Words have power. Banned words have consequences.

bannedI have tried for the past 24 hours — and failed — to put my swirling thoughts into words for a blog post. I’m trying again now because my mind can’t rest until I get this out there.

It’s the 21st century. What kind of country are we living in where top public health experts can be banned from using words in official documents?

More specifically, what kind of country are we living in where words that define HUMAN BEINGS can be banned?

Beginning with “fetus,” the very definition of life. This new list of banned words would have us do away with this term as though it were dirty or dangerous. If anyone cared, they’d realize it was science-based. Oh, wait…

And moving on to include “diversity,” “vulnerable,” and the one that hit me hardest: “transgender.”

So we should no longer use the word “transgender.” We should pretend as though it doesn’t exist. As though it has no worth, value, or meaning.

It was bad enough when government websites removed information relating to the LGBT community when someone (I’m banning his name) took office. Now the very term is banned?

What does this mean? Are those who are trans suddenly invisible? You ban the word and, POOF!, they cease to exist?

Reading the list of banned words for the first time, I started off appalled, then shocked. Today, I am beyond outraged. My emotions regarding this “list” are all over the place. I’m sickened, saddened, and heartbroken that in the greatest country in the world — supposedly based on the principle of free speech — we have a list of words that are verboten. That the list includes words that describe very real, very human, people I know and care about is beyond my comprehension.

The vice president of Planned Parenthood called the list “reckless” and “unimaginably dangerous.”

You must be able to acknowledge the humanity of transgender people in order to address their health care needs. You cannot erase health inequities of people of color simply by forbidding the use of the words “vulnerable” or “diversity.” — Dana Singiser

I’m still sorting this all out (as you can tell), but in the meantime, I want to leave you with something I read on Facebook that was beautifully written. I don’t know the author, Elena Sands, but I hope she won’t mind me including it here. It was so apt.

The evidence- and science-based facts are that you are wrong. Free speech is our entitlement and diversity is our strength. You will not oppress my transgender family without consequences. You are so desperate to save a fetus against a woman’s wishes, yet fail miserably to help needy children once they’re born. The only vulnerable thing here is your propaganda. You cannot silence us.

We are worthy. Every one of us. Our diversity makes us stronger, and that includes the transgender community, those who are LGBT, and those who are marginalized in any way.

We are all vulnerable right now. God help us.

One thought on “Words have power. Banned words have consequences.

  1. Yuck. I can’t even acknowledge this happened. I’m sorry your country as taken this route. I hope for all our takes this revival of nationalism and conservationism is the last spasm of a dying demographic. Though a look around suggests not.

    Like

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