Simon Williamson, columnist with Georgia Voice

Simon Williamson: Expert bigots are coming for us

Since the landmark 1973 abortion ruling Roe v. Wade, the federal and state legislatures and the politicians we call “judges” have found ways to maintain a woman’s right to choose, but wreck her actual ability to do so. While any woman in any state is eligible to terminate her pregnancy, she must come up with the funds to do so because the federal government won’t pay for it.

In some states, she must raise extra money because there is a three-day waiting period between seeing a doctor and undergoing the procedure – hence, she must cough up money to get to a clinic, which are spread far and wide across states (in Wyoming, for example – which is bloody big – there is only one).

In Texas, abortion clinics were forced to comply with laws equating them with hospitals, meaning they had to fulfill arbitrary requirements such as widening their corridors. Mandatory and sometimes invasive yet unnecessary procedures were added on, driving up both the cost and discomfort of the patient. Allegedly, these are all for the patient’s benefit. And this is by no means an exhaustive list.

In the same way, LGBT rights are going to be whittled away under the guise of protecting some or other person. We already deal with the annual 40-day legislative session here in Georgia where we have to hope and pray from January to March that the Gold Dome doesn’t shit out some McKoon-led discrimination meant entirely to sate his hatred for LGBT Georgians. The nom de plume of laws that are meant to harass us out of the eye of the homophobic public is “religious freedom,” whereby those who hate LGBT people can force them out of their own businesses because the interpreted statements of a deity have said so.

With a fundamentalist occupying the second highest office in the land, and this president owing his election partly to solid support from evangelicals, some bills need to be paid, and our rights to simply exist are some of those dollars. While the president’s executive order last Thursday was a step in the footsteps of those gods that hate gays, those who hate us are not sated, and will keep fighting until every trans person cannot leave their home, and LGBT men and women and non-binary folks are forced to conform to a society dominated by people who hate them.

In fact Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, the state where Mathew Shepard was murdered, decided to shit this out of his mouth last week: “I know a guy who wears a tutu and goes to bars on Friday night and is always surprised that he gets in fights. Well, he kind of asks for it. That’s the way that he winds up with that kind of problem.” What a sweet way of telling us that if we would just act like straight cis people, then they won’t come and try to kill us.

We have seen the people who hate us practice the whittling away of a woman’s right to choose. Don’t think we will be spared the same attacks on our rights to exist as equal people before the law. They might call it religious freedom. They might call it our own fault. They might call it something else. But they will come for us. And they are experts at doing it.