California Trans Bill Freak Out

Supposedly, as the RadRight narrative goes, the California bill protecting trans kids in school is anarchy and madness. Unsurprisingly, TERFs and H-BSers jumped on that narrative:


You know what?


Here in TEXAS – yes, conservative TEXAS – we’ve had these California-style policies in effect for YEARS. And you know what’s happened? Nothing… Except trans kids got to go to school without having to face institutionalized bigotry.

Yup, from kindergarten to high school, here in Texas towns like Houston, trans kids have been able to transition and be protected on the basis of gender identity for years. Worse (for the nutty narrative on offer by fringe groups), Houston isn’t the only Texas town with these protections on the books. Other Texas towns with these California-style policies are Dallas, Fort Worth, El Paso and San Antonio. Worse still, most Texas universities have similar California-style policies.

Here I am helping to get these policies passed here in Houston, Texas:

While these fringe groups have collectively gotten the vapors over this California law, a lot of Texas towns went further. We’ve even extended gender identity protections to the SCHOOL EMPLOYEES too!

Nutty groups like TERFs, H-BSers and fringe radical right groups have asserted all kinds of hyperbole in the hope that it will scare you into helping them harm trans kids. There’s a reason you’ve never heard any of them clue you in on the fact that these policies have been in effect for years throughout conservative areas of the nation.

Let’s be honest, how likely is it that all of these extremist groups are clueless that California-style policies were already enacted all over the country – for years – before taking to various media outlets to encourage you to help them harm trans kids? Why is it that they never talk about that? What purpose does it serve to pretend that liberal California is the first to enact these policies? What purpose does it serve to not tell you that this isn’t anything new? What purpose does it serve to not tell you that these policies haven’t been the harbingers of doom they claim them to be?

Let’s be clear:

  1. These policies are about the well-being of trans kids in a cis privileged system.
  2. These policies have been in effect for years in even conservative areas.
  3. These policies haven’t produced the hellish urban dystopian future these fringe groups are forever promising looms just over the horizon.

These groups like to pretend that gender identity means something like “how you feel” when you wake up in the morning. Here’s what the FBI says gender identity means:

“A person’s internal sense of being male, female, or a combination of both; that internal sense of a person’s gender may be different from the person’s gender as assigned at birth”

When the term was first popularized, here’s what it meant:

Gender identity is the sense of knowing to which sex one belongs, that is, the awareness ‘I am a male’ or ‘I am a female’. This term gender identity’ will be used in this paper rather than various other terms which have been employed in this regard, such as the term ‘sexual identity’. ‘Sexual identity’ is ambiguous, since it may refer to one’s sexual activities or fantasies, etc. The advantage of the phrase ‘gender identity’ lies in the fact that it clearly refers to one’s self-image as regard to belonging to a specific sex. Thus, of a patient who says: ‘I am not a very masculine man’, it is possible to say that his gender identity is male although he recognizes his lack of so-called masculinity. – International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 1964, v 45, pages 220 – 226

I dunno, but it seems to me that the meaning of gender identity has been fairly consistent over the past HALF CENTURY or so.

Opponents of trans protections often claim that we don’t have exact definitions for gender identity because… Well, who the hell knows what that even means, amiright?


The term is as well defined as other terms used in policy – like, say sex. I could make equally preposterous arguments against any policy containing the term sex because, well… what exactly is sex anyway? Are we talking about genitals and if so, exactly how do we deal with the 1 in 500 intersex births? Are we talking about a binary chromosome set: XX & YY and if so, what does sex mean when dealing with the many other types of chromosomal configurations like XO, XXY, etc? Are we talking about whatever is put on your birth certificate and if so, what does that mean when 1000s of them are changed/corrected year year in America? Are we talking about socialization and if so, why would anyone oppose a trans kid in transitioning at an early age? Are we talking about secondary sex characteristics and if so, what does that mean when we talk about transsexual and/or AIS/PAIS people? If we are talking merely about the way a body functions to facilitate sexual reproduction, what does sex mean for the 1000s of kids born each year without this ability?

Any term we use in any bill or legal argument can be picked apart in this way. These arguments are called equivocation. Who remembers Clinton asking exactly what is is?

Fringe groups like to tout this rhetorical tactic around as if they have something really insightful to say.

What about those dreadful appeals to emotion? You know, those arguments that sound a lot like the following ridiculous appeal to have non-transgender women banned from schools and female hygiene facilities:


Look at the above image.

ALL of these are women born women and they’re dangerous. These non-transgender women are guilty of rape. They’ve even stalked their young victims and raped them at knife point. This is undeniable proof that cisgender women are a danger and for the sake of creating safe places, we need laws on the books that will keep kids safe from cisgender women. It’s not that I hate cisgender women; that’s not the issue. I support rational equality; and besides, this isn’t even an equality issue here… I’m not a bigot. From the evidence presented here, one can only rationally conclude that cisgender women can obviously be dangerous predators. The women in the image are just a small sample of the long, long list of womyn born womyn perverts.

The list goes on and on. Lives were ruined by these cisgender women perverts. This isn’t about the adults. This is about the safety of YOUR family. What would YOU do if one of your kids found themselves alone in the bathroom with a cisgender woman?!?

If you can stand it, read a sample of how disgusting a cisgender women can be:


I’m not saying that all cisgender women are perverts, but I just don’t want to risk the safety of my child around a non-transgender women. Would you risk your child? Of course not.

Did you know that non-transgender women are even organizing to expand their power in influence in society? They even hold annual gatherings to plot their next move. They’re already in the classrooms and the bathrooms picking their next victim. They’ve already used their position as cisgender women teachers to prey upon YOUR children. Again, this is a real issue that the media isn’t covering… and do you know why? It’s not politically correct to go on record as taking a stand against non-transgender women.

America has a long tradition of putting the well-being of children first. Who are you to tell my family that we have to suddenly tear down that tradition? Things have worked just fine and now our nation’s tradition of doing the right thing – the rational thing – is being discarded at the cost of safety, security and well-being.

Let’s cut through all the politically correct BS. Do you really want a cisgender teen or adult hanging out in the bathroom with YOUR child? What about your child’s school shower? Do you really want to take that chance? I know I don’t!!!

I know that you’ve heard media outlets make these very arguments against trans people. These BS appeals to emotion pimp out the actual suffering of very real and horrific violence, debasing the real hardships people have faced by using it in an effort to trick people into harming trans kids:

We’re talking about trans children and their ability to make it through school without dealing with the same institutionalized hate I faced. When you hear bigots try to sway you with equivocation and/or appeals to emotion and tradition, simply ask them:

In what way does gender equality nullify laws prohibiting rape, assault, stalking and/or public indecency/disturbance?  

It always seems to derail their rantings because you know what? It doesn’t.

Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of underserved communities. She started the first trans homeless shelter in Texas and co-founded the first federally funded housing-first homeless program, pioneered affordable health care for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. She has published short stories, academic chapters and papers, and numerous articles for both print and digital magazines. She received numerous awards for her advocacy and has presented at universities throughout the nation, served on several governmental committees and CBO boards, is the Editor of the TransAdvocate, and is a founding board member of the Transgender Foundation of America and the Bee Busy Wellness Center.