9/19 “The Transgender Issue”; House Progressives Update w/ Shon Faye & Rep. Ilhan Omar

September 19, 2022

Sam and Emma host writer Shon Faye to discuss her recent book The Transgender Issue: Trans Justice Is Justice For All. Then, Sam and Emma are joined by Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District to discuss President Biden’s recent student loan debt forgiveness plan, as well as many of the other crazy goings-on on Capitol Hill. Emma and Sam first run through updates on Hurricane Fiona’s devastation of Puerto Rico’s electric grid, confirmation that DHS agents falsified information for DeSantis’ human trafficking stunt, where the “Independent State Legislature” theory really comes from, and Donald Trump’s invocation of a Q-Anon anthem, coming with full salutes from the audience. Shon Faye then joins as she gets right into why she chose to take on the discourse trojan horse of the “Trans Issue,” walking through how it abstracts the complex role of being a minority in society in favor of the anxiety that their existence supposedly promotes, and looking at how its role in the UK, contrary to the US’ Christian-nationalist lead fight, was fronted by coalescence of conservative transphobia and liberal “respectability” claims of paternalist protection of women and children, with these reactionary ideologies coming together to campaign against even the most gentle of pro-trans legislation. Next, Faye walks through the belief that guides her book; why the liberation of trans people would benefit everyone in society – exploring the institutional paths through which trans people are materially oppressed, and how tackling poor housing, medical inequality, and discrimination would benefit classes and social groups well beyond the LGBTQ+ community. She, Sam, and Emma, then parse through the specifics of trans oppression in the “west,” carefully taking on how trans people are pushed out of legitimate occupations and into black-market economies, erased from community-oriented spaces by state-backed legislation, used as complications in the prison industry despite the violence they face in mass incarceration, and constantly pathologized when attempting to secure potentially life-saving medical procedures. Wrapping up, they tackle the growing role of “children” in transphobic and homophobic discourse, why kids face much bigger risks in being exposed to bigotry than “being queer,” and the absurdity of “trans-ing” as a concept. Then, Ilhan Omar joins as she gives some behind-the-scenes insight and progressive foresight on various topics from Biden’s student debt relief, an upcoming vote on marriage equality, the potential of a government shutdown in the wake of the upcoming continuing resolution, the future of Democratic and progressive leadership and intra-party dealmaking, and more!

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma talk with John from San Antonio as we head into our last 50 days before the midterms, Ro Khanna goes on Counterpoints, and JR Majewski celebrates Predator Trump. Ted Cruz and Sean Hannity discuss Ron DeSantis’ “human trafficking,” and Bill Maher gets pissy with people for judging humanity’s past (lest we forget, we’ve all stolen gum, eaten dirt, and did a triangle slave trade), plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Shon’s book here: https://www.versobooks.com/books/4061-the-transgender-issue

Follow Rep. Omar on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ilhanmn

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