Transactivism, For Your Eyes Only

July 23, 2007 ·

“A Town hall meeting is an informal public meeting derived from the traditional town meetings of New England. Similarly to those meetings, everybody in a community is invited to attend, voice their opinions, and hear the responses from public figures and elected officials, although attendees rarely vote on an issue. In today’s heterogeneous communities with large populations, more often, town hall meetings are held so that people can influence elected officials in their decision making or to give them a chance to feel that their voices are being heard.” Wikipedia – Town Hall Meeting

Tonight I attended a Transgender Rights Town hall Meeting hosted by the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance (INTRAA), but I’m sorry to report that I can’t tell you what was said. I can’t tell you what names were mentioned. I can’t tell you what the National Center For Transgender Equality (NCTE) and INTRAA are doing to advance transgender rights in Indiana and across the United States. The reason I can’t tell you these things is because I was prohibited from video taping the event by the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, Mara Keisling.

This is a direct attack on my journalistic integrity. I would NEVER jeopardize my community’s advancement over “getting a scoop.” When Mara objected to filming of the event, I explained that I would give Mara 100% editorial control on ANYTHING I posted online, but she still refused. I’ve had multiple “off the record” discussions with a variety of GLBT activists and leaders, including Mara. I’ve never broken that trust with any of them. I protect those conversations as if they were top secret government discussions.

I’m really stumped as to why there was a gag order put into effect. It’s not as if someone couldn’t walk in with a pad of paper or a voice recorder and covertly transcribe the event. The “Targeted States Conference” hosted by NGLTF and NCTE was filmed in its entirety, and it’s a conference ABOUT STRATEGY!

So if you want to know whats going on in transactivism, you better ask James Bond or Tula. While I won’t stop trying to bring you the latest news, events, and commentary in transactivism, I can’t tell you what happened tonight.

tula007secret.gif

Because if I told you… I’d have to kill you.

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  1. Well, if someone tries to try you, please consider this to be an offer to act as your defense counsel.

    If Mara is our future, we don’t have one.

    Kat

  2. “However, my thought is that Mara’s concern was the possible “unauthorized” use of some other person’s image that might present potential liability issues down the line. After all, I’m willing to bet that not everybody in the room were friends or allies of the TG/TS community. Am I right?”

    Liability how? From what I could tell, it was a room full of TG/TS people and allies.

    The reason I wanted to put it up on youtube and the like is EXACTLY the reason you stated. Other folks could attend that weren’t there.

  3. Marti, let me first recognize that you clearly stated in your original post that you offered to allow Mara “100% editorial control on ANYTHING I posted online”.

    However, my thought is that Mara’s concern was the possible “unauthorized” use of some other person’s image that might present potential liability issues down the line. After all, I’m willing to bet that not everybody in the room were friends or allies of the TG/TS community. Am I right?

    In actual fact, as a Chicago-area resident, as well as vice chair of IGA, I would have been interested in personally attending this meeting of my “next-door neighbors”, but regrettably I was unaware that it was happening.

  4. Just a query– were all that were involved out? Maybe it was just that the presence of recorders stifles discussion. OTOH, if it was just Mara, I’m not sure what the deal is.

  5. Just a query– were all that were involved out? Maybe it was just that the presence of recorders stifles discussion. OTOH, if it was just Mara, I’m not sure what the deal is.

  6. “Recording a person’s image, as opposed to just their voice, with prior written consent can open up a virtual “Pandora’s Box” of potential issues down the road for someone as high profile as an exec of a national trans-organization.”

    Such as? Mara’s all over the media. I’m not sure what she could have said in that context that would change via sound or written word.

  7. Okay Marti, I’m confused. The advocacy of censorship in a PUBLIC meeting seems somewhat illogical and uncharacteristic for the Mara that I know, although my relationship with her is relatively superficial compared to your own. Although I am anxious to hear (from Mara) exactly what her reasoning was in that instance, I would, however, offer the following thoughts. As a longtime “show-biz” professional, I understand a bit regarding the somewhat vague and miasmic distinction between the recording of video vs audio, liability-wise that is. Recording a person’s image, as opposed to just their voice, with prior written consent can open up a virtual “Pandora’s Box” of potential issues down the road for someone as high profile as an exec of a national trans-organization. It is possible that the root cause of her concern lies within? Like I said, it’s just a speculative thought on my part, but stranger things have happened.
    >>> (all respect, no restraint) Cyndi Richards – vice chair, Illinois Gender Advocates

  8. Okay Marti, I’m confused. The advocacy of censorship in a PUBLIC meeting seems somewhat illogical and uncharacteristic for the Mara that I know, although my relationship with her is relatively superficial compared to your own. Although I am anxious to hear (from Mara) exactly what her reasoning was in that instance, I would, however, offer the following thoughts. As a longtime “show-biz” professional, I understand a bit regarding the somewhat vague and miasmic distinction between the recording of video vs audio, liability-wise that is. Recording a person’s image, as opposed to just their voice, with prior written consent can open up a virtual “Pandora’s Box” of potential issues down the road for someone as high profile as an exec of a national trans-organization. It is possible that the root cause of her concern lies within? Like I said, it’s just a speculative thought on my part, but stranger things have happened.
    >>> (all respect, no restraint) Cyndi Richards – vice chair, Illinois Gender Advocates

  9. I am pretty sure this will get me tried and hung in absentia by certain “community leaders”, but here goes:
    I am not really surprised by anything done by Ms Keisling these days, even when it seems counter to our community goals. Having had my own encounters with her regarding failing our Trans community, then patting herself on the back for being so supportive, I do not see her as a leading champion anymore. Every time someone tells me “Mara will help” “or go ask Mara”, I cringe. Did it, done it, and she fed me ignorant answers as if her word was THE WORD. In that particular case, it was not just me she sold out, but also every Trans person in my state. Now it looks like Indiana got a taste of it. Next stop, Washington D.C.

  10. I am pretty sure this will get me tried and hung in absentia by certain “community leaders”, but here goes:
    I am not really surprised by anything done by Ms Keisling these days, even when it seems counter to our community goals. Having had my own encounters with her regarding failing our Trans community, then patting herself on the back for being so supportive, I do not see her as a leading champion anymore. Every time someone tells me “Mara will help” “or go ask Mara”, I cringe. Did it, done it, and she fed me ignorant answers as if her word was THE WORD. In that particular case, it was not just me she sold out, but also every Trans person in my state. Now it looks like Indiana got a taste of it. Next stop, Washington D.C.

  11. I am pretty sure this will get me tried and hung in absentia by certain “community leaders”, but here goes:
    I am not really surprised by anything done by Ms Keisling these days, even when it seems counter to our community goals. Having had my own encounters with her regarding failing our Trans community, then patting herself on the back for being so supportive, I do not see her as a leading champion anymore. Every time someone tells me “Mara will help” “or go ask Mara”, I cringe. Did it, done it, and she fed me ignorant answers as if her word was THE WORD. In that particular case, it was not just me she sold out, but also every Trans person in my state. Now it looks like Indiana got a taste of it. Next stop, Washington D.C.