Wednesday, September 30, 2020

My Thoughts on Sarah McBride

I have been asked what I think of Sarah McBride winning the primary for a Delaware state Senate seat. People want my opinion on this because on the one hand she's transgender, and on the other hand she's a firearm prohibitionist.

My honest answer is that I'm simultaneously thrilled and disappointed. Like most things in life, the situation is complex.

Gun rights are necessary, both for Americans in general and for queer people in specific. We are disproportionately affected by violent crime (1 in 4 of us will be victims), and like the motto of the Pink Pistols says, "Armed queers don't get bashed."

However, queer rights are also important to me. In this specific regard, it is a cause for celebration when someone who is obviously queer is able to represent us in government. Just as gun owners rightly deride people who try to pass gun control laws without knowing anything about guns (see Carolyn McCarthy's statement of "I don't actually know what a barrel shroud is. I believe it's a shoulder thing that goes up."), and women rightly deride men who try to pass reproductive laws without knowing anything about gynecology, so too do queer people resent and deride people passing laws that affect us (marriage rights, transitioning, employment protection, etc.) without knowing anything about us.

Ideally, I would prefer that Ms. McBride be pro-gun. However, Second Amendment rights are usually a plank of the Republican party, and queer people tend to avoid the Republican party like the plague (for reasons which are another explanation entirely). Furthermore, let's be blunt: openly queer candidates are less likely to be elected by the typical Republican voter. This is changing, of course; 20 years ago it would have been unthinkable to be openly gay and Republican, and now we have openly queer people supporting Republican values in the media, so perhaps in another 10-20 years there won't be this huge disconnect. Unfortunately, right now if you're queer and running for office, your best chance at election is running as a Democrat... and again unfortunately, the Democrat platform is one of firearm prohibition rather than one of firearm rights.

So who do queer people vote for? Too often, we have to choose between "pro-gun and anti-queer" or "pro-queer and anti-gun". That's an intensely personal choice, and I don't have the right to tell people how to choose in situations like this. I just wish that both my right to live as I wish (queer rights) and my right keep and bear arms (Second Amendment rights) weren't treated as a resource to be exploited on election day.

The Second Amendment is for all Americans. Queer rights are human rights, and human rights are for all Americans.

Politicians, please stop being partisan with our lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to