Over the past month, a commentator declared that “transgenderism must be eradicated from public life entirely” at a political action conference. The speaker threatened to sue Rolling Stone for running the headline “CPAC Speaker Calls for Transgender People to Be ‘Eradicated.’” The magazine changed the headline to say “transgenderism,” a word currently only used by those opposed to trans rights. The speaker said that he could not be calling for the elimination of transgender people because being transgender is “not a legitimate category of being.” The magazine ran a second story the following day with the headline “CPAC Speaker Calls for Eradication of ‘Transgenderism—and Somehow Claims He’s Not Calling for Elimination of Transgender People.” This debate occurred while state legislatures across the country are restricting access to gender affirming care, which is deemed as medically necessary by nearly every major medical association. Legislature in Florida seeks to remove children from homes where people are receiving or “at risk” to receive gender affirming care.


my to-do list is long

first, feed the stray cat
peering into the kitchen door
with brilliant, pleading eyes
(with which I can finally identify)

maybe, get around to posting that
letter to the state legislator
about gender-affirming care
how it doubtlessly saved one life
and how I know of countless more

also, there is a friend to text
because they struggle to accept
something about themselves
they do not yet understand

and, of course, do the dishes,
fix the lamppost, launder clothes,
meal plan, respond to emails

instead, I read the news
which reminds me that
if you are trans and
have something to do
it is not a good time
to read the news

because the news will not
debate what is meant by the word
eradicate but whether the object
of the sentence is an ideology
that exists only in the minds of
people who claim that they’d rather
die than have a trans child
or if the object of eradicate
is people like you who have
chosen not to be eradicated

and then you’ll decide
whether or not to feel despair
if you should feel bad for spending
so much time nursing the stray cat
or if you should invest the postage
to the state house into a go-bag
or if reaching out to your friend
is really your own cry for help

but all you think about is why
the headlines are outrageously obtuse

Lucinda Isaacs writes about belonging and belovedness. She is a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and is studying creative writing and public theology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

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