Words Have Meanings
Words Like "Genocide" Can't Mean Whatever You Want Them to Mean
A group in Washington this weekend will be marching for the rights of transgender people.
The group Our Rights DC is organizing an event to “March to end trans genocide and show PRIDE!”
Now, nobody cares if folks want to march to protect their rights. But the issue that I take is the use of the word “genocide”.
There is an internationally accepted definition of the word “genocide.” According to Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Genocide is defined as:
... any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Transgender folks are not part of a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group. However, they are individuals born male who decide they are female or born female and decide they are male.1
Has there, historically, been violence against the LGBTQ communities? Yes, everybody acknowledges that. The most systematically genocidal violence against the LGBTQ community was tied in with other genocidal states, like Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Cuba, Cambodia, etc.
But to call anything that is going on today as “Transgender Genocide” is an absurd abuse of the English Language that is a complete and total insult to those religious and ethnic groups that have or are continuing to suffer from genocides.
Up to 500,000 have died in the Darfur Genocide since 1993. Up to 43,000 people have died in the Rohinga Genocide since 2017. The Uyghur Genocide is ongoing in China, with up to 1,000,000 victims. And that doesn’t even get into the victims of Nazi Germany (13 million or more deaths), the Soviet Union (7.5 million or more deaths), Bangladesh (3 million or more deaths) and Cambodia (3 million or more deaths).
(Also a reminder that over 65,000,000 babies have been legally killed by abortion in this country since 1973)
How many transgender individuals have been murdered across the United States in 2022? Thirty. Not in an organized fashion. Not as some sort of systemic violence against transgender individuals. Even the Human Rights Campaign makes it seem like the individuals’ transgender status was irrelevant to their murders.
Obviously, thirty murders are thirty murders too many. But to suggest that this is a systemic effort to destroy transgender individuals as a group is an absurd assumption. You cannot just use words like “genocide” to mean whatever you want it to mean to score attention.
If these groups want to protest violence against the transgender community, God bless them. There should be less violence against the transgender community and all communities. But to call it genocide is an extremely hyperbolic overstatement of the facts and one that damages the credibility of the arguments they are attempting to make.
Arguably, the insistence on allowing “transgender” children to undergo hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgery itself meets two of the five qualifications of genocide (Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group)