Jessica Williams Tries to Make Sense of Trans Panic. The Problem: None of This Shit Makes Sense
Whenever any person or outlet tries to examine issues of trans discrimination logically, there’s always one major setback: the arguments in favor of discriminating against transgender people DON’T MAKE ANY GODDAMN SENSE. So, naturally, Jessica Williams is the perfect person to tackle this subject. No one else has the same rage magic as Williams when it comes to exposing ludicrous idiocy for what it is while simultaneously making sure we’re taking the subject really damn seriously.
She started by talking to Meagan Taylor, who was arrested last summer when trying to check into a hotel in Iowa. She was in town for a funeral (A FUNERAL), but wasn’t able to attend, instead spending eight days in jail for not having a prescription for her hormone pills.
Williams also sits down with a group of trans people to learn about their daily experiences in the world (complete with a harrowing rundown of the most common questions they get asked, presumably by strangers), as well as with Colorado lawmaker Gordon Klingenschmitt. It’s hard to name a “worst” or “dumbest” person that The Daily Show has ever interviewed, but Klingenschmitt would probably make the finals. He’s one of those people that can’t seem to wrap his head around the idea that trans people exist outside of the context of public bathrooms. And not only is Klingenschmitt a lawmaker, he’s also a chaplain: “Dr. Chaps,” by one caption. At one point, he makes Williams wait around while he changes into his “alter ego,” because that’s the only way he feels comfortable talking about religious freedom. And by “talking about religious freedom,” I guess he means reading segments of Deuteronomy off of his phone.
See? These arguments make no sense whatsoever. When a person’s version of fact is based in the idea that transgender people are suffering from a perversion for the sole or primary purpose of gaining “access,” how do you even begin to break through that? Williams took a stab with this perfectly logical and therefore useless comparison:
Williams: Do you, for whatever reason, associate being transgender with being a pervert?
Klingenschmitt: I mean, that is perversion. It’s people who label themselves as transgender for the purpose of getting that access to violate the rights of others.
Williams: Is it fair to say that because you’re a priest, you’re a pedophile?
Klingenschmitt: Well, of course not.
Williams: Why is it “of course not”? Why?
Klingenschmitt: Because some people are criminals, and some people are not criminals.
Williams: Could you take that logic and apply that to the transgender community?
Klingenschmitt: They’re apples and oranges.
Williams: By “apples and oranges,” do you mean apples and apples?
Still nothing. Of course. I’m with that one woman: “They can go shit in their fucking hat.”