Thursday’s moral panic stemmed from a poorly worded AP report and ended with conservatives punching trans people again

Image for post
Image for post
(Credit: JB Lacroix/Getty)

Another week, another viral thread panicking over another issue related to trans people. It’s become a sick pastime for some of Twitter’s most annoying assholes to flip their shit over some gender-related bullshit they’ve invented on their own.

This time, it was Mr. Potato Head, a literal plastic spud toy that’s been around for decades. An Associated Press wire story Thursday kicked off the ridiculousness, misleadingly claiming that Mr. Potato Head would be going “gender neutral” and be known going forward simply as “Potato Head.”

Of course, this was too much for many on the right and those in the…

Both Senate committees handling Neera Tanden’s confirmation postponed key votes and meetings Wednesday

Image for post
Image for post
Neera Tanden, nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget, testifies at her confirmation hearing. Photo: Leigh Vogel/Pool/Getty Images

I have one lasting memory of Neera Tanden’s campaign season tweets and it’s not a good one, unfortunately. A Twitter mutual of mine, a young person with some political experience, lightly mocked Tanden in a reply on the social media platform. In return, Tanden, who runs perhaps the largest progressive policy firm in the U.S., tagged the young person’s employer, at the time a progressive Senate campaign, in a reply.

The message was clear: Tanden didn’t think this young person should be working on a Senate campaign because they made a joke at her expense.

Is this something that happens…

The ultra-viral story is an outright fabrication made by the institutionally transphobic British press. It worked.

Image for post
Image for post
(Credit: JGI/Tom Grill)

A story originating from the Times of London claims that a UK hospital, the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, has banned the use of words like “breastfeeding,” instead using gender-neutral terms like “chest feeding.” Additionally, the Times reports the hospital has allegedly banned the use of gendered terms throughout its maternity ward.

The story quickly went viral, hitting the American conservative press. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted his own outrage. A wave of transphobia poured over social media, even among some liberals who thought the hospital “went too far” in supporting trans people.

But the story is a…

A major political party decided they’re done with democracy. We can’t forgive and move on.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Just two days after Republican insurrectionists took over the U.S. Capitol and numerous state capitols, and 147 Republican members of Congress voted against the official Electoral College vote certification shortly afterward, those same lawmakers are now begging the country to forgive and forget.

Respectfully, fuck that.

Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-SC, a stalwart ally of insurrectionist president Donald Trump, insisted on Friday morning that impeaching Trump now, with just two weeks left in his term, would only sow further division. (This comes from the same man who was caught on tape in mid-November asking the Georgia secretary of state to overturn…

With Democrats looking likely to sweep the Georgia Senate races, basic LGBTQ human rights may finally be in reach

Image for post
Image for post
Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

With Senator-elect Raphael Warnock’s victory and Jon Ossoff running ahead in the vote count in Tuesday’s Georgia’s Senate runoffs, it’s looking likely the Democrats will win back control of the upper chamber for the first time since 2010.

With Democrats in control of the House, Senate, and the White House, the stage is set for a laundry list of center-left legislation to be passed and signed into law, including environmental protections, gun control, and buffs to the Affordable Care Act, legislation that has been roundly ignored by soon-to-be Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for the last decade.

Among the first…

Every year seems worse and worse and I have a feeling this will just keep happening until we all die.

Image for post
Image for post
Credit: stockvault

Goodbye 2020, and fuck you.

The year of our lord 2020 was, by every measurable metric except growth in the number and wealth of American billionaires, the worst year of my life.

This was the year of a major political party dismissing the corruption of an impeached American president, and a year in which people followed primary electoral candidates like sports fan, and a general election that wasn’t close but half the population has to pretend it was close to satisfy the whims of a giant, entitled manbaby.

This was the year of a once-a-century global pandemic that made wealthy…

The latest gender critical panic is not attached to reality.

Image for post
Image for post
Screen cap from The Spectator taken on 12/28/2020

On Monday morning, noted Substack blogger Andrew Sullivan claimed in British right wing publication The Spectator that lesbians are “going extinct,” bemoaning the alleged loss of lesbians he thinks should take care of him when he gets old or becomes infirm or sick.

It’s a frequent hobbyhorse for The Spectator, which seems to publish this exact argument on a once-quarterly basis. Most recently Andrew Sullivan wannabe Chadwick Moore claimed in the publication that actor Elliot Page’s coming out as trans was a loss for American lesbians in early December. Moore wrote essentially the same piece earlier this year in January.

Tis the season for picking which corporation will profit from my health

Image for post
Image for post
Credit: Thomas Barwick

This week it’s time for me to once again sign up for health insurance for next year through the Affordable Care Act. The process easily ranks high on my list of least favorite things to do every year. It’s a soul-sucking experience, deciding which corporation is going to profit from whether or not I get sick or injured in 2021.

The plans are all expensive, ranging from $200 to $500 a month just for me personally, and laughable deductibles larger than my savings account balance and credit card available balances combined. …

Trump could make a play to become “president-in-exile,” and the media will likely eat it up.

Image for post
Image for post
Getty images

We know for a fact President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 election, but I don’t think Donald Trump is going anywhere.

Over the last two weeks and change, the Trump has refused to acknowledge that he lost the election, instead stoking conspiracy theories and latching onto half-baked legal challenges in a desperate attempt to maintain legitimacy.

With his party and many key government officials marching in virtual lockstep behind him, what the president is attempting to do could have rightfully been called a coup.

But late Monday, the General Services Administration declared Biden as the official winner and signed off…

Down-ballot Democrats raised millions, far outpacing their opponents. They didn’t make an argument.

Image for post
Image for post
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer. Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden ended up winning a closer-than-the-polls-showed election, but down-ballot Democrats across the country weren’t so lucky. Democratic candidates failed to take a clean majority in the Senate; they now need to sweep the two Georgia run-off elections set for this January. In the House, Democrats lost much of their majority, which they had expected to expand earlier this year.

The finger-pointing started almost immediately, with establishment Democrats blaming the party’s left-wing for losses within their own ranks, saying that activist slogans like “defund the police,” or policies like the Green New Deal were an anchor around the necks…

Katelyn Burns

Political journalist. The first openly trans Capitol Hill reporter in US history. Writing about more than just trans issues. Follow her on Twitter @transscribe

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store