Creep of the Week

Creep of the Week: Louie Gohmert

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By D’Anne Witkowski

Target. It’s kind of a weird name for a store. I mean, a target is something you shoot at. But say the word “target” anywhere in America and chances are people will think, “I need to buy some underwear, milk and a laundry basket” before they think “shooting range.”
But now Target is the target of the anti-trans right because Target did something pretty radical. Something few companies have dared to do because it’s just so fringe, so wild, so unheard of. And no, it has nothing to do with Isaac Mizrahi. This time.
On April 19, Target announced that it’s okay for people to use the restrooms at their store. I know! Can you even believe it? Can you even believe how totally mundane and uninteresting that should be? But, no. This nation’s unhealthy obsession with the potty habits of trans people or people who do not have a rigid gender identity has made such a statement revolutionary, apparently.
“(W)e welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity,” Target said in an April 19 statement. “Given the specific questions these legislative proposals raised about how we manage our fitting rooms and restrooms, we felt it was important to state our position.”
To which I say, “Bravo, Target! Now if you would just let your workers unionize I might love you instead of just liking you.”
Other people, however, are FREAKING. Dumb people, but people nonetheless.
And one of those dumbs is Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas.
“I understand Target may now be changing their restrooms,” Gohmert said on the House floor on April 21 according to the Huffington Post. “If they’re going to be having women come into men’s restrooms, I won’t be going to Target to shop, unless and until that changes.”
Uh, Target is not changing their restrooms, nor are women all of a sudden flocking to Target’s urinals (because urinals are very hard to sit on). But as I’ve said, Gohmert is not the brightest bulb in the House.
After chiding folks for being so hard on North Carolina, Gohmert says, “It’s already been shown: you give guys a chance to say I’m transgender and I can get to go in and film a girl in a shower, there will be people that do that. Why not let the transgender LGBTQ, R, S, T, whatever the initials are, let them have their activities where they don’t impose upon the privacy of someone who wants to go to the restroom or shower without someone of the opposite sex being there with them?”
First of all, ha ha. Get it? LGBTQRST… Because there are so many weird letters! And who cares what they mean?
Secondly, it has not already been shown that guys will fake being trans so they can go get nudie videos. That is not a thing. There are guys who are predators. And those guys are predators regardless of whether the law discriminates against trans people or not. To say that trans men and women are by definition sexual predators simply because they make you feel confused and uncomfortable is stupid and hateful.
The crux of Gohmert’s complaint, and really the entire argument in favor of the bathroom police laws being proposed across the country, is who gets to define what a man or a woman is? Target thinks it should be up to the individual person. Gohmert thinks it should be him.
Gohmert is totally going to delete his Cartwheel app as soon as he can find it on his flip phone.

DAnne Witkowski

D'Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.

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