By D’Anne Witkowski
LGBT people have heard the phrase, “Come out, come out, wherever you are” over and over again for decades now. The idea, of course, is that coming out of the closet is the only way to change hearts and minds about who and what LGBT people are. After all, it’s hard to hate, say, lesbians, if you find out that your favorite aunt or your sister or your favorite coworker is playing for Team Lez. You’ve got to at least take a step back and rethink all of the terrible assumptions you made and ideas you’ve had about lesbians, right?
Ideally, yes. And truth be told, the fact that the closet door is no longer the major barrier it once was for so many people (but not all people. We’ve got a long way to go still) has been key in advances in LGBT rights, especially over the last five to ten years.
But then there are always going to be people who have their minds made up and no amount of people meetin’ is going to change their minds no sir no how.
And one of those people is Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
On September 1st, Paxton had dinner at the home of a transgender boy. Now, in case you didn’t know, Paxton is not a big fan of trans folks. In fact, he’s pretty much a mosquito-bitten taint about the whole thing. He recently, along with attorney generals from other states, filed a lawsuit over the Obama Administration’s recommendations that trans students be treated like human beings while at school, for example. Paxton doesn’t want people he deems perverts to pee next to “normal” Texas children.
The family extended the invitation to Paxton hoping that meeting a real trans kid would “soften” his anti-trans stance.
And so Paxton went over to their house, broke bread with them, and had a come-to-Jesus moment where he wept about what a shit head he’d been and vowed to change his ways.
Ha ha ha. Just kidding. In reality, he went over to their house, ate their food, and then continued to be a trans-phobic prick.
He shows no sign of slowing his roll on the anti-trans lawsuits, for example. He wants Texans to be able to discriminate against trans people whether it’s in the bathroom or the doctor’s office. In his twisted morality play, it’s cool for doctors to be able to refuse to treat trans patients, and for trans men and women to stay out of public restrooms.
Which is why he’s in a fight with Target ever since the retailer announced that its trans guests and employees could use whatever restroom they deemed appropriate. Not in Paxton’s Texas! He warned in May that “allowing men in women’s restrooms could lead to criminal and otherwise unwanted activity.” Because he totally gets it!
And so Paxton must have been just thrilled to have his warnings come to fruition in the form of reports that on at least two different occasions, men in different Target stores were trying to take cell phone video of women in changing rooms.
The only logical conclusion: must be those trannies!
“After this latest incident, I hope Target finally recognizes the importance of protecting its customers, especially in environments where they can be at their most vulnerable,” Paxton said in a statement, alluding to his earlier “warnings” that trans men and women are perverted heathens who should have to cross their legs and be chained to their home toilet forever and ever amen.
But hey, at least he ate blueberry cobbler with a trans kid. What a hero.
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.