Metro Weekly

It's the ENDA the World (as We Know It)

A lack of divine wrath over marriage won't stop hate mongers, they'll just focus their hate on trans people

About five years into Barack Obama’s socialistic — or fascistic, depending on which side of the bed congressional Republicans woke up on this morning — reign of terror imposing homosexuality on the good people of America, we have enough evidence to see what bacchanalian horrors have been wreaked upon our nation.

So far we’ve had a bunch of really fancy weddings; a competition between gays and lesbians to see who can come up with the most ridiculously charming and over-the-top marriage proposals; same-sex spouses enjoying shopping privileges on military bases; and various gay and lesbian servicemembers flooding Facebook with out-and-proud status updates.

This isn’t exactly the End Times I learned about at vacation Bible school.

It’s not the best time to be heading up the Chicken Little branch of anti-gay zealotry. After decades of dire warnings of the collapse of civilization when same-sex couples received marriage licenses, the most alarming thing we’ve seen is the sheer number of items those couples put on their Pottery Barn registries.

We were told by hate-spewing harridans like Elaine Donnelly that the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would trigger a mass exodus of heterosexual soldiers from the military, leaving behind a skeleton crew of homosexuals too busy throwing orgies to protect our nation.

Last I checked, the Army, Navy, Air Force and even the Marines were still intact and doing their jobs. I have no firsthand knowledge, but given that I’ve received no Facebook invitations to a barracks orgy I have to assume that the latter hasn’t come to pass either.

So America’s anti-gay contingent finds itself in the uncomfortable position of going to war with the apocalypse they got, not the one they think we deserve.

That’s why the current debate over ENDA feels rather dry and anticlimactic now that we’re serving openly in the military and getting married in droves. I’m not saying the fight isn’t worthwhile — the freedom to work is just as integral to our full equality as is our freedom to serve and to marry. I am saying that the philosophical battle has been won as Republican leaders who technically oppose it are increasingly pantomiming arguments to placate a shrill and shrinking base.

Of course, the level of hatred and doomsaying once directed at gays and lesbians won’t disappear, it’ll just find a new target. More specifically, it will target transgender people. We’ve always had to deal with the social-conservative ”bathroom brigade,” the deep-seated fear that masses of burly men are awaiting the moment they can legally throw on a skirt and harass women in public restrooms. That brigade is only going to get louder.

As with their anti-gay arguments, their anti-trans arguments are built on lies and stoked on fears. But the ones who should really be afraid aren’t social conservatives, but transgender people, especially the young. Anti-trans activists have long been willing lie; right now in Colorado they’re taking it a step further by simply making up stories of bathroom ”harassment” and actively destroying the life of a 16-year-old trans girl.

The argument over ENDA may feel like we’re at the end of a long road, but for many of us there’s still a long way to go.

Sean Bugg is the editor emeritus of Metro Weekly. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @seanbugg.

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!