I'm a cis-gendered straight man living in Massachusetts. Coming up in November, there's a ballot question here that attempts to nullify Massachusetts' legal protections for transgender people. Back when the law was passed in the State House in 2016, the usual scare tactics were used, and now that it's on the ballot, the fear mongering industrial complex is at full swing again. Their case is the usual one—allowing transgendered women in the ladies' room would, in their mind, allow every man and sexual predator to just hop to the ladies' room and pose a danger to every young girl. (You can watch one of their fear-mongering ads here.)

This felony fear mongering is tough to counter by logic, or by facts. What I wonder is whether we could respond with counter-fear-mongering of our own—essentially pulling out a picture of Buck Angel, whose appearance is far more manly than my own, and asking whether this man should be allowed in the same bathroom as a young girl. Why am I uncomfortable with this? I'm uncomfortable with presenting transgendered men as a danger that anyone needs protection from. The fear that I will be mongering is not something I believe in, even if it's the only point I can make that could come across.

What say you, Dan? Are we allowed to temporarily throw Buck Angel under the bus, just to get the required majority, or will that bigot position give me the bigot cooties for life?

Pro Trans Equality In Mass And Everywhere Else

First: full background on Question 3 can be found here. (Mass residents: vote "YES" to block discrimination on November 6!)

And as for your question—can you respond to their scary-cis-men-in-womens-toilets fear-mongering with scary-trans-men-in-womens-toilets fear-mongering of your own—the answer would seem to be a qualified yes.

In 2015 Michael Hughes, a big, burly, bearded, awesome trans man, took a photo of himself in a women's restroom and shared it online with the hashtag #WeJustNeedToPee. His posts went viral and other trans men and women began posting photos of themselves in the wrong public restrooms. Here are two of Hughes' posts:



But Hughes' campaign wasn't so much fear-mongering as it was have-you-thought-this-through-mongering. Requiring trans men and women to use public facilities that align with their birth sex, aka "the gender they were assigned at birth," would require men like Hughes to use women's restrooms—and encountering Hughes in a women's restroom would most likely make a woman feel uncomfortable. (Requiring trans women to use men's restrooms, by contrast, would most likely result in trans women being assaulted or killed—a feature, so far as the haters are concerned, and not a bug.)

So can you use a photo of Buck Angel to illustrate the absurdity of Question 3? I think you could, PTEIMAEE, so long as your point echoes the one Hughes made: not that trans men are a threat—they aren't—but that trans men don't belong in women's restrooms because they're men and trans women don't belong in men's restrooms because they're women. But just to be on the safe side, PTEIMAEE, I checked in with Buck Angel himself.

"Use me!," said Angel. "But instilling fear is a gross way to create change and I do not want to make people fear us but rather see us for what we are. Humans, just trying to make a space for ourselves. If people could see what our message is about and stop creating a fear then we can easily fix this. It is why visibility is important."

You have Buck's permission to make him visible while you fight bigotry at the ballot box in Massachusetts, PTEIMAEE. (Help fight Question 3 by making a donation at FreedomMassachusetts.org.)


Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

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