Demanding That We Forget is Transphobia

March 28, 2011 ·

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

That was in response to yet another attempt to exercise control over what trans people are allowed to remember in polite company:

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 Goliad!

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 what else happened in 1979!

Remember what else happened in 1979!

Remember Wisconsin!

Remember New York City 1986-2002!

Remember Massachusetts!

Remember Connecticut!

Remember New Hampshire!

Remember Hawaii!

Remember gay-only Vermont!*

Remember gay-only New Jersey!*

Remember Rhode Island 1995-2001!

Remember Nevada!

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 SONDA!

Remember Delaware!

Remember that Joe Solmonese is a proven liar!

Remember Barney “Oz” Frank!

Remember John “How did the T get in LGBT” Aravosis!

Oh…

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.

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