Mutant is a term of affection and strength for many in my community of people with a TP53 gene mutation. Our genetic mutation makes us highly susceptible to developing cancer, so all our accomplishments in spite of the terrible hand we’ve been dealt are a source of pride. We repossess the word Mutant from its generally negative connotations. I am proud to call myself a Mutant. In fact, we’re all Mutants.
This week, a Black Christian Florida Republican attempted to insult transgender people by calling them “mutants” and “demons.”
Referencing the X-Men, Rep. Webster Barnaby implied that trans people don’t belong on planet Earth.
In the X-Men universe, the Mutants are the heroes. Rep. Barnaby sides with the villains.
The X-Men is a story of civil rights. Barnaby finds common ground with racists and white supremacists that would dehumanize, demonize, and even murder him for the color of his skin.
Villains in the not-too-distant past would have relegated Barnaby’s ancestors to using “colored” facilities and service entrances, just as he would deny trans people the right to use the bathroom that suits them.
They lynched Black Americans for no good reason, just as he is potentially fomenting stochastic violence against trans people for no good reason.
Barnaby said, “to all the folks that are in the audience that consider themselves gender dysphoria, cis — I don’t know what all that means. I really don’t know what all that means.”
Barnaby’s job is to represent all of his constituents. His ignorance is his problem to fix.
Barnaby later said, “I would like to apologize to the trans community for referring to you as demons.”
On Twitter, Barnaby said, “lam proud to stand by my entire statement, including my apologies."
He stands by calling trans people mutants and implying they don’t belong on planet Earth.
Trans people are people. They deserve respect. Trans Rights are Human Rights. We are all humans. We all belong on planet Earth. We all deserve understanding.