Updated: Jul 30
I worked in sales the majority of my adult life. Killed it in sales. Ever seen that hilarious Jeremy Piven movie The Goods in 2009 back when comedy was still legal? He’s a legendary car salesman closer.
Well, that was me. He was Don “The Goods” Ready.
I was Kellie “The Closer” King.
My grandfather Scott King was a building contractor who opened the King’s Auto court motel in San Diego to coincide with the 1935 World’s Fair. In 1939 that became the Travelodge empire–a brilliant franchising scheme to rival the McDonald’s story of The Founder. My granddad used to pal around with Ray Kroc. He saw the brand new middle class market segment coming before anyone knew what hit them.
The little bear that used to grace the logo? Modeled after my dad.
I was also born in 1972. People talk about struggles now? Try being an ultra-successful alpha lesbian in the sales field in the 2000s and then tell me again about your adversity because someone didn’t respect your made-up “they/them” pronouns.
I once got investigated for three months–all because I was beating every sales record there was amongst my peers, and we couldn’t let this bitch dyke do that, could we?
See what I did there? I used a couple of slurs that, honestly, are my right to use as I’ve heard them for a lifetime against me.
I saw the “dyke” word again recently after an appearance on the Stew Peters Show. Stew welcomed me on two days after Matt Walsh’s What is a Woman? exploded across the Twitterverse with 150 million views in 48 hours.
Maybe “welcomed” isn’t the right word. It was pretty clear from the get-go that Stew’s self-righteousness blinds him to any conception that there isn’t any truth beyond his own–and that’s perfectly fine. It has nothing to do with me. It doesn’t even faze me anymore.
And honestly, I will talk to the evangelicals all day long while they tell me about Jesus through their glares if it helps one baby lesbian somewhere know that they are perfect exactly as they are and that any attempt to sell them authentic happiness in the form of lifetime medicalization, endless surgeries and life-shortening hormones…maybe doesn’t have their best interest at heart?
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I get sales techniques. I know them intimately. As Mr. Stew hammered me with words about how I had “failed” and was “ruined” I thought about the Neuro-Linguistic Programming principles that he and so many newbie salespeople and pick-up artists use to try to arouse or elicit some kind of a reaction.
It’s adorable, really.
Reminds me of when I used to give a shit about such things. As he suggested to me that it was never too late to consider Jesus, I couldn’t help think about how many people miss out on these giant audiences because they’re so afraid of cancel culture cooties. You know the ones. Instead of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon it’s Six Degrees of Tucker Carlson.
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Activists against the marketing of transgenderism to children would no doubt hijack the Times Square teleprompter if they got the chance, even if it meant an evangelical was watching…wouldn’t they?
I sure would.
On the chiron thumbnail with Stew it blared “LGBT FREAKS TARGET OUR CHILDREN!” If you watch it, it’s cute when he tries to get me condemn not only Blaire White but Ted Cruz because they aren’t as far right as him. I said I want to put the surgeons who are targeting our kids in prison. Well, he wants them executed. Checkmate, Stew.
There was for sure a time when all of this would have gotten to me. Or the people who write to me telling me that appearing on the show is unrecoverable.
When the words of the people who tell me that I’m a traitor in every identity targeted segment one can be a traitor would have landed.
That was during the time I lost myself. And it all began with that first lie that I accepted as truth–eight long years before Stew was telling me that Jesus was there and ready to listen, when I put my own identity up for debate.
I don’t do that anymore. Even if Stew had the courage to call me an LGBT freak directly, it wouldn’t have mattered. Because I know who I am.
I didn’t realize how absolutely crucial that is to a person’s entire sense of sanity.
Who you are…is who you are. After spending nearly $1 million and having a stress induced heart attack and having to wear a “fragile” bracelet because I am that near death, I’m no longer worried about pleasing anyone.
“We will call you Kellie King,” Stew bellows to me, “because that is as God intended.”
I grin. I’m glad it is making him so happy.
I could care as little about someone accurately sexing me as I do about them referring to me by my birth name. I don’t know if it’s “as God made me” (the way he says it drips off the tongue like a slur somehow, and I actually love being called Kellie) but it’s the truth, and I’m never offended by that anymore.
I’m not one for religion, but I do believe in god. I do know one thing that saves–and that’s reality. Telling the truth.
That’s what Stew and I have in common. We are allies. He is an ally to me in supporting the truth of telling the truth. You have to choose your battles. And to me the battle for reality is that crucial of a battle.
He asks me to name and shame, name and shame. He is about the quick hit. I am a circus clown. He uses the word “clown.” His inflection is a dare. Will I react? I think Jesus would find him as entertaining as I do, how determined he is to out-Matt-Walsh Matt Walsh, how desperate he is to try to terrify me.
I almost want to give him the tears he’s searching for out of pity, to help him meet his goal of a viral clip because I want to extend him that kindness.
Be kind, right?
Because I know he really, really thinks this performance matters and it will really, really make him happy.
None of that matters. None of his politics matter. None of the politics matter of the people who decry him as “literal genocide” matter. Protecting children from the predation of multinational corporations who see them as cash cows matter.
That’s it. One goal. I’m a one-trick pony now.
“Who is the name of the doctor?” He puts my surgeon on the screen. I’m thrilled to see the guy blasted, having run from California with multiple lawsuits against him and his tail between his legs using Texas’s tort reform to continue his malpractice…on me.
“Who was the name of your therapist?”
I think back to the trans woman therapist that I first saw. I don’t even remember her name. I have no problem using trans pronouns, but I also 100 percent understand the reasoning why people do not.
That therapist called me Kellie, too. I was Kellie. I was Kellie King. Successful, beautiful, a knockout.
And then the magical thinking brain worm was first planted inside my head.
Like an illusionist in Vegas, that first transwoman therapist I saw in 2016 told me that I had been presenting like a man my whole life.
I felt…mortified. Shame I hadn’t felt since I was a kid. Could everyone see this? Why hadn’t anyone told me?
This was a therapist. A medical professional. I’ve always respected medical professionals. Don’t you?
At that point in time I was no cynic. Like so many others I was celebrating Caitlyn Jenner living her authentic truth. Finally, all the hatred against gays was melting away. Look at the love bombs coming the way of transgenders! Look at how amazing it was!
I had never heard the term “astroturfing” in my life then. I probably hadn’t even heard the term “gaslight.” I certainly wasn’t familiar with the medical industry’s long history of corruption and capturing scandals from thalidomide to lobotomies to the oxycontin scandal that was at that time ramping up into high gear with the kind of completely guardrails-off marketing that would have made my granddad’s jaw drop.
Lost in all of this are kids, who I relate to deeply, not just because I am a mother but because I am was the kind of kid that I see preyed upon today. I said it before, and I’ll say it as many times as I have to: I couldn’t resist this shit at 42. You think a little kid who believes in Santa Claus understands Judith Butler and Foucault when you are tell him that gender is a construct and if he likes playing with nail polish he needs to get his dick cut off?
One thing I love about Matt Walsh is that he reminds me of the world that I grew up in, where you knew who you were dealing with. A black person once told me that they preferred the racism of the South because at least it was more honest. This is how I feel around evangelicals sometimes.
I know the terror that the deeply religious feel about their dogma and faith, and it has absolutely nothing to do with me. They are doing their best within the context of their upbringing. And they know that sex and sex-change surgery…is for adults.
The fact that this is controversial is terrifying.