Don't Pander to Me


I watched the first Democratic primary debate this morning, and as a trans woman I have to say that Julián Castro's botched pandering to the trans community was disgusting and extremely harmful.

“I believe in reproductive justice, and what that means is just because a woman — or, let’s not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female — is poor doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to exercise the right to choose”

— Julián Castro, 26 June 2019

Castro mentioned that "trans females" should have abortion access. Trans females (like me) almost never require abortions because we, usually, don't have uteruses. It's extremely rare (but possible) that people who are assigned male at birth (AMAB) are born with uteruses. Castro did the typical ignorant, transphobic move: he equated gender with the sex we're assigned at birth. The trans folks who can get pregnant are typically non-binary trans people (e.g. genderqueer, agender, bigender, and others) or are trans men.

Telling a mass audience that trans females need abortion access reinforces the confused misunderstanding that trans women are the same people who are told, when they're born, that they're girls. Or, worse, that the sex we're assigned at birth is who we are at our essential cores, rather than our gender identities being the central truth of who we are. Castro could have just said "trans people," or "trans folks with uteruses." But he messed it up because he clearly doesn't understand the trans issues that he's pandering to.

Don't vote for someone just because they mention your community. Vote for the person who's been fighting their whole life for policies that will have a material benefit for you and your people.

Below, a good Twitter thread that’s much more forgiving than I am.