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Outrage over Transgender Day of Visibility at Easter

OPINION

Across the world conservative politicians and commentators are up in arms because Transgender Day of Visibility fell on Easter Sunday.

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US President Joe Biden issued an Easter message and also issued a separate message acknowledging that it was additionally Transgender Day of Visibility.

In almost synchronized outrage the campaign to reelect Donald Trump, other conservative US politicians and political pundits voiced their dismay.

How dare the President turn Easter Sunday into a celebration of transgender people, for it is the holiest of holy days!

Soon the message was trickling down, sports stars were angry, politicians are angry, columnists are angry, religious leaders are upset, and here in Australia – Sky News hosts began to declare their dismay with blustering huff and puff by the hour.

As the mumble grumble grew Trump headed to a political rally where he declared November 5th would be Christian Day of Visibility.

Now what he’s actually saying, is that he thinks on November 5th – the day of the 2024 US elections, Christian voters will turn out to vote for him. However, for a legion of Twitter users who don’t use their real names, this was taken as a declaration of a new US based Christian holiday.

US House Speaker Mike Johnson got fired up about the two celebrations days occurring on the same date and the President formally recognising both of them. 

He referenced a now retracted story in The Daily Caller that claimed the President had also banned religious themed Easter eggs at a White House event.

Reporters at The White House asked President Biden why he’d declared Easter Sunday was now Transgender Day of Visibility, and why he’d banned religious designs on eggs to be rolled across a lawn by small children.

“I didn’t do that.” President Biden responded.

The annual Egg Roll is organised by the USA’s National Egg Board. As anyone whose watched the fictional TV show The West Wing knows it should not be mixed up with the annual White House Easter egg hunt, which is a completely different event.

As a US government agency, The Egg Board must remain non-discriminatory and not show preference to any individual religious or political viewpoints. The annual egg roll had not had religious designs for decades.    

So, no – the President ‘didn’t do that’, and as Transgender Day of Visibility has been on the 31st of March since it was first created 15 years ago, he didn’t schedule it on Easter Sunday either. Easter is the event that moves around the calendar based on the moon cycles, Transgender Day of Visibility stays in the same spot.

Getting upset about Transgender Day of Visibility and Easter Sunday being on the same day is in vogue though, everyone’s getting in on it. Do facts really matter when you can be upset?

Liberal senator Gerard Rennick took to social media to join the outrage party. Rennick linked to an online article from an obscure website that uses Biden’s quote denying he’s banned religious designs on Easter eggs or coordinated the date that Transgender Day of Visibility falls on, and claimed it’s now a denial that he issued the proclamation in the first place.

There are growing calls for Australian youth to be taught media literacy, the skill to work out if the news your reading is from a reliable source. It really is very important. If you have kids check out Newshounds.

The article Senator Rennick links to is written by Tyler Durden. Now there may actually be a journalist who shares the same name as a character from the 1996 Chuck Palahniuk novel Fight Club who – spoilers- is actually completely imaginary. But probably not.

“This is not funny, it’s scary. It’s been obvious for a while but this latest episode confirms what we’ve suspected. The people pulling Biden’s strings are Marxists.” Senator Rennick wrote alongside his link to the article.

Colleague Senator Alex Antic also spoke out against the Biden Administration’s decision to recognise Transgender Day of Visibility. 

“I don’t know that anyone’s pulling the strings over there in the Biden Administration. It’s chaotic. I think it’s a worry for the rest of the world.” Senator Antic told The Rita Panahi Show.   

There are too many LGBTIQA+ days they complain 

As Sky News scheduled almost hourly updates on the growing debacle. Andrew Bolt chatted to Trump’s former Press Secretary Sean Spicer who said as a Catholic President Biden should have put more emphasis on Easter.

Spicer said the LGBTIQA+ community had too many days of recognition in the calendar, as where “Christ died once, and rose once.” Spicer claimed he’d read that the LGBTIQA+ community now has 60 days to celebrate across the year. 

My goodness 60 Days!

Bolt’s Sky News colleague Caleb Bond, James Mcpherson and Liz Storer picked up on the claim that there were too may LGBTIQA+ days of recognition in the calendar, citing a Fox News report that claims there are 3 months and 28 days that are formally celebrated by queer folk.

My goodness, 3 months and 28 days!

“You would think that they would maybe just allow Christians to have their one holy day of the year.” Macphearson said.

