The Winds of the Poor

Strangely enough, when I wrote this, I hadn’t yet heard of this.

I spent most of today about as far removed from Baltimore, Maryland, as one can get: the backroads of western Illinois and eastern Iowa…

where, strangely enough, as a transsexual woman I’m more fully covered by civil rights law than I am in the Feifdom of East Coast Liberal Self-Importancy (sometimes referred to as Maryland.)

Whilst out and about, I saw a Facebook posting on my Blackberry that intrigued me.

It said there appeared to be a news blackout regarding the McDonald’s Mauling.

A news blackout where?

At Pam’s House Blend.

And this evening when I returned home, that was pretty much the status quo; no item dedicated to a story about something which negatively impacted a trans woman at a place of public accommodations in Maryland.

Just one – which pimps PBS’s pimping of a report on trans lives co-manufactured by one group which allows a non-trans person to occupy a position which inherently would be more effective if held by a trans person, and another group which takes up for organs of the Gay Rights Industry which refuse to hire trans women for positions such as that (or any other) – which mentions it almost as an aside.

For months now, if it bled the blood of Gay, Inc’s HB 235-but-not-HB-285 Golem, then it led at Pam’s House Blend.

But the McDonald’s (Which is a Public Accommodation) Mauling?  Per Desireec:

This is the ONLY front page article…
…which even MENTIONS the trans bashing incident in Maryland. Which is pretty damned troubling considering this is supposedly an LGBT news blog, not an LGB news blog.

And like clockwork, up steps everyone’s favorite front-page sockpuppet:

Go for it and write one, then!
Here is a video of Chrissy Lee Polis telling her own story.  That might be a good place for your to start with your article.  Looking forward to reading your contribution, Desiree!

Now, the connection between the main focus of that PHB item and the BushCo 2000 remembrance-as-analogy:

Our task is to help America have a similar evolution on their understanding of Trans Americans. To help them move beyond knee-jerk hysteria that the catchphrase “bathroom bills” generates. And the reality is far too many have not yet. Baltimore sadly illustrates who are the real victims in bathroom disputes.

The most vehement voices of hate resonate far too often and far too widely because people’s understanding of Trans issues and Trans people is far too limited right now. The idea of gender could exist on a spectrum, or being malleable is something that is deeply disturbing and scary to many people on a purely visceral level.

And yet, gender does exist on a spectrum. And it is malleable. And that’s no big deal. And we see examples of this everyday, women wearing pants, men painting their nails. The roles are not so clear cut as they once were and that’s a very good thing. And we need to work to desensitize people to this nonsensical fear and hysteria that somehow society will crumble if boys cease to “be boys” and girls stubbornly refuse to “act like girls.”

I know many people have criticisms of the major gay orgs and that includes National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality and I certainly would not argue they are not above critique.

But let us recognize and praise these orgs for this effort. They have absolutely risen to the task of what a major advocacy org should be doing with their funding and their resources.

Well, if not employing a trans person to be its face of trans advocacy and education is what NGLTF should be doing with its funding and resources, then it is doing its job well.

You see, Wart and Remembrance was, for the most part, a comment I made to a piece at Bilerico – a piece that I never thought I’d see, from Bil Browning or any other non-trans personage.

[W]hen Katrina Rose points out the obvious, I can only nod my head in agreement. When trans folk are regularly excluded from jobs inside of our community, the emperor has no clothes.

Outside of a few exceptions, Gay Inc. is as blindingly white and cisgender as the Out Power 50 list. With so few trans folk in position of leadership in LGB(T) organizations nationally, how can we fix this problem?

The drawback, of course, was that he praised the most obvious example of a non-trans lesbian’s career benefiting from an LGB(T) organization’s discrimination against trans people, particularly trans women:

That said, Lisa Mottet, the Transgender Civil Rights Project Director at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, is a huge trans ally and one smart cookie. She’s nothing to be sneezed at – and if the point is that gender identity shouldn’t matter when hiring someone, how does that factor in for this situation?

So if Wal-Mart had no African-American or women employees – but (1) Wal-Mart has a nifty, wifty paper-based corporate anti-discrimination policy, and (2) neither race nor sex should matter when hiring someone – would anyone use such a nugget of apologism to gloss over a decade of excluding people (and I do mean that in plural, so I indeed do not just mean me) who NGLTF allegedly advocates for from position which would allow some of us to earn a paycheck doing what we have earned the right to earn a paycheck for doing (and what we do on our own time and dime as it stands now)?

Enter, my comment:

I would guess that Lisa has been involved in advocating for well over 200 local or state trans rights laws since she joined NGLTF in 2001.

Well, in her Maryland Senate committee testimony, she brought out the figure of 100.

Of course, she also talked about those 100 or so laws/ordinances utilizing language that would leave anyone who was not as in-tune with this specific issue as trans activists are with the impression that there was no daylight between HB235 and those other laws/ordinances.

