At my house, we started the holiday weekend by going out to eat Friday evening. Our favorite spot was packed and we sat outside, waiting for a table. We were minding our own business and my wife was enforcing her “no politics for the next three days” policy. Specifically, if I mentioned Joe Biden’s speech one more time, I would be sleeping in the backyard. So we were casting about for topics that would not elicit a lecture from yours truly when a couple came walking up to the door. One of them appeared to be in the midst of a gender transition. I saw him/her and thought, “whatever.” These people are not even unique at this point, anyway.
My wife, however, got the distinct feeling that she was being stared at. As it turned out, this person was staring daggers at her. My wife characterized it as a challenging gaze, almost as if he/she/whatever was trying to see if they could get a reaction. She felt the person in question was daring her to say something, anything, or even look askance. My wife was smart enough not to take the bait.
Apparently, “cis-gendered” people can’t go out to eat anymore without a trans person trying to see if they can start a donnybrook. Or maybe this person was so wrapped up in their ideology that they actually thought every normal couple was somehow a danger to their existence. My wife felt threatened by the hostile posture, but it’s a sure bet that the person — who was easily twice her size and four times her weight — would have said that they felt threatened. I guess we were guilty of existing in a no-existing zone. It is no longer enough, I suppose, to live and let live.
How deep does one’s pathology as a trans person go that one is actively looking for a fight? Expecting it, hoping for it? Let us leave the issue of gender alone for a moment; what does it say when my wife can’t even sit on a bench without someone glaring at her? Had a problem erupted, I would have stepped in — and been branded as a violent transphobe. And had my wife even inadvertently looked in this person’s direction, she would have been guilty of making this person — again, someone with hundreds of pounds on her — feel unsafe. It is no longer sufficient not to care what an adult does with their body and their life; one must be actively and vocally supportive, or even, it seems, subservient. I dare say, we probably narrowly avoided an incident, all because we were sitting on a bench. Quite a bit of drama for two people who were only interested in decompressing from the work week and having some chicken wings and an IPA.
The next day, Kiwanis Park in Provo, next to the BYU campus, was the site of a “Back to School Pride Night,” which offered a “family-friendly” drag show. There were, of course, protestors, and the local media dutifully painted them in the most horrific light possible. And if protestors were indeed shouting slurs and shoving verses of the Book of Mormon in people’s faces, I can tell you as a former left-winger, that never gets results. Rather, it only serves to strengthen resolve and fuel the fire. And you don’t look very good doing it, by the way. Much was made of the “angels” who stood and spread wings of protection between the drag show and the protestors, as was the case during Matthew Shepherd’s funeral. Naturally, the media cannot resist the opportunity to paint anyone who is not on board with the alphabet lifestyle as an enemy of the state. And of course, given the recent news, BYU has become a softer target than usual.
While people were rushing to lionize the Pride Night and vilify its opponents, Libs of TikTok uncovered a video from the all-ages event, which was picked up by The Post Millennial. It was a performance for children by a person who goes by the stage name of “Jenna Tailia.” Say it out loud for the full effect. Then watch it below:
A drag queen named “Jenna Tailia” performed at an “all ages back to school drag extravaganza” in Provo, Utah pic.twitter.com/2OkdmXFhTE
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) September 5, 2022
If you came of age in the 80s, you may remember the release of the movie The Outsiders, based on the kid’s novel by S.E. Hinton. In it, one of the protagonists muses that the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Robert Frost is about the loss of innocence and wonder that comes as adulthood overtakes childhood.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Nothing gold can stay. Childhood is too brief as it is. And with the violence, sexuality, and coarseness of the world intruding at ever younger ages, innocence, wonder, and the sheer joy of just discovering the world all too quickly become things of the past. As someone whose grandmother tried to trans his father, and who spent years trying to navigate the world while living with a man who did indeed try to groom him out of a sense of sexual confusion and frustration, I say: Please, leave the children alone. In the midst of the sexual revolution occurring in our household, I remember desperately wanting to be a part of a regular family. Children have enough baggage as they try to come of age in the 21st century. Please be compassionate enough to let them wait until they become adults to make adult decisions.
I look at my grandchildren today and wonder how much longer they will have before adulthood is thrust upon them. How much longer can they be children? How long can they enjoy Calico Critters, ice cream, D&D, riding their scooters, and the simple joys of being children? How long until an internet predator finds them? How long until some selfish person with an agenda tells them they are not okay just the way they are? How long until their dawn goes down to day?
If you find your identity in being a man, a woman, or a cat, that is your business, not mine. But just as you feel the need to be who you are without someone trying to inflict their values on you, you should also allow children to develop normally. They may in time decide that they are gay or trans, or they may decide that, much to your chagrin, they are heterosexual. If you are truly for freedom and diversity, you must by definition be for people who are different from you. Unless, of course, the only thing you value is yourself and your agenda. In which case, I suppose nothing else matters. And if that is indeed true, not only are you embracing the very values that you claim to deplore, you are placing your soul in jeopardy. And that jeopardy has nothing to do with your chosen gender.