The War Against Morphodites

I’m not sure this column will make it to the Reader’s Internet site so I share it with you here. The Reader had a medieval illustration of a human “hermaphrodite” the word for which the corruption “morphodite” comes from. Hermaphrodites exist in nature as animals with both male and female organs which are fully capable. They include slugs and worms. Humans can be born with mixed sexual features but can’t do what hermaphrodites do. The best “trans” can manage is to have gender identities that don’t match with their equipment, so to speak. This has Republicans in a dither along with car jackings. As for the attempted overthrow of the Government or environmental collapse …not so much.

The War against Morphodites

When I was a kid there was no need to war against morphodites or their less exotic cousins queers. That’s because most of them had the good sense to disguise themselves although those who were effeminate, like Truman Capote, lived in a nether world where everyone wondered if they might be queer. If you were witty enough for upper crust society, like Capote, you might even be heralded. Of course, if you didn’t watch your step a good shit kicking was always just around the corner.

When I asked my Mother why an older kid began bawling like a baby when he was called a “queer” she explained homosexuality to me. From that explanation on I’ve never felt it was my place to treat homosexuals any less charitably than my mother. I respected her heresies. She told me she thought the only hell was the one we made on Earth. She told me if there is a real hell God would go there and make it heaven.

The Republican God has different ideas. He’s pissed off that the Supreme Court made gay marriages legal. His “Christian” prophets are armed to the teeth to do his will. And God thinks there are people even more hideous than Gays. These are the morphodites. – people whose brains tell them them they were born with the wrong genitalia. God created the Republican party to shit kick them into ignoring their brains out his love for their souls. It’s a tough love that would force a nine-year-old rape victim to give birth and be OK watching people die at the American border. He may be the God of a Pentecost where all humanity spoke with one voice of his love but what he really wants is a white Christian America. As for: “all men are created equal?” Nine-year-old girls need not apply.

I’ll stick with my Mother any day of the week over the Republican God. Long before I ever met a gay person she infected me with liberal tolerance. I don’t even have trouble with transsexuals a group so reviled that even some Gay’s were afraid they would make it harder for America to accept homosexuality. Gays weren’t wrong. The Republican fear factory equates transsexuals with child predators even though there are far fewer of them than boy scout leaders, Catholic priests or wrestling coaches turned congressmen.

People who hate liberals have screamed bloody murder about minorities since the Days of Nat Turner and the Trail of Tears 200 years ago. Indians were beaten down to about 2 percent of the population. Black Americans only added up to about a tenth. Gays may be about half that but with so many “in the closet,” who knows? In the 90’s UMD’s College Republicans organized a “Straight Pride Day.” A young gay man who helped me on one of my campaigns showed up to shame the CR’s reminding them that they had never been persecuted for being hetero. I’ve met hundreds of gays; thousands if you consider those who were closeted. But the tiny fraction that constitute America’s transsexuals is hardly a threat. I’ve only ever met a handful.

Seven years ago a young tran (a “them” before that pronoun was called upon to confuse old people like me) sent me an email asking for advice on running for the state legislature as a Republican. We met over lunch to kick the idea around. I warned HST (Him/She/Them) that my advice might be unorthodox because I was an unrepentant, sideways, Republican. I told him that it was unlikely that HST could get elected as a Republican never-mind HST’s ambiguous sexuality. I might have told HST (in these last days before Trump) that Duluth’s Republicans might simply be glad to have a candidate. Even so, I cautioned HST that the Republican party would remain barren ground for people like HST.

HST ran as a Republican that year with precious little GOP help. It must have been a tightrope because as far as I could ascertain HST had not told his Republican Christian family his deepest secrets. I always thought HST’s Republican period was meant to assure his family that their child’s heart was trustworthy.

The soap opera HST lived from then on was mostly out of my sight but HST briefly volunteered to help me with my last school board campaign in 2017. I asked HST to start a political Facebook site for me which I have halfheartedly maintained to this day. My contact with HST has not been maintained.

Even after being allowed to marry many gays suffer from self loathing, depression, self denial and suicide. Its far worse for HST’s with the Republican God breathing down the backs of the parents who have accepted their HST children. Today the Republican God is passing laws to put HST parents in prison for pedophilia. My Mother would be very impatient with the Republican God.

PS the word “morphodite” may have first appeared in that most charming novel To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s a good liberal read and I pontificated about it once in the Reader as it was being eased out of the curriculum of the Duluth Schools. I was OK with that even though it’s one of the rare books that I have read twice. If you are lazy reader like me watch the movie of the same name. Its one of the rare movies that does justice to its novel.

Welty runs his mouth off at

About the author