“[I]t’s okay to ask questions about something that’s very new and involves children. The answer can’t always be that anyone from a marginalized community is automatically right, trump card, mic drop, end of discussion. Because we’re literally experimenting on children. Maybe that’s why Sweden and Finland have stopped giving puberty blockers to kids. Because we just don’t know much about the long-term effects, although common sense should tell you that when you reverse the course of raging hormones, there’s going to be problems. We do know it hinders the development of bone density — which is kind of important if you like having a skeleton — fertility and the ability to have an orgasm seem also to be affected. This isn’t just a lifestyle decision. It’s medical. Weighing trade-offs is not bigotry.”
The WaPo’s obit for former (then) NGLTF leader Urvashi Vaid. The paper’s obits for conservatives tend to include critical points, but none in this hagiography. Vaid, however, was pretty vicious toward gay conservatives, moderates, libertarians or anyone who disagreed with her.
In her book Virtual Equality, she complained, “Since I left [NGLTF], conservative columnists like Paul Varnell, Bruce Bawer, and Stephen Miller have continued to attack me personally, even though they have never spoken with me, worked with me, or talked to many of the people I have worked with.”
I had, in fact, spoken to her—we had been on a panel together at an AIDS-era conference. But really, who thinks you have to speak to a public figure before criticizing them based on their public acts and writings? Certainly not Vaid when she lashed out at others.
In an article titled “The Status Quo of the Status Queer” in Gay Community News, Vaid called for “a full-scale frontal assault” against “the coming of a racist, sexist gay and lesbian Right.” I criticized her for that in Christopher Street, which may be what got me into her book.
Vaid was at best a lukewarm and late-to-the-game supporter of same-sex marriage and (especially) gays in the military, getting onboard when it became untenable not to do so. These were, after all, initially seen as assimilationist goals, championed by gay and lesbian conservatives and moderates and dismissed by radicals.
To her credit, she was involved in AIDS activism and lobbying for increased AIDS funding, as the obit highlights, but NGLTF was a secondary player while ACT-UP and its offshoots were the power drivers.
Vaid’s focus was on what we now call intersectional activism, and forming a broad coalition of leftwing progressives for economic and societal transformation. She once described her politics as “anarcho-syndicalist,” a strand of utopian Marxism.
As for gay and lesbian legal equality, credit groups like the early HRC (before it became a Democratic front group), Freedom to Marry and Lambda Legal, along with Log Cabin Republicans and others, for moving the needle forward, not Vaid.
Progressives are having a field day claiming that Justice Alito’s draft abortion opinion, which would overturn Roe v. Wade, will also lead to overturning the constitutional right to same-sex marriage in the Obergefell decision. But if you read the decision, Alito takes pains to say that it won’t. Some excerpts:
>>Roe’s defenders characterize the abortion right as similar to the rights recognized in past decisions involving matters such as intimate sexual relations, contraception, and marriage, but abortion is fundamentally different, as both Roe and Casey acknowledged, because it destroys what those decisions called “fetal life” and what the law now before us describes as an “unborn human being”<<
>>Unable to show concrete reliance on Roe and Casey themselves, the Solicitor General suggests that overruling those decisions would “threaten the Court’s precedents holding that the Due Process Clause protects other rights.” Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae 26 (citing Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U. 8. 644 (2015); Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U. S. 558 (2008); Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U. S. 479 (1965)). That is not correct for reasons we have already discussed. As even the Casey plurality recognized, “[abortion is a unique act” because it terminates “life or potential life.” 505 U.S, at 852; see also Roe, 410 U. 8., at 159 (abortion is “inherently different from marital intimacy,” “marriage,” or “procreation”). And to ensure that our decision is not misunderstood or mischaracterized, we emphasize that our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right. Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.<<
Yet this is what we’re seeing throughout the progressive press:
And on and on. Pure fear porn meant to galvanize the knee-jerk base.
And the new misogyny:
Rauch also writes:
Telling tomboyish girls or effeminate boys that they should identify as the opposite sex embraces all the hoary gender stereotypes that made generations of gay and lesbian people (and many straight people) miserable. Worse, it can cater to homophobic pressures not to be gay. (Evidence in this domain is thin, but one study found that almost a fourth of gender detransitioners cited homophobia or difficulty accepting themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual as a reason for transitioning.)
Insisting that it’s always hateful to draw distinctions based on biological sex in sports, prisons, and medical training strikes most of the public as nutty, unfair, and dangerous. The backlash that is forming will harm trans people, gay and lesbian people (who are already caught in the undertow), and everyone who hopes for candor and compromise. Radicalism makes the only path forward—social negotiation tailored to diverse situations—unattainable.
Your 500 freestyle women’s national champion – Lia Thomas pic.twitter.com/TUix57cMe6— Joe Kinsey (@JoeKinseyexp) March 17, 2022
Andrew Sullivan blogged:
Lia Thomas’ triumphs at the NCAA swimming finals are never going to be treated as completely fair by most people. Inclusion is important and trans athletes need to be treated with dignity. But the core biological differences between men and women simply cannot be wished away, and when we’re talking about high-level competition, the unfairness is simply unmissable. Yelling TRANS WOMEN ARE WOMEN! will not persuade anyone, and it isn’t designed to. It would be wonderful if this were true in every respect, but it isn’t. Ask yourself: if you knew nothing else but the interview above, what would you think was going on?
Maybe it’s worth trading off fairness for inclusion. I’m open to that idea. But activists need to understand that demanding people not believe what is in front of their ears and eyes is a mark not of a civil rights movement, but a form of authoritarianism.
De-transitioning is not comparable with going ex-gay. Quite the opposite; many de-transitioners are abandoning the effort to mutilate their bodies so as to live as heterosexuals and reclaiming their true, gay identity.