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The Autumn of Pete's discontent

by Jeremy Hooper

You might remember when, a week before this writer's wedding, longtime 'mo foe Peter LaBarbera sent an email message with the sole purpose of condemning my then-impending nuptials. It wasn't related to any particular political matter or bit of activism that Pete was working on at the time. It wasn't a response to something I had written. It was simply an unsolicited personal attack on my character.

Well fast forward to August. Pete is working in cahoots with his brother-in-bashing Matt Barber to convince the American public that President Obama's "socialized medicine" plan will subsidize sexual reassignment surgery, and of course to decry the same. But what's really startling about Pete's lil' write-up is how he's chosen to illustrate the subject:

Picture 2-267
Taxpayer-Funded Tranny-Care? ObamaCare Could Mandate Free ‘Sex-Change’ Surgeries [AFTAH]

That picture is of Autumn Sandeen, fantastic activist and writer for Pam's House Blend. It's a perfectly lovely pic. It's unlikely that Autumn will be upset about being used as a public "example." But here's the thing: Neither Matt's piece nor Pete's setup is about Autumn. Not even a little bit. Autumn hasn't written anything to put herself under this particular microscope. Autumn isn't the president of any organization involved with healthcare. Autumn is simply transgender, which, in the eyes of those who are hellbent on decrying "tranny care," is the sole criteria for earning illustrative ire. It is nothing more than her everyday existence that has earned her this prominent placement on Pete's site.

Sure, those of us who engage in this so-called "culture war" have willingly put ourselves out there, and are fair game as far as that goes. But it's one thing to use a photo to highlight a specific response to a particular person, or to create some sort of clever parody graphic. But this is not what Pete is doing here. Pete is using Autumn as "Interchangeable Transgender Person #21," with his obvious intent being to enrage his readers with the mere idea that transgender human beings walk this world. This is not a Christian response to message: It is a targeted hit on an individual.

To use the "pro-family" community's messaging: This is a "stigmatize the 'sinner,' hate the 'sin'" approach to evangelism. And it only further demonstrates how, at the end of the day, our choice to simply get up and breathe every day in our true sexual orientations and gender identities is more than enough to enrage our militant opponents!

**UPDATE: On a mostly related note: Matt Barber is desperately trying to make his "Obama Tranny Care" meme (the point of Pete's post) happen. Listen to his recent anti-Obama, anti-LGBT, anti-Maddow appearance with CWA.

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Your thoughts

Funny how the unbiased, honest people who are just doing GOD's work go out of their way to lie and demonize the democrats, its almost like they dont really give half a shit about the bible and are just GOP stooges riliong up bigot voters...
PS: I WISH Obama would pay for my sex change.

Posted by: penguinsaur | Aug 5, 2009 11:29:29 AM

I'm shocked.



Posted by: Timothy (TRiG) | Aug 5, 2009 12:40:50 PM

It is so outrageous that he attacks a perfectly nice person just because they happen to be trans. Pete has some serious issues, and God will judge him one day.

Posted by: queerunity | Aug 5, 2009 12:51:52 PM

Just curious, I know it was your policy not to link and provide hits to the haters, but recently you have been providing the links. Any reason for the change in direction?

Posted by: queerunity | Aug 5, 2009 12:52:35 PM

No, I've always linked to the source material. I think it's the only fair way to do it. I loathe when they talk about what we supposedly said but don't send their readers to our sites to see for themselves.

The only group to whom I refuse to link is Westboro Baptist (for obvious reasons). I do, however, use a "no follow" tag in all of the other anti-gay links so that these groups won't get Google juice from my link.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Aug 5, 2009 1:07:23 PM

You would think that these guys would be a little bit hesitant to decry payments from health insurance carriers, since an enormous bulk of health related expenditures are strictly related to true lifestyle choices. Many of which are probably disproportionately exaggerated in their own circles. Like heart disease, adult onset diabetes, clogged arteries causing strokes (among other things), cancers related to smoking (how many Catholic priests do you know with multi-pack a day habits), prostate cancers caused by not getting enough bootay. The list goes on and on. And, how many of those maladies are these two suffering from themselves.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Aug 5, 2009 4:44:50 PM

JH, I hope that you are always attempting to include enough of the keywords or searchable phrases in your writing, so that if any of the hordes are searching for corroborating evidence, they will be able to locate your piece.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Aug 5, 2009 4:56:30 PM

Autumn served in the military for twenty years. She served honorably and distinctly. And works for Veteran's Affairs at this time.
Has Peter LaB done military service?
Matt Barber?

I think any service member who did such a duty to their country, DESERVES free health care.
So, Pete...STFU after you have thanked her for her service in protecting YOUR rights you obviously are too spoiled to appreciate!!

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Aug 5, 2009 6:11:50 PM

Have you ever noticed that the people who whine loudest about peoples' "lifestyle choices" being supported by public opinion/the government/etc. are the ones who demand our tax dollars be funneled to their churches, their Viagra, their children, etc?

Posted by: Buffy | Aug 5, 2009 7:33:48 PM

Maybe it's because I'm one of those freaks and losers from Soviet Canuckistan, but that post makes me SICK. I don't even care what you think about health care, transgender issues, or anything else - Autumn Sandeen is a PERSON. Just like every other transgender person. Just like every other person.

You'd think that for a movement that trumpets "faith" so much (or rather, their own particular, sometimes virulent brand of faith - I'm sick of the religious right's appropriation of the term, as if they had a monopoly on it), they would stop and consider... these are CHILDREN OF GOD that they are smearing and using as crude scare tactics in their political campaigns. Would they not agree that everyone is made in the image of God? Why then do they think that it's acceptable to use this kind of language and these tactics?

Nobody deserves to be dehumanised like that. 'Cause to me, that's what that post looks like it's doing.

Posted by: Sanjo in Canada | Aug 7, 2009 12:30:46 AM

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