The T Isn’t Silent, But HRC Is

It’s coming up on two years ago that I wrote an “Open Letter to Cheryl Jacques.” A month after I posted my open letter, Jacques greeted transgender protesters outside of Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) offices with the news that HRC would not support any version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that didn’t include transgender protections. She later wrote:

“passing ENDA without gender identity and expression is like passing a copyright law that covers books and television shows but doesn’t cover digital music or videos.But ENDA is about people’s lives, not MP3s or DVDs. That’s why it’s so important that we have the strongest and most comprehensive bill possible.”

Last Friday I asked whether or not we are one community. I’ve been told more than once that a GLB”T” community just isn’t a reality. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by living in Indianapolis (I never thought I’d ever utter those words), but our community has been strongly united. During the battle for the Human Rights Ordinance there was NEVER any serious talk of removing gender identity from the list of those protected.

Why do I bring this up again? Another voice is calling for the removal of gender identity from the Senate version of the hate crimes bill. And according to anonymous sources, HRC is flatly refusing to ONLY support a hate crimes bill that has gender inclusive language.

The transgender lobbyists I spoke to on the Hill on Wednesday said that they are being told by Senate offices that the ENDA bill in the Senate will NOT include gender identity.

Even more worrisome is the chatter among many of the other leading GLBT organizations that gender identity will be removed from the hate crimes bill that is currently in committee in the Senate.

Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), and the National Organization for Women (NOW) have stated publicly that they will only support legislation that is trans-inclusive. So again I ask, are we unified in this fight for GLBT Americans? It’s a good question to ask, and has been asked many times this week. Unfortunately, HRC isn’t talking.

Marti Abernathey

Marti Abernathey

Founder at TransAdvocate
Marti Abernathey is a trans activist, political strategist, and trans media pioneer. She has been a grass roots organizer on the state and national level. Abernathey was a member of Barack Obama's LGBT Steering and Policy Committee, the founder of the Transgender sub-committee and Indiana's first ever transgender delegate to the Democratic National Convention. Abernathey is probably best known as the founder of the Transadvocate, and former managing editor (2002-2013).
Marti Abernathey
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30 comments on “The T Isn’t Silent, But HRC Is
  1. “HRC here in Orlando appears very supportive of trans folks.”

    Appears? How so?

    “I was invited (and accepted) an invitation to another fund raiser. One the HRC ladies came to Girls Night Out social. And I’ve been invited to serve on the local steering committee. Involvement works!”

    The problem isn’t with the local HRC orgs. The money you raise doesn’t stay in your local area. DO you know how much of the money that leaves via your local HRC comes back?

  2. “HRC here in Orlando appears very supportive of trans folks.”

    Appears? How so?

    “I was invited (and accepted) an invitation to another fund raiser. One the HRC ladies came to Girls Night Out social. And I’ve been invited to serve on the local steering committee. Involvement works!”

    The problem isn’t with the local HRC orgs. The money you raise doesn’t stay in your local area. DO you know how much of the money that leaves via your local HRC comes back?

  3. HRC here in Orlando appears very supportive of trans folks. Until I showed up at a meeting last month, trans participation was nil. However, at least six ladies and gentlemen went out of their way to introduce themselves and say how happy they were to see trans folks here!
    I was invited (and accepted) an invitation to another fund raiser. One the HRC ladies came to Girls Night Out social. And I’ve been invited to serve on the local steering committee.
    Involvement works!

    Please keep this thread going regarding ENDA and other legislation pertaining to trans issues.

    Thanks!

  4. HRC here in Orlando appears very supportive of trans folks. Until I showed up at a meeting last month, trans participation was nil. However, at least six ladies and gentlemen went out of their way to introduce themselves and say how happy they were to see trans folks here!
    I was invited (and accepted) an invitation to another fund raiser. One the HRC ladies came to Girls Night Out social. And I’ve been invited to serve on the local steering committee.
    Involvement works!

    Please keep this thread going regarding ENDA and other legislation pertaining to trans issues.

    Thanks!

  5. I sometimes wonder if the trans inclusion/exclusion item is put on the table before it is asked for by the lawmakers?

    Possibly a power of suggestion?

  6. I sometimes wonder if the trans inclusion/exclusion item is put on the table before it is asked for by the lawmakers?

    Possibly a power of suggestion?

  7. I’m TS and living in the Atlanta, GA area. The trans involvement with the local HRC is minimal. I and one other TS do things regularly with HRC. A few other TSs show up sporadically mostly in high visibility things like the annual dinner.

    If TSs wish more support from HRC I suggest we get more involved with HRC. When people get to know us they tend to be more supportive.

    Nerissa Belcher

  8. I’m TS and living in the Atlanta, GA area. The trans involvement with the local HRC is minimal. I and one other TS do things regularly with HRC. A few other TSs show up sporadically mostly in high visibility things like the annual dinner.

    If TSs wish more support from HRC I suggest we get more involved with HRC. When people get to know us they tend to be more supportive.

    Nerissa Belcher

  9. Pingback: The View From (Ab)Normal Heights » Blog Archive » On Truth, Righteousness, LLEHCPA and ENDA

  10. Hey Marti,

    More updates please! This is obviously a story that needs continuing coverage!!

    And hey, this time YOU get to be the one to publicly confirm everyone’s worst fears! Fun job, innit? 😉

    Becky

  11. Hey Marti,

    More updates please! This is obviously a story that needs continuing coverage!!

