GLB, and maybe T:
It's been a bumpy week for the transgendered sort. We should have had a chance to be thrilled that sexual identiity was included in a hate crime bill on the federal level. That's really pretty amazing. But then Barney Frank came along, and decided that we didn't need employment protections after all. And the Human Rights Campaign went along with this. After days of soul-searching, HRC has decided that they won't SUPPORT an employment discrimination act that protects gays and lesbians. But they won't denounce it either. Donna Rose, the only transgendered member of the HRC board, has just resigned in protest and frustration.
There's something additionally horrid about all of this. There are a lot of transgendered activists who are not in the slightest suprised by this. We saw it coming. We hoped the leopards would change their spots, but knew it was wishful thinking.
Frank has said disparaging things about transgendered people before. Peekhere, from 2000. He's quoted in far right-wing articles for his antitransgender views. Transgender advocates don't trust him, never have. Now do you see why?
The Human Rights Campaign was one of the very last alternate-sexuality political groups to include transgender people, and they did so grudgingly. Donna Rose became a member of the HRC board. Most transgender activists felt that HRC was only after what little money we had. Now, when we need them to be firmly in solidarity with the entire GLBT community, there is luke-warm support. We're not suprised.
And then there is Americablog. I'm not providing a link, because I don't go there anymore. John Aravosis used to be someone I looked up to, until the last week. He's been the most outspoken gay activist for jettisoning the transgendered protections from the bill. His attitude has been that so long as gay people get something at all, it doesn't matter about the rest of us. He's belittled commenters in his blog that dared disagree with him. However, he says he'll support us, that he'll come back for us. He says this while simultaneously questioning why the Transgendered are grouped with the Gay, Lesbians, and Bisexuals at all. Is there any wonder that we doubt his dedication to our subset of the fight?
As a contrast, there has been really pretty overwhelming support for keeping the T in the GLBT. Even on Americablog, despite the site owner's beligerence, support has been strong. Pam's House Blend bloggers have been supportive, with only a few fairly polite disagreements. We appreciate the inclusion, and we'll keep fighting to help our ENTIRE community, G,L,B, and T.
But yes, we're skittish. I hope no one is suprised.