The Legion of Genders wants YOU!

This week a friend of mine shared with me this awful article on Catholic.org that straight-up says transgender folks have a “demonic” philosophy and compares us to mixed-breed dogs. I think if I had any sort of background in Catholicism, or still considered myself a Christian, this might have been really hurtful to read, but since I don’t see the Catholic church as any sort of authority or relevant force in my life, my initial reaction was just to laugh at it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still offensive and disturbing, but it’s so over the top in its hand-wringing panic that it’s hard for me not to be a little amused. The first line of the article sounds like it’s introducing a new superhero comic: “There is a new Legion among us in the form of transgender community, a legion of genders.” Can I please sign up to be a member of the Legion of Genders? Because that sounds like FUN TIMES. I’m pretty sure the outfits would be fantastic, and I figure a bunch of my friends would be members too, so there’s really no downside that I can see.

Much of what is clearly meant to be shocking and upsetting to the reader sounds pretty positive to me:

The more important reality is not our sex, but our gender, which is something one decides for one’s self. … And all these decisions are equally good.

…the body is, rather, the raw material we have to use however we see fit.  We are not answerable to God, or to society, or to anyone else but ourselves, for the use of our body.

…whether one wants to have the gender of a man, or the gender of [a] woman, or in between (a bizarre gender called bigender or genderqueer), or anywhere within that wide continuum is one’s choice.

Maybe not all the wording I would have chosen, but sure! That all sounds great to me, and I don’t see how any of this is immoral or or unnatural. But nope, apparently by holding these beliefs, I am now akin to a labradoodle.

A demonic labradoodle. Doesn’t that produce an entertaining mental image?

I don’t want to downplay the actual harm I think this sort of article can inflict, especially to those who are Catholic. It seems like a perfect way to instill self-hatred in trans folks and a lack of compassion and acceptance in their families and loved ones. As I don’t see this author in particular or the church in general as any sort of actual authority in my life, it’s easy for me to laugh this nonsense off, but I realize it’s harder for many people, and my heart goes out to them. They’re welcome to join me in the Legion of Genders, though, and help decorate our Fortress of Sparkletude.

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5 Responses to The Legion of Genders wants YOU!

  1. Maymunah says:

    YES PLEASE I would like to join that legion! But that article, what horrible, hurtful things to hear from family or random acquaintances :S May I quote this on Tumblr? I know some fellow trans people would be comforted by it.

    • Yes, feel free to quote! Just link back here if you could, thanks. =)

      I got a pretty terrible letter from my grandmother when I came out to her; some of it was religious but it was mostly just clueless and mean (and of course she used my birth name over and over in it). It was so bad that the only thing I could think of to do with it was put it on my fridge and try to focus on how ridiculous it was, because otherwise it was just too hurtful. I can at least avoid her pretty easily; I really feel for folks who get these messages from family members that are harder to ignore.

      • Maymunah says:

        I have only come out to a few people close to me so far, but while some of them were hesitant or confused (and one of my sisters was super enthusiastic about the whole thing), none of them have been downright mean or rude. Yet. I know it’s inevitable, especially since I’m religious and I hear similar rhetoric all the time, it’s not just directed at me yet, except for what that nagging anxiety voice at the back of my head directs at me. I’m not sure how I’ll deal with that other than rejecting it outright and burning all my bridges, but yours is a good strategy.

        I only just now shared this on Tumblr; I think of this article now and then, and it always cheers me up.

  2. Maybe I’m just in a good mood today, but I like to think this could be how a nonzero number of genderqueer Catholic kids right now find out that it’s possible to *be* genderqueer. (And that they promptly forget everything about the article except that there’s a name for who they are and that it refers to something real.)

  3. Zelda says:

    I know I’m ages late here, but thought you might enjoy reading this as an antidote: http://elisem.livejournal.com/1682227.html

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