North Texas Daily

Texas’ straight burden

Texas’ straight burden

Texas’ straight burden
February 13
22:44 2017

Dalton LaFerney | Contributing Writer

I was following along to a history lecture last fall when many of you left class to march around the Square with students from Texas Woman’s University. It was three weeks after President Donald Trump’s election, and from inside Curry Hall, my classmates heard your chants, and I personally felt your passion soak into my notes.

This reaction, while it has slowed lately in Denton, is ongoing, and tumultuous times call for studying. Let me give you Beyonce, speaking Sunday at the Grammys: “…and I feel it’s vital that we learn from the past, and recognize our tendencies to repeat our mistakes.” It’s so easy to get choked up on Washington D.C., that we often times forget about our lawmakers right here at home.

There are two Texas bills in the current legislative session that have me tossing and turning.  Make no mistake, Senate Bill 6, also known as the bathroom bill, and Senate Bill 242 are threats to all Texans, and they accentuate the heavy cross the Republican Party is carrying.

First, the bathroom bill. You may have heard of it. Texas lawmakers chose to essentially mimic a North Carolina bill that would have barred transgender people from using the bathroom that corresponds with their preferred gender. The Obama Justice Department even filed a civil rights lawsuit against the state. But it’s Trump’s America, and this is Texas. They claim it’s about safety, but you know the drill.

SB 242, by Republican Senator Konni Burton of Colleyville, is even more troubling, because, LGBTQ advocates say, it would require educators to disclose to parents all of their student’s behavioral characteristics. While I agree with a parent’s right to know, I cannot stand for the framework this installs. People have, for a long time, called for the end of sexuality as a means to qualify and categorize people. And you shouldn’t cast a net without knowing what you’re fishing for.

Before we move on, please know I am not here to pick on Republicans. We need to get out of the habit of equating truths as political leverage. I do, however, see only one party whose official platform includes the erasure of LGBTQ progress. So please do not direct your anger at me — I was not consulted during the formation of that platform. And much of what I know on this subject intellectually is thanks to readings I’ve discovered, and perspectives I’ve encountered, at this university.

Even now, in 2017, they still need to convert, to turn us against the irrefutable timeline of minority history. Accounts of the oppressed are not “misinformation campaigns” or — don’t make me say it — “alternative facts.” There’s a lot of speak about “traditional,” especially in context with marriage equality, but this tradition isn’t deeply rooted.

In the 1860s and on, “sexologists” were authorities for European society, and they emphasized on categorizing people based on their physical appearance — testicles or ovaries — and not at all on one’s preference. The term “heterosexual” circulated in some medical dictionaries from this time.

But it didn’t start becoming mainstream until about 1934, when Merriam-Webster defined it as a “manifestation of sexual passion for one of the opposite sex, normal sexuality.” “Homosexual” was also floating around medical dictionaries, and by 1934, its Webster definition was “eroticism for one of the same sex.”

Have you ever thought about why advertisers learn sexual appeals — like really considered the implications of this practice? When the new straight people began to separate from us, there on main street, they built for themselves a sanctuary whose walls are white and stale. So when artists like Lady Gaga get up to sing songs like “Born This Way” at the Super Bowl, their music is not heard by everybody. Some cannot hear it.

Without the homosexual, the heterosexual would have never formed. The journey of conversion has no destination, it is an endless and exhausting track.

You must realize: your fear created us.  You do not recognize it, because your father and his father warned you about it, and you are living in that shadow, naive to your role in the proliferation of silence. But it’s time you look deeper into your lineage, and stop being so damn foolish.

I see in photonegative what haunts us. The demon who sits on your shoulder, she poses as our dead ancestor and longs for restoration, demanding our attention. But I urge you not to listen to her, because out of her beak pours the deafening cry of a fallacy.

I find those who “don’t care if you’re gay, but…” to be sentimental, they represent a lie that has been told to us all our lives: that some of us have nothing to do with homosexuality, that you are not gay and therefore you don’t have to live it.

When I hear people say to me, or generally say aloud in conversation, how they don’t care if I’m gay, I’m drawn to our real issue: no empathy, the coldness of a moderate and a parasite to progress.

Our abnormality was your birthright. And politicians like Sen. Burton and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who is a champion for the bathroom bill, are tasked with preserving your sanctuary. This burden of straightness has them crying for public safety and for the well-being of children.

All these laws would do is forgo mainstream understanding of our transgender brothers and sisters. Bill 242 will only introduce more generations of children to a lifestyle of sneaking and pain. Do not let them preserve this sanctuary. It’s time for them to come out. Free them of this burden. Show them the truest meaning of empathy, and let our mutual fear wash back out to sea.

Featured Image: The photo taken was of a sign outside a gender neutral restroom at a San Diego airport in California. Wikimedia Commons.

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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