Open Letter To Cheryl Jacques

Dear President Cheryl Jacques,

Irony is the only word I can use to describe the recent release from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) titled “New HRC Guide Helps Employer’s Create Fair Policies For Transgender Staff.” You said “This tool will help managers ensure that transgender employees are valued for the job they do, not devalued by discrimination.”

The HRC wants to help ensure that transfolk are not devalued by discrimination on the job? You can truly help us in this fight to stamp out workplace discrimination by only support a trans-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). As the leader of the preeminent GLBT organization in this country, I implore you to stop using transgender people as poker chips in this fight for work place anti-discrimination legislation.

The National Organization for Women, BiNet USA, DignityUSA, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Stonewall Democrats, National Youth Advocacy Coalition, Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians, and Pride At Work (AFL-CIO) will ONLY support ENDA if it is trans-inclusive. These organizations stand with transgender people completely, why can’t the HRC do the same?

Your web site states “The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.” I am simply asking you to live up to your own declaration.

Malcolm X once said “You don’t stab a man in the back nine inches and pull it out six inches and say you’re making progress.” Inclusion in your mission or a release on fair transgender work policies isn’t enough. Please either advocate for me, or remove me from your mission statement. I would much rather you remove me from your mission statement than to continue to mislead the GLBT community by feigning support for transgenders.

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."