Exploiting The Transgender Dead: Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition’s Rent-A-Corpse Page

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I used to be outraged when the non-profit sector of the “LGBT” community tried to exploit the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), but after repeated attempts (1, 2, 3, 4) I have come to expect it. This year’s attempt comes from the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition’s (MTPC) TDOR page:

You too can become a Boston TDOR sponsor. You can make MTPC’s TDOR page look like a sponsored NASCAR vehicle!

As I mentioned before, the intention behind the TDOR is best summed up by its founder, Gwen Smith:

“The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgendered people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.”

Having a “good purpose” for raising money isn’t enough of a reason for doing so. Would you have a fundraiser at:

  • a loved one’s funeral?
  • at a Holocaust memorial?
  • at 9-11′s ground zero?

Ethan St. Pierre,  nephew of  hate crime victim Deborah Forte and webmaster for TransgenderDOR , said it this way:

“How would you feel about a couple of people from the local high school attending your grandmother’s wake wielding a coffee can to raise money for their baseball team?”

In a 2007 he wrote “An Open Letter to the Transgender Community” he said:

“The attempted manipulations and attempts to capitalize on the Transgender Day of Remembrance by some of our national organizations and so called leaders is nothing less than appalling and downright sickening.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is not a place to put on your party hat, it is not a celebration of life, nor is it an opportunity for your organization to fund-raise, it should not be an event where the keynote speaker gets paid a lot of money to come and sell the latest autobiography and should not be a political event where people schmooze with their donors from a past political campaign and it most certainly should not be sponsored nor cosponsored by The Human Right’s Campaign, an organization who can’t even support us in a Federal Hate crimes bill!”

You don’t need sponsorship to hold a TDOR. You simply need people to read names, and other people to listen (if you need help having an event, read this). If your event looks like a NASCAR sponsor filled car, you’re probably doing it wrong.

 

 

 

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.