Lady Gaga, Mike Pence, and a city that rewarded discrimination

The Super Bowl was a couple weeks ago and despite my hatred of the Patriots and my deep love for the game of football, all I can think about is the halftime show. Yes, Lady Gaga was amazing and that leap from the roof was something I think I have dreamed about doing. But can we talk about Goddess Gaga doing that show in front of Mike Pence in Houston?

I want to remind you about Houston, Texas. While the rest of the country was wringing our hands and pulling our hair out about national elections, Houston voters decided that it was against their values to protect LGBT people from scared cis-gender heterosexual normies.

In a brief review, In 2015 the city council passed a sweeping anti-discrimination law spearheaded by the city’s lesbian mayor. The opposition decided the council had over-reached, took them to court, and demanded that the measure be put to a vote. That referendum to repeal the protections for LGBT people passed 61-39. The people of Houston fell victim to this vile and inaccurate poison that “Christians” spew about protection and who harms our kids.

Let me give you a few facts.

Zero trans people have ever assaulted anyone in a bathroom. Zero.

Transgender men are real men. Transgender women are real women. End of story. If you disagree with that, I encourage you to keep reading, but do not comment. If you’re open to being convinced of my point of view, let’s have coffee. But this is a hard line, from which I will not budge.

Gayness is not spread. It’s not contagious. Gay parents do not make kids gay, but they do make kids not homeless, which is a pretty amazing thing for kids to be I think. They also don’t abandon their kids for being gay or trans, so I think that gives them a step up on the parenting skills of a lot of people out there.

Now, can we talk about who assaults our kids? Because it isn’t trans people and it isn’t gay people.

Note: I’m not going to discuss adult women here because that is a whole other thing I just can’t get into right now.

According to the NSOPW, one in five female high school students reports being physically or sexually assaulted by a dating partner.

69% of reported teen sexual assaults happens in the home of the victim or the offender.

Only 10% of offenders of child sexual abuse are strangers to the victim. 30% of offenders are family members. 60% of offenders are known to the child but are not family members, which means they are babysitters and pastors and people you already have in your life. So when I told an old church acquaintance that a ban on youth pastors would be more effective than a ban of trans people in bathrooms, I wasn’t joking.

Okay, all that to say that it really caught me off guard that a few weeks ago, Lady Gaga was singing “Born This Way” in front of Mike Pence (that’s for another blog, but seriously he’s a monster) in the city whose people voted to protect themselves from gayness and alternative genders. She was singing about how valuable all our different and unique voices are in front of a VPOTUS and a crowd of people who think those voices deserve the same protections as theirs do.

Bathroom bills and legalizing discrimination do create victims, but they’re our trans children and friends and family. They’re our gay neighbors and coworkers and co-commuters who can’t find a place to pee or get a cupcake. They are the ones who shed blood in self-harm and were forced to shed blood in the attacks against them in bathrooms by people empowered by these laws.

Giving rights to people does not take them away from you. The fight for equality did not end at marriage equality and it will not end until everyone no one is allowed to be fired, evicted, or denied goods or services because of their gender or sexual orientation. Until then, we keep fighting.