Transactivism, For Your Eyes Only

in Opinion

“A Town hall meeting is an informal public meeting derived from the traditional town meetings of New England. Similarly to those meetings, everybody in a community is invited to attend, voice their opinions, and hear the responses from public figures and elected officials, although attendees rarely vote on an issue. In today’s heterogeneous communities with large populations, more often, town hall meetings are held so that people can influence elected officials in their decision making or to give them a chance to feel that their voices are being heard.” Wikipedia – Town Hall Meeting

Tonight I attended a Transgender Rights Town hall Meeting hosted by the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance (INTRAA), but I’m sorry to report that I can’t tell you what was said. I can’t tell you what names were mentioned. I can’t tell you what the National Center For Transgender Equality (NCTE) and INTRAA are doing to advance transgender rights in Indiana and across the United States. The reason I can’t tell you these things is because I was prohibited from video taping the event by the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling.

This is a direct attack on my journalistic integrity. I would NEVER jeopardize my community’s advancement over “getting a scoop.” When Mara objected to filming of the event, I explained that I would give Mara 100% editorial control on ANYTHING I posted online, but she still refused. I’ve had multiple “off the record” discussions with a variety of GLBT activists and leaders, including Mara. I’ve never broken that trust with any of them. I protect those conversations as if they were top secret government discussions.

I’m really stumped as to why there was a gag order put into effect. It’s not as if someone couldn’t walk in with a pad of paper or a voice recorder and covertly transcribe the event. The “Targeted States Conference” hosted by NGLTF and NCTE was filmed in its entirety, and it’s a conference ABOUT STRATEGY!

So if you want to know whats going on in transactivism, you better ask James Bond or Tula. While I won’t stop trying to bring you the latest news, events, and commentary in transactivism, I can’t tell you what happened tonight.

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Because if I told you… I’d have to kill you.

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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