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.