That billionaire, Elon Musk, tweeted in 2020, “Pronouns suck.” And in his attempt to walk back the language, he defended it. “I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an aesthetic nightmare,” Musk continued.
Fast forward to this October when Musk purchased Twitter. One of his first decisions was to hack away at moderation tools and rules in place to curb hate speech and misgendering language while GOP politicians worked to terrorize the families of those with transgender children and oppose same-sex marriage rights.
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Thirty-seven Republicans voted against the Respect for Marriage Act last week, which would grant statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriage. Their names are John Barrasso, of Wyoming; Marsha Blackburn, of Tennessee; John Boozman, of Arkansas; Mike Braun, of Indiana; Bill Cassidy, of Louisiana; John Cornyn, of Texas; Tom Cotton, of Arkansas; Kevin Cramer, of North Dakota; Mike Crapo, of Idaho; Ted Cruz, of Texas; Steve Daines, of Montana; Deb Fischer, of Nebraska; Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina; Chuck Grassley, of Iowa; Bill Hagerty, of Tennessee; Josh Hawley, of Missouri; John Hoeven, of North Dakota; Cindy Hyde-Smith, of Mississippi; Jim Inhofe, of Oklahoma; Ron Johnson, of Wisconsin; John Kennedy, of Louisiana; James Lankford, of Oklahoma; Mike Lee, of Utah; Roger Marshall, of Kansas; Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky; Jerry Moran, of Kansas; Rand Paul, of Kentucky; Jim Risch, of Idaho; Mike Rounds, of South Dakota; Marco Rubio, of Florida; Rick Scott, of Florida; Tim Scott, of South Carolina; Richard Shelby, of Alabama; John Thune, of South Dakota; Patrick Toomey, of Pennsylvania; Tommy Tuberville, of Alabama; and Roger Wicker, of Mississippi.
So please, spare us the tweets of condolences from these accounts. These legislators have already shown through their actions that they do not care. Sadly, they only begin the list of inhumane politicians working to spread division and hate.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott instructed child welfare employees earlier this year to investigate gender-affirming medical procedures as child abuse. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin introduced rules in September to prevent students from participating in programming that respects their gender identity.
In Arizona, Oklahoma, and Tennessee, Republicans passed at least four anti-trans laws since 2018. Arkansas and Alabama passed three, according to The Washington Post.
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”This year has seen nearly 240 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced across the country, the bulk of them targeting transgender people’s access to gender-affirming health care, ability to participate in school sports, and in Oklahoma, to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity,” journalist Heidi Beedle wrote for the Colorado Times Recorder in June. “The moral panic over the existence of transgender people has manifested itself in a renewed interest by conservatives in drag queen events, rekindling the performative hand-wringing and protesting of 2018.”
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Lauren Benet Stephenson, the director of communications at the Colorado Education Association, pointed to Beedle’s work in a tweet encouraging journalists to read the post “on how Colorado got here — the many reps and radio hosts who’ve been prepping the kindling with anti-LGBTQ, anti-trans, anti-drag hatred.”
For those paying attention, the nightclub shooting wasn’t difficult to predict.
”This mass shooting in Colorado Springs is horrifying and exactly what LGBTQ organizations and leaders have been warning would happen if the violent rhetoric toward our community continued,” activist Charlotte Clymer tweeted. “This is what happens when hateful propaganda goes unchecked.”
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Journalist Jeff Sharlet tweeted: “As a human being, I’m broken-hearted by news from Colorado Springs. As a journalist covering the Right, I’m furious about the latest in our slow civil war. As parent of a nonbinary kid who’s working hard to feel hope, I’m terrified of what happens when they see the news today.”
Writer Caitlyn Hays tweeted: “My heart goes out to the victims of the Club Q shooting Colorado Springs, and their loved ones left behind. We are not monsters. We are not freaks. We bleed and we love and we dream as much as anyone else. Hoping we may all find some peace someday.”
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