But Not Trans Rights

October 31, 2007

Barney Frank, quoted in Politico, about Larry Craig:

“You have a right to privacy but not hypocrisy,” Frank said. “During the period that I was closeted for seven years, I was always a gay rights supporter. I think it’s a fundamental violation of principles to vote one way and act another.”

No – I’m not implying Frank is T (I don’t even want to contemplate the possibility – even for a nanosecond), but I am asking folks to think about him voting one way (or, setting up what can be voted on) and acting a different way.

Can you think of an example?

I knew you could.


Letters…I Get Letters

October 31, 2007

I’ve been debating whether or not to post this.  I’ve come down on the side of posting it, but redacting the info which would identify the representative in question (I’ve contacted several reps on this issue – reps in districts that I either have recently lived in, worked in and/or drive through regularly, in addition to the rep for my district of residence; letters in response to everything all seem to come with ‘represent you’ language.)

It is an e-mail I received yesterday in response to a visit to a local congressional office shortly after it became clear that Barney Frank was going to show his true colors.

Congress of the United States

[REDACTED Representative-specific info] 

October 30, 2007

Dear Katrina,

Thank you for contacting me about discrimination issues. I’m honored to represent you in Congress. Your opinion is very important to me and my priority is to provide [                  ] District with the best representation possible.

Discrimination in the workplace remains a very real and significant problem in this country. Congress has created and passed legislation to bar discrimination based on race, ethnic background, religion and sex. As a co-sponsor, and strong supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, I am eager to see the end of yet another form of discrimination, based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identification.

The legislation would not only end this type of discrimination in the workplace, but also in other organizations and committees. It would prohibit the use of quotas and preferential treatment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would not be allowed to collect data on the amount of actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identification as well. H.R. 2015 is currently being reviewed by the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the Committee on Education and Labor.

Thank you again for contacting me about this important issue. I encourage you to visit my website at [  URL, etc.  ]. I am proud to serve [               ]  District, and I am committed to working hard for you.

Sincerely,

[                         ]

Member of Congress

ENDA 2015.

In an e-mail I received yesterday.

I’m interested in seeing people’s thoughts on this.


New Motto for Washington State: The Hypocritical Nutcase Politician State?

October 31, 2007

This is quasi-ENDA-related.

First, Jim West; now this.  I guess it would only be more appropriate if the guy’s name was Artemus Gordon – the guy is a cross-dresser on top of everything else.  (Okay – I guess it would be more appropriate if his name was Rudy Giuliani.)

Here’s the federal ENDA connection: Aravosis.  Now, I can ‘t say that I actually disagree with what The John currently has to say about this over at AmericaSlog.  The stickiness comes with the comments to his post.

thank god john won’t have to worry about
him being covered under ENDA.

But, of course, he is covered under Washington State’s T-inclusive rights law – that was T-inclusive in the first instance.

Glad somebody said it.. over 100 posts and John didn’t say anything good or bad on this.. it would be nice if the nasty rhetoric against TG people would end here 😦

Don’t count on it.  The John is what The John is.


We Win

October 30, 2007

From Becky Juro over at Bilerico:

I continue to believe that the best, safest path to equality for all LGBT Americans is the same as it is for the Democrats: Shelve the bill, let the issue and the advocates cool down over the next couple of years, and then come back to it when there’s a real chance of actually seeing this thing become law. With a strong Democratic majority and a Democratic President, an inclusive ENDA will likely pass with little problem or complaint from anyone but the right-wing extremists who’s influence in Washington will have left the federal political process right along with George and Dick. When you take the time to really think it through, you know that this is the only possible path Congressional Democrats can take that offers the possibility of a real win for everyone, or even anyone, who wants to see this bill become law.

Two years is a long time, more than enough for the task ahead of us. We who are gender-variant are no longer teaching America who we are and what we’re about, we’ve progressed to the next class in the curriculum, why it’s right, fair, and fully in keeping with American values that we be protected against discrimination in the workplace. Indeed, it’s fair to say that in this we’re now in the same relative place as conventionally-gendered gays and lesbians are and have been for some time now. As loathe as some may be to admit it, we’ve not only caught up, but we’ve done it in an unbelievably short amount of time as compared to the rest of the community.

In short: We win.

No, we haven’t actually rid the world of the diseased creation of Barney Frank that is currently masquerading as ENDA.  But – and I will confess that this has actually surprised me – we appear to have rid the world of the mindset behind it, at least so far as it is the monolith of antidiscrimination gaypolitik.  It is still there – but it is rapidly coming to be seen as being simply a DBA for the loud mouths and keyboards of a handful of privileged, white non-trans gays.

