Dear Barney Frank,
I'm writing this open letter to you because it is apparent, even to this lone transexual woman from Arizona that doesn't even belong to your part, that you neither see nor care about anything but a narrow concept that even the most powerful lobbying organizations have been telling you is wrong.
Your opposition to a fully inclusive ENDA has given those who work daily to strip you, personally, of your rights a victory that they will use as a rallying point. In this issue — an issue that affects the very gay and Lesbian people you are trying very hard to give something, anything, as part of not only the Democratic legacy for this term, but your own personal legacy.
I've never met you, and yet I read news reports and watch CSPAN — never so much as I have in the last few months as ENDA and the Matthew Shepherd bill have gone through — I hear you and read your words and the words of those around you.
And I find it duplicitous at best. You should be ashamed. I know you don't think you are “transphobic” — that you are simply trying to get something, anything, through. I know that you think you are doing the right thing.
But you have decieved yourself and the public — you have forsaken your constitutional obligations. The Orignal Bill never had any of the concerns you raise in your speeches until after you chose to remove the transgender elements.
This entire debacle is your own doing. The controversy is yours, and yours alone. You might want to pass the buck to Pelosi, but everyone knows that this is your baby and she's going to let you di it. You are an elder statesman.
AS such, you are likely subject to many of the older prejudices that were instilled in so many of us during the 1970's. Or perhaps you aren't aware of the incredible advances in knowedge and understanding made jsut within the last 8 years.
YOu speak of “doing it another time”. Giving us our rights at a nother time.
Despite this being the second and third time that you have, yourself, sandbagged the “least of those”, I'm actually willing to give you a chance. An opportunity to prove to myself — and all my brothers and sisters who might not act or look straight enough for our common political foes, inclusive of yourself — that you really do mean this.
Tell us, now, when this opportunity will happen. Who will sponsor the bill. And guarantee it. Not “as best you can”, but an absolute, ironclad guarantee that it will happen on a specific day and date.
I am unemployed. I've been looking for a job for six months. I am fully qualified to do the jobs I am seeking and have excellent references anmd prior work history. I dress professionaly, sharp and clean. I'm 42 and am frequently told I look ten to fifteen years younger than that.
After 1,137 applications (as of this writing), I have had 34 intrgviews, all of which ended within 40 minutes because I'm transgender.
I have five children that I have to pay child support for, Mr. Franks. I have a grand daughter that thinks I'm the bees knees who's parents need assistance. My older son has a complex learning disability that costs additional money.
This bill “probably wouldn't pass”. THe senate is said to show little interest. The white house has said they will veto it.
But the symbolism of an inclusive bill being passed has enormous effect on the population. IT sets a signal that says “this is wrong”, even if its not a law yet.
You are saying it isn't wrong. And harming my family by doing so.
You are doing this. I hold you, personally, responsible.
So will you — can you? — give me that date and that promise?
If not, then make *now* that time and fulfill that promise. Please.
A. E. D.