Bus Lives Matter

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2017/03/31/bus-lives-matter/

Yesterday Boston played host to an onslaught of hatred, intolerance, and ignorance. And no, it did not come spewing forth from the “bigoted” “anti-trans” van that came visiting.

It started when the Free Speech Bus, sponsored by CitizenGO, the National Organization for Marriage, and the International Organization for the Family rolled into Boston on Thursday morning, parking near City Hall.

The side of the bus said:

“It’s Biology: Boys are boys… and always will be.

Girls are girls…and always will be.

You can’t change sex. Respect all”

Where there’s a controversial message, and especially one with conservative overtones in Boston, the protesters will follow. This is the way an engaged populace functions. It’s beautiful and poetic. It’s what our founding fathers wanted.

Of course, it’s better when the engaged populace is at least civil. But the protesters who came out to play yesterday had clearly missed that part. There they were, ready and waiting to greet the bus, and its occupants, with jeers, chants, and in one case, a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee hurled at the windshield.

Marty Walsh, ever the defender of identity politics — though maybe not of civil discourse — hung a banner from City Hall declaring that Trans Lives Matter.

“[It’s] important for us to, every now and then send a message to let people know we will not be intimidated by discrimination or harassment,” he gallantly assured the gathered audience.

Meanwhile, the crowd attempted to block the vehicle, whose message they disagreed with, from moving. Then one protester began a chant of “Down With Cis.”

“Cis” is short for cisgender, the term that the LGBTQIA (and any other letters they will undoubtedly add at some point) community uses for people whose gender expression matches up with their reproductive organs.

So. You don’t buy into the notion that you are a girl trapped in a boy’s body, or vice versa? You feel that maybe God, or the universe, or whatever higher power you believe in maybe got it right the first time around when you were born? Well then down with you.

I wouldn’t hold your breath, though, on Marty Walsh stepping in to help. He’s busy defending the people screaming for your demise.

The bus eventually made its way over to Harvard Square, parking at Cambridge Common. Joe Grabowski, a spokesman for the National Organization for Marriage, descended into the crowd to speak with protesters and reporters. As soon as he did so he was surrounded by a mob of shrieking, rainbow-clad protesters from nearby high schools and universities

One protester pushed up against Grabowski, holding his middle finger against his face while Grabowski attempted to answer a reporter’s questions. At one point he asked the young man to move his hand. The young man refused, though he later found new ways to occupy himself by keying the bus.

(Photo by Kelly Thomas)

“Let’s get this motherf****** out of Cambridge” screamed a young man as one of the crowd behind him scrawled “HATE SPEECH” over the van’s message.

For those who maybe forgot, a brief reminder:  The van’s final message was “respect all.”

“I deserve to feel safe in my own G*dd*** city” yelled a teenage girl — who identified herself as a boy — as one of her friends hurled a rock at the bus.

Passersby and nearby drivers joined in the melee, honking and yelling profanities out their window at the bus and at Grabowski. Several protesters began mocking Grabowski’s attire.

“We all know homophobes have bad taste” called out a man who had stopped to join in the heckling. The crowd went wild with that one.

“Pseudoscience kills trans kids” read one woman’s flyer, a jab at the van’s use of the word “biology.” Perhaps she should mention that as well to the College of American Pediatricians which referred to the push for transgenderism in children as “child abuse.”

Two women stood with the protesters, one with a small child on her shoulders. They discussed the absurdity of parental outrage at having gender identity and sexual orientation taught in schools.

“It’s like, no one is stopping you from teaching your child to hate. But now at least they have a shot at being a decent person,” one of the women said. The other nodded in agreement.

Behind them, one of those decent people smashed the taillights of the bus, while another told Grabowksi to “get the f***out of Cambridge.”

I suppose the Free Speech Bus people should be grateful, at least by degrees, for their reception here.  In New York City the bus was rendered un-drivable by vandals, and the driver was assaulted, receiving minor injuries.

Behold, our “engaged” populace. There is nothing civil about it. Indeed it is merely vulgarity and intolerance cloaked in language of feelings, identity, and tolerance. Are you a guy but want to wear makeup, paint your nails, and call yourself a woman? Go for it.

Or maybe you are attracted to “the person not their parts” so you sleep with men and women. That’s freedom, man (or woman … or non-identifying)!

Perhaps you are of a more traditional mindset — let’s not even say religious — and you think that gender is not a social construct. That boys should grow up to be men and girls should grow up to be women.

Get out. That’s hate speech.

Kelly Thomas received her B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and her M.A. in Terrorism, Security and Society from the War Studies Department at King’s College London, exploring the intersection of religious expression in the public square and the fight against terrorism. Read her past articles here.