What Does FOTF's Quotation Marks Around "Transgenderism" Mean?
From Focus On The Family‘s/CitizenLink‘s piece, entitled Two Gay Activist Bills Resurface in Congress (emphasis added):
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is on the fast track in Congress. The bill will get a full committee hearing on Sept. 23 in the U.S. House of Representatives.
For the first time, the measure includes special rights based on “transgenderism.”
Family advocates say the bill would put undue burdens on Christian employers by forcing them to hire people whose views are at odds with the company’s values.
Gay activists are also pushing to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, but with other pressing issues facing Congress, it doesn’t look like it will get a vote this year…
Note that the anonymous writer of this piece doesn’t put quotations marks around the term gay, but does around the term transgenderism.
In a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people tangibly exist, Focus On The Family and other conservative “Christian” people and organizations otherize all of us LGBT people. But, just as I use quotation marks around the Christian in conservative “Christian” to say these self-identified Christians aren’t really Christians, these religious right folk use quotations around trans terms to say my trans peers and I don’t really exist.
In the same vein, by the way, Peter LaBarbera and OneNewsNow/the American Family Association (AFA) attempt to do a similar thing in the piece Dems focus on homosexual agenda. In that piece, the phrase “so-called ‘fully inclusive’ version of ENDA” is used. I believe the quotation marks around the phrase “fully inclusive” there is meant with the same intent regarding trans people and community as the quotation marks around the term “transgenderism” in the FOTF/CitizenLink piece.
Gays should perhaps at least take some small comfort in knowing that the conservative “Christian” group Focus On The Family believes that gays exist, and actually refers to gay people by the term gay. The AFA apparently believe gay people exist, but intentionally medicalize and otherize gay people by using the term homosexuals.
Trans people exist; I exist. We aren’t others to be erased or otherized quietly with quotation marks; we are human beings that are now on the radar of conservative “Christian” people and organizations.
As much as conservative “Christians” want to erase my peers and I with quotation marks, just as I want to erase their version of Christianity with my quotation marks — well, the reality is no one is really erasing the existance or identities of anyone else with quotation marks. It’s something to note in these days before the official National Punctuation Day®.
* 6th Annual National Punctuation Day®