Someone with the “best track record of advocating for trans rights legislation” must be presumed to know precisely what she is saying and how what she is saying is likely to be interpreted by the non-trans-expert ear.

when Marti calls into question the commitment of someone who arguably has the best track record of advocating for trans rights legislation in the nation’s history (and that isn’t hyperbole)

And how is it that she has been in the position for the last decade to generate that track record for herself? NGLTF – you know, allegedly the anti-HRC – sees no problem with presenting an implicit message to the world: We expect everyone else to be willing to hire trans people, but, even though there are a ton of ’em on the market with the academic and professional experience to do exactly what Mottet doing and present first-person narratives of discrimination while doing so (I guess I’m the only person who saw Prof. William Eskridge’s testimony to Congress in support of ENDA which also included his own personal story of being driven away from a law profesorship because of being gay), we’re going to stick with the non-trans person, because, well…you know. Wink. Wink.

In the past I’ve used this illustration:

Remember in the run-up to the 2000 elections? When gay conservative were falling all over themselves to support George W. Bush, justifying that support with the delusion that there was no proof whatsoever that he was actually anti-gay? Well, what if – all other things being equal – he had turned out to be the stealth pro-gay candidate that those gay conservatives were asserting/implying that he was? What if he had supported – and achieved DOMA repeal? DADT repeal? An inclusive ENDA?

While that would all have been nice, it wouldn’t alter one nagging piece of reality: He lost. The process that put him into the White House in 2001 was illegitimate and everyone knows it.

And that’s where you, and everyone else, trans and non-trans alike, are who respond to this issue in any manner by pointing out that the non-trans people who occupy jobs in the gay rights industry that competent, experienced, non-insta-token – but un/under-employed by virtue of being trans – trans people could be filling are competent, experienced and possessing of credentials that apparently nullify any right that we rabble may have ever had to question whose agenda those people and their employers are actually working on.

Ten years ago – you know, not long after NGLTF hired Mottet – a board member of her organization showed up at a community meeting in Minneapolis following the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision in Goins v. West Group and said that one way to prevent such abominable decisions from occurring in the future is with more education on trans issues. I went up to her after the meeting and suggested that one way to further such educational efforts would be for organizations such as hers to hire trans people to do some of that educating. The look on her face in response to that was similar to that we see on Maggie Gallagher’s face when someone calls NOM homophobic – like I’d sodomized her dog with a curling iron. To say that she immediately got overly defensive would be an understatement – first launching into a ‘how do you know that we don’t have any…’ but stopping, something I’ve always presumed was because she knew that she really couldn’t go there.

It wasn’t because her emperor had no clothes.

Oh, her emperor and the others actually did have clothes – and still do.

But, as is the case with most nobility, such emperors aquire those clothes with resources that they take away from the people who need them the most.

And now, I’m off to England for the royal wedding – to make a bit of extra money by being a piece of human furniture at the post-wedding party for Prince Willie’s regiment.


Screw the class obscenity of the royal wedding next week; I opted instead for a couple of minor league baseball doubleheaders this week – one in Illinois and one in Iowa.

You know…

States that are soooooooooooooooooooooo much more conservative than Maryland but somehow enacted transsexual birth certificate statutes, respectively, 40 and 19 years before Maryland did – and already have somehow enacted trans-inclusive, public accommodations-inclusive civil rights legislation.  (And do you want me to mention that one of them already has gay marriage and the other one will, in roughly a month and a half, have civil unions?)

I encourage all of you to take a look at that Bilerico item, entitled: Naked Emperor Alert: Trans Employment Rights.

I encourage you to look at all 20 of the comments – and determine for yourself what the score is.

I also encourage all of you to look at Transgender Woman Severely Beaten at Baltimore McDonalds While Employees Watch and is (as of right now) 391 comments.


Do also think about something that I said here last night: We don’t know what effect Maryland having a trans-inclusive, public accommodations-inclusive civil rights law for the last ten years might possibly have had on the attitudinal development of people who, ten years ago, were respectively four and eight years old, now do we?

Likewise, we don’t know what effect NGLTF having a trans person employed as its publicly-visible trans expert for the last ten years might possibly have had on the attitudinal development of people who, ten years ago, were respectively four and eight years old, now do we?

And likewise, we don’t know what effect NGLTF having a trans person employed as its publicly-visible trans expert for the last ten years might possibly have had on the attitudinal development of the people and states of our nation, now do we?

Of course, we can make an educated guess.

2 Responses to The Winds of the Poor

  1. Summer says:

    Puppets are mimes, the winds of Autumn no longer blow so hard & those who spoke so loudly that public accomidations were unimportant at Bilerico are silent on this national story. They push others to speak to cover their shame.

    Will HRC speak for them?

  2. lincoln says:

    Really? A news blackout at an LGBT source? Gizmodo covered it, and their main purpose in life is to talk about tech and cool gadgets.


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