You know you’re in the largest state in the Union when you’re anchored down in Anchorage

June 20, 2009

everyone snuggles - unless you're trans, of course (via ADN)Never mind “safe(r) spaces online“, it’s been clear for some while now that for trans women like me, there is simply no such thing as a safe space anywhere on this godforsaken planet. This year alone I’ve documented the ongoing war being waged against trans women in Turkey, the sharp rise in transphobic hate crimes in Venezuela, vigilante assaults on trans sex workers in Peru, human rights abuses against trans people in Honduras – it seems the list gets longer with every passing day.

Now I see (via the Anchorage Daily News, link here, and On Top Magazine, link here) that we can add Anchorage to the list. The good burghers of the largest city in the largest state of the U.S are fighting to have any mention of trans people removed from its proposed non-discrimination ordinance.

It’s a good example of why trans people have reason to be wary of being lumped in with cis GLB people – even though there are indeed trans GLB people too. Whilst trans people are usually thrown under the bus by cis GLB people, in this case it seems that cis het people are attacking anyone who’s Not Like Them. Consequently trans people in Anchorage seem to be suffering from the homophobic backlash against same sex marriage (SSM) that’s currently so fashionable amongst the reactionary cis bourgeoisie of the so-called developed world.

And so it is that a draft bill which would offer protection from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation has been modified so that the definition of “sexual orientation” which originally included straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people has now had ‘transgender’ completely removed.

Interestingly, cis GLB people now find themselves likely to be exposed to discrimination by private employers in the draft – although, presumably, they will still be covered in other areas such as housing and credit. Unlike trans people, who will find themselves with no legal right to live free from discrimination from the ever-increasing number of transphobic bigots who make up the cis population. Being gay may be immoral in the eyes of some cis het people, but being trans is beyond the pale, or so their twisted logic seems to run.

It’s no surprise that this proposal is being driven by the religious Right, whose fear of gay marriage is almost as intense as their fear of the existence of trans people.

Almost.

I took time out to write to my old friend
I walked across that burning bridge
I mailed my letter off to Dallas but her reply came from
Anchorage, Alaska

She said, Hey girl it’s about time you wrote
It’s been over two years you know, my old friend
Take me back to the days of the foreign telegrams
And the all night rock and rolling
Hey Chel we was wild then

Hey Chel you know it’s kinda funny
Texas always seemed so big
But you know you’re in the largest state in the Union
When you’re anchored down in Anchorage

Hey girl I think the last time I saw you
Was on me and Leroy’s wedding day
What was the name of that love song you played?
I forgot how it goes
I don’t recall how it goes

Anchorage
Anchored down in Anchorage

Leroy got a better job so we moved
Kevin lost a tooth, now he’s started school
I’ve got a brand new eight month old baby girl
I sound like a housewife
Hey Chel, I think I’m a housewife

Hey girl what’s it like to be in New York?
New York City, imagine that
Tell me, what’s it like to be a skateboard punk rocker?
Leroy says send a picture
Leroy says hello
Leroy says keep on rocking, girl
Keep on rocking
Yeah, keep on

Hey Chel you know it’s kinda funny
Texas always seemed so big
But you know you’re in the largest state in the Union
When you’re anchored down in Anchorage
Oh Anchorage
Anchored down in Anchorage
Oh Anchorage
Anchored down in Anchorage

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