Brigitte ‘Jean-Michel’ Macron is suing unidentified defendants for libelling her good name.
According to the rumours spread on social media, Mme Macron is a trans woman, born male under the name Jean-Michel Trogneux.
The rumours are certainly at least half-right: Brigitte’s maiden name definitely was Trogneux.
Her family has owned a patisserie next to Amiens Cathedral since 1872, and their celebrated speciality is macaroons, macarons in French (I can testify to their superior quality). I once suggested that it was Manny’s surname, almost homophonic with the source of her family’s riches, that first attracted the 40-year-old Brigitte to her 15-year-old pupil.
Since Brigitte hasn’t sued me so far, either that theory is true to life or she doesn’t consider the suggestion damaging. It may also be possible that she has never heard either of me or of my musings, but my brittle self-esteem can’t accommodate this option.
As to the Jean-Michel innuendo, Brigitte is indeed suing over it, which may be a mistake on several different levels.
First, the legal action means she takes the allegation more seriously than the mainstream publications think she should. That in itself gives the rumour some credence.
Suppose for the sake of argument that an on-line publication observed that Brigitte looks like a senescent kitten, insisting on that basis that she was born feline under the name Tubby. Would she sue then? Would she produce a body of evidence proving she was born human, if with a heightened taste for macaroons?
She wouldn’t. She wouldn’t dignify such ridiculous rumours with any response at all, not even the odd catty remark. So is the trans allegation less ridiculous?
Also, for a contention to be classified as libel, it’s not enough for it to be false. It must also be demonstrably damaging.
For example, if someone wrote that Brigitte doesn’t look a day older than her hubby-wubby, that would be untrue, but it wouldn’t be actionable. On his way to the ophthalmological clinic, the writer might justifiably insist he was paying Brigitte a compliment.
The lawsuit proves that Brigitte regards the trans allegation as defamatory, injurious to her reputation. One can infer that she thinks gender dysphoria is hideous, and transsexuality is a bad thing.
Now that’s what I’d call real damage to her reputation. Did Brigitte hurt her head when she fell down from a faraway planet?
Here on Earth transsexuality is a badge of honour, proof of the bearer’s courage in striking a blow against the establishment and for the sacred freedom to choose. This badge is to be displayed with pride, tactfully concealed by false modesty.
This issue is close to my heart. As a man trapped in a body that increasingly acquires female characteristics, I identify with the suffering of the trans community – and welcome whatever suffering it inflicts on the square community, be it social, mental or aesthetic.
I also support drawing a thick line of separation between the trans community and the homosexual community, even though I’m not always sure exactly where that line should be drawn, nor what ‘community’ means when it’s at home.
But enough about me. It’s not my feelings but Brigitte’s that are coming under the microscope. And one doesn’t even need that optical instrument to realise that Brigitte is – brace yourself – a transphobe. Because she thinks transsexuals are freaky sideshows, she is ready to sue anyone who as much as mentions the name Jean-Michel.
Does she remember that the presidential elections are just round the corner? If she does, Brigitte must do everything necessary to protect Manny’s reputation from such reflected infamy.
True or not, she must come out and shout from the roof of the Elysée Palace that yes, sacré bleu, she is trans and proud of it.
Henceforth she wishes to be called Jean-Michel-Brigitte Macron or, better still, Madame-Monsieur La/Le Président(e). And of course she must drop that lawsuit like a pomme de terre chaude. Blow with the wind, Brigitte – it’ll take you in the right direction.