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Chairman of Students for Trump Thinks ‘Misgendering’ is Funny

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As if I needed another reason to love Elizabeth Warren, she’s gone and done something yet again that has upset right-wing Republicans. Granted, she pretty much does this every day by advocating for things Republicans hate like access to health care for everybody and a living minimum wage.

But what Im talking about is literally pretty small, but figuratively huge: she added her pronouns to her Twitter bio. Now, in addition to saying, U.S. Senator, former teacher, and candidate for president. Wife, mom, grandmother, and Okieit also says, She/her.

Is she the only, or even the first, presidential candidate to include her pronouns on Twitter? I dont know (though all of them should). 

What I do know is that some people are not happy. And those people are largely anti-LGBTQ, with a heavy emphasis on anti-trans. 

I, too, list my pronouns, which are the same as Warrens, in my Twitter bio and other places like my resume and email sign off. And its not because Im worried people wont know if Im a sheor a he.I legit do not care. Ive been called sirmultiple times in my life, especially when I was going through chemo for breast cancer and was totally bald. Once all of my hair grew back I stopped shaving my legs because to hell with that patriarchal shit. I still wear shorts in the summer, though, and I have hairier legs than many dudes. Again, I dont care what people think of me, but Im still a cisgender female. 

That said, listing my pronouns isnt for me. Its to show solidarity with transgender and genderqueer people for whom pronouns can be very complicated. And not for them, but for other people who refuse to recognize or respect any gender identities that arent strictly male or female and based on the gender assigned at birth.

Ryan Fournier, Chairman of Students for Trump, is one such person. On July 19 he Tweeted, Game over folks – Elizabeth Warren added her pronouns,along with a screenshot of Warrens Twitter bio.

Now, by “game overFournier didnt mean mic dropor anything positive. He clearly thinks that listing her pronouns is a negative thing. Something to laugh at. Much like the transgender woman he mocked last year by Tweeting, [This] is what happens when you misgendersomeonealongside two crying laughing emojis and a video of a woman getting very angry at a Game Stop store after she is called sir. In the video the woman gets very agitated and then aggressive with the sales clerk, challenges the clerk to take it outside,swears and knocks boxes over. Its easy to watch this video and see someone freaking out over nothing, especially if you yourself have never faced discrimination, ridicule and the constant threat of violence because of your gender identity. 

What I see when I watch the video is someone who is in a lot of pain having a very hard time. Im not excusing her behavior, but I also see her first as a human being, which is not something Fournier sees at all. 

But Warren does see transgender people as human, and including her pronouns in her bio is a way of saying, I see you and I respect you and I am fighting for you.

This is a big deal. Transgender people are at a much higher risk of violence in the U.S. due in large part to transphobia, which is itself due in large part to the powers of ignorance and hatred combined. 

I did a Google news search for transgenderand the headline 29-year-old transgender woman found shot dead on side of road, motive unknownwas the first thing that came up. The ABC News story reports that Denali Berries Stuckey was murdered in South Carolina. 

It is, sadly, not an uncommon occurrence. 

Stuckeys death is the 12th known case of deadly violence against the transgender community in 2019. All of the victims were Black transgender women,according to the Human Rights Campaign.

From HRCs Violence Against the Transgender Community in 2019 report: It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, health care and other necessities, barriers that make them vulnerable.

With so much stacked against them, transgender people, especially black transgender women, need to have allies who are visible. And if those allies are in a position of influence and power, like a U.S. Senator running for president, all the better.

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