MSNBC did a segment on the Minnesota State High School League’s consideration of a proposal that would allow transgender athletes to play on the sports team that matches their gender identity, and set the bar high on future segments covering trans-inclusive topics in the process.
When the policy was first proposed, it naturally caused right-wingers to lose their collective minds. In their black-and-white world, humans fit into neat categories with zero overlap: us and them, whites and blacks, citizens and thugs, and, for a different category, male and female. Anything that violates the Sanctified Binary is greeted with revulsion and hatred. As a result of their hate and bigotry, the proposal was tabled.
During the October 2 edition of MSNBC’s NewsNation with Tamron Hall, the guest host, Richard Lui, hosted the segment discussing the proposal. Sitting opposite of him were OutFront Minnesota Executive Director Monica Meyer and Zeam Porter, a transgender student athlete. During a public hearing about the proposal, Porter gave a very emotional and powerful speech, and when asked about the hearing, Porter described the difficulty of being exposed to misinformation about transgender students, which included a misleading and bigoted ad published in Minnesota’s Star Tribune:
PORTER: It was really hard to be in that space. I took away that there are a lot of people who purposely give misinformation and don’t value me as a human, much less as a student or as an athlete… Being in that space yesterday was really hard.
PORTER: Other trans students have come to me and said that “I feel scared to pick up a newspaper now because I’m scared of seeing harassment. I’m scared of seeing discrimination. It’s like I can’t escape it, not on the court, not in the classroom, not even reading a newspaper I can’t escape this discrimination. I can’t escape misinformation and lies told about me.” So it was really hard to hear that from other students because I’m not the only one going through this.
Standing in stark contrast with how MSNBC handled the segment is every other reputable and semi-reputable news network (and Fox, which is neither). Rather than give opponents a platform to sensationalize and fear monger over trans-inclusive restrooms, MSNBC allowed a transgender student directly impacted by the foolishness and bigotry talk about the kind of damage that this misinformation does to people.
We need more of this, and less of the Rethugican, right-wing bigotry.
You can watch the segment below: