If You Support the GOP Platform, You Don’t Support Me

If You Support the GOP Platform, You Don’t Support Me July 31, 2016

There’s lots of bigoted and stigmatizing stuff in the GOP platform, and one specific part irks me because it negates my identity.

Yes, as an atheist I’m pissed off about the call to teach the Bible in public schools as literature, which Mother Jones pointed out. I’m annoyed at how the “marriage is between one man and one woman” ahistorically-universalizing crap is making an appearance, and I’m livid at how it looks like there’ll be more trans-discriminatory policies applied to bathrooms. Oh, and porn is definitely not a public health crisis.

That stuff all sucks. But as the New York Times pointed out, the platform also contains a reference to conversion therapy “for gays by saying that parents should be free to make medical decisions about their children without interference.”

I’ve been quietly out as bisexual since deciding that my bio on Conditionally Accepted (a blog and community for academics on the margins) needed to reflect the fact that my experience in academe is impacted by my identity as a sexual minority. I mean, people who talk to me for more than five minutes probably get the idea that I don’t conform to a lot of traditional ideas about gender and sexuality, but still, I thought it was worth putting it out there, especially since I benefit from heterosexual-passing-privilege by being married to a man.

I was lucky to grow up in a sex-positive household, where one’s emerging sexual orientation wouldn’t have gotten me in trouble. But if things had been different? We now live in a country where one of the two major policitical parties thinks it’s okay to tell people like me that we should not exist and should be sent to abusive forms of therapy in order to change us.

Conversion therapy is a death sentence. I’m adding my voice here to say that if you support those policies, you do not, and cannot, also support me as a human being with a right to exist and live in this society.

Others are realizing that these policies are dehumanizing; one former Republican left the party for the sake of his transgender daughter. If you think that you don’t know anyone who is LGBTQ, or anyone whom these policies would impact – well, now you do.

You may not like my politics (as an outspoken feminist, I know I argue for things that aren’t everyone’s cup of tea), and you may not like me as a person… but do you want to vote for a political party that says people like me are wrong, damaged, immoral, and basically shouldn’t exist?

That’s why I’m adding my voice to the many decrying these policies. Maybe it’ll help make a difference.

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