I usually stay technical in this block, but in light of the recent uptick in hate and violence I offer the following lived perspective.
Werewolves are, as you most likely know, folk lore creatures who are human most of the time, but transition to a human/wolf hybrid during the full moon. They are an integral part of the “witch-hunt” phenomenon, where people who live amongst us can suddenly turn into something evil. Once in their wolf state, they can turn you into a werewolf (one of them) with nothing more than a scratch. They are the boogie man before the boogie man was named.
We have seen werewolves before. McCarthyism is the practice of making false or unfounded accusations of being an anarchist, communist, or socialist. For years in the late 1940’s and through the 1960s “the reds” were the werewolves of the day. Merely being accused of being a sympathizer could get you ostracized and ruined. The fear in this country was of the hidden communist, living amongst us, waiting to turn your children. It was a political tactic that was used to profound effect to gain political power through fear that they would destroy your society.
Nazis are the best-known werewolves. How often do you hear both sides of the political spectrum call the other Nazis or fascists when they disagree? After WWII, Nazis escaped Germany and fled overseas. There they hid, or in some cases were willfully integrated into other countries. Ever since there is this collective fear that these banished Nazis are secretly plotting and will emerge once they have consolidated their power and again destroy your society.
Other notable werewolves of history could include witches, suffragettes, free African Americans, Muslims, or anyone of a different religion than the mainstream. They were all accused of trying to destroy your society. And they didn’t. Inclusion has only strengthened America and is the reason we were seen as a beacon of democracy and freedom throughout the world.
The current species in vogue is the Lavender werewolf. The Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, and Queer werewolves. These werewolves live amongst you. They learn, worship, work, and exist with you and most of the time you don’t even know it. They are in the shadows, waiting for the full moon when they can turn you or devour your children. Political pundits and talking heads have collectively chosen the new werewolf for our society. LGBT werewolves are their new communists, Nazi, or other dangerous “others”. They are the people, who you don’t understand, who are seen as “them” and are seen as dangerous to normal society.
I am an Officer in the United States Navy, a combat veteran, a United States Naval Jet Test Pilot, and the recipient of multiple national awards for my aviation exploits and the sacrifices I have made for the country you and I both love. I am also currently your scape goat, your werewolf, for irrational fears. As a bi transgender woman, I am the latest in a lengthy list of “others” that you are using to gain and hold onto power.
Every movement, every werewolf the fearful have created, has been nothing more than a shadow in the dark, a boogie man in your closet, the monster under your bed. Your hate, you’re making me into something I am not, your lack of empathy for other human beings is killing us. The violence you see is the violence you have reaped. The blood of every suicide, of every shooting, of every death of an LGBT person is on the hands of the mouth pieces of hate and their co-conspirators who do nothing to stop the flow by remaining silent.
So how do we combat these werewolves? Take a step back and a deep breath. Show some real spine and face your fears. Have a cup of coffee with us. Get to know a LGBTQ+ person. History has shown that a little bit of empathy can turn on the light and remove the shadows that scare you.
I promise we do not bite.