Yes, its still dangerous – but only in the same way that a DVD of Gigli coated with anthrax would be.  Dangerous?  Yes.  But, at the end of the day, its still Gigli.

And, at the end of the day, John Aravosis is still what John Aravosis was, Chris Crain is still what Chris Crain was, and Barney Frank is still what Barney Frank was.

And ‘incremental progress’ is what it always was: a lie.

We’ve won.

For this, we need not thank Congress. The change we are seeing there is the result of our community’s own hard work and our ever-increasing presence in the media.

Unfortunately, Becky has some (undeserved, IMHO) kind words for HRC along with the following not-so-kind ones:

HRC are sellouts, they’re liars, they’re self-involved elitists who care little or nothing for the working class majority….

Yes, allegedly there actually was some pro-trans activity on the part of HRC – but, when you get caught speeding, you don’t get to claim all the other times you’ve actually driven at or below the speed limit as a nullification factor.  Likewise, no amount of allegedly doing the right thing will ever make up for the malicious political crimes that HRC has committed against the trans community over the last decade+.


More ‘Colorado = Reality’

October 30, 2007

(Thanks to Pam Spaulding at Pam’s House Blend for posting on this. )

Jared Polis, an out gay man is running for Congress in Colorado.  Over at Daily Kos, he has some thoughts on T-inclusion in ENDA.

Why are we even having this discussion? When Colorado passed a statewide ENDA last session, it included gender identity without a murmur. Specifically, our Colorado Senate Bill 25 defined sexual orientation as “a person’s actual or perceived orientation toward heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgender status.” Some legislators supported it and some opposed it, but none cited the gender identity issue as the reason for their opposition. The very fact that the issue of excluding gender identity is being raised at the national level demonstrates the paramount importance of including it.

    I am sick and tired of hearing our DC leaders say that an inclusive ENDA cannot pass. Who are the US Representatives who would vote to eliminate workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation but not gender identity? Are there any? Let them step forward so we can focus on changing their minds and their hearts. Their position makes no sense.

    Ending workplace discrimination only for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals but not transgendered Americans would be the equivalent of passing a civil rights act that prevents only discrimination against Latinos and Asians, but not Blacks. Because the groups left behind are a smaller percentage of the population, it will be more difficult to ever include them.

    Let us be honest; the gay and lesbian communities are better organized, larger, and stronger than the transgendered community. If the bulk of the gay community gets their protection through a narrow ENDA bill, it will be much harder to ever include gender identity. As a gay man, I want nothing more than to end workplace discrimination nationally. But my hands will not be soiled with the guilt of undermining our real chance to protect the rights of our whole community including those who defy prevailing gender stereotypes.

Pam’s thoughts on this:

I think the solid point of argument here is which faction is right on a key point — will the LGB community —  with the financial and political clout the trans community lacks — continue to fight as hard for Ts when and if an orientation-only ENDA passes? Observing human nature, I’d say no. If people don’t have a personal stake in a political issue, it is more difficult to focus attention, resources and effort. As I’ve noted before, there are plenty of potential LGBT allies woefully undereducated on the issues — it’s simply not on their radar. It’s not a stretch to imagine that the same will occur in the LGB crowd, actually it’s easy to believe, given the unseemly amount of hostility toward the trans community that has come to the surface in the debate over ENDA.

I think Pam’s being too diplomatic (though perhaps necessarily so.)  How much of a stretch is it to imagine things like:

  • Wisconsin,
  • Massachusetts,
  • New Hampshire,
  • Hawaii,
  • Connecticut,
  • Nevada,
  • Maryland, and
  • New York?

I don’t need any imagination at all.

I’ve been to all of them except Hawaii.

I’ve lived next door to Wisconsin since 1999.

And –  I know what the history is in all of these places of trans issues being ignored – and then forgotten.  Its what the Aravosisists, the Carpenters, the Crains and – no matter what its weather vane indicates on any given day – it is what HRC wants at the federal level for ENDA.

If we don’t get Colorado Reality, we’ll get Wisconsin Reality.

And I don’t have 25 years of working life left.


And, Yes…More ‘Classic Lame Crain’

October 30, 2007

It seems as though the incrementalists are comparing notes again – and repeating the same old lies.

One thing the “trans-or-bust” crowd doesn’t seem to get is that whatever arguments they make about leaving trans workers behind also works in the opposite direction only with far more force.

