Monday, September 23, 2013

I stand with Cassidy Lynn Campbell

Cassidy Lynn Campbell
Right now there is a sixteen year old girl in California who won, against all odds, the title of homecoming queen in her high school. As news of her victory spread, ignorant, mean-spirited adults from across the country took to social media for the express purpose of cruelly mocking this young lady.

These adults, motivated in no small part by bigotry spawned from their understanding of religion, called Cassidy Lynn Campbell all sorts of names, and even completely dehumanized her by calling her by the pronoun "it" rather than "she."

Ms. Campbell is transgendered, and identifies as a woman. At the age of sixteen she is still a minor. She could be your daughter, and grown adults have decided that it would be fun to dehumanize and mock this brave and vibrant young woman in an attempt to psychologically traumatize and emotionally destabilize her. For these low minded, awful people, hurting a young person with a bright future ahead of them is no different than playing Farmville: it's a trifling way to pass the time. A fun, sadistic lark.

Now I know that I am extra sensitive to this type of thing because my niece, Jessica, was once the victim of terrible death and rape threats over the Internet. As bad as these threats were, the insults she received, from adults, not her peers, were in truth more insidious.

She was called an "evil little thing" by her state representative. Notice how she was also dehumanized. Jessica is called a "thing" while Cassidy Lynn Campbell is called an "it." This is the first step towards really hating someone: Deny their humanity, then the insults can flow freely

Being a teenager, most people will agree, is hard enough without the burden of being put down, insulted, judged and abused. As responsible, sane, caring adults who are not assholes, it is our job to do what we can to nurture the next generation, and that means protecting our children, as best we can, from the outrageous attacks of the ignorant and the obscene.

It's time to support our children, without question, without pause and without conditions. Anything less would be inhuman.

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