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6 May 2011, 12:00 pm No Comments

The Adventures of the Boi Wonder: Maryland, You’re Hard to Love

This post was submitted by Levi

Be thankful I didn't go with my idea to post a picture of Spiro Agnew

“Built a nation dedicated to liberty,
Justice, and equality
Does it look that way to you? It doesn’t look that way to me
It’s the sickest joke I know”

–“’Merican” by the Descendants

I have lived in Maryland for most of my life; I go to college in this state and am registered to vote here. Admittedly, I have a kind of hate/tolerate/kind-of-like relationship with the state, but it seems like anytime I find something semi-decent or cool here, something arises to remind me why I have spent most of my time here despising it.

There are some nice and even awesome things about Maryland.  We have an interesting history, the liberal powerhouse known as Senator Barbara Mikulski, John Waters and his films (all of them set in the Baltimore area), seafood markets, and some rather good colleges.  Plus, some really cool people came from Maryland, such as Thurgood Marshall, Paul Reed Smith (he stopped by my high school once), Edgar Allan Poe (which Baltimore loves to bank on), and Kweisi Mfume.  Unfortunately, there are many lousy things about Maryland, like the batshit crazy weather, an undeniable Catholic influence, and the people who are STILL mad at Abe Lincoln for not letting Maryland possibly become a Confederate state. I would also like to apologize on behalf of the state for foisting Spiro Agnew, Michael Steele, and Good Charlotte into the national spotlight, but one of the lousiest things about Maryland lately had been the treatment of its GLBTQ citizens, such as myself.

As some of you who live around here know, the Maryland State Assembly pretty much killed the bills on Equal Marriage and Gender Identity Rights. Tactics got really ugly on the Equal Marriage Bill; hate literature was being passed around to delegates and sometimes FROM delegates:

The committee also considered a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as only between a man and a woman. It is sponsored by Anne Arundel County Republican Delegate Don Dwyer.

Dwyer has sent out mailings urging constituents of lawmakers who support same sex marriage to call their representative and get them to change their mind.

Collins reports the mailings include samples of school curriculum that Dwyer feels will be taught in schools if same sex marriage is legalized.

One lawmaker who received the mailings told Collins the mailings were “graphic.”

(I must say that, unfortunately, Delegate Dwyer is one of the delegates from my county, which is quite conservative).

With the Transgender Anti-discrimination Bill, it was the fact that it came on the heels of the failed marriage bill, and the fact that it was so flawed that the Maryland trans community was extremely divided on the bill itself.

I wish I could stop and say that it is only the political treatment of LGBTQ Marylanders that makes me hang my head in shame. The violence against Maryland’s LGBTQ community is deplorable and the track record with finding and prosecuting those who murder trans people is bleak, to say the least. In a previous piece, I wrote about the murder of Tyra Trent, a Baltimore trans woman. Even more recently, another crime against a trans person in the Baltimore area has been committed. A trans woman was horrifically beaten by an 18-year-old and a 14-year-old in a Baltimore-area McDonald’s for trying to use the restroom. An employee filmed the event and put it up in the Internet. Both were appalling and sickening events that happened not only in my state, but not all that far away from where I am currently typing this piece, which, as a Maryland trans person, only increases my fears and feelings of discomfort.

Maryland, could you for once try to surprise me in a good way rather than make me feel ashamed?


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