My Support

July 26, 2008 ·

Readers of this blog are probably not surprised that I’m supporting the boycott of the Human Rights Campaign’s San Francisco Dinner. What you might find surprising is that I’m supporting my friend Diego Sanchez, in speaking at the event. I’m also supporting the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) nationally, now as a member. That’s right, I’m now a paid member of HRC.  Why?

If the transgender community is going to attain their civil rights as a part of the larger GLBT movement, we should be part of the largest, most powerful organization. And my isn’t HRC powerful!?! Their power is so great that the organizations affiliated with United ENDA still feel the need to work with them. The historic transgender hearings were led (Barney Frank’s Senior Policy Adviser, Joe Recalto’s words, not mine) by HRC. Whether they liked it or not, the groups of United ENDA decided that they had to work with HRC for the hearings. In fact, I don’t know of any boycott that a national GLBT organization is engaged in with HRC. Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) still co-sponsors the True Colors tour with HRC. I’m not just singling out PFLAG here, because this isn’t an isolated occurrence. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) sponsors a meeting of various GLBT civil rights organizations called “The National Policy Roundtable” NGLTF’s website states:

“The National Policy Roundtable convenes the executive directors of policy-oriented national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and HIV/AIDS organizations and the national co-chairs of policy-oriented national associations of local and state organizations semi-annually for two days of discussion, strategic thinking, information sharing and development of collaborative projects.”

And the goals of the NPR are to:

“Strengthen relationships between national LGBT organization leaders.
Brief LGBT organization leaders on policy issues of common concern.
Strategize about pending challenges to the LGBT movement and mechanisms for response.
Generate collaborative efforts among national LGBT organizations and associations.”

The Human Rights Campaign is still a member of the NPR, along with United ENDA coalition partners the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), New York Trans Rights Organization, PFLAG, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), National Stonewall Democrats, The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS), the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network(GLSEN), Mautner Project: the National Lesbian Health Organization, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, The National Black Justice Coalition, and Pride At Work,  just to name a few. There may be an illusion of protest within the GLBT community, but like the Wizard, if you pull back the curtain, things are much different than they seem from the outside. Excluding Atlanta Pride, no Pride has boycotted HRC. Statewide organizations that were part of the ENDA coalition continue to collaborate with HRC (like my state equality group, Indiana Equality, for example).

I support the protesters of HRC in New York and San Francisco, because they put their money were their mouth is/was.  The protesters are sending a message that it is not ok to leave out gender identity in the next version of ENDA.  The most effective means of getting a message across to an organization or business is a boycott.

At the same time, I refuse to demonize the HRC. They are the one of the only major GLBT organization that has hired a transwoman on to their staff (Pride At Work being the only exception that comes to mind),  they’ve apologized for their misstatement at SCC, and they are the political gatekeepers. I’m not going to demonize Diego Sanchez for speaking to the San Francisco HRC gala, either.  There needs to be representation inside the most powerful GLBT organization. Sanchez isn’t hiding his dissatisfaction with the events of last year, but his vision of an inclusive bill includes every organization:

I believe our whole community is driven to move forward. I hope we choose to advance as partners, or we benefit those against us. I work with and need HRC, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for their different expertise.

I’m one transguy, outside of HRC, working directly and candidly with HRC, to help it expand and fortify how it serves us.

The darling of the transgender community, Donna Rose (the HRC board member that resigned last fall), also continues to dialogue with HRC.

I’m meeting with Joe this morning and I’m looking forward to that for several reasons.  If this meeting had happened a long time ago it might have eased a number of things.  But it didn’t so better late than never.

Nobody knows what I’m planning to say, or what we’re planning to discuss.  Others are already making assumptions – that was ineveitable – but nobody knows.  I haven’t told anyone.  Nobody.  Not one person.  Because that’s how rumors start.  So – from the get go, the things I hope to discuss at this point are private to me and me alone.  What I choose to share here afterwards will be private, as well.  I don’t want to dampen our ability to talk freely, and that’s the most important part.

If the leaders of the United ENDA coalition don’t boycott HRC, why should I? I’m a gay transgender person with a gay son. HRC supports our right to work, to adopt, and to marry. While HRC had a moment of indescretion, they’ve come clean and are being clear about their position on ENDA. The protestors in San Francisco are clear about their position on ENDA and HRC. The coalition of United ENDA?

… not so much.

Next Post

Where Your HRC donations are going!

BREAKING NEWS! Early yesterday evening during a phone call conversation, I received a tip from a reliable, anonymous source revealing yet another one of HRC's true colors. According to my source, The Human Rights Campaign donated ten thousand dollars to…
Previous Post

Boycotts, hypocrisy, and the Christian Right's favorite scare tactic

As many readers may be aware, the American Family Association (sponsor of conservative Christian news site OneNewsNow) has organized a boycott of McDonald's. (At various times during the past decade AFA has also boycotted Ford, Target, and Disney.) According to…
Random Post

Voting While Trans

One of the highlights of the 2000 presidential election cycle for me despite the jacked up way it turned out was it was the first time I got to cast a ballot in any election cycle as Moni. I transitioned…
Random Post

The Hate We Fight Abroad, The Ignorance At Home

In the context of the "war" for our equality, trans-people have to fight the war on two fronts. There's the kind of hatred that is espoused by morally corrupt people on the right wing conservative side (the "abroad" part of…
Random Post

Rewrite: Trans woman in Pakistan set on fire for resisting sexual assault from cis men

Rewrite is a TransAdvocate feature wherein unethical journalism is corrected and rewritten in ways that are respectful of the trans, intersex, and genderqueer experience. Today's Rewrite comes from The Time of India.   LAHORE: A transgender woman in Pakistan died on Saturday…
Random Post


From the DNC website: "Democrats are unwavering in our support of equal opportunity for all Americans." Maybe during the next Presidential election cycle the party elite can find it in their heart to include transgenders in the party platform. Hopefully…