HOUSTON, TEXAS — When Houston’s Proposition 1 — the now infamous voter referendum that would have extended legal protections against discrimination based on race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity — was struck down Henry Coraje was devastated. Born a female, Henry says he started to feel like he wasn’t “in the right body” at a fairly early age, and by the time he finished puberty as a female, he knew “deep-down” he was a man, no matter what his physical traits belied. So, when he got a good job at a local grocery market, he was able to save up his money, use the insurance that his union had negotiated for, and he went through the weeks and months of emotional therapy and hormone treatments and as he said, “came out of it all stronger, and more importantly, the closest thing” to himself he had felt in his lifetime.
Coraje says that when he’s out in public, he looks and feels like a man, and he told our reporter, “Since no one sidles up to me and slams their hands down my pants, they never know by looking at me I have a vagina down there.” He also said that when he’s out in public, he would feel “incredibly weird” using a ladies’ restroom. So when Proposition 1 hit the ballots, he was sure to drum up as much support in Houston as he could, knowing if it passed he could have “just one small bit of normalcy that everyone else takes for granted.”
When the measure failed, he was “heartbroken,” but he said that it wasn’t until he heard Dr. Ben Carson — a 2016 Republican presidential front runner — say that trans people shouldn’t get to use the bathroom that makes them most comfortable because trans people make Carson “uncomfortable,” Coraje says he “lost it” and wrote a ten page, handwritten letter to Carson in which he excoriated the neurosurgeon for what his letter calls “backwards and ignorant views that don’t even scratch the surface of modern politeness and civility.”
“Dear Mr. Carson,” Caraje read the letter to us, “I am writing to you today because I heard that you don’t think people like me, a transgender man, should get to use whatever restroom we feel okay in, because you are made uncomfortable by us. I am here to tell you, sir, that you have a right to your opinion, but I find your opinion of me ironic since I find dumb people in the White House make me extremely uncomfortable.”
In his letter, Mr. Coraje lists several things that Carson has said that, according to the letter, “rationally thinking 9 year olds would no is bullshit” such as “Joseph building the pyramids for grain,” or “comparing everything under the sun to slavery” that clearly indicate Dr. Carson is a “class-A moron.” Coraje states further in his letter that he “cannot believe that small-government conservatives are so worried about” him being a sexual predator that they “actually have an opinion” as to where he will “piss and shit in public.
“But if all those crazy things you think and say don’t make you dumb, here’s now I know you’re stupider than a box of rocks,” Caraje’s letter says, adding, “you can sit back and say with no hint of irony in your voice that we transgender people need separate bathrooms when you know damn well that just over 50 years ago, you’d be forced to use separate accommodations because of the color of your skin. Which is it Dr. Carson — are you a hypocrite or a damn fool? Both?”
Reached for comment, the Carson campaign sent a short statement on Coraje’s letter that said, “Dr. Carson does not deny his stupidity, but rather flaunts it. He knows that stupidity just means he has shunned the liberal elitist academia world and has instead held fast to whatever wild, delusional fever dream of reality he buys into at the moment. And he knows this will not only not hurt his candidacy, but will endear him to Republican voters who find stupidity appealing and non-threatening to their own intellect. We thank Mr. Caraje for his letter, but still think that the world would be better off if we could treat at least some people like second-class citizens. Otherwise, what’s the point of being part of the majority, if you can’t hurt the minority at every step along the way?”
Caraje read the letter, and immediately set it on fire.