There was a time when I was a great believer in the ideal of expressing differences in political opinion in a polite and civil manner; after all, I reasoned, a disagreement about the direction in which your country should be heading is important, but it’s not personal: you should be willing to fight tooth and nail for what you believe in, but at the end of the day there’s no reason why you can’t be friends.
Since I wrote that post, a number of experiences have caused me to change my tune. Most particularly, I have now lived for several years as a trans woman, and having done so, I have come to the simple and profound realization that, no matter how much else you may have in common with them, it is impossible to be friends with someone who thinks that you don’t deserve to live.
In fact, looking back on it, I can only see my naive belief that political differences aren’t personal as coming from someone who had never, up until that point in her life, found herself in a position where a political decision was likely significantly impact upon her personal life one way or another. These were certainly not the words of someone who regarded her right to shit in a public washroom as a matter of significant national controversy.
Don’t get me wrong: you still attract more flies with honey than with vinegar. But how, exactly, can I be expected to engage politely with the Kansas legislators who recently dropped this turd to legalize discrimination against queer people? The fact of the matter is that people like Republican State Representative Charles Macheers are fucking idiots who should be forced to dress in rags and dance for table scraps, not be allowed to craft policy for an entire state, and no one should feel ashamed to point it out, “tone” be fucked.