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The Projection of 'Transphobia is White Supremacy'
In fact, the opposite is true.
I read The Nation every day.
But wait, you may say, The Nation is woke.
I know, which is why I read it. As I wrote in an earlier essay critiquing another piece by The Nation, there’s a certain charm to reading the opinions of those you may not agree with, the way one might choose to watch NASCAR hoping to see some stock car collisions.
Furthermore, I believe that the best thinkers on a topic aren’t those that know their own position the best, but rather the thinkers that understand their ideological opponents’ position the best. Anyone can exclusively watch Fox News and end up a conservative; anyone can exclusively listen to NPR and become a liberal. What’s challenging is for someone to consume content that goes against what they believe—and still hold on to their beliefs.
I would trust a defender of capitalism that has read Marx far more than one that has only ever read Hayek. Likewise, I would trust a defender of communism that has read Hayek far more than one that has only read Marx. In either case, they’ve proved their intellectual merit by engaging with opposing views.
So when I first encountered gender ideology, I didn’t scoff at the idea. I had attended a college where there were quite a few trans-identified people, and I’ve had normal conversations with them.1 In a literature class, I read and discussed a classic work in the field: Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble. I listened to people both in real life and online describe and debate transness.
After some introspection, I reached the conclusion that gender ideology is complete nonsense, that it is a social contagion that primarily affects affluent autistic young adults and other internet-addled neurodivergent people. Not only is it not progressive, but gender ideology is regressive in the sense that it promotes stereotypes that men must act stereotypically masculine and women must act stereotypically feminine.2
So when I saw an article in The Nation titled “How Women’s Swimming Got So Transphobic”, I knew it was a must-read. The central figure of discussion was a swimmer named Lia Thomas, who, after competing in men’s swimming divisions for years, began identifying as a woman and winning women’s swimming championships. The piece started out as boilerplate trans apologia, including the ludicrous claim that “there is no real evidence that trans athletes have an inherent advantage over their cisgender counterparts.” The claim is so ridiculous in its compete denial of basic science that even the liberal readers of The Nation filled the comments section up with criticism. If there really was no sex advantage, then why have gender-segregated sports?
But what really got my attention was where the author claims
Transphobia is often closely linked to white supremacy, as gender non-conformity threatens norms regarding white, Western gender ideals, and swimming’s history is decidedly anti-Black. According to a 2021 USA Swimming report, of its 331,206 year-round athletes, 35.5 percent (117,423) identified as white, while only 1 percent (3,440) identified themselves as Black or African American and 2.4 percent (7,933) said they were Hispanic or Latinx (21 percent did not respond to the ethnicity question at all).
For some quirk of the data, the numbers only add up to 61%. Are there no Asian Americans? No Native Americans?
The author also fails to consider that some racial groups may prefer to compete in certain sports over others. Black Americans are 12% of the population, but make up about half of Division I college basketball players. As I’ve discussed in an earlier essay, I don’t see people extending affirmative action efforts to Asian American basketball players. In fact, when Asian Americans do well in sports, we’re told by liberal media that we’re overrepresented, just like when we try to apply for college.
The author then quotes a communication professor that says
“The sheer white, middle-classness of the sport of swimming [impacted] how it reproduced white, heteronormative, ‘traditional’ American values,” says Matthew Hodler, assistant professor of sports media and communication at the University of Rhode Island and a former swimmer. “It was one of the sports middle-class white women were allowed to participate in earlier on because it shaped the ‘right’ kind of body for women. It was considered a ‘clean’ sport—they could be graceful in the water. It is bound up in these traditional femininities.”
Now, you may wonder, what does race have to do with the whole trans-identifying swimmer debate at all? Lia Thomas is White and middle-class. The example the author uses to illustrate White supremacy… is a White swimmer. Just let that sink (or swim) in for a minute.
What the author really is trying to do is to garner sympathy for a very unpopular cause (allowing biological men to compete in women’s sports) by linking it with a more popular cause (fighting racism). There is no connection at all between gender ideology and race. But the framework critical social justice activists operate under attempts to tie every example of alleged oppression into one simple hierarchy, when things aren’t as simple in real life.
Last month, I discussed how White Americans are actually the most likely racial group in America to support gender ideology, while Black Americans are the most opposed. Anyone who’s seen LibsofTiktok’s kids-at-drag-shows videos knows that the audience is almost always middle-class White women—the same demographic the author excoriates. Despite the fact that cities like New York, San Francisco, Baltimore, etc. where these shows take place are majority nonwhite, drag events with kids only seem to attract all-White audiences.
If the criteria for White supremacy is, as the author claims, the White participation rate in an event, then drag events with kids are in fact the biggest bulwarks of White supremacy.
