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What Ted Cruz's Big Fail Means for Us

What Ted Cruz's Big Fail Means for Us

ted cruz

The ill-fated presidential candidate tried to use trans people as a scapegoat — and he still lost the Indiana primary big time. Coincidence or sea change?

The same day that Donald Trump, God help us all, won the Indiana primary, TheWashington Post published an article about how Trump defeating Ted Cruz was a surprise victory for transgender rights and by extension LGBT rights in general. If this was a victory, then we should change our name to Pyrrhus -- who lamented the cost of winning a horribly painful battle against the Romans -- and start spending our summers in Greece. Trump is no friend to LGBT people, to say the least. Sure, he says he likes us (though he says he likes Hispanics too) and has even been seen smiling in pictures with a few gay people. Let's be real, though -- those gay people are rich, famous, make him look good, and give him opportunities to show up in celebrity blogs and above the fold in the gossip section of the Daily News. Trump's support in any regard for LGBT rights is only to serve at his benefit and would disappear the minute it hurts his opportunity to profit off of it.


If you step back and take another look at it, it kind of is a victory. Trump largely took the evangelical vote in Indiana for reasons that defy any level of reason. My explanation is that evangelicals are finally trying to trigger the apocalypse by elevating the Beast to power. Still, with as much harping as Ted Cruz made about Trump's half-hearted acceptance of transgender people's right to pee in peace, it did him no good. This was largely the point of the article, and it does raise an interesting thought: What if treating LGBT people like criminals, perverts, and second-class citizens isn't a big deal anymore?

Think about it. A recent Reuters poll shows that there is less than a 4 percentage point gap between opinions on whether people should be allowed to use restrooms based on their gender identity or "their biological sex." No, it's not where we wish it was, but it's better than it was just two years ago. When you throw in that 60 percent or more of Americans are OK with same-sex marriage and adoption by LGBs, and a majority believe that being LGBT is a trait you're born with, things are looking up for us.


Let's not forget that in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Mississippi, politicians have stuck their fingers in their ears and petulantly refused to listen to the federal government telling them that they are violating the law. In South Carolina they're singing Bible School songs to silence advocates (with no hint of the irony), and around the country they're thrown out of Target for being obnoxious or being arrested for scaring the crap out of people. Sure, there are enough people out there who have a really bizarre obsession with where transgender people realize that their trip to Chipotle was a bad decision (we're there for more than adjusting our makeup despite what the Twitter memes say), and it's still a problem. However, it seems like these are the people simply screaming louder now they realize they are losing a fight no one else is that interested in. An article in Politico also agreed that Ted Cruz made a huge mistake in Indiana by attacking transgender people. Cruz's other mistake was to use the term "basketball ring." Seriously. Even the gayest gay who ever werked or twerked knows it's called a hoop. Some people even say that hurt him more than attacking transgender people.

I'm not saying we've reached the top of the mountain and can see the Promised Land before us. Far from it. Conservative politicians using us as bait for fundraising, thinking we're worse than Al-Qaeda, and asking good ol' Americans to think of the children are going away. They are. If Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have done anything in this election, it's to show that the concerns of people have changed. Hillary Clinton has come to learn that the left has moved further to the left on economics and social issues, and the Republicans have learned that the right doesn't fear gays as much as brown people these days. The days when people like John McCain had to scold his own supporters over their belief Obama was a Muslim were just the beginning of what we are seeing today. Gay people are being let off the hook because we don't scare the average conservative as much anymore; it's the Chinese, Latinos, and black people. Even anti-Semitism is trendy again.

What LGBT people are becoming is that casually hated group. Instead of conservatives passing laws to discriminate against us, we're just going to become that minority that they're OK with, as long as we sit down, shut up, and don't act up. The worries about us corrupting their kids and ruining the sanctity of marriage are going away. People are worried about their jobs, their bank accounts, and that we might take their right to own grenade launchers to defend themselves from Muslims. As long as we're still cool with being the butt of tasteless jokes on morning radio and the internet, as long as we're down to be their sassy gay friends and gossip and quit being so politically correct whenever we're abused, we're good. We should be grateful they've become so accepting.

Yes, we have won a victory for not just transgender rights but everyone in the LGBT community. More exhausting wins like this and, as Pyrrhus proclaimed, we shall be undone.

AMANDA KERRI is a writer and comedian based in Oklahoma City.

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