Before getting to down to business, I’d like to give a shout of thanks to Big Red for screwing with my internet on Monday night and preventing me from publishing a very premature version of this post. I was really angry when I first wrote it, and I stupidly tried to publish it without giving myself some time to calm down and re-evaluate my tone. Thankfully, circumstances prevented me from doing this, and I’ve since had time to clean this post up some. So thank You, Lord Seth, for helping me to keep my anger in check. If people don’t think I’m a rabid crotch-goblin after reading this, it’s all thanks to You.
Now, I haven’t said very much about this before, but I have this nephew, and he’s a really good kid. He does well in school, he’s bright as a firecracker, and I’m real proud of him. But do you know what? When he was born, he was my niece. And as far as my family is concerned, any attack on the transgender community is also a personal attack against him. It’s an attack against my nephew for being who he is, and it’s an attack against our entire family for loving and supporting him unconditionally. This is not a matter of opinion, and it’s not something on which I’m willing to negotiate with anyone. It’s not a matter of saying, “I see where you’re coming from, but why don’t you try looking at it this way?” No, it’s just a matter of transphobic people being completely and utterly wrong. And I don’t even care if you claim to be another Seth worshiper; if you say something that I perceive as an attack against my nephew (or anyone else I love), I will hand your butt to you on a silver platter. When people say or do things that are racist or sexist in today’s culture, nobody hesitates to chastise them – and that’s great, because people who say or do things like that should be ashamed of themselves. But apparently, some people think things aren’t quite so clear-cut when it comes to transphobia, and I think that is truly disgusting.
My reason for saying this is because there’s a petition on change.org right now called “Drop The T.” The people who started this petition are seeking to exclude transgender people from the greater LGBTQ community. This movement, in turn, is rooted in the idea that trans women are nothing more than male rapists in drag who want to assault women in the restroom. In effect, the people who’ve signed this piece of trash are validating this horse manure (though at least some of them have retracted this validation). For those of us who are actually related to trans people and who count them as beloved kith and kin, this is nothing more than simple transphobia, and it is completely intolerable. And we are completely justified in reacting to it in the exact same way that any sensible person would react to racist and sexist behavior.
The thing is, some of the people who’ve signed this thing are Pagans, and there are actually other Pagans defending them, arguing that we should never “shame” our “Pagan elders” under any circumstances. I think that’s just about the biggest load of horse manure I’ve heard all year. Pagan elders are just as fallible and corruptible as anyone else; just ask anyone who’s ever had a manipulative or abusive high priest or priestess. I would agree that it’s generally a good idea to respect our elders; but when one of them turns out to be a total scumbag, they don’t deserve any more respect than the next scumbag. Being a “mover and a shaker” from the 1960s or 1970s doesn’t give you any more right to harm innocent people than anyone else. And if you seriously think that spreading transphobia isn’t just as harmful and shameful as excluding people from your coven because of their ethnicity (or, Gods forbid, sexually harassing someone in your coven), then you’re just not the kind of person I want to associate with. End of story.
I might also mention that despite what certain writers have said to the contrary, not all of us have people that we would even recognize as “Pagan elders.” For example, we here in LV-426 are the first people ever to practice our faith in history; no one aside from our Lord Himself was there to instruct us in this stuff, so we had to figure it all out for ourselves. True, there are certain people who’ve inspired us in one way or another; but we’ve never actually met any of them, and we don’t put them on any pedestals. When and if either of us should have any children (and when and if said children decide to follow Seth as we do), we will be the elders. But until that dark and stormy day, LV-426 will continue being limited to just a single generation.
With all that being said, the Pagans who’ve signed this “Drop The T” petition really should be ashamed of what they’ve done – as should those who try to defend or make excuses for them. Naturally, some of these folks probably won’t be ashamed at all; it’s an unfortunate fact that for every progressive Pagan genius like Rhyd Wildermuth (Gods bless ‘im), there’s also a backward Pagan psychopath like Varg Vikernes lurking around somewhere. But by Gods, that doesn’t mean we have to be silent or “respectful” when such people make their ugly opinions known.