And on a global level, the most LGBT-friendly countries are those with White majorities. The most anti-LGBT places are African and Middle Eastern countries, some of which mandate the death penalty for being LGBT. If social justice logic is taken to its conclusion, then I could even say that being for gay and trans rights is actually White supremacy—the exact opposite conclusion the author reaches.
That sentiment isn’t something I just made up. It is not uncommon to hear from Black Americans and from immigrant communities that being gay or trans-identified is a “White thing”. But you’ll never hear these stories on mainstream media. When liberals say that they want to “elevate minority voices”, it always happens to be the voice of someone that shares the same worldview. You’ll hear from the African American Studies professor at Harvard about how we need to “uplift Black trans, queer, and gender-conforming narratives”, but you’ll never hear from the working-class Black man that rants in the barbershop about how “White people are pushing transgenderism on the Black community to feminize our men and destroy the Black family” or the Black churchgoer that proclaims “God made men and women the way they are and you can’t change that.”
So the very notion that being against gender ideology is White supremacy flies in the face of the fact that White people are its biggest backers. Nearly all support for gender ideology in America (and around the world) comes from White liberals. Sure, they’ll have a “Latinx” friend who says that Latinos are supportive—but the very fact that Latinx is such an unpopular term among Latinos tells you all you need to know. They get all excited when they hear about Asian and Pacific Islander cultures with a “third gender”—without realizing that “third genders” only existed because those cultures didn’t want to consider gay men as real men, and thus had to invent a new gender just for gay men and other men that didn’t conform to hypermasculine standards.
The way Democrats and Republicans are structured in America obfuscates much of this dynamic. As I’ve discussed in an earlier analysis, many voters of color vote for Democrats not based on ideology, but on identity. Democrats have right now what is essentially a big-tent coalition of various identity groups: Black, Latino, Asian, Native, Muslim, immigrant, union member, etc., much of whom are ideologically moderate-to-conservative but will still vote Democrat due to identity-based appeals and the belief that Republicans are unwelcoming to them.3 The liberal elite part of the party is predominantly White, and uses those identity-based votes to advance a far-left agenda.
As the far-left forces in the party gain even more power, though, there will be a tipping point where the moderates and conservatives in the Democratic coalition will either force the far-left to tame their positions, or will leave entirely. Prominent Democrat strategists are already sounding the alarm on how Democrats are losing voters of color and working-class voters. I expect to hear the “transphobia is White supremacy” shtick a lot more in the future as trans activists brazenly try to make race-based appeals that just make them sound more stupid and power-hungry, while actual people of color see through the nonsense and either force Democrats off the brink of gender lunacy or just jump ship to Republicans.
In conclusion, the author’s claim that “Transphobia is often closely linked to white supremacy, as gender non-conformity threatens norms regarding white, Western gender ideals” could not be more false. Gender ideology itself originated from White, Western people such as Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, and Gayle Rubin.
If I were to use social justice activists’ own logic that whatever is mostly supported by White people is a sign of White supremacy, then the reverse becomes true. Transgenderism is White supremacy, Lia Thomas is a White supremacist figurehead, and Drag Queen Story Hour is a White supremacist institution. But don’t expect The Nation to give me space to write that anytime soon.
Trans activists would call me transphobic. Yet I harbor no hate for anyone that thinks they’re a different gender. I see it like schizophrenia: I don’t hate schizophrenics, but I won’t affirm their delusions, and I definitely don’t want schizophrenics to be a protected class that makes demands based off their delusions, and I most definitely don’t want kids to start thinking they might be schizophrenic.
The ultimate expression of this phenomenon is Iran, where the government pays for sex-change surgery. It’s not because Iran is some bastion of LGBT rights, but because Iran does not tolerate gay people, and thus would rather make gay men look like women than have men attracted to other men.
I’ve studied the voting habits of various racial minority groups in depth. A commonly expressed sentiment is that both parties don’t have their true interests at heart, but since Democrats are more accepting of them and pay them lip service and run candidates of the same race they are, they’ll still vote Democrat. For Black Americans in particular, voting Democrat is less of an ideological choice and more of a duty to show racial solidarity. Black Americans were once evenly split, but Democrat Harry S. Truman’s support of various civil rights laws, like desegregating the troops and sponsoring federal antilynching legislation, helped gain loyalty. Democrat Lyndon Johnson’s support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 solidified Black voters into a near-monolithic bloc. Latino and Asian Americans are a lot less monolithic. Asian Americans mostly backed Republicans all the way up to Bob Dole in 1996 before nativist sentiment pushed Asians toward Democrats. But especially with the far-left turn Democrats have been on lately, the possibility that Latinos, Asians, and Black men could switch Republican is definitely real. In a future post, I’ll show how Republicans can win over many of these voters without having to change any core policies. Be sure to subscribe and stay tuned for more insight into the inner machinations of American politics, and don’t forget to share these posts with friends.