Reply To: Question for y’all.

DeeAnn Hopings

I think the majority of people here in the US are pretty much oblivious. They have enough other things to do and focus on in their daily lives, so it isn’t an issue for them. On the other hand, some see political advantage in throwing red meat to the faithful as we are viewed as low hanging fruit.

While I live in a fairly welcoming area (adjacent to Palm Springs, CA), there have been incidents against gay people and trans people. When I first moved here in January of 2016, there was an incident involving a gay male couple the previous December. They were leaving a bar and were attacked. While their injuries were not life-threatening, one died of a heart attack in the hospital. A year or 2 later, a lesbian couple was signing in a convenience store. Another female customer thought they were talking about her and proceeded to start beating on them. An investigation was started in July of 1999 when the dismembered body of a women was found just north of Palm Springs. She was not identified until a skull was found 11 years later. Through DNA tests, they determined that she was Raina Chessman, a trans woman. The local trans organization created an emergency fund for trans people and it was named for her.

Over time, there have been some other incidents, such as a trans woman being challenged by a casino security person. If I remember correctly, the security person was dismissed, but these are the notable ones that come to mind.

I think the message here is that even in a bubble like we have, it isn’t as liberal as we would think. In 2017, trans woman Lisa Middleton was elected to Palm Springs City Council and has continued to serve until present times. However, when she was first elected, she was the first openly trans person elected to office in the entire state! 40,000,000 people here and she was the first. I remind people that we are not as liberal as we (and the rest of the country) think we are.

Fortunately, so far I have not encountered any issues beyond a McDonald’s employee telling me that I was entering the women’s restroom. I did not acknowledge her and entered the restroom. Evidently she did not know know that, by law, we can use the facility that matches our gender identity.

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