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  • Writer's pictureFred

You're Dead (Trans Edition)

Warning: We are going to be EXTRA insensitive today.

Back in the mid-1980's, a hardcore musical group morphed together in the bowels of New York City. That band? Stormtroopers of Death.

Now I don't want to dwell on the band, per se, but they recorded a number of mean-spirited, yet hilarious, songs, all with the same gimmick. The songs would all be titled: The Ballad of (fill in the blank.) For example, the Ballad of INXS.

The rhythm section would play a slice of the deceased's music, then lead singer Billy Milano would blurt out "you're dead." S.O.D. recorded about a dozen of these such "ballads."

I didn't say it was a great gimmick, but funny in a sophomoric sort of way.


So I was at the Huffington Post and read an interesting article: I Hid My True Identity For Decades. Here's What Happened When I Finally Revealed Myself At 63. Author Caragh Donley wrote an insightful and entertaining missive about coming out as Trans when most people are focusing on retirement.

But about three-quarters of the way through, perceived microaggressions and defiance bubbled up and I couldn't stop thinking about Billy Milano. Instead of being grateful to be an American, Donley seemed ready to fight.

You know what happens when you come out as Trans in Iran?

You're Dead.

You know what happens when you come out as Trans in Russia?

You're Dead.

You know what happens when you come out as Trans in Uganda?

You're Dead.

We could play this game all day long. The point is, one of the best places in the world to be Trans is in the United States of America. I mean, I read the article at the Huffington Post, not some underground publication or carved on the wall of a dark alley. I am still waiting for the coming out story that ends "thank god I'm an American, or else I'd be screwed."

You think I'm anti-LGBT? Let's use Beacon of Speech as an example to why I'm not. In our mission statement, we acknowledge that we only exist thanks to the good graces of the Constitution, more specifically the 1st Amendment. Is America the perfect place? Oh, hell no, but where else could we exist?

I would like to think we'd do okay in Canada. I jokingly call England the "motherland," I think we'd be safe there.

But Iran? We'd be dead.

Russia? We'd be cannon-fodder in Luhansk.

Uganda? Deader than dead.

Free Speech is a dangerous concept in two-thirds of the countries in this world. I readily acknowledge our luck for being born as Americans.

But I tire of the narrative that America is terrible for LGBT citizens. Are there lots of knuckleheads in America that behave poorly? Yes, I am not arguing that, but you know who else is badgered in America? Try working retail.

In the Middle East though, Trans citizens are literally dragged into the streets and beaten with rocks. In Africa, Trans citizens are literally dragged into the streets and beaten with sticks.

And as a Free Speech website, we defend a person's right to tell their LGBT story. But I keep seeing the same narrative in these Coming Out stories and that's the anti-American angle.

Can America do better? Of course. According to the Williams Institute, America is the 23rd best country in the world to be LGBT out of 175. Most of the countries above America are in Scandinavia or Western Europe. If you are LGBT, the best place to fly your rainbow flag is in Iceland. Is it so bad in America that Donley is ready to immigrate to Iceland? You'd have to ask them. The worst? Countries east of Russia that used to comprise the old Soviet Union, like Tajikistan and Azerbaijan. The bottom 20 countries are all in Africa and the Middle East.

The Ballad of Jim Morrison

The Ballad of Freddie Mercury

The Ballad of Jimi Hendrix

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