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Aravosis Needs To Issue His Own Apology To Trans People Before Citing TGs Regarding Fed LGBT Issues

Oddly, Americablog blogger John Aravosis chosen to use a New York Times article on the improvement to the lots of transgender federal workers, entitled New Protections for Transgender Federal Workers to highlight the need for an apology from President Obama on the DOJ’s recent DADT DOMA brief. Aravosis’ piece begins as follows:

From the NYT:

Lawyers for President Obama are quietly drafting first-of-their kind guidelines barring workplace discrimination against transgender federal employees, officials said Tuesday.

The guidelines will be in an updated federal handbook for managers and supervisors to be distributed and posted online in the next couple of months, and they could also be included in other materials for managers. They will list transgender people – those who identify their gender differently from the information on their birth certificates – as among several groups protected by antidiscrimination laws.

This is a good thing, and an important step for the transgender community…

A “good thing” John? Really? You really think so?

Well, back to that point in a short bit. Aravosis, in this recent piece, calls for President Obama to apologize, and lists other grievances he has for the Obama Administration:

Not a word from the White House about that little chestnut. And there’s the rub. It’s great that the White House suddenly feels the need to act on a number of issues that help the gay community, only after we collectively beat the crap out of them. And they seem intent on finding every non-top-of-the-agenda item they can to “fix” in order to boost their pro-gay bona fides. Today, for example, we learn of the government’s apology to Frank Kameny for having fired him 40 years ago for being gay. This is good thing. But again, it is not an explanation for how our president’s DOJ could compare us to incest and pedophilia, and for why our president refuses to issue a stop-loss order preventing real governmental discrimination taking place today in 2009, not in 1957. It’s almost as if the Obama administration hopes that if it can piece together a big enough list of small items, they can make us go away on our biggest issues, Obama’s biggest promises, to repeal DOMA and DADT.

Let’s remind the White House once again why we are all here:

• Will this president apologize for comparing our community to incest and pedophilia?

• Will he explain why the brief gratuitously argued for the dismantlement of the legal underpinning of our civil rights (suggesting that Loving v. Virginia had nothing to do with gay marriage equality)?

• Will he explain why our civil rights do not matter his making an exemption – which he is in his rights to do – to the standard, but not exclsuvei [sic], practice of a president defending existing law? Why won’t he oppose DOMA in court?

And then there’s DADT…

Funny now that Aravosis uses a piece that begins with a transgender component to begin an screed against the president’s policies towards the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. It’s “funny” because John Aravosis has pretty much said that he doesn’t believe transgender people belong in the  — or perhaps I should say “his” and not the“gay community”. And of course, he never apologized for his statement.

From Aravosis’ Americablog piece of October 3rd, 2007 entitled The Transgender Fiasco, John Aravosis argued that he didn’t feel transgender people should have been included in an lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, and used the term gay community in the piece in a specific attempt to use a term that intentionally excluded lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people:

I would argue that the gay community never collectively and overwhelmingly decided to include the T in LGB (or GLB). It happened because a few groups like NGLTF and GLAAD starting using it, and they and a handful of vocal activists and transgender leaders pretty much shamed everyone else into doing it. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that the T shouldn’t have been added. I’m just saying that I don’t think the T was added because there was a groundswell of demand in the gay community that we add T to LGB. I think it happened through pressure, organizational fiat, shame, and osmosis.

And that is how we got into the mess we’re in today.

Read the whole piece entitled The Transgender Fiasco, and see if you don’t come away with the same thoughts I do when reading it — my understanding that Aravosis doesn’t want trans people in his “gay community”. I’d say that The Transgender Fiasco, and its companion piece Should we kill ENDA if transgendered people aren’t included?, should be real eye-openers for those who are both fans of transgender inclusion in ENDA and of the Americablog.

Hey, if Mr. Aravosis wants to rail against the Obama Administration for not doing enough for the LGBT community, I’m going to side with him — the Obama Andministration hasn’t done enough. But, for him to use a New York Times on transgender federal employement issues to argue that the Obama Administration owes the LGBT community an apology on the DADT brief? Oooooooooh no. That doesn’t get a pass from me at all.

Mr. Aravosis owes an apology to the transgender subcommunity of the LGBT community for personally approving of kicking transgender people and issues out of the broad lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community for the benefit of ENDA 2007/2008, and now he currently owes a fresh apology to the transgender subcommunity  of the LGBT community for using a story about the transgender subcommunity to make a point about the Obama Administration’s treatment of LGBT people.

Frankly, the term is overused, but I’m still going to use it here because I don’t have a better term to describe how I feel about Aravosis’ use of the transgender subcommunity  of the LGBT community to make a point about the Obama Administration: I’m offended by Aravosis’ statement. When John Aravosis issues an apology to the transgender subcommunity, and he writes a piece about how he now embraces lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in a broad lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights movement, then in my opinion he will have at least some sort of moral authority on which to turn news about the transgender subcommunity into calls for apologies.

Please. Mr. Aravosis should take a read at Matthew 7:

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Mr. Aravosis should be pulling the plank out of his own eye regarding trans people and issues before using transgender people to make a point on LGBT civil rights — before using trans people and issues as a starting point for making a statement about how the Obama Administration needs to appologize regrding LGBT civil rights — and that horrid DADT DOMA brief of a couple of weeks ago.

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Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen