Sandy Clarissa Gast, a 48-year-old transsexual, has been busted by the authorities of Leavenworth County, Kansas, for the horrific crime of filing for a marriage license. The official charges are described as “providing false information on an official document” — i.e., describing her gender as “female,” because despite the fact that she’s legally changed her name and that her driver’s license says “female,” the State of Kansas is firm on the matter of gender: once you’re born, you’re that gender for life, no matter your own feelings about it, no matter what your other legal documents say, and no matter how much surgery you go through.
While there are legitimate philosophical ambiguities about gender, the overreaction of the County officials is just bizarre on a Kafka-esque level. Where they could have just shrugged and handed the application back to her, they decided instead to come down HARD on her ass, releasing her only after she posted a $2,500 bond and now faces a $500 fine.
Strangely, this kind of hysteria only encourages my optimism, rather than diminishing it. When the ‘phobes are this crazed with fear and panic, it can only mean that they know how badly they’re losing.