Albert Einstein said, “Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And I’m not sure about the universe.” I would add to that thought, that the stupidity of Donald Trump is in a class of its own that is beyond any measurement. Too bad Dr. Einstein isn’t with us now to chime in on Trump. I would love to hear what he would say about the man.

Trumpty Dumpty has no new platform. You know that. The best that he can do right now is to come up with a particularly vicious shot at the transgender community. They are a tiny fraction of the population but that’s okay with Trump. He seeks to demonize them. He has to do something to gin up outrage and the transgender folk drew the short straw. It’s not personal, it’s just Trumpian politics.

If you didn’t hear this jewel of a tape yesterday when it came out, this is 3:44 of Trump threatening doctors with not only their livelihood but their personal liberties. This is not only a descent into pure Dark Ages thinking, but it is historically wrong and ridiculous. Trump is a moron. He is a TV game show host who has never read a book and who thinks that the only book that matters is the Neilsen’s Ratings.

If the name Albert Cashier doesn’t ring any bells with you, read this Daily Beast article from 2017. The article also makes reference to a documentary, “We’ve Been Around,” which is the story of transgender men and women who showed up in the pages of history. Trump knows nothing about this, because he lives in a cocoon of ignorance which is of adamantine impenetrability.

In the wake of Donald Trump’s order that the U.S. military no longer accept transgender individuals as recruits, it seems a fitting time to acknowledge the extraordinary life and times of Civil War veteran Albert Cashier, born Jennie Hodgers, who was the subject of a  ‘We’ve Been Around’ documentary last year.

Born in Ireland in about 1842, Albert Cashier is regarded as among the first known examples of a transgender person in American history.

It is important to note that the concept of being transgender was effectively unknown in the United States at this point, although some Native American tribes did assign third-gender roles, which are sometimes described under the term ‘Two-Spirit.’

In the annals of transgender people in the U.S., the first documented person to challenge gender binary roles was Thomas(ine) Hall, who was living in Virginia in the 1620s. Hall dressed alternately in both men’s and women’s clothing but following a sexual controversy, Hall was subjected to a physical inspection.

Brought before the Quarter Court in Jamestown, Hall was adjudged to be both a man and a woman and ordered to wear both a man’s breeches and a woman’s apron and cap simultaneously.

Born over two centuries later, Albert Cashier was reputedly the daughter of Patrick Hodgers, an Irish coachman and horse trader from Clogherhead, County Louth, and his wife, Sallie. Further details about his early life in Ireland are unknown but it is assumed that he was illiterate; he signed all identified documents with an ‘X’.

Nor do we know when he emigrated to America; it is rumored he arrived as a stowaway, quite possibly direct from the Irish port in Drogheda.

One theory holds that he went to work at an all-male shoe factory in Belvidere, Illinois, which was run by an uncle and that it was from this point that he began identifying as Albert Cashier.

The article goes on to describe how Cashier fought bravely and well. Nobody could climb a tree better than he could, no one was more fearless in battle.

“Al did all the regular duties,” Sergeant Ives recalled. “Not knowing that she was a girl, I assigned her to picket duty and to carry water just as all the men did. One time, we went into barracks … All of the bunks were double, but over in one corner there was a single cot. Cashier asked me if he might have the cot. I consented and thought nothing of it.”

He often sat apart from the others, puffing on a pipe. On account of his short stature, he wasn’t able to carry as much as other men, but his fellow soldiers never failed to help him out, in return for which he looked after the laundry and mending clothes.

By the time he mustered out of the army on 17 August 1865, Al had traveled nearly 10,000 miles, including 1,800 on foot. He had also seen action in 40 different battles and skirmishes fought in states such as Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri and Tennessee. This included the Red River Campaign, the Battle of Atlanta and the Battle of Guntown, Mississippi, in which Captain Bush and many other members of him regiment were killed.

He also served at the Siege of Vicksburg where he was briefly captured by a Confederate soldier but somehow managed to grab his gun, knock him down and scarper back to his own lines. When Vicksburg fell, he was one of the first to victoriously march into the Mississippi city. Private Albert Cashier’s name is among 36,325 Illinois soldiers immortalized on the bronze plaques at the elaborate Illinois victory monument in Vicksburg.

