Can I Have a Refund Please?

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On June 25, 2008 I was asked to sign on to the National Stonewall Democrat’s Transgender ActBlue page. While I disagreed with the effort (there was no concerted effort behind the scenes to make the fundraising campaign a success), I donated $150 to try and help in the effort.  As I predicted, it was a flop (collecting a measly $4,951. I know gay donors that have given as much).

While I felt uncomfortable with the idea of the page, I felt comfortable giving money to the NSD. That trust was shattered on September 2nd, 2008. Ethan St. Pierre reported here of an e-mail from Steve Driscoll, the Co-Chair of the Stonewall Democrats, saying:

I might also add, that after beginning discussions with HRC in OCTOBER about collaborating on events for the Democratic National Convention (to avoid the the anger and resentment they engendered by their high-handedness in Boston four years ago) as well as requests for sponsorship of the NSD Denver convention, AND following up with phone calls every two months with no return calls, I finally heard from them TODAY that no sponsorship would be forthcoming. When I pointed out to Marty Rouse last week that they sponsored the Logs Convention, his response was “Oh right, we did, didn’t we”.

How can the National Stonewall Democrats try and squeeze cash from the Human Rights Campaign on one hand, and profess to be part of a “United ENDA” on the other? Since the very month that we were written out of ENDA and the so called “United ENDA” campaign/coalition started, they’ve been courting HRC money.

In the last few days both HRC and the NSD have denied these aligations (but NSD has NEVER denied that the email was sent from Steve Driscoll) but Michael Petrelis has shown that HRC isn’t above giving money to Republicans. Frankly I’m more upset with the National Stonewall Democrats, an organization that I respect and was a proud member of. I’m not going to lie, this one stings. I didn’t see this one coming. The fact that the NSD needs the money is almost as disturbing as them asking for the it.

Marti Abernathey is the founder of the Transadvocate and the previous managing editor. Abernathey has worn many different hats, including that of podcaster, activist, and radiologic technologist. She's been a part of various internet radio ventures such as TSR Live!, The T-Party, and The Radical Trannies, TransFM, and Sodium Pentathol Sunday. As an advocate she's previously been involved with the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Rock Indiana Campaign for Equality, and the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition. She's taken vital roles as a grass roots community organizer in The Indianapolis Tax Day Protest (2003), The Indy Pride HRC Protest (2004), Transgender Day of Remembrance (2004), Indiana's Witch Hunt (2005), and the Rally At The Statehouse (the largest ever GLBT protest in Indiana - 3/2005). In 2008 she was a delegate from Indiana to the Democratic National Convention and a member of Barack Obama's LGBT Steering and Policy Committee.

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