News that a nine-year-old girl was accosted and accused of being trans by an irate parent at a Canadian little athletics meet last week reminds us of the dangers of the culture wars.
According to media reports, a man demanded she show certification of her sex, claiming she should not be competing.
Wikipedia describes a culture war as a conflict between social groups and the struggle for dominance of their values, beliefs and practices.
Having lost the debate (for now) on lesbian and gay rights, including marriage equality, the far right is now trying to save us from trans folk.
Fewer in number, and without a decades-long rights movement behind them, trans people make much easier targets to punch down on.
In seeking to defend trans people from the attacks of the right, the far left can sometimes overreact and vilify anyone who isn’t 100 per cent aligned and conversant with progressive thinking on the issue.
Which the right then uses to infuriate its base and recruit more people to its cause.
And on it goes.
I communicate my personal pronouns (he/him) as a show of support for trans people.
And, when I come across a toilet block with a gender-neutral cubicle design, it always strikes me as an improvement.
The little girl brought to tears by the warring parent wasn’t trans. Turns out, she just had short hair. But, if she was, would it have hurt to have just let her participate and have fun like every other kid?
This article also appeared in The West Australian newspaper.