A comment by laughriotgirl on one of the threads at PHB wherein refusing to bend over and take gay transphobia is branded as homophobia:
What bothers me Is that we are expected to just forget things happened
What has John Aravosis said recently that is offensive? If you can show me, I will bring it up with him. What has Elizabeth Birch said or done recently that is offensive?
Well, I’ll be impolite and respond with a question: What has Ronald Reagan done to negatively affect air traffic safety lately?
Literal answer: not much.
Accurate answer that requires a working knowledge of history and the temerity to be willing to apply it: His union-busting shenanigans of thirty years ago are still being felt today in the form of a substandard overall framework of air traffic controlling.
Why hasn’t there been anything 2007-ish from The Mouth of The John of late?
Well, one possibility is that he’s actually changed.
Another possibility is that since October 2007 there hasn’t been a trans-inclusive ENDA for him to declare to be in imminent need of de-transing in order to pass because there hasn’t really been an ENDA at all!
But that’s not a direct analogy to Bonzo and PATCO.
What has Elizabeth Birch said or done recently that is offensive?
Ah…Bonzo is in the building!
Literal answer: not much – at least I assume. But I can’t profess to know. Nevertheless, I’ll leave it at “not much.”
Accurate answer that requires a working knowledge of history and the temerity to be willing to apply it: Her tenure at HRC helped to solidify the acceptable-for-appearances-sake-yet-acceptably-expendable-in-real-policy-terms otherness of trans people’s relationship to national gay advocacy. Given that it is now spring and opening day is this week, look at it in baseball terms: If Elizabeth Birch’s tenure of transphobia-in-reality (Maryland is a “discrimination-free zone”) was, collectively, Babe Ruth’s 714 home runs, then Joe Solmonese’s speech to Southern Comfort in 2007 – and the lies it represented – corresponds to Barry Bonds’ 756th home run, not even to Hank Aaron’s 715th. (What would be a proper analogue to Hank and 715? SONDA perhaps?)
Elizabeth Birch’s transpobic tenure at HRC is no more irrelevant to what is transpiring today – and no more deserving of being forgotten – than what the original head of HRC(F), Steve Endean, did in Minnesota five years before HRC(F) was ever founded. The fact that he’s long-since dead and that Minneapolis – and eventually Minnesota – eventually got the trans-inclusive laws they deserved in the first instance is irrelevant.
It all happened.
If you’re a trans person and want to drink the ‘incremental progress’ kool-aid, I can’t stop you. On the other hand, you can drink all of that kool-aid that you want – but the rest of us aren’t going to forget.
Remember the Alamo!
Remember that by 1979 the largest jurisdiction in the country with a gay rights law had a gay rights law that was trans-inclusive!
Remember New York City 1986-2002!
Remember New Hampshire!
Remember gay-only Vermont!*
Remember gay-only New Jersey!*
Remember Rhode Island 1995-2001!
Remember California 1999-2003!
Remember that HRC declared Maryland to be a “discrimination-free zone” once gays got everything that they were asking for in 2001!
Remember that Cathy Brennan declared that if you opposed the 2001 gay-only bill specificaly because you wanted a legitimate, trans-inclusive bill instead, then you were “anti-gay”!
[After being reminded by Monica Roberts] Remember the Texas James Byrd Hate Crime Law!
Remember that Joe Solmonese is a proven liar!
Remember Barney “Oz” Frank!
Remember John “How did the T get in LGBT” Aravosis!
Apparently we’re not allowed to remember all of that?
Demanding that we forget is transphobia – and when that demand comes from a trans person, its just plain sad.
[Cross-posted at ENDABlog]
*Sorry, but I’m blanking on the exact periods of gay-only-ness for those two states – but both became gay-only in the early 1990s and then became statutorily legitimate in the latter half of the first decade of the 21st century.