I'm not as political on the blog as I used to be, but I just couldn't pass up this one.
So, a lot of entertainment industry panties have been in a wad lately over North Carolina's passage of HB2, a bill that kept in practice separate men's and women's bathrooms based on biological gender. Supporters point out that changing this practice could endanger women and children, while opponents claim it's all about persecuting the transgender community. The law kept the status quo in place.
Apparently women and children are no longer the special interest groups du jour, as a lot of people ignore the peril it could put them in by having their bathrooms invaded by cross-dressing men claiming to identify as women. In fact, it's already happened. The big stink is that a lot of people are ignoring that aspect of the bill and focusing only on how it affects transgenders. Transgenders (or those who claim to identify as such) want to use any bathroom they choose, and they don't seem to notice or much care if it negatively affects anyone else. Phrases like "anti-LGBT", "prejudice, "bigotry", "hatred", "intolerance", "anti-gay" and "discriminatory" have been bandied about to describe the law, as if they're the only ones affected, as if they're actually having rights taken away. The bullied have become the bullies.
A lot of high-profile entertainers apparently don't care about the rights of women and children to feel safe while in a vulnerable state and they're taking it out on their fans, while patting themselves on the back for their open-mindedness and inclusivity. Among those who recently expressed their righteous outrage by refusing to grace the Tar Heel State with their exalted presence are Bruce Springsteen, Ringo Starr, Pearl Jam and Cirque du Soleil. Which is odd, because:
according to its Web sites, the world-famous circus act is still scheduled to hold shows in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where same-sex marriage, sex- or gender-reassignment surgery, adoption by same-sex couples and openly gay and lesbian military service is outlawed.
Note: I couldn't find it on their website (scrubbed?) but they have performed in Dubai in the past and they are going back later this year.
Which is odd when you consider that nothing has changed. The law kept current rules in place. None of these artists or events had a problem booking their shows in North Carolina before the bill was signed into law, but suddenly they can no longer honor the commitments they made to fans.
There's also been talk of North Carolina losing TV show business. Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz is not only refusing to license his shows to North Carolina companies, but compared the law to apartheid. Looks like the NBA All-Star game will be staying, at least until someone applies enough heat.
It all reminds me of one of my favorite of many favorite quotes from the South Park guys:
People in the entertainment industry are by and large whore-chasing drug-addict fuck-ups, right? But they still believe they're better than the guy in Wyoming who really loves his wife and takes care of his kids and is a good, outstanding, wholesome person. Hollywood views regular people as children, and they think they're the smart ones who need to tell the idiots out there how to be.
I've been to North Carolina on several occasions and was struck by how genuinely down-to-earth and normal the people there are. Sad that the entertainment industry is painting every last one of them with a hateful brush and telling them how to live and run their state.
Then this gem popped up this morning: Transparent Crew Up in Arms Over Trans-Friendly Toilets.
"Transparent" is a forward-thinking show about transgender acceptance, but the kumbaya spirit stops at the bathroom door.
Sources connected with the production tell us, members of the crew are up in arms over the unisex bathroom on the set.
The beef is that men, women and transgenders can all enter as they please, making it uncomfortable for some of the crew. Women are particularly worried about walking in and seeing a dude peeing at the urinal.
Now this is interesting...we're told several crew members are too scared to complain, for fear they'll be labeled "transphobic", which would be the kiss of death on that set.
Oh, Hollywood. Can't even practice what they're preaching to the rest of us on a show dedicated to transgenderism. Get the popcorn. Can't wait to see the fallout on this one.
Update: Just remembered something else I wanted to include in this post. Recently, at the L.A. Times Festival of Books at the University of Southern California, I had the option of using what was described as an "all-gender" bathroom in one of the buildings where I had just attended a panel. The thought of being in a small, enclosed space with my pants down and the possibility of men I didn't know anything about just inches away did not appeal to me. I passed and opted for one of the numerous porta-potties brought in for the event. Gross, but I had four solid walls around me and didn't feel the least bit unsafe or vulnerable.