Chris, until you and your incrementalism-rati are willing to honestly address this statement – but with ‘marriage or bust’ in the place of ‘trans or bust’ – do everyone, including yourselves, a big favor: STFU.

Pass the compromise ENDA:

  1. Millions of GLB Americans get historic workplace protections.
  2. Trans workers, who are much smaller in number, will remain partially protected by the long-standing Price Waterhouse precedent.
  3. Full “gender identity” protection will wait until XX date, unknown, when Congress is ready to protect transgender workers.

Chris, until you and your incrementalism-rati are willing to honestly address the actual differential between GLBs who have no protection now and Ts who have no protection now, do everyone, including yourselves, a big favor: STFU.

Or we follow the trans-or-bust route:

  1. Millions of GLB Americans are completely unprotected from workplace bias in 31 states.
  2. Trans workers, who are much smaller in number, will remain partially protected by the long-standing Price Waterhouse precedent.
  3. Full “gender identity” protection will wait until YY date, also unknown, when Congress is ready to protect transgender workers.

Chris, until you and your incrementalism-rati are willing to honestly address the fact that no version will pass and be signed until at least 2009 – and even then, assuming its Hilary, likely not until 2013 – STFU.  (Its Chris’s unwillingness to deal with point that surprises me most; he is sickened by the prospect of President HRC, the de facto-annointed candidate of El Grupo HRC, even more than most trans people.)

No one even knows if there is much of a difference between XX date and YY date, although apparently everyone assumes that both Congress and LGBT groups will work harder to pass T rights sooner if GLB rights come along with them. 

Sorry, Chris.  Nice try.  The assumption is – as has been borne out by the majority of states that enacted gay-only rights laws – that if a gay-only ENDA becomes law, Ts will NEVER be added.

It’s ridiculous to think that LGBT groups will show no interest in passing T protections after achieving LGB protections, considering more than 300 of these groups are already willing to forego GLB protections to win T protections.

Will you and your slithering ilk sign sworn statements saying that you will never, in any way shape or form, work to dissuade any of those organizations against making T the next item on the agenda following enactment of a gay-only ENDA?

Uh huh.

I didn’t think so.

As for Congress, if there is widespread resistance to transgender rights, how will tacking them on to GLB rights advance the ball?  No one has made that case, instead focused on guilting GLB Americans into acting against their interest.

Guilting?  What about the forcing Ts – not to mention all those GLBs whose need for civil rights laws massivly outweighs their need for gay marriage – to live with the results of the insanity of the push for gay marriage?

Wait a minute…

all those GLBs whose need for civil rights laws massivly outweighs their need for gay marriage

Ya know…I bet there are millions of them.

Millions more than believed pushing for gay marriage was a wise thing.

Did any of you in the incrementalism-rati demand that HRC or Lambda or NCLR poll its members on the wise-ness of that strategy?

I didn’t think so.

Sorry, Chris.  We have reality.  You lose.


And, Yes…More of ‘Classic HRC’

October 29, 2007

From New York trans activist Donna Cartwright (posted here with permission):

So I’m standing in the video store this morning, trying to figure out if the clerk behind the counter is trans, when my cell phone rings. It’s a fund-raiser for HRC. He tells me (obviously reading from a prepared script)  about how the hate crimes bill passed Congress last month, and now there’s a great opportunity to pass another bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, that would outlaw job discrimination against the LGBT community nationwide. He goes on to say that “we” (HRC) “are going all out to pass this bill” (or words to that effect) “so that we will have not one but two great victories for the LGBT community this year.”

I stopped him to say that the ENDA bill before Congress is NOT inclusive of the T part of the LGBT community. Only momentarily flustered, he shifts to another part of his script and says how important it is to get this victory and HRC remains fully committed to protecting the entire LGBT community . . . At that point I stopped him and said that I would not be contributing to HRC any more until it gets fully
aboard with trans inclusion, and then hung up.

So, of course, this is a completely different message than HRC is giving the trans community and its allies. The caller said nothing about HRC not supporting HR 3685. In fact, it sounded very much like HRC fully supports HR 3685 and is pulling out all the stops for it. Seems like they have a different line (or perhaps, lie) for every different group they talk to. Have I mentioned that HRC sucks?

Oh – Donna checked the number from which the call originated.  A call to it was answered “by a recording for Telefund, ‘professional fund-raisers for political and nonprofit groups.'” 

Yep – you can take the HRC out of the HRC, but…

Oh, wait – you can’t do that, can you?  An HRC without lying, duplicity and transphobia is like a fish without a bicycle.

HRC is and will always be what HRC always was: a cesspool of transphobia.