What happened to Jaye McBride could have happened to any of us

I met Jaye McBride through the Times Union blogfarm several years ago.  We’ve remained Facebook friends, and I’ve been very thrilled at her rise through the standup comedy ranks.

Jaye McBride has appeared on Comedy Central and has been showcased in several rising star comedy shows.  And she’s a tireless worker for the rights of those in the LGBTQ community.

Last weekend, something happened to her.  And it wasn’t funny.  Not in the least.

This was from her Facebook page.

Read that first sentence.  “On Friday night I was drugged without my knowledge or consent.”

That’s right.  Some punk did something to Jaye – either dropped some drug in her beverage, or something similar to that.  I don’t know why – and I don’t think I could find a satisfactory answer.  All I know is that whoever did this needs a few swings in the face with a barbed-wire baseball bat.

Here’s the thing, though.  What happened to Jaye McBride could happen to anybody.  You don’t know if someone poured something in your drink, you put a coaster over the top of the glass just in case.  You travel with someone just in case one of you isn’t comfortable driving home.  You hope that the bartender will keep you safe in case something happens.

But this continues.

And it’s happening on a more frequent basis – including assaults on trans men and women.

In 2018, the Human Rights Coalition reported 26 deaths of transgender people in the United States.  In 2019, there have already been 19 transgender men and women killed or murdered.  And many more assaulted or abused.  Among those murdered in 2019 include Jordan Cofer, who was slaughtered – along with eight others – in the mass murder in Dayton, Ohio on August 4.

This isn’t a joke.  Someone tried to injure and immobilize another human being.  And for what?  Were they hoping to get Jaye incapacitated and possibly cause more harm, either with violence or rape?

Thankfully, Jaye was able to get to a hospital and the doctors and nurses treated her and helped her recover.  I’ll tell you now, seven angels were watching over her that night.

There is no reason for violence against women.  And there is no reason for violence against trans men or trans women.  I realize that we live in a world where the President of the United States has treated loyal patriotic men and women as pariahs because they chose the cardinal sin of being trans and being in the military.  We live in a world where the Vice President of the United States has endorsed gay conversion therapy.  And we have a secretary of Housing and Urban Development who postulates about letting “big hairy men” in women’s shelters on the presumption that a trans person is just pretending to be trans so that they can assault women in a women’s shelter.

No one needs this.

So let’s do this instead.

Let’s erase the stigma of transgender men and women.  They are not perverts.  They are not deviants.  They are not going to say some magic word and now you’ve suddenly turned gay.  They are not coming to rape your children.  They are not coming to rape your parents.

What they ARE, in fact … they are people.  Human beings.  As human as you are.

We need to move forward from these antiquated, nihilistic views of gender.  We need to step away from treating trans people as homo inferiorus. 

And no matter whether it was an assault on jaye because she’s trans or because she’s a woman or because she’s a lot funnier than you are …

We need to be much better than this.