Betsy DeVos: Pursuing the Systematic Dehumanizing of Transgender Students

To the Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, Transgender Students across America are becoming an inconvenience. You see, Democratic Progressives keep grilling her regarding her absolute refusal to protect Transgender identifying students from discrimination and abuse on school grounds. They also keep asking her why private schools that allow such blatant hostility and discrimination still qualify for federal funding, despite her taking that funding away from public, underprivileged schools in locations heavily populated by minorities.

It’s getting on her nerves. She doesn’t want to answer the question because, quite plainly, the truth once spilled from her lips would validate what we’re all thinking: Betsy DeVos is a biased, unqualified bigot who has no place leading our Education Department. So she gives non-answers, she deflects and stammers and tries to pivot so she doesn’t have to say it. And the fact that she’s doing it, and refusing to admit it, demonstrates her willful disregard for Transgender students and their safety.

Unless you’re wealthy, white, christian, cisgender and heterosexual, Betsy DeVos doesn’t care about you. That she continues playing leap frog with questions only makes it more evident. She pretends as if she has no control, and keeps saying “The states should decide,” when she doesn’t want to admit that she is intentionally sabotaging the safety of Trans Students- despite us knowing that she, along her with her Boss, Donald Trump, already redacted Obama Era protections that promised to ensure the safety of Trans Students in learning facilities. Journalists just keep asking the question over and over again as if it’s become a passive aggressive move, poking her until her face shifts as her lips curl back and she’s squirming uncomfortably like she’s sat on the spoke of a wheel.

She’s a monster. They just want her to admit it. Again… and again, she will not.

That aside, we must consider the damage that DeVos is doing. There is no question that this will lead to Transgender students becoming the target of their school peers, both other students and faculty. Anytime those in leadership roles, like Donald Trump, lay a target on a minority simply for the sake of declaring superior status by comparison, those who share their world views pick up their torches and pitchforks and begin to hunt us feeling justified, be it by Donald Trump, or Jesus Christ. It emboldens people to show their unrestrained hatred. They shamelessly spew their venom believing that it’s sanctioned by our government. They tell themselves we’re lesser. We’re freaks, threats to the moral fabric of society; Whatever they have to tell themselves to muster their strength and summon all that internalized rage. They see themselves as some kind of holy warrior, and the consequences of their actions feel justified to them.

For many Transgender students, this goes far beyond bullying. Kids today are going to school with swastika armbands, proudly declaring their white supremacy. Other kids are taking guns to school and firing blindly into crowds. What happens when our own government leaders don’t just redact protections for Transgender students, but actually provoke violence toward us, creating a combative environment rather than a safe space.

What stokes the ire of these potentially violent incidents is a reflection of what radicals see and hear every day; Every time they scroll down social media. They witness non-stop attacks on Transgender Americans. A military ban. The banning of the very word “Transgender” from any communications between the CDC and the white house. Fox news, essentially state sponsored propaganda, calling us pedophiles; dangerous for women and children to be in the company of. They see the President applauding an Evangelical extremist at the Value Voters Conference who thinks we should be put in prison for being LGBT. He implies that Vice President Mike Pence “…Just wants to hang them all,” when asked about his stance on LGBT Rights. It’s true, Mike Pence has a very dark and grim history regarding the LGBT community… he was a staunch supporter of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and stood in opposition of equal marriage. He advocated for gay conversion therapy. He went on the record saying;

These are the drums of war being beaten into the heads of malleable youth; Manipulating them to fear us, hate us, and possibly even hurt us or kill us. DeVos avoiding any opportunity to speak firmly in defense of Transgender Students, especially in this climate, not only indicates that she agrees with the intolerance coming from the White House, but that she is eagerly complicit in repercussions of it... She’s playing with our lives.

We must give credit to all the Transgender identifying students who, in spite of this, get out of bed and enter their classrooms, not knowing if this will be the day they are attacked for needing the bathroom, or savagely beaten while changing in the locker room. It takes a great deal of bravery to conjure the fortitude to go to a place that’s slowly taking the shape of a battlefield.

The same can be said for Transgender military service men and women. After the twitter-declared ban, and its subsequent appeal, the military wasn’t such an inviting institution for Transgender recruits anymore. Even if it ever was at all, now with the state declaring Trans enlistees an enemy of the state, it provoked a lot of Trump aligned bigots to take aim at their Transgender comrades, fueled by grotesque idea that targeting Trans people is permissible, give our own president doesn’t want us there.

Like Trump, DeVos is determined to create nothing but disharmony wherever Trans people are involved, even if that means prodding Trump aligned elitists to do their dirty work by making us feel so threatened, so powerless, that we voluntarily retreat to self preserve. DeVos isn’t concerned with Trans students receiving an education and Donald Trump believes Transgender people in the military are a distraction. Neither of them think Medical professionals should have to treat us if they are religiously or morally opposed to us.

One every level, we are being dehumanized and further displaced by an aggressive, idealistic agenda. The constant side-stepping of questions and talking in circles is just buying Betsy DeVos time to fulfill her purpose of eliminating us, as well as other minorities, from the school system and blocking access to higher education opportunities.

LGBT students are already the most abused, bullied and threatened participants in school environments. In fact, children as young as 11 have killed themselves due to the mental torture they must endure on a daily basis. Under the guidance of Betsy DeVos, I’m afraid we’ll see more instances like this. She won’t argue otherwise since she refuses to acknowledge what she’s doing to begin with.

Betsy DeVos is screaming her hate-motivated intentions from the rooftops. She knows the chaos that she is inviting upon Trans students, and it is clear by the all-knowing Cheshire Cat grin she flashes at the cameras during these repeat interrogations wherein she actually makes a deafening statement over and over… by saying nothing at all.

Actor, Filmmaker, LGBTQ+ & Women’s Rights Activist All work copyright

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