Hate from afar will get here

Si­mon Williamson lives with his hus­band in het­eronor­ma­tively-as­sim­ila­tive fash­ion in Athens, af­ter a year of sur­viv­ing ru­ral Ge­or­gia.

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

“While we might ap­prove of the back­lash to North Carolina and Mis­sis­sippi’s laws, do not think for one sec­ond that Pat McCrory and Phil Bryant aren’t giddy at the prospect of em­bold­en­ing so many other peo­ple to ha­rass those they don’t want in their state.”

It has been a thor­oughly de­press­ing month since I last com­plained in th­ese pages. While com­plain­ing is some­thing I am both en­thu­si­as­tic about, and rather good at, I pre­fer to not have to use my abil­i­ties when the real lives of our peo­ple are be­ing af­fected in hideous, shitty ways.

By now North Carolina’s HB 2 law, a hastily drawn mish­mash of big­oted words try­ing glibly to mask the pro­fes­sional prej­u­dices of elected lead­ers, in par­tic­u­lar Gov­er­nor Pat McCrory, is now in­fa­mous. Its di­rect aim is at trans­gen­der peo­ple. And, on top of that, the state de­cided that no lo­cal gov­ern­ments may pass any pro­tec­tions for the LGBT com­mu­nity, which nat­u­rally robs us of the most amenable level of gov­ern­ment when we gather in or­ga­nized num­bers.

Not to be out­done in the hate-stakes, Mis­sis­sippi then went a step fur­ther and passed a hate law that didn’t even bother to stuff it­self full of pro-donor fluff. It was just ra­bid de­tes­ta­tion of other peo­ple, hand­ing out in­vi­ta­tions to any­one to screw with peo­ple, know­ing the law would back them. Even by the low stan­dards by which we judge the abil­ity of Mis­sis­sippi to turn hate­ful­ness into law, this was an out­stand­ing achieve­ment.

We know this game. We know how it is played. We have been on the re­ceiv­ing end of the hate-brigade for so long that even our ex­pec­ta­tions for the peo­ple who “fight for us” are fright­fully low (*cough Hil­lary Clin­ton cough*). But we shouldn’t think at all that this move­ment be­ing started by North Carolina and Mis­sis­sippi is go­ing to be lim­ited to those two states.

One of the for­tu­nate as­pects of liv­ing in Ge­or­gia is that while our gov­er­nor is a con­ser­va­tive man, and we don’t see eye-to-eye on much, he gov­erns like an adult. While that may be pass­ing ter­ri­ble laws ma­turely, it means that he ve­toes bills that, like a phoenix, rise from the ashy griev­ances of peo­ple like state Se­na­tor Josh McKoon. The bor­ders of our state, how­ever, are not im­per­vi­ous to what the gov­er­nors of North Carolina and Mis­sis­sippi are be­gin­ning.

While we might ap­prove of the back­lash to North Carolina and Mis­sis­sippi’s laws, do not think for one sec­ond that Pat McCrory and Phil Bryant aren’t giddy at the prospect of em­bold­en­ing so many other peo­ple to ha­rass those they don’t want in their state. Women who don’t look ex­actly how some peo­ple think they should are be­ing pulled out of the lines for the re­stroom – in one clip a po­lice­man asks a les­bian woman for ID so she can use the toi­let, for no other rea­son than the cop­per thinks she didn’t look woman enough. Isn’t it just awe­some that fem­i­nin­ity is now gov­erned by the re­spon­si­ble folks two states to the north?

Bryant and McCrory are get­ting what they want: the se­vere ha­rass­ment of LGBT peo­ple around the coun­try. They do not want us in their state or re­gion, and they are em­pow­er­ing the peo­ple that hate us to come af­ter us. They make it harder for us to find some­where to live, they make it more dif­fi­cult to hold a job, and now they don’t even want us to be able to use a pub­lic toi­let.

And they have be­gun a wave of em­bold­ened hate­ful­ness that will not limit it­self to their states. Be­ware, even in a state with a grown-up gov­er­nor. The peo­ple who hate us have been en­cour­aged to act.

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