Thursday, June 23, 2016

Response to the discriminatory law of North Carolina supported by Governor Pat McCrory - House Bill 2, The Bathroom Bill

June 13, 2016

Dear Governor McCrory:

I write this letter to you as a veteran, a tax paying citizen, and an ordained minister in the Christian Church Disciples of Christ who is transgender.  I write this letter as a response to HB2, known as the Bathroom Bill, out of great concern that you are using the transgender community as a means to put forward an agenda reminiscent of the racist strategies of the Jim Crow Era, the Southern Strategy of the 1960’s and the rhetoric of George Wallace.  To achieve your agenda, you are even willing to risk the economic well-being of your state, necessarily impacting the economic viability and vitality of all people in the state of North Carolina and thus also risking the credit rating of your state.

According to reports by The Center for American Progress of 4/13/2016 your state has the potential of losing $568 million in private-sector economic activity through 2018. You have already lost out on $86 million and stand to lose upwards of an additional $481 million due to cancelled events, businesses leaving the area, and tourism declines if HB2 is not repealed.  You are also in jeopardy of losing federal dollars, this according to the Washington Post.  I find your position untenable, unjust, inferior, and unbecoming of a man who would seem to be educated, a person of faith, a critical thinker. 

I find that your arguments regarding a transgender person using the bathroom of their identity under the guise of “safety” using girls and woman as the bait for those uninformed and/or ignorant on the issue or your means to argue for states’ rights to be problematic at best.  As a transgender woman who has done the difficult and challenging work of acceptance, of loving myself and living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ in real time in the face of those similar to yourself who long to continue the oppression heaped upon humanity by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, I find your argument to be one of a politics of hatred and manifest bigotry.    Sir, I ask you now, “Are you a bigot?” “Do you embrace the politics of hatred and ignorance?” 

Sir, I ask, “Is what you advocate for just?  Is it right and life affirming?  Surely each of us has an interpretation of life, a life as we imagine but the question that should resonate beyond interpretation is,” Is it life affirming, life giving and hopeful for all?  “Is it just in the presence of a God whose love and grace knows no bounds?”  “Would you stand in the presence of God spouting policies that deny and defy a humanity created by this very God?”  That said, I ask, “Have you taken time to speak or confer with a person who is transgender or have you taken the time to speak with a physician with expertise in gender identity and sexuality?”  If you have not, I would suggest that you speak with a transgender person or a physician who cares for transgender people to ascertain the reality of the transgender person and what your policies will do to a group of people already marginalized and ostracized by society at large.  I would suggest that you read the following books, both on Amazon:

Transgender Journeys, Vanessa Sheridan and Virginia Mollenkott

Understanding Gender Dysphoria - Mark A. Yarhouse

These two books might give you an understanding of what it’s like to be a transgender person. My impression is that you have very little knowledge on the subject because if you had good credible knowledge, you would have made a different and informed policy decision.  Your arguments equating transgender people with sexual predators is a study in gross intellectual negligence.  Fact is there is a huge difference between a transgender woman or transgender man and a sexual predator.  The transgender person just wants to be left alone to live and prosper life like any other American citizen.  This is different from the sexual predator who obtains or tries to obtain sexual contact with another person in a predatory or abusive manner. 

I am not surprised by how you would treat or think of the transgender person because historically transgender people have been killed or murdered by human beings who were not like them.  You, like others, seem to be in fear of anyone or anything that is different than you.  It is as if to be different, which we all are, is a sin and a reason to be discriminated against, murdered or killed because of that difference.  You illicit profound sadness as I perceive that I have written this letter to someone such as yourself who cares very little about transgender people or what they go through on a daily basis.

 If you are a person of faith I would encourage you to reflect on the grace and mercy given you by your creator.  But for the grace of God you to would be a despised and hated human being.  I encourage you to rethink your position on this matter and receive new light and love from your creator. 

Rev. Monica Joy Cross, M.Div, MASC, BCS
Associate Minister, Tapestry Ministries
Christian Church Disciples of Christ

Rev. Dr.  Leon Bacchues, Ph.D., M.J.
Senior Minister, Tapestry Ministries
Christian Church Disciples of Christ

P.S. Once you have read this letter I would like a response to let me know you read it.