Do you think Rachel Dolezal “hijacked the conversation about trans people,” as LGBT activist Danielle Moodie-Mills says in an interview with The Wrap.
Personally, I’m not convinced she has.
Dolezal, you may recall, is a Caucasian woman at the centre of controversy — and scandal — after presenting herself as an African-American while working as an NCAA chapter president in the United States.
In an interview, she said she identifies as an African-American, and she compared her experience as a “transracial” woman to that of trans woman Caitlyn Jenner, which has angered many LGBT activists, particularly trans people.
There’s no doubt that the mainstream media has picked up on the comparison, though I’m not sure how many mainstream media commentators feel it is a credible idea. They are merely reporting what has been said.
And, no, I don’t consider Fox’s Keith Ablow — who used the comparison by Dolezal to fearmonger about trans people, according to Media Matters — to be credible. I don’t consider Fox to be a serious mainstream media entity, either, even if it tries to present itself as one.
But right-wingers will run with Dolezal’s transracial/transgender comparison because that’s their modus operandi. They oppose anything that doesn’t fit into their narrow Christian parameters, and will twist and turn any bit of news to make LGBT people look bad.
Witness the ridiculous statement by another Fox News “pundit,” Erick Erickson, who said the recent shootings in a black church in Charleston, S.C., happened because society accepts transgender people like Caitlyn Jenner, according to Pink News. The shootings had nothing to do with the gun culture in the U.S. or plain old racial bigotry, of course. Blame transgenderism.
Have any of these nitwits really hurt the growing acceptance of trans people?
Probably not, in my opinion. And I don’t think they or Dolezal have hijacked the broader conversation about transgender rights.
Rachel Dolezal is probably a one-off, and should be treated as an isolated case.
We are highly unlikely to see large numbers — or any numbers — of people claiming to be “transracial” and comparing themselves to transgender people.
But I do think the stupid statements by the likes of the aforementioned Fox News commentators could lead to more isolated cases of attacks on transgender people, both verbally and physically.
I recommend to trans people that they don’t beat the drums too loudly about Balezal and related right-wing anti-trans comments, because that would appear to give them more importance and validity than they deserve.
– Jillian Page, LGBT Perspectives editor
“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey