Judy Shepard: Back Up HRC On Press “Misinformation” About Leaving Transgender Behind!

This week has been wild … far too many things to write about – not enough time. On top of it, my dad and Sally were in from Oregon the past two days – monopolizing my time since we rarely see each other.

On the subject of parents, Matthew Shepard’s mom, Judy Shepard was in town as the keynote speaker at Houston’s HRC banquet. I missed out on getting a chance to touch base with her again. We met in 2000 at the Martinez vigil in Cortez, Colorado as she was there with a contingent of other PFLAG parents, including Carolyn Wagner and Gabi Clayton. She was very sweet, we chatted quite a bit about what Paula Mitchell was going through, how it touched her own life and brought back some of the memories of 1998 for her. I’d mentioned to her my own sentiments about starting a march to Austin immediately after Matthew was found, and how we’d held a vigil in Houston which I volunteered at as many of the spontaneous events sprung up around the country following Matthew’s death.

I had kind memories of Judy from that visit (and another brief encounter in Columbus, Ohio’s PFLAG convention).

Then I got wind from a media friend in Dallas about her speech in Houston (after noticing our protest line outside).

About three minutes into the speech, Judy comes around to noting that:

“Joe [Solmonese] and the other lobbyists are just stellar,” and how they are there at the banquet to “celebrate the work they do for ‘us’ on the hill.”

She then adds that theirs is work that is:

“frequently misrepresented in the press.”

Judy notes “the way that people think we should force people to vote the way we want them to…. It doesn’t work that easy. It’s not that smooth.” Heard that line before? Yeah … me too. Someone drank the Kool-Aid.

From there on, it’s downhill.

“I commend all of you for understanding how important it is to support them (HRC) even when the press begins to rail at them about things they don’t understand. [about 4:30 into the speech]”

“We have an important job and an important message to keep morale up and keep the information correct.”

“We have a job to maintain that honesty and that sincerity.”

“You need to pay attention to what’s going on.”

“Marriage is not going to change everything for you (oddly she never brought up employment issues at all).”

“We have a lot of education that needs to be done, particularly around the transgender issue.”

“We need all of you to support what HRC does and to talk in a way that shows your knowledge of a situation. We need the right information out there.”

Talking about her visits to college campuses, Shepard says she can’t relate how many times she’s heard from them: “well HRC just deserted the transgender issue.”

To that, Shepard replies to them:

“Well no, not really. They didn’t do that at all! Do you read their policy? Do you read what’s on their website? Or are you just listening to the hype the popular press is giving you misinformation?”

To the banquet attendees, Shepard implored them that:

“we have to talk to people. We have to tell our stories. We need to be … authentic about who we are.”

She wrapped up with a call to arms for all HRC members:

“Y’all need to back up what’s happening, everywhere in every situation that happens.”

In a nutshell, it’s up to all HRC supporters to go forth and challenge every claim about their disparity and disparagement of the transgender community. This will be their messaging, and they will stick to it:

It’s all been a concoction of the press’ imagination, and an attempt to create controversy from something that never happened. HRC, not the transgender community, has been honest and sincere. We trans activists allegedly don’t know up from down and right from wrong, not even understanding what has happened to us legislatively or even from out well-meaning and knowledgeable friends at HRC. We should all read their policy and their website and not pay attention to exclusion from legislation, or lack of access to legislators whom we’ve clearly failed to educate this past decade and a half.

Meanwhile, marriage is possible in the near term for gays and lesbians, and there’s not much need to even discuss employment – not an issue at all.

Pardon me, while I pick my jaw up off of the floor.

Of all the people to be public, and to issue the call to all in HRC to take up the battle and defeat the transgender bullies and the illusory press – it’s Judy Shepard!?! Folks in NTAC, most consistently mistrustful of HRC, have had precious little contact with press – you won’t see one word from me on HRC in press since 2007. Ironically, most press on HRC and Joe Solmonese has come from Mara Keisling: hands-down the best friend HRC has ever had in helping market themselves with and make serious inroads into the transgender community!

And the press and transgender community have been unfair to HRC? And they need to now fight back?!? For honesty and sincerity???

Truly I feel like I’ve just been mugged, robbed and beaten senseless by Santa and his posse of gangsta elves. It’s like finding out the tooth fairy is actually a pervert who breaks into people’s homes to rape them while they sleep. The Easter Bunny playfully nibbles all he sees and spreads MRSA – the flesh-eating staph bacteria. How did this happen? Did I really miss this one that badly?

Doubtless this will also come as a shock to Carolyn Wagner, Gabi Clayton, Courtney Sharp, Sue Null, Mary Boenke and all of the trans-supporters in PFLAG-land. I’m stultified.

This speaks to the level of HRC’s persistence and myopic focus on their singular goals, regardless of costs, damage or image. They’ll worry about that last part, Rove-style, once they’ve won all and can buy a retroactive sanitizing of their history for posterity. Until then, regardless of what it takes, HRC will ‘vanquish all foes who stand in their way and seize victory’.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, these college challengers, the trans-friendly gay press, and we bully trannies, we stand in their way – we’re their foes too. Call the riot police ….

“It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State.” – Josef Goebbels

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. Abernathey currently hosts the Youtube Channel "The T-Party with Marti Abernathey."