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Mike Huckabee Wished He Were Trans in High School

I’ll be honest: there’s no way I can get through Mike Huckabee’s 25-minute speech from the 2015 National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, Tennessee without wanting to cry for America. So instead I’ll remain in my blissful “Love Wins” state following the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding marriage laws, and pretend, for the moment, that Huckabee doesn’t exist. However, there is one key quote from his speech that I want to address.

It really “chaps my hide” when I see people make jokes about wanting to become part of a marginalized group in order to receive the “benefits” that said group is privy to. I find people in the LGBTQ community extremely brave, because I know coming out involves putting up with a great deal of bigotry, prejudice, and even danger. Huckabee said at the convention:

“I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE. I’m pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, ‘Coach, I think I’d rather shower with the girls today.”

After reading that quote, I decided to do some research to find out what Huckabee would experience along with the “privilege” of showering with women as an undercover male (since he isn’t in fact transgender). Here’s what I found, through the Office of Justice Programs based in Washington, DC.:

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1. Transgender youth have a 12% chance of being sexually assaulted at school, which includes both teen and adult perpetrators.

2. Transgender women made up 50% of the LGBTQ community who died in violent hate crimes. (17% for transgender individuals in general.) The deaths were often preceded by sexual assault or genital mutilation.

3. “50 percent of transgender people surveyed had been hit by a primary partner after coming out as transgender.”

Shannon Luders-Manuel

Shannon Luders-Manuel

Shannon Luders-Manuel is a freelance writer and editor living in Los Angeles.

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