[UPDATED – 11/12/07: 12:36 pm CST]
From the NY Times of Nov. 9:
It’s frustrating to take equality one step at a time. But that is how equal justice has been won in this country.
The incremental nature of the nation’s long march toward equal justice is captured by this Timeline of Federal Civil Rights Laws, prepared by the Human Rights Campaign.
Well, if HRC sez so, it must be so. Yuk. Yuk. Yuk.
As I’ve stated here, token bits of history – particularly distorted bits – don’t change the nature of evil being perpetrated in the present. That doesn’t stop the presently-privileged from rationalizing. From the comments to the NY Times piece:
As it states in the article, “it was important to take the victory that was achievable.” As a lesbian who is 67 let me remind us of the progress that has been made in the past 50 years. In the late 1950’s we were dodging vice-squads,uttering passwords to plain doors to get into the back room; there was no such thing as a rainbow bumper sticker or a public committment ceremony. Baby-steps, baby-steps, forward ever forward for our lives. We can, we will!
I submitted a comment in response (as I’m typing this post, it has yet to clear), pointing out that “In the late 1950’s” at least one state had already legislatively approved of transsexuals and transsexualism – and asking her (and all others who have been deluded into believing that HR 3685 is anything other than an abject act of subjugation by the privileged against the already-marginalized) why such pro-trans “baby-steps” were not the increments that were praised, lauded and followed by our ‘leaders’.
“History teaches us that progress on civil rights is never easy,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, expressing regret about the exclusion but nevertheless urging an “aye” vote. “It is often marked by small and difficult steps.”
I guess it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that those who are being stepped on by Barney’s ENDA see it a wee bit differently.
My comment went though – and it looks like ‘TwiloMike’ got a bit miffed at my calling out Barney Frank:
I understand your frustration and I feel for the plight of the trans community. What I don’t understand is the insult you leveled at Barney Frank and the gays who support HR 3685. A dose of realism, please. The bill which includes transsexuals will not pass. It won’t even come close and noth gays and the trans community will have to wait longer. If progress is to be made today, then a compromise seems necessary.
I don’t see Mike volunteering to be compromised, do you?
Of course, progress doesn’t have to be made today. It can be delayed… oh… say… decades, while mainstream America learns to view trans people with the same barely-welcoming gaze that it currently has for gays.
I don’t want to wait those decades. I will continue to advocate for the acceptance of the trans community and legal protections for it, but I certainly don’t appreciate the sentiment that the advance of gays without transsexuals is an oppression of transsexuals by gays. Your accusation stems from “misery loves company” and twists reality to generate maximum perception of victimhood.
Gays aren’t looking to oppress transsexuals. Where the heck did you even get such an idea?
That last paragraph caused me to laugh so hard that I spewed on my monitor; I had to switch it out. Consequently, my response took a while to start. It hasn’t posted yet on the NYT website, but here it is:
Nice try, Mike.
From the actions of Barney Frank and his apologists of today (at HRC and on gay-primacy-centric blogs such as those of John Aravosis and Chris Crain) back to the exterminationism philosophy of Janice Raymond to the initial round of exclusion-as-policy in the early 1970s, the gays and lesbians who have appropriated for themselves the collective role of official community policy advocates have oppressed trans people not simply by omission but often by active comission.
One does not get to benefit from disasters than one causes – be it setting a forest fire or causing an explosion that creates a crater in the middle of a baseball field. You quite artfully dodged addressing my position about trans issues – and people – being more accepted early on than gay and lesbian issues and people. That is a landscape is no longer the case. Why? Hint: It is *not* because of trans people volunteering to have our issues and our lives – and our history – be subjugated to the needs and wants of people who hate us for existing.
I demand trans inclusion in ENDA and all civil rights bills not because of the fear I have of discrimination by right-wing christianists but because of the fear I have of discrimination by transphobic gay men and lesbians such as those who are most insistent that trans people have no place in ENDA.
Seriously, Mike – have you absolutely no familiarity with the lies and duplicity that HRC has used to subvert trans political viability in Congress?