Pink Pussy Hats, Drag Shows, and Confederate Flags

    I am offended by pink pussy hats. There, I said it. They can be seen as exclusionary of trans people and women of color. This is a fact. It is also a fact that they mean different things to different people. I am not going to tell someone else whether they should or they shouldn’t wear one. And quite frankly, I am saddened this is causing division, because we have so much to do.

    I am also offended by drag. I believe it perpetuates the myth that transgender women are just men in dresses, and it sexualizes women in a world where we need much less sexualization of women. But this doesn’t mean I think we should eliminate drag shows.
        Why? Because I also understand drag is an outlet for some people, a lot of money has been raised to support LGB and T causes through drag shows, and just because something offends me does not give me permission to ignore how other people see it or demand they stop.
        So you won’t find me complaining about drag or protesting drag shows. But if you watch closely, you will sense I am not at ease at drag shows and will likely leave if my uneasiness reaches a point where I feel like I need to.

    I am offended by confederate flags. To me, they represent fear and intimidation, slavery and hatred for people of color and people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
        A couple years ago, I was driving from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Oklahoma City and a white pickup truck passed me with an image of the confederate flag on the tailgate. In the truck, were three white guys, shoulder to shoulder to shoulder, easily filling the space of the cab.
        When you drive a car with a “Transgender and Christian” bumper sticker on it, and a “Black Lives Matter” bumper sticker, and a “Nevertheless, She Persisted” bumper sticker as well as a few more; you notice things like confederate flags on the tailgates of passing trucks.
        About 20 minutes later, the same truck passed me again. I will admit to being more-than-a-little concerned. However, the truck went on down the highway just like it had before, and I surmised they must have stopped for gas or something - nothing to do my me or my bumper stickers.

    Back to pink pussy hats. I will not wear one. I have my reasons. I will also not complain when someone chooses to wear one. I suppose they have their reasons, too.
        This is what concerns me about pink pussy hats:
        The Trump administration just created a new division in the Department of Health and Human Services dedicated to making it easier for health professionals to discriminate against reproductive healthcare, people who are LGBTQ+, and other groups of people based on some definition of a deeply-held “religious” belief.
        Kansas has yet to expand Medicaid and continues its assault on some of the most marginalized people in the state. This is just one of many Kansas policies doing the same thing.
        There is an identifiable pathway, relentlessly pursued, in which Roe vs. Wade could be overturned.
        We have an election coming up this fall where we have the possibility of preventing the furtherance of these, and many more, dictatorial policies and actions.  
        Every single seat in the Kansas House of Representatives is up for election. Every single seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is up for election. And it is possible in this election, control of the U.S. Senate could be taken away from the Trump administration.
        I’m not really interested in talking about pink pussy hats; if we should or should not wear them. I think people who love drag should continue to love drag. And I know there will always be people who have confederate flags on the tailgates of their pickup trucks. I support their right to do so. I don’t want to talk about any of those things.
        I want to talk about how to save our state, our country, and our world. If you want to talk about these things with me, I’m not that hard to find. l

    StephanieMott-7Stephanie Mott is a transgender woman from Topeka. She is the executive director of the Kansas Statewide Transgender Education Project, and a commissioner on the City of Topeka Human Relations Commission. Reach her at stephanieequality@yahoo.com.

    Read more about Stephanie

    Read more Trans-formative

    More Trans-form

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    • 11
    • 12
    • 13
    • 14