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A Word From the Editor, Transgender Tapestry No. 102 (2003)

A Word From the Editor, Transgender Tapestry No. 102 (2003)

©2003, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Denny, Dallas. (2003,  Fall). A word from the editor: Constitutional rights. Transgender Tapestry, 103, p. 6.






A Word from the Editor


When I was (to be historically accurate) a young man, older and supposedly wiser heads told me my political views would change with age. I told them they wouldn’t.

Now that I’m of an age at which it’s customary to look forward to retirement, I find my views remain unchanged. That magical moment at which I was supposed to become a Republican has come and gone.

That’s not to say I’m a Democrat, or that this little chat we’re having, although of a political nature, will be about politics in the partisan sense of the word. I’m here to talk about issues which have concerned me all my life, namely the rights to free speech and assembly, and a liberty that isn’t mentioned in the Bill of Rights but should be and doubtless would have been if the Founding Fathers had foreseen the Information Age— the right to privacy.

To me, the essence of America, the very core of being American, and by the way, part of the second sentence in the Declaration of Independence, is the right to the pursuit of happiness. So long as one’s actions don’t harm others, I see no reason to limit them, no matter how much I might object to them. For this reason I support the rights to produce and consume pornography, even though pornography has never interested me; the right to deface or destroy the U.S. flag, even though I’m morally outraged by such actions; and the right to say whatever offensive or outrageous thing one wishes— ok, I’ll admit I’m guilty of this one.

Why do I support the right of other Americans to do things I consider debased, wicked, or sinful? Because others right here in River City consider the things I do, the very person I am, reprehensible and invalid and would, if they could, wipe me from the face of the planet. They would like nothing better than government sanction or even better, a transgender hunting season.

In this post-9/11 era, our federal government, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, has passed draconian laws that allow Federal snoops access to every aspect of our lives—what we say, what we do, where we go, what we read, what we buy. The government is merrily building the technological framework that will make this intrusion inexpensive, efficient, and deadly.

If we, liberal and conservative alike, don’t fight for our freedoms, there will come a day when we will no longer have them. And when these rights of free speech, assembly, and privacy are taken from us, most assuredly we will find we have also lost the right to freely express our gender identities.