Given the current trend of comparing abortion to idolatrous child sacrifice, this couldn’t have been more convenient story for anti-choicers seeking to demonize their opposition. Thankfully, many reproductive health advocates have a good sense of humor. Despite the shit-storm happening across America with puritanical reproductive restrictions, several people happily took time out to poke fun at our new Satanic label for a day. (Cause you know, it’s not just one girl being cheeky or even a handful of people. It’s ALL pro-choice activists!) When a male member of the UK Church of Satan denounced the supposed group chanting, the anti-choice crowd latched on to spin a new story: You guys are worse than self-identified Lucifer enthusiasts!
Still, while the whole thing is amusing, it shows how little things have changed since, you know, actual Puritans first showed up and began colonizing North America. Like their relatives in Europe, our Puritan friends were all too eager to assume that women who didn’t fit the mold of a proper, faithful lady – i.e. childless, independent, unmarried, opinionated – were up to no good and making deals with the Devil. Here we are hundreds of years later, and women seeking bodily autonomy are assumed to be evil.
Semi-recently, I went through a Major Life Change (read: breakup), and found myself with a lot of excess time and excess feelings on my hands. In order to distract myself from the pangs of heartache, I started to spend a lot more of my time at the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico (TGRCNM).
Can I just tell you how fucking awesome this place is? With an operating budget of basically zero and a staff of three, this place is radically changing the face of trans* services in the state of New Mexico, the Southwest, and hell, I’ll even say the whole damn United States. Grassroots organizing and community accountability are at the core of TGRCNM’s values, and I think that there is a lot that we can all learn from the work being done by these amazingly dedicated folks.
Example 1: In September, TGRCNM hosted its first ever Pabst and Paps, a pap clinic for transmasculine people. There was food, football, fraternizing, and oh yeah, pap smears. What a great idea, right?