Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Florida and Texas Can't Outlaw My Family

Claire McCully

Opinion by Claire McCully

Featured on CNN

March 15, 2022

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently defended a bill his opponents call a "don't say gay bill" by claiming that this law prohibits "sexual instruction in grades pre-K through three," and then followed that with the question of "how many parents want their kindergartners to have transgenderism or something injected into classroom instruction?"

As a parent -- and a trans mother, daughter and sister -- I have an honest answer to DeSantis' disingenuous question.

People like DeSantis, Paxton and Abbott want to stigmatize the mere knowledge, acceptance and inclusion of transgender and gay people. And as seen most horrifically in Texas, they even seek to criminalize parents who are doing their best to support and care for their children.

To be clear: as a trans woman, I am not an emblem of liberal ideology. Nor does my mere existence or presence equate to "sexual instruction" or an effort to "promote a lifestyle." 

I didn't choose to be trans. I am not a victim of abuse or grooming. I am not confused or need a basic lesson in biological facts. I just happened to be born into conflict with my assigned gender.

I am simply another human being and another parent at the local public school. I pack my son lunch and drive him to the bus stop in the morning. I help him with his homework when he gets home. We say our prayers before dinner, and I read a bedtime story to him and his older brother each night.

Protest in front of Florida State
Senator Ileana Garcia's office
And like any other parent, I expect my family to be welcomed and accepted by others at the school. And of course, this acceptance might be more likely if some of the children's stories read in classrooms feature two dads, two moms or even a trans mom.

If there isn't an absolute ban on representing families like my own in the classroom, there is a good chance that more than a few of my son's classmates won't grow up having unreasonable fears about LGBTQ people. And even better, they might be less likely to shame or bully my son for having a parent who is a bit different. After all, understanding is a great antidote to ignorance and its toxic side effects: fear and hatred.

In fact, I am a good example of how trans people are clearly not products of ideology or social contagion. My parents, both Reagan Republicans, raised me in the same way that they raised their four other sons. They expected that my gender identity would agree with my assigned gender and that I would grow into a man. For them, that outcome must have seemed as certain as the sun rising the next morning.

Despite all of that, even in my earliest childhood memories, I remember my certainty that I should have been born a girl. And without any knowledge of other people who felt the same way, I was left painfully alone and isolated with this overwhelming dilemma.

There is so much more to read in the well written opinion piece.

Claire McCully is a writer and professor of English in Nevada


  1. Rhonda,
    Excellent piece. I am constantly amazed that a party that proports to be for the family and keeping government out of our lives does not see the hypocrisy in their actions.

    1. Dear Unknown, It has long been my contention that the RICH, WHITE, REPUBLICAN ELITE, know damn well WHAT they are doing, and how to DO IT-- That is, how to employ psychologists and consultants to manipulate the marginally educated working class into thinking they too are of the upper class, with upper class interests. It seems to work.
      One of the main goals is insure a under-educated working class.
      I have long contended, that my 'neighbors' here in NC have TWELVE GRADE DIPLOMAS WITH ONLY EIGHTH GRADE EDUCATION.

      OH, Did anyone see the March 21, 2022 JIMMY KIMMEL MONOLOGUE? Where a family in Stanly County NC took their dog back to the animal shelter, because they thought the dog was GAY?

  2. a lot of truth in this -but-the 3rd grade limit seems to be lost in the discussion.
    maybe kids are different now-in my time we were just getting over the fact that there was no Santa Claus