In the light of Bernie Sanders’s embrace of the outspoken transphobe Joe Rogan, his Democratic rival for the nomination Joe Biden has been quick (for a change) to leap to the trans community’s defense. ‘Let’s be clear,’ he tweeted Saturday, ‘transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time. There is no room for compromise when it comes to basic human rights.’
In further affirmation of his commitment to trans people, the former vice president has sat down for an interview with Transgender Monthly, the transcript of which was leaked to Chadwick Moore, and is published below.
Vice President Biden: What’s your name, son?
Transgender Monthly: Mr Vice President, my name is Daphne Crystal and I’m not a ‘son’. Well, not anymore.
Biden: I’m sorry there, big fella. What do you mean ‘not anymore’?
TM: Sir, I’m transgender. I was assigned male at birth.
Biden: I drove a Trans Am back in law school.
TM: Sir, the LGBTQAI+ community is facing an epidemic of violence against transgender women of color. As president, what will you do to protect these multiply-marginalized communities?
Biden: Mayonnaise? No, sir, I haven’t touched the stuff since 1974 when a bad batch gave me a mean case of the back-door-trots.
TM: Sir, I’m asking about violence against transgender Americans. People who were assigned one sex at birth but chose to live as another.
Biden: Oh, you mean like Michelle. Back in Delaware there was this trann-sorry, ladyboy — who used to hang out behind the liquor store called Shifty Bess. It was never really my thing, but God bless you, son.
TM: Sir, transgender Americans continue to face discrimination in the workplace, housing, and healthcare. What will you do to ensure that all Americans have equal access to jobs, homes, and lifesaving medical interventions?
Biden: I remember this one time I was out picking up the wife’s Chardonnay and Shifty Bess comes hobbling around the corner, blood running down her face, and I said, ‘What happened, man? Do you need help?’ He said some other fella come up and socked him the face for no reason at all. I’ll be damned if I didn’t end up driving Shifty Bess to the hospital that day. And you know what? She had to get six stitches and didn’t have no money to pay for it. So I understand ladyboys got it real tough out there. I can’t imagine what you people must go through even just picking up the dry cleaning. Folks must stare at you everywhere you go. And that’s not fair. As president, the first thing I’m going to do is pass the Equality Act, by Executive Order if I have to, and I’m going to personally make sure ladyboys are included in that legislation to ensure all Americans, no matter your color or creed or sexual preference have equal protections under the law.
TM: Sir, the preferred term for someone like me is ‘trans woman’. ‘Ladyboy’ is an offensive and derogatory slang. And my pronouns are she and her.
Biden: You’ll have to forgive me. That’s what Hunter used to call them back in Thailand. He said they were the most beautiful people he’d ever seen. He used to spend hours at those places where they dance and rub up on you and for three bucks they’ll take you upstairs for an hour.
TM: Sir, the Trump administration has ceaselessly dehumanized transgender persons and dismantled transgender rights, most notably by banning transgender Americans from serving in the armed forces. Would you as president get rid of this hateful directive so that all Americans can serve openly?
Biden: Jesus, you people want to go to war? Don’t you have enough to worry about? But who am I to say that ladywomen like yourself can’t serve their country if they want to? Hell, we got women in there already. Might as well have sissies join too. You have as much right as me, or the next person, or my ol’ buddy John McCain — God rest his soul — to defend the nation that you love and I am absolutely going to direct the Pentagon to see that that happens. Plus, imagine a crack squad of you fellas chargin’ into combat with your bayonets — the other guys wouldn’t know what hit ’em. My old mom used to say it takes all sorts to make the world spin and we got to make sure that we’re all in this together.
TM: Mr Vice President, the Trump administration has also done away with guidelines in the Department of Education regarding transgender students equal bathroom access. What will you do as president to correct this?
Biden: We’ve come a long way from the days when Shifty Bess used to squat behind the dumpster down on Shallcross Avenue. This is 2020, man, transgenders are free to come inside and use whatever toilet they want and that’s not going to change on my watch. And if you got little youngster ladyboys who want to use the bathroom at school then I’ll be damned if we make them go outside. My old mom grew up using an outhouse and let me tell you that’s no fun. Imagine suiting up in the dead of a Pennsylvania winter and walking through the snow at midnight just to use the can. We’re not going back to those days, for anyone, and people like yourself are going to continue to be housebroken while I’m president. And that goes for our schools, our churches, our shopping centers and anything else.
TM: HIV and Aids continue to be a huge problem in the LGBTQAI+ community with people of color and especially transgender women of color accounting for a disproportionate majority of new infections. How does the Biden administration plan to battle HIV?
Biden: Anderson Cooper was telling me once about these places called bathhouses out in San Francisco, have you ever been to one of them? Do they let crossdressers in?
TM: No, I have not.
Biden: They’re these saunas where men go to, you know, be with one another. Pretty wild stuff. And then Aids happened and that all changed. But now today you’ve got gay Americans, lesbian Americans, transgender Americans who can get married. Who can start families. Isn’t that something? It’s not weird anymore. But you’re right that Aids is still out there and it’s complete malarkey that we haven’t found a cure yet in 2020. I’m going to personally see to it that all Americans, especially crossdressers of color, have full and easy access to the Aids drugs they need.
TM: One last question. The non-binary community is often overlooked and maligned in mainstream media and politics. As president, would you support a federal initiative to include a gender neutral option on all drivers’ licenses and birth certificates in support of the gender-neutral community?
Biden: I’m like Bob Barker, I think it’s infinitely important to spay and neuter your pets, but I don’t know if there should be a federal law about it, but I’ll certainly look into it. And I don’t know if your cats should be driving cars, but who knows.
TM: Thank you, Mr Vice President.
Biden: Thank you, son. You have lovely hair.