Now I’m not religious, and recognise Easter is the most holy of Christian days, but I’m pretty sure that Christianity has more than just one holy day during the year. There’s Christmas for starters.  

Liz Storer joined the conversation saying we were moving into “the end game” and suggested President Biden had deliberately recognised Transgender Day of Visibility to antagonise Christians. 

“There is no way this was not deliberate, and the fact that this man calls himself a devout Catholic – he’s an absolute liar. He’s about as Catholic as the current pope is – which isn’t very Catholic at all” Storer said. 

Giving the outrage an Australian flavour Caleb Bond said the outrage should also extend to Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong who had also mentioned Transgender Day of Visibility on social media. What Bond did not mention is that Penny Wong had also posted about Easter. 

Fellow Sky News host Chris Kenny picked up on this though and said while Penny Wong had posted about both Easter and Transgender Day of Visibility, her Easter post had not contained enough information the religious nature of the day.

Kenny analysed the wording of a post Wong made about the Muslim month of Ramadan and compared the two posts, noting that the politician had referred to Ramadan as being a “holy month” but had described Easter as a “long weekend”, while thanking those who had to work.

For Rita Panahi Penny Wong’s sin was much graver. She’d posted her Easter message on Easter Sunday. Couldn’t she have put it up on Good Friday? The Sky News identity devoted an entire column in The Daily Telegraph to the timing of the Foreign Minister’s social media posts.

The Australian got in on the act, US correspondent Adam Creighton said there had been an “explosion in bizarre sexuality-related ‘special days'” 

Creighton questioned if we needed all the celebrations around International Asexuality Day, International Day of Pink, Lesbian Visibility Day, International Lesbian Day, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia, Pansexuality and Panromantic Day. 

There’s International Drag Day, Non-Binary People Day, Sexual Health month, National Coming Out Day, Pride month in June, Genderfluid visibility week, Intersex Awareness. Not to mention LGBT History month too!

James Morrow, Sky News presenter and National Affairs editor at the Daily Telegraph has also shared his concern about there being too many LGBTIQA+ days of celebration.

Filling in on The Paul Murray Show on Sunday night mocked Transgender Day of Visibility and asked if there really needed to be weeks about LGBTIQA+ health and said by his count there was now a grand total 140 days being celebrated!

My goodness, 140 days.

Morrow said there was a plot underway to fill the entire yearly calendar with days focused on identity politics and create a new “woke religion” for people to follow.    

Later in the week Peta Credlin joined the chorus complaining about there being too many LGBTIQA+ days. Credlin said the entire calendar had now been captured by activists. 

“Gender activists have quite literally colonised the calendar” she proclaimed.

“While most of us have been distracted by just getting on with life radical activists have been doing their best to subvert our culture.” Credlin said. 

We’ll need to update our calendars

Let’s take a moment to point out the obvious. Many of the LGBTIQA+ days that people are up in arms about are US-based days.

Credlin, Creighton and Morrow are also going to have to add Midsumma, Mardi Gras, PrideFEST in Perth to their tallies. Let’s not tell them yet about Albany Pride, Kalgoorlie Pride, Broome Pride, or Port Hedland Pride, it might be too much.  

Is the US National Coming Out Day a thing in Australia? Not really. Neither is Spirit Day. I can’t recall Gender Fluid week being marked.

They also have LGBTQ National Health Week is the USA, we just missed it, it was from 18-22 March. We need to get ourselves one of those. Seriously people – get tested regularly.  

I feel bad for all my friends who are drag performers because International Drag Queen Day has slipped us by year after year. I’m making a note. It’s 16th July – thanks Peta, Adam and James for bringing it to our attention.        

I had absolutely no idea what Pink Day is. I had to google it. I was disappointed to discover it’s not a celebration of the pop star, but rather a day aims to reduce negative associations with colour. If you’ve ever heard of it or celebrated it, please do get in touch. It’s on 23rd June, as where Pink’s birthday is 8th September.  

The good news is there won’t be a clash between Transgender Day of Visibility and Easter Sunday again until 2086.   

But out of all this nonsense, let give a shout out to any political leader who can recognise that two things can occur at once. It can be Easter Sunday, Ramadan, and Transgender Day of Visibility at the same time.

Just imagine what the great thinkers of the world could achieve by mastering the skills of recognising plurality.  

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