People are correct that HB2 is not “about bathrooms” but it’s also not just about LGBTQ discrimination. HB2 is an indictment of our culture’s inability to talk about sexual assault. It’s a reminder that when the conservative majority wants to distract from their assault on the poor they use our Trans siblings as a scapegoat to organize the Right. HB2 is also a critique of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual people who have been content to sit by while our Trans siblings are murdered and are only now ready for the slogan t-shirt of bathrooms. How about Trans access to healthcare, or living in poverty? How about the complexity of “who is Trans enough” that has come up time and again with posts about “Do You Want to Share Your Bathroom” with this perfectly passing person? HB2 is about our inability to see beyond the slogan or the moment into the multiple ways the poor, and the gender non-conforming, and the undocumented are often the same people and we ignore it until its time to hold up a sign.
I am delighted at the work being done to fight this unjust law. It’s nice to see new folks in the fight walking alongside groups that have been fighting for years. But its difficult to balance my optimism at our renewed interest in activism with groups like the HRC who see fundraising opportunities in our local struggle. When institutions like the GLBT Historical Society send out fundraising requests with the fear based message of “Lets not be like North Carolina or Mississippi.” Our own community has monetized our struggle, and is incentivizing our discrimination. The old specter of the bigoted South is alive and well and being used to scare the "progressives" into being better at being Queer in their Urban oasis.
This is a complex issue and perhaps this will be a moment to burn away all the detritus of the last 20 years for a future movement that sees how our true struggle is in the complex details. You are right, this isn’t about bathrooms, it’s about the very future of what it means to be Queer. If #WeAreNotThis then what are we like and who will be become after HB2?