It’s probably not news to any adult industry member who’s come out publicly as having had sex on camera that “polite society” isn’t exactly welcoming—but guess what? If you’re an adult performer and transgender, you’re lucky to get a seat even in the back of the societal bus.
The Trump administration has made it pretty clear that the president considers all LGBTQ citizens to be second class, but he’s had a particular hard-on (sorry) for trans people. Ever since Trump tweeted in July of 2017 that “The United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” there’s been plenty of dissension in the ranks, with more than 56 retired generals and admirals, as well as prominent Members of Congress both Democrat and Republican condemning the order, and although various federal courts ruled that the ban could not take effect, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted those injunctions in January of 2019, and the ban began taking effect just over one year ago.
But that’s hardly the only problem transgender people have faced from government and conservative special interest groups. Before the coronavirus shut all public schools down, there were many battles being fought to allow trans students to use the bathroom that aligned with their gender identity—and in fact, there’s a case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court right now that will decide whether when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, it meant to include LGBTQ citizens when it banned discrimination “on the basis of sex”—a ban that legislatures in several states passed and which are currently in effect, preventing gays and trans people from being able to rent housing in certain areas, and denying them job security by allowing employers to fire them at will.
But now, with the coronavirus impacting every sector of society, transgenders face additional problems, which the National Center for Transgender Equality spelled out in a recent email to supporters.
According to the NCTE, legislation being passed to help relieve the problems caused by the pandemic should:
• Prohibit discrimination in emergency response, health care and relief programs.
• Expand unemployment, paid leave and food assistance for all who need them.
• Protect everyone, no matter their immigration status or where they work.
• Quickly move vulnerable people from crowded prisons, jails, shelters and ICE detention to safe housing.
• Use every means available for rapid production of life-saving medical supplies.
Anyone who’s followed the emails and notices from right-wing religious groups knows how big a problem this is. These groups are pushing for legislation that allows doctors and other medical personnel to refuse care to transgender people, that allows psychologists and other therapists to try to convince TG teens that they really aren’t TG, and that supports the power of landlords and real estate agents not to provide assistance to trans people seeking housing. There’s also been a problem with how law enforcement handles transgender criminals, often refusing to put them in prisons that coincide with their gender identity.
“I think it’s ridiculous that discrimination is so prevalent in today’s society, especially when it comes to passing new laws,” trans adult actress Casey Kisses told AVN. “To fail to make a law that would protect LGBT people from being discriminated against while receiving emergency care and medical aid is so hateful in my opinion. I don’t think anyone should be discriminated against when it comes to receiving medical attention, especially just because you identify a certain way or have a sexual preference other than straight. I hope that straight as well as cis people can help in our fight for better medical, employment and equal rights, as we trans people are a small community compared to the rest of the population. We are all humans and deserving of living with the same rights as everyone else.”
Heck, even the Pope thinks so!
It’s a massive problem, and one the NCTE feels can be partially alleviated by recognizing trans rights in the next CARES Act relief package.
A petition to urge Congress to include such clauses in upcoming relief bills may be found here.
Pictured: 2018 San Diego transgender rights protest/Wikimedia Commons