Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX) derided the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) because of its protections for LGBT women and specifically, for transgender women. What Rep. Stockman apparently doesn’t understand is how a transgender woman is a woman. He said:
“This is truly a bad bill. This is helping the liberals, this is horrible. Unbelievable. What really bothers — it’s called a women’s act, but then they have men dressed up as women, they count that. Change-gender, or whatever. How is that — how is that a woman?”
Transgender people are people who are born as one gender, in the body of another. The word “another” is intended to show that it’s more complex than male and female gender assignments and identities; a trans person may not be either male or female, they may be both, or they may be something outside of the traditional “male and female” genders. To be specific regarding Stockman’s comments and VAWA, trans women are women living in men’s bodies, not “men dressed up as women.” Perhaps he should learn how this works, and actually meet some trans people, and maybe even get to know them. Right now, he identifies people as their assigned sex, and his comment implies that trans people are merely cross-dressers, so trans women are really men who don’t fall under the protections of VAWA.