Comm.-Voice-art-07-07-17

 

Leslie McMurrayWith the Texas Legislature’s special session set to get underway on July 18, I thought I would shed some light on what Dan Patrick, the Republican caucus and right wing evangelicals call “the transgender lifestyle.”

This “lifestyle” is apparently their justification for keeping us out of the bathroom and public spaces, denying us medical care, preventing us from serving in the U.S. military and interfering with attempts to offer us protections relating to employment and housing.

This “lifestyle” of ours must be pretty outrageous, right?

In the interest of pure sensationalistic journalism, I offer you, dear readers, a rare peek behind the curtain into the real lives of two actual, real-life transgender women — me and my partner, Katie.

Let’s start with our outrageous weekend, shall we?

Friday, I went to happy hour with some people from work. I had a diet coke and a handful of tortilla chips. I used the bathroom at Mattito’s without incident. See, I just had to pee.

Then I drove home, to the house Katie and I recently bought in Coppell. (We pay property tax just like everyone else.) Katie was in the back yard with our two border collies, Breezy and Patches. She was fixing a sprinkler head that had broken off. (She’s so handy.)

I made Katie a scrambled-egg sandwich for dinner. We watched an HBO comedy special before heading to bed.

Saturday started off in an especially decadent manner — I slept in until 8 a.m. and drank coffee in bed. Katie and I ran a couple of errands before coming home and assembling the new lawnmower we bought. We then mowed the lawn. Lots of people were out on the street, and police were directing traffic for the fireworks show on Saturday night. No one even gave our “lifestyle” a second glance.

We had pancakes for dinner. Maybe Dan Patrick finds it creepy that sometimes we have breakfast for dinner, but Katie loves it.

Then we walked to the store to buy some milk because we were low, and Katie loves her glass of Ovaltine at night before bed. After that, we joined a few thousand people to enjoy the fireworks show in Coppell. Other than trying to avoid West Nile by spraying “Off!” all over ourselves, we had a beautiful evening.

Sunday, we drove to Home Depot after breakfast to pick up a couple of parts for the sprinkler in the yard and a new exhaust fan for the bathroom at home. We managed to get installed without incident. We also picked up some paint to tidy up the trim on the outside of the house.

While Katie worked in the yard, I went to Kroger to buy groceries for the week, and later — get this! — we drove to Costco and bought some ribs to cook on the grill and some cat food for the kitties.

So many people have recommended it, so we finally watched the first episode of Game of Thrones. I know, I know; it’s scandalous how far behind we are. Perhaps that is why legislators want to deny us healthcare (or prevent trans children from using the bathroom)?

Worn out by my busy weekend of undermining marriage and the traditional family, I set up my coffee maker to have my coffee ready for me before I head back to work on Monday morning. See, I have a 9-to-5 job as part of my outlandish “transgender lifestyle.” And Katie? Her “transgender lifestyle includes being an attorney.
Pretty wild, right?

Is all this worthy of scorn? Of judgment? Of hatred and fear?

What is so scary about our lifestyle?

Being transgender makes up a small part of who we are. We are really just two more women who live and work in Dallas County. Our lives are very ordinary, actually. We have the same desire for safety and privacy as each of our neighbors.

But are we unusual among transgender people? Are we the transgender outliers?

No, not really. Transgender people are not that much different from anyone else in most areas. We aren’t trying to trick anyone. We aren’t the pathetic street people portrayed in movies.

So there you have it, Dan Patrick. There it is: the “transgender lifestyle” in all it’s decadent glory. I just can’t seem to figure out what it is about it that is making us the target of your hatred and fear.

What is it about a 7-year-old trans girl that has you so wound up that you would lobby for a special session of the Legislature just so you can dictate where she goes to the bathroom. Frankly, the idea of a grown man worrying about where a 7-year-old girl goes potty — now THERE’S a deviant lifestyle! That’s something that to me, as a parent, warrants closer scrutiny. You just sound creepy.

Leslie McMurray, a transgender woman, is a former radio DJ who lives and works in Dallas. Read more of her blogs at lesliemichelle44.wordpress.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 7, 2017.