Taxpayer-funded PBS and NPR marked the so-called “Transgender Day of Visibility” on Thursday by celebrating leftist cultural radicals and refusing to grant one second of airtime to rebuttals from social conservatives.
On the PBS NewsHour, anchor William Brangham played a super-supportive clip from President Biden and warned that “more than 130 bills targeting transgender rights specifically were introduced in state legislatures this year.”
Oklahoma became the 13th state to pass a bill against men competing in women’s sports, and “In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey signed bills targeting trans youth, including one that would restrict access to gender-affirming health care.”
Then Brangham turned to trans activist Raquel Willis, and began with the softest softball, about whether she felt it was happy enough, like Transgender Christmas:
BRANGHAM: Before we get to what is happening in the states, I want to acknowledge that today is supposed to be a day of recognition and visibility and celebration. And I’m wondering if it — does it feel that way to you? Does it feel like today is important?
WILLIS: Today is important, for sure, for our community. And I think folks are carving out spaces of joy in their everyday life. The trans community has always been here. We have always found ways to survive and thrive. And I love that our community does that in the face of all of this legislation.
Then came the attack on conservatives for “targeting” the gender-nonconforming:
BRANGHAM: Well, let’s talk about all of that legislation, because there has been this record number of bills. I touched on a few of them, but bills and laws passed in states targeting different slices of transgender life in America. Why do you think this has become such an issue?
WILLIS: …The conservatives have made it their point to go after the trans community. They know overwhelmingly that we still have a general public that is unfamiliar with the experiences of trans people. Many folks still say that they don’t know a trans person who live in America. So it is easy for them to take advantage of a bit of confirmation bias. They know that folks have all of these ideas about us that aren’t necessarily true.
Brangham then suggested he found conservatives odd: “What would you say to people who — I mean, it’s hard to understand people’s motives sometimes, but people who genuinely believe that they are trying to protect women’s sports or they are trying to protect their kids from what they think is indoctrination going on in classrooms? What do you say to people like that?” Willis shot back that conservatives “never really cared about women’s inclusion in different sectors of society previous to this.”
Willis may be welcomed back for another gushfest on “Black Trans Liberation Tuesday.”
On Friday’s Morning Edition, NPR turned to reporter Melissa Block, whose story was a complete press release, undisturbed by any opposing viewpoint:
A MARTINEZ, HOST: Nonbinary, intersex or gender-nonconforming Americans may soon choose a gender-neutral X on their passports. The Biden administration made the announcement yesterday on the annual Transgender Day of Visibility. NPR’s Melissa Block reports.
MELISSA BLOCK: The X gender marker is designated for people of unspecified or another gender identity besides male or female. The State Department said the X marker will be respectful of individuals’ privacy while advancing inclusion. Here’s spokesman Ned Price.
NED PRICE: Today and every day, we reaffirm our commitment to promoting and protecting the freedom, the dignity, the equality of all persons, including transgender, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming persons around the world.
BLOCK: For LGBTQ advocates, it’s a proud moment.
SASHA BUCHERT: It’s huge.
BLOCK: That’s Sasha Buchert, nonbinary and transgender rights project director at Lambda Legal, which for years fought for this policy change in court.
BUCHERT: Before this change for nonbinary folks and intersex folks or folks that, you know, fall somewhere between the gender markers, it places them in this really untenable bind where they have to show an identification that basically says that they’re a different person than they are.
BLOCK: The Transportation Security Administration will also allow the X option for its TSA PreCheck program. And later this year, TSA will update its body-scanning technology at airports, which will reduce the need for pat-downs that have been especially worrisome for transgender travelers.
The Biden administration’s moves are extremely significant, says Sarah Kate Ellis, head of the LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD. And she says they’re especially key at this moment to counter the wave of antitrans legislation being passed around the country.
SARAH KATE ELLIS: This administration has squarely stood on the side of transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex folks and has been very vocal about that. And the context to this is incredibly important as we’re seeing over 200 anti-LGBTQ bills, most of them targeted at the trans community.
BLOCK: The U.S. will join at least 15 countries that offer a third gender or gender-neutral option on passports, including Argentina, Canada and India. U.S. citizens will be able to choose the X gender marker on their passport application beginning on April 11. Melissa Block, NPR News.
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