Power and Popularity



 

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Mid-term elections and transgender politics filled my inbox this week. Oprah endorsed Fetterman instead of Oz, and D. Wade advocated for his child's name change. The lures of power and popularity transcended political party affiliations, gender identity constructions, and insert your marker of humanity here.


Are you surprised about Oprah’s endorsement?


Any candidate with Trump’s support did not receive an official sticker on their Twitter profile or memoir with the words "Oprah's Book Club." By creating transparency around his health challenges and backing abortion rights, Fetterman earned a boost in votes. Oz's republican run for office did not resonate with Winfrey’s values.


Yes, Oprah helped Oz gain celebrity status, but that relationship, like his show, is over. The controversies about the science he promoted throughout the reign of The Dr. Oz series proved impossible to ignore.


With Republicans controlling the Senate, Biden will encounter more legislative challenges. The chances of reelection will get slimmer as he ages and partisan politics exercise their limbs to interfere with progress.


A myriad of factors influences gender identity.

Biology and sociology influence how we understand ourselves. Male and female children learn to behave as men and women through interactions with their peers, parents, and environment. For intersex individuals and people unable to fit inside demographic boxes, their identity is a choice; it’s complicated for us who do not understand.


Although I drive research and advocate for inclusive policies, I cannot claim status as an insured gender and sexuality expert. You must survive in the intersections of identity and get hit with traffic from every direction to gain clout. I have had my fair share of accidents, but I don’t know how to articulate the journey of trans individuals; they should steer that conversation.


Metaphors aside, I need to learn more about transgender experiences.

I am cisgender, black, middle-class, and heterosexual. There isn't a conflict between my birth and social assignments. I have long hair like some women born female, but otherwise, I fit one of the many molds of masculinity.


Dwayne Wade’s parenting abilities mirror his basketball skills on the court. He is legendary for assuming the role of a supportive and loving father. His latest petition filing with the Los Angeles County Superior court for Zaya's name change provides evidence of his commitment to his family.


He had some challenges understanding Zaya's transition, but alongside his wife and their community, he learned to accept his child. In an article, he admitted to locker room comments that dehumanized the LGBTQ community. However, love overpowered rigid beliefs about gender and sexuality.


Like all of us, D. Wade is not a perfect father.


Transforming from male to boy to man often involves defining yourself in opposition to femininity. Being called a girl remains one of the biggest insults for little boys. We shun anyone who does not follow the path outlined by older brothers, fathers, and elders who identify as men.


Sometimes, our desires for power and popularity overtake our ability to accept the variety of human identities.

Whatever happens on the stage of world politics, let's avoid overlooking the audience. Anti-trans legislation is not a move forward. Instead, we need to create policies that enable the marginalized to find their space within the margins of our society. When we discriminate and endorse oppressive political campaigns, we push the idea and concept of freedom further away.


Midterm elections may be over at the time of this post. Predictions put Fetterman in office. Will his voice impact anti-trans legislation? Think about your role in the fight for justice this weekend.


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