of the right-wing radio program “In the Line of Fire” who “met the Lord in 1971 as a sixteen year-old, heroin-shooting, LSD-using Jewish rock drummer,” according to his bio. Which obviously makes him an expert on gender identity.
Now, I don’t think of Jenner much. On the one hand, I think trans visibility is good and she’s very visible. But she also voted for Trump, which is gross.
She’s a big girl with plenty of money, so having someone like Brown disparage her probably doesn’t hurt her much. Of course, Brown’s not really talking about Jenner. She’s just a jumping off point for him to attack the right of transgender people to exist.
As you surely know, the Obama administration issued guidelines to schools about protecting LGBT students. Trump has yanked those guidelines and folks like Brown are celebrating because they love trans people so much they have to hate them, per Jesus.
On his Feb. 24 radio show Brown declared, “[Students] don’t need tolerance. They need to be told boys are boys and girls are girls and Johnny is confused so be nice to Johnny, but he’s confused.”
In other words, anyone who dares to deviate from the two rigid gender choices is someone to be pitied. After all, says Brown, being trans “is some kind of handicap: mental, emotional.” But you can’t decline to teach kids tolerance and then also expect them to be nice to people who are different, so you’re effectively teaching them that trans people deserve to be punished.
As far as Brown’s concerned, the whole issue is “transanity,” as he calls it.
“If I think I’m a girl, I’m a girl. If I think I’m Chinese, I’m Chinese. If I think I’m seven foot tall, I’m seven foot tall,” Brown says. “Well why not? If I think I’m black, then I’m black. If gender is what I perceive it to be, then why not other things?”
So much easier to trot out these hypotheticals than to actually acknowledge that gender identity is actually complex and nuanced. Not to mention the fact that trans folks are real people.
To hear Brown tell it, he just wants to protect girls from sexual predators.
“How about the many girls who have been traumatized by the presence of a boy in their bathroom, in their locker room, next to them in a shower stall?” Brown asks. “And since when is it tolerance to tell a girl you just have to get used to seeing a boy’s private parts in your locker room?”
Excellent question! A lot of girls and women ARE traumatized by penises, but those penises are attached to cis gendered heterosexual men. Sexual assault is crazy common in the U.S. It’s almost like men feel entitled to women’s bodies for their own gratification. Surely America would want to protect women from, say, some guy who brags about grabbing women “by the pussy,” right? It’s not like he’d be elected President! Oh, wait…
Anti-trans hysteria isn’t about protecting women any more than building a wall is about protecting America.
I’m sorry, but Michael Brown is a creep.
D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.