Open Letter to Windows Media

By Autumn Sandeen

Dear Windows Media Management, I find it difficult to believe that Windows Media truly believes “Newspapers should reflect all aspects of their readers’ lives” and that its “superior editorial content and community involvement sets [Windows Media] apart”. Although your organization’s print and e-publications cover transgender issues (and obtain transgender readership as a result), Windows Media’s homepage specifically states “Window Media publications provide comprehensive coverage of issues, news and entertainment of interest to lesbians and gay men.” I’m guessing that means that even though *I* read Windows Media publications online because of its trans issue coverage, apparently transgender people like me aren’t part of the target readership, and therefore don’t count as people whose lives you wish to reflect. Not only are we apparently not the target audience, but we’re apparently viewed as the enemy of gay employment protections by Windows Media Management. Chris Crain’s “‘Trans or bust’ still a bust” and “ENDA gets trans-jacked” indicate Windows Media’s “superior editorial content” editorializes in favor of blaming transgender people for wanting their civil rights and protections as soon as possible instead of blaming those in Congress who aren’t voting for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Matt Foreman, the executive director of the NGLTF, wrote an argument for trans-inclusion in ENDA. In it he provided a personal perspective on why he believes he made a mistake when he, as the executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, worked to enact New York’s Sexual Orientation Non Discrimination Act (SONDA). He essentially stated that the “wait” that Chris Crane alludes to is an illusion. I tend to believe Matt Foreman’s perspective on ENDA over Chris Crain’s specifically because Foreman was a leader directly involved with passing SONDA — I don’t believe Crain has the same level of experience with regards to shepherding civil rights legislation. Matt Foreman also made the statement in his argument that “The time for debate is over.” Here’s why: The HRC, NGTLF, PFLAG, NOW, and Pride at Work (among other GLBT civil rights organizations) aren’t going to change their minds. Chris Crain’s editorializing in his blog does nothing to ensure that any GLBT rights organization’s supported version of ENDA will ever become law — instead, he baits trans-activists, and appears to be working to divide the community that will push for ENDA to become law.

I’m angry enough at Chris Crain’s misdirected disapprobation at the trans community to consider contacting Windows Media advertisers. I’ve talked to a number of other trans-activists who feel the same way.

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."