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imagine his persecution: “She cheated on me. With. A. Cis. Man. I can’t get over how foul and disgusting that is.” A bystander chips in: “Did she take it missionary or doggy style?” Another quips, “It doesn’t matter, a filthy hetero is a filthy hetero. All that shit is disgusting.” We don’t have a single slur for cisgender or heterosexual people, so I’m struggling to get the feeling right. How is he going to know that this stranger means hetero in a bad way? What’s the opposite of fag, fairy, the rest that I don’t want to print? My friend waits for them to notice him, notice he’s straight. Will he be another name on this year’s record-breaking list of anti-straight violence? And then I’m back in the conversation again, listening to him talk about raising his young daughter to transcend gendered expectations. “I don’t want her to feel like she ever has to be something just because she’s a woman.” I respond, “So what you’re saying is that the way a baby’s genitals look at birth shouldn’t determine how society treats them?” He fumbled again. I asked him what he’s read about the subject that have given him such strong feelings. He hadn’t read anything. I sighed. Yet again, straining to alleviate ignorance in the face of adamant bluster. His fears weren’t borne out of genuine concern, but rather his own comfort with the status quo. As long as he could maintain a veneer of feminism and progressivism, he needn’t actually practice those virtues. After all, who knows what women or queers need better than a logical man? ●

Questions & Lies  

Questions & Lies is about the emotional toll of the politics of grievance and fear: immigration, climate change, transphobia, wealth hoardin...

Questions & Lies  

Questions & Lies is about the emotional toll of the politics of grievance and fear: immigration, climate change, transphobia, wealth hoardin...

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