“HBO show host and comedian Bill Maher claimed that there was an increase in the number of individuals identifying as LGBT partly because ‘it’s trendy.’” — The Hill, 5/21/22
I guess I couldn’t run forever. I always knew a pseudo-intellectual windbag like you would find me out eventually.
It’s true. My refusal to subscribe to the idea of a gender binary has nothing to do with crippling dysphoria that causes me extreme emotional pain and discomfort. I just wanted to be cool, and what’s cooler than having your basic freedoms stripped away?
It all started when I was twelve years old; an unremarkable cis straight boy forever longing for the acceptance of my peers. I was at the lunch table when my best friend Daniel told our friend group that he was gay. Not because he was attracted to the same sex, but because homosexuality was illegal and being the target of your local, state, and federal officials was “totally in right now.”
So we all joined in too. Not because we were also gay and finally felt like we could confide in each other about an unspoken secret that had bonded us before we even knew ourselves, but because it was hip to have the people in power want you dead.
I came out to everyone the next day, and suddenly I was trendy. So trendy that I could no longer adopt children, give blood, or walk into a mall without being asked to hold a purse. Even my classmates and teachers paid more attention. There wasn’t a day I walked the halls where someone didn’t chase me, give me free food delivered directly to my shirt, or offer to send me on a vacation to H-E-Double Hockey Sticks. I still haven’t had the chance to go yet!
We were marginalized, and it was bliss. DOMA, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Ugh! We had nothing… until we did.
Suddenly there were bills and Supreme Court decisions giving gay people rights. The fad was over, and I needed to glom onto the next trend that would make me the government’s public enemy number one. Luckily, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Greg Abbott, Jim Jordan, and the rest of the Republican Party made that easy.
The first time I put “they/them” pronouns into my Twitter bio, I felt at peace with myself because I was at war with my country again. It had nothing to do with the fact I had just worn a men’s suit to a wedding, which caused me to spiral into a deep depression where I questioned the purpose of my own existence.
Now I’m trendier than ever. I can’t play organized sports, use most public bathrooms without having a panic attack, or visit my grandparents without being lectured about how “the Nazis wouldn’t have cared about gender when the bullets were raining down on us.”
Being marginalized is so cool. I can’t believe more people don’t try it. I’m so trendy my very existence is illegal in most of the South!
I can’t turn on the news without a fundamental element of my identity being hotly debated before being inevitably voted away, and that’s why I came out as trans: to have breakdowns after hearing people like Ted Cruz describe me as confused and parents who allow their kids to live their authentic selves as child abusers. It has nothing to do with me finally feeling like I have the right to be who I am in a society that lightly understands me and everything to do with my Instagram. #transtrender #transaction #getoffyourassandtrans.
I am concerned about the inevitability of queer global domination, though. By 2050, we’ll all be queer, and then what will I do to fulfill my lust for attention from the political fringes? Maybe I’ll complete my #trantasy and transition into being a woman, not because it’s the only thing that will keep me alive, but because they’re being legislated out of existence… or maybe I’ll become a cis straight late-night host who’s bitter that his audience is disappearing faster than his integrity.