At age six, I learned the price of being female when my father took us down South after my mother was killed in a car accident. Two signs over a water fountain: “white” and “colored.” To a six-year old, what could be better than colored water?
For drinking it, very large man yelled at me, called me profanities, scared the stuffing out of me, and sent me crying to my father. My father’s explanation did not sit right with me and I recall telling him that it was not fair. As a result, I drank out of “colored” water fountains all the way to Florida and back home to Wisconsin.
The knowledge and costs of discrimination have been reiterated ad nauseam throughout my life. I was told I could not be a baseball player, could not be a doctor, could not be an astronaut, that I could not even wear my hair like Jackie Kennedy. “Who do you think you are? Jackie Kennedy?” was the sarcastic remark from my stepmother. I watched the women around me be beaten, be abused, be denigrated, be—put in their place. I grew up angry and did not know why because there was no vocabulary for it back then.
I have dedicated years of my life to championing the dignity of women and girls. At age 28, I came out as a lesbian. At age 30, I learned how painful and unjust discrimination can be when the military fired me under the original ban on “gays” in the military.
Had I violated any codes of conduct or acted dishonorably in any way? No. I was given an increase in rank, excellent efficiency ratings, excellent noncommissioned officer ratings. Back when a woman was still expected to play house, I stood on the front lines, and I fought. My behavior was above reproach, and I served my country with pride and absolute commitment until the day they pulled the rug out from underneath me.
I’m really proud of the fruit of my labor. In 1988, after 11 grueling years of fighting, I became the first lesbian to be reinstated to the military after being discharged honorably the first time around. It was one of the proudest days of my life. It showed me that one person can make a difference.
As one journalist said, “growing up in the ’50s and ‘60s, the world looked very different through [my] eyes. As a strong Jewish woman, [I] went to battle, so women wouldn’t have to carry a burden of shame. At a time when a woman’s opinion was considered problematic, [I] came forward, so we could someday feel ‘Pride’.”
I have spent every day of my life since that time advocating for the marginalized and oppressed, especially sexual minorities. I’ve organized rallies, shown up and stood up wherever injustice was allowed to flourish. I’ve twice chained myself to the White House fence and engaged in non-violent civil disobedience to protest the ban on LGB people in the military. I’ve risked jail time and criminal charges on behalf of my brothers and sisters in the LGB community.
I’ve fought long, hard, and very vocally. I have stood up literally to the Klu Klux Klan and white power groups, to Nazis, in spite of being shot at, to someone trying to kill me with an ice pick, to being homeless, stood up to discrimination almost every day of my life. And I am still standing.
On May 3, I turned 70 years old. After a lifetime of advocacy, I believe I’ve more than earned the right to my opinion, and I want to share it with you.
I believe in and fight for the civil rights of all people. The current law regarding bathrooms in Massachusetts, which allows transgender people to use opposite-sex private facilities, is not a matter of civil rights. It’s a matter of unspeakable oppression against females. Few will be encouraged to consider this reality as the people of Massachusetts gear up to vote to restore privacy rights and common sense this November.
Mainstream media outlets will continue to frame the issue as one of bigotry, and will shame those with the audacity to say what we all know is true. It’s time to loudly declare that the emperor has no clothes. A person may wear what clothing that person prefers. A person can say that she or he is whatever. Such a person ought to not experience discrimination.
But I ought not to be expected to believe that by some magic and lots of surgeries and chemicals that a man can be a woman and a woman a man. I, and all woman and children, should not have to put up with the shenanigans of those who insist that biology is “a social construct” but gender “is innate in a person” when the exact opposite is true.
Children should not be experimented upon by infusing them with puberty blockers to keep them from growing up. Children should not be operated upon and have body parts removed because they “feel” they are something other than what they are, should not be subjected to a lifetime of ill health because of Big Pharma’s chemicals.
Women should not be forbidden to use the correct terms for their bodies and bodily functions because such terms are “transphobic.” Transgender activists’ erasure of women is horrifying. Women, especially lesbians, should not be told they are haters if they refuse to sleep with males who identify as trans. Women and children should not be forced to deal with males in their spaces, whether it be locker rooms or bathrooms.
It’s not that all males identifying as trans are violent, but that laws currently allow any male who self-identifies as a woman to be admitted into female-only spaces. The rate of violence against women is rising around the world: 272,040 women were raped or sexually assaulted in 2016 in the United States. The rate of assault is rising in other countries as well.
Trans advocates often say that women can press charges against their assaulters. They fail to mention, however, that the very same laws protect trans-humans as well. We do not see male-only spaces being deemed “gender-neutral,” because some maintain this means trans people would be placed at risk of violence. But it is okay to put the burden on women and children to defend themselves?
Take a look at the exhibition ongoing at a San Francisco library and take the time to read “Female Erasure” by Ruth Barrett. You will see baseball bats with barbed wire wrapped around them. You will see axes, sledge hammers, other hammers, and other weapons being exhibited as “art,” all painted in the colors, blue and pink, of the transgender movement.
You will see statements by the “Degenderettes” Antifa group, an self-styled anti-fascist militant group. It tells people these are things to be used against women, men, and people like me who disagree with trans ideology. I think their name says it all. They call for the literal death of those who disagree. They call for the removal of children from a family where the parents disagree with allowing their child to be “transitioned.” They suggest that women who disagree with trans ideology be used, quite literally, for body parts for males who identify as trans.
What I have written above is about things I have directly seen, read, and experienced, not fantasy or pretend. Do you understand now why this is certainly not just about bathrooms? Do you understand now why this is not about trans humans being discriminated against, but is about something much more horrible and revolting: the chemical sterilization of children, the denial of basic human rights to women and children, and the erasure of women? Do you still wonder why we do not want the law to allow such people in our spaces?