    And hey, this time YOU get to be the one to publicly confirm everyone’s worst fears! Fun job, innit? 😉

    Becky

  12. “I tried commenting, but it was evidently not allowed. I wasn’t rude, so it was only the criticism you refuse to place on your site. Like ALL militant transgender avdovcates, you cannot handle any criticism or obejctive view points that do not agree with your own. Trans-jacked again. I found your site because I am researching transgender rights vis-a-vis gay rights. Thanks for being so open-minded to difeering opinions.”

    It’s called moderation, and most blogs that get any kind of traffic use moderation to get rid of spam and comments that could be considered libelous.

  13. “I tried commenting, but it was evidently not allowed. I wasn’t rude, so it was only the criticism you refuse to place on your site. Like ALL militant transgender avdovcates, you cannot handle any criticism or obejctive view points that do not agree with your own. Trans-jacked again. I found your site because I am researching transgender rights vis-a-vis gay rights. Thanks for being so open-minded to difeering opinions.”

    It’s called moderation, and most blogs that get any kind of traffic use moderation to get rid of spam and comments that could be considered libelous.

  14. I tried commenting, but it was evidently not allowed. I wasn’t rude, so it was only the criticism you refuse to place on your site. Like ALL militant transgender avdovcates, you cannot handle any criticism or obejctive view points that do not agree with your own. Trans-jacked again. I found your site because I am researching transgender rights vis-a-vis gay rights. Thanks for being so open-minded to difeering opinions.

  15. I tried commenting, but it was evidently not allowed. I wasn’t rude, so it was only the criticism you refuse to place on your site. Like ALL militant transgender avdovcates, you cannot handle any criticism or obejctive view points that do not agree with your own. Trans-jacked again. I found your site because I am researching transgender rights vis-a-vis gay rights. Thanks for being so open-minded to difeering opinions.

  16. It’s deja vu all over again! I’d like to say I’m surprised…really I would…but I can’t, because I’m not. I wasn’t surprised in 2004 either. Not after watching HRC’s Executive Board cheer wildly as Hillary Clinton edited us out of the ENDA picture just weeks ago. Not after seeing how they’ve continued to dodge our community media and our questions time and time again. Not after not seeing HRC specifically stand up and say that they won’t support a hate crimes bill that leaves Transgender-Americans behind.

    Only a few of the more public faces have changed at HRC, not any significant portions of their agenda.

  17. It’s deja vu all over again! I’d like to say I’m surprised…really I would…but I can’t, because I’m not. I wasn’t surprised in 2004 either. Not after watching HRC’s Executive Board cheer wildly as Hillary Clinton edited us out of the ENDA picture just weeks ago. Not after seeing how they’ve continued to dodge our community media and our questions time and time again. Not after not seeing HRC specifically stand up and say that they won’t support a hate crimes bill that leaves Transgender-Americans behind.

    Only a few of the more public faces have changed at HRC, not any significant portions of their agenda.

  18. Anyone who believes that HRC has not already devised a ‘Plan B’, preplanning every move to make and every plattitude to spew with respect to excising us from not just ENDA but the hate crime bill as well, is in need of mental counseling. HRC’s own disgusting record of employment of trans people telegraphs every move to come. If they think that we are worthy of equal treatment from employers in general, they’d believe that we are worthy of equal treatment from them as an employer. They don’t – and they don’t.

  19. Anyone who believes that HRC has not already devised a ‘Plan B’, preplanning every move to make and every plattitude to spew with respect to excising us from not just ENDA but the hate crime bill as well, is in need of mental counseling. HRC’s own disgusting record of employment of trans people telegraphs every move to come. If they think that we are worthy of equal treatment from employers in general, they’d believe that we are worthy of equal treatment from them as an employer. They don’t – and they don’t.

  20. Check out the cover story of Newsweek (yeah, I know) and an two page story in Discover (not a whole lot better) this month. The Newsweek story is on gender and its variants. I’ve only been able to skim it, but it sounded pretty good, of course there’s always room for improvement.

    The Discover article was on the genetic causality of physical sex and the fact that the shape of one’s gonads or the simple genetic karyotype (xx, xy, …) cannot be used to judge a person’s gender identity.

    I know that Barbara Walters had a segment on trans kids recently. For whatever reason, gender identity issues are exploding in the news media right now and in a positive light no-less.

    I love you, hon. Now go change the world…

  21. Check out the cover story of Newsweek (yeah, I know) and an two page story in Discover (not a whole lot better) this month. The Newsweek story is on gender and its variants. I’ve only been able to skim it, but it sounded pretty good, of course there’s always room for improvement.

    The Discover article was on the genetic causality of physical sex and the fact that the shape of one’s gonads or the simple genetic karyotype (xx, xy, …) cannot be used to judge a person’s gender identity.

    I know that Barbara Walters had a segment on trans kids recently. For whatever reason, gender identity issues are exploding in the news media right now and in a positive light no-less.

    I love you, hon. Now go change the world…

  22. Pingback: Trouble in Paradise? « Beyond Genderland

  23. Not to be picky, because ENDA without gender identity is shit…

    But there WAS serious talk of removing the trans community from the Indy HRO. It was quickly shut down however by local leaders from INTRAA, IE, PFLAG, and IAN.

  24. Not to be picky, because ENDA without gender identity is shit…

    But there WAS serious talk of removing the trans community from the Indy HRO. It was quickly shut down however by local leaders from INTRAA, IE, PFLAG, and IAN.

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