Really, I’m not. But sometimes… well, sometimes… sigh.
I write for the Gabber, a Gulfport-based indie weekly, among other publications. Gulfport, a teeny-tiny town on the tip of Pinellas County, passed a human rights ordinance last year, making them the first municpality in the county to do so. It protects, among other things, gays, lesbians, transsexual, and transgendered persons from discrimination. It is a liberal, welcoming community, by most people’s standards. It is, I like to think, the only place on the west coast of Florida where all the gay people are out of the closet and the fundamental Christians are in. So I get exposed to things that people in, say, Safety Harbor probably do not.
This weekend, Steve Stanton, city manager for Largo (also in Pinellas County), lost his job because he revealed to the media that he would soon “undergo gender reassignment surgery” (that from the TImes). And people in Gulfport have taken up arms. Not all, but many.
People showed up in pink shirts. They protested. They called Largo unfair, bigoted, whatever.
But any time the Daily Show shows up with a crew, you know you’re about to see a mockery in the making. Usually rightly so. I just wonder which way they’re going to go.
Cause here’s the thing. Penis, vagina, breasts, man-nipples, I really, really, REALLY don’t care. But…
But this guy told his coworkers and the papers before he told his 13 year old son.
I’m not judging him for wanting to be a woman. I think he’s probably a screwed up guy, but so are MOST career public administrators. What I’m juging him for is simply this:
I put myself in his son’s place. Going to school with all of 12 hours knowledge that your dad’s gonna be a chick soon and, hey, guess what, life as you know it has just been totally, irrevocably, painfully altered. Life isn’t fair, I believe that, but at 13, your parents should still be on your side. (Pissing them off doesn’t come until your 30s, I’ve found).
As one Gulfport bureaucrat told me (off the record, of course…), Stanton gave up his right to change his gender when he had a kid. And I agree. ESPECIALLY when you’re a public figure.
Stanton should lose his job because his priorities are so fucked up? Maybe. Maybe not. But that’s hard for me, picturing his kid at school. And the kid knows now that both his parents knew and didn’t tell him until they absolutely had to.
But, yeah, let him continue to run the city. Sure, why not, since he’s exercised such good judgment up until now.