There are some who like to say that the ends never justify the means. I wouldn’t say never, but sometimes it’s true. If you are someone who is likely to go on a shooting spree to open up some seating for a sold out Air Supply concert, you may want to live hard and fast by this rule. For the rest of us, we usually try to do a little mental cost/ benefit analysis in our heads in the attempt to develop some contorted reasoning to do what we are inclined to in the first place. This is known as ‘ethical logic’ and is occasionally either and seldom both. Clearly I have something specific in mind.
Would it be wrong to utilize the power of our trans-ness to a positive political end, but in a sneaky underhanded manner? Now don’t get all indignant and snippy just yet; we are just talking here. “Gosh Michelle, whatever do you mean?” What I’m talking about is figuring out which candidates, local or national, have our best interests at heart, and then campaigning for the other guy. I don’t mean bumper sticker and lawn sign campaigning, I’m talking about loud, public, outlandish dress type campaigning. At public speaking events, debates, and even stationed near the polling places on election day, whooping it up to the heavens on how this guy, we really don’t like, is going to set us free on America.
Hold on, I can already hear some of you getting disgusted, but let’s talk this through for just a few more minutes. Imagine for a moment. Rick Santorum in his little sweater vest, pontificating about all the things said by JFK, MLK, but not the KKK that made him lose his baloney and Miracle Whip sandwich. Then there would be us, dolled up as Hollywood chainsaw hookers with a schoolgirl twist, shouting out, “Yay Rickie! He’s going to give us all government sponsored teaching positions in all the public schools! Yay!” Now you have Carl and Carla Conservative in the crowd thinking, “Wait a minute… I’m against diversity and inclusion! Clearly, I can’t vote for this meatball.” And the icing? Oh, Rick would be so super pissed.
You have to admit, that sounds pretty fun, right? Oh, just to see the look on his face! Alas, every which way I tried to contort this, and apply logical fallacy after logical fallacy, I just couldn’t crunch the numbers into a win. Would it be morally wrong? Ehhhh… that’s a question for philosophy majors living in their mom’s basement. It’s more of a ‘cut my nose to spite my face’ kind of thing. First off, the one who did win is going to remember that we campaigned for the other guy. Even if he was in on it, it wouldn’t be so easy to explain to the people who actually campaigned for him that he’s throwing us a bone. Second, if Rick the dick actually did win in spite of this, well, you can rest assured he knows exactly what we were trying to do, and be none too happy about it either.
The real reason this madcap caper is a non-starter is that even if we got a little play out of it, all the dignity and respect we managed to build with glacial slowness over the years would be gone. All the people who already thought of us that way would be justified in their mental image of a trans person. All the people who we won over and convinced we were regular human beings with the same needs and wants as them would now be in doubt. When the gay community adopted high camp years ago as a form of social protest, I don’t think they foresaw that even today a surprising percentage of people still think that is how “they” really are. We are still trying to live down Dr Frank, and probably don’t need more of a hassle. Still, one can daydream.