A Fragment On How FADA Threatens Safety
The following is from a trans friend of mine, posted here with permission and without attribution :
“FADA also could be used to justify a provider refusing medical services to a transgender patient”
“The US in 2017+ won’t be safe for me.”
Safety has become an oddly abstract concept in the US. By referencing ones safety, you could be talking about their financial safety. You could be talking about the safety we deserve to enjoy when we exercise our right to speak freely, or maybe you’re talking about safety in the context of one of the many manifestations of “safe spaces”.
Since November 9th, the concept of safety has been codified for many of us in the LGBT community to refer directly to our physical safety. Unfortunately, all of these references are as a negative reaction to our perception of our own safety.
A situation that would cause one of us to be victimized physically now threatens to kick off an entire chain of incidents which would make us victims in a much more literal way than the eye-rolling conservative cynics have cared to admit recently.
If religious freedom bills are passed, we may find ourselves not only victims of physical violence, but then potentially victims of an unfriendly or potentially even hostile institution whose job it may be to care for us as a direct result of the original assault.
This is not what equality looks like.
Since the election, politicians and pundits who have a history of defending vulnerable communities have dropped us like a hot iron and decried the ills of “identity politics” in a repulsive desperation to save their own careers.
The clear and present danger that laws like FADA present to minorities may not be clear to many of those not in a minority, but it is very clear to us.
If I get hurt in my own home, can I rely on the paramedics to treat me? If I can’t, how does that play into my personal risk profile? If I don’t compensate for the fact that someone may deny me medical service based on the fact that I’m transgender, at what point does the responsibility for my survival and safety shift from that of the EMT to myself? Perhaps the safest plan isn’t to call 911 anymore, perhaps the safest plan is not to stay in a place where this basic measure of safety isn’t assured.
Although I don’t plan to, there are others who will leave the country because they believe that their safety is at risk, and I have to say, I don’t blame them.
Since the end of the election, I have seen vulnerable communities organize like never before. I have asked my non-minority friends to get off the sidelines and get into the game of fighting for equality with the rest of us. So far, some have, but many haven’t done much differently than they did before. It’s disappointing, but it’s understandable. It’s not their fight, but it is their country too.
There’s a very real risk that we will begin hemorrhaging brilliant people from this country as a result of political actions directed against non-white, non-male and queer communities. Losing these people will put our country at an extreme disadvantage in the years to come if we all don’t insist that the institutional values of diversity and common welfare be upheld.
I hope deeply that others begin to see the importance of maintaining strong American values instead of spectating a game that will potentially have grave consequences for some of the most vulnerable populations in the country.