Cashier identified as a male and enjoyed the privileges of passing as one. He was able to open a bank account and cast a ballot, as no woman of that era could.

The story does not have a happy ending, alas. Cashier’s anatomical identity was discovered after he was taken to the hospital after an accident and he was in danger for a while of  losing his war pension, which he certainly had earned. Cashier also was suffering from dementia in his later years and forced to wear skirts in a mental institution, which was crippling to him as well. He died in these conditions after a few short years, entering the institution at 70, dying at 72.

Cashier was buried with full military honors, at the insistence of the men who had served with him. It’s intriguing to ponder this story and the stories in the documentary, “We’ve Been Around,” in the wake of Trump’s asinine comment that transgenderism is a fiction of the Democratic party, cobbled together for evil and nefarious purpose.

Again, and until he is permanently out of public life, Trump has proven himself an utter moron and one who seeks to do harm to blameless and vulnerable individuals, under the guise of somehow benefitting society. The man is beyond description. This is textbook fascism, finding a small segment of society to demonize and blame all ills upon, arguing that their eradication will purify the culture and render life idyllic.

Shakespeare said, “There are stranger things in heaven and earth, Horatio, then are dreamt of in your philosophies.” Human sexuality is no simple thing and certainly no black and white thing. There are many shades of grey. We are only now beginning to evolve enough to study these things and slough off ancient prejudices, based on fear and ignorance. But not Trump and the deplorables who would keep us back in the darkest of caves, hating and fearing anybody who is the slightest bit different. They’re just looking for their next target. Over here, Marge, and bring the Jewish space lasers. The trannies are 0.05% of the population. Get rid of them, all will be bliss.

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  1. I wonder how the Yellow Tufted Shit-Gibbon would have reacted to Revolutionary War hero, and often called the Father of the American Calvary General Casimere Pulaski???

    The good General was found to be an intersex man who served under Washington and is credited with saving Washington’s life at the Battle of Brandywine.

    If The Gibbon’s transgender ban were in effect then, Pulaski would NOT have been allowed to serve, Washington would not have survived, and there most likely would have never been a United States of America today.

    Pulaski County Virginia is named for General Pulaski.

    • What is an intersex man? I’ve never heard that term.

      I wrote this story because Trump’s abysmal ignorance is also his genius, in a sense. If he had any clue how incredibly fucking stoooopid he is, he would shut up and go away. But he thinks he knows. That is his dark genius, for lack of a better term. He sincerely thinks he knows something and he is frighteningly stupid.

      This was well documented when he did The Apprentice. Film crews couldn’t believe how stupid he was.

      • Intersex is when the genitalia can’t be distinguished as male or female. It’s not about who you think you are it’s about your actual sex organs. They usually do ultrasounds and scan to see if the baby has ovaries/undescended testicles. Sometimes there’s both or neither. If the external genitalia appeared to be a very large clitoris, they would surgically reduce it and tell parents to raise as female. I heard about how with babies that they thought were likely male but with a micro penis, they’d remove the testes and say ‘it’s a girl’ it seems incredibly barbaric to me. This has created so much misery that I don’t think they don’t do this anymore. I think that they wait and let the kid ID themselves.

  2. My thinking is that intersexed are people who identify as non-binary. Hopefully society is progressing to accept all individuals exactly as they are.

  3. Trump, like most profoundly ignorant, anti-intellectual bigots, assumes that because *he* doesn’t know something, it isn’t factual. Reading at a 4th grade level contributes to this. None of the in-laws read, and that includes the SiL with all.but dissertation in Gifted Ed.

    (And my short stories,reprinted in several languages and in Year’s,Best and in an anthology that won World Fantasy Award don’tcount or make me a,writer)

  4. So he’s going to ask Congress to block any funding from Medicare or Medicaid. Would that be before or after he asks Congress to abolish both?

  5. I generally respond “One word – Tiresias.” But actually, one can go back virtually to pre-history in just about any culture and fined some trace of tradition related to transgender. Whether it’s embedded in mythology, or called “Tweo-spirit” people or “third gender” people (not of course in those words, but in the local language) or in art (Akhnaten, for instance, was depicted very differently from other Pharaohs in ways that suggest gender anbiguity), it’s always there.


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