Why an Iowa-Employed, Transsexual Woman Resident of Illinois Has More Authority to Speak on Maryland Transsexual Law Than Morgan Meneses-Sheets or Any Non-Trans Gay or Lesbian

Its time to look at one of Kat’s many photo albums.

Ansel Adams quality?  Prolly not.  But, nevertheless, they are a couple of shots I took in and near a DC Metro stop in Maryland whilst a bit bored one evening in November 2009.


Some shots – including self-portraits – I took whilst bored at a different kind of train station in a different part of Maryland about 9 1/2 years before the first three.

But wait, there are more…

Two shots at an NTAC organizational meeting in Maryland (including, among others, Vanessa Edwards Foster and Dawn Wilson) the day after that second group of three shots – and one shot of the restaurant where those who attended that meeting had dinner afterward.

Tired of my photos?

Bear with me.

Tired of my refusal to drink Free State Just Us’s kool-aid – either in 2001 or 2011?

Too bad.

For, you see, all of the photos in question involve public accommodations – meaning that, if trans-othering HB 235 is shoved into Maryland’s legal structure the way that people who will not be othered by it want it to be, then I and every other trans person could still be excluded from everything that is seen in those photos.

And forget bathrooms.

You don’t see any bathrooms in those photos do you?

You see public transportation.

You see hotel conference facilities.

You see eating establishments.

Okay, Amtrak in all likelihood wouldn’t be touched by Maryland state law, but it serves a point here nevertheless.  There is a disingenuous argument currently being floated by Free State Just Us’s apologists: ENDA doesn’t cover public accommodations, so why are you all whining about HB 235?

Here’s why: A trans-inclusive ENDA doesn’t cover public accommodations for gays and lesbians either (something else you can St. Barney for; its 2011, Barn – how many Republican votes does gatting rid of everything but employment have you now?)

And, yes, there is the bathroom issue too.

The people who will not be othered by HB 235 will not address either the practical realities of how the lack of public accommodations will turn the protections that appear to be offered by HB 235 into near-melting-point swiss cheese or the symbolic realities of how the entire framework being put forth is just another way for gays and lesbians to write superiority for themselves into law to the detriment of trans people.  They’re now whining that Facebook is not the place for people who understand what Free State Just Us is trying to pull to point it out.

Egypt, anyone?

I guess not.

That passage was about the frackin’ fantabulous freakological trans get-together that Free State Just Us had last Wednesday.

Now, is it just me?  Or do I see holes in the pretzel logic?

Lets parse this.

Of the 24 people in attendance on Wednesday, 16 were transgender and 8 were cisgender.

Okay, now…

According to the orthodoxy of The John, trans people are such a miniscule portion of LGBT, no?  Shouldn’t any meeting put on by an ‘LGBT’ group for a mission that allegedly the entire ‘LGBT’ group is behind have an overwhelming dominance of LGBs who are there because they simply give a damn about the issue in question?

The other 8 folks work as advocates for organizations including NGLTF and EQMD.

So, the score thus far:

  • 16 trans people
  • 8 non-trans people who enjoyed the privilege of being paid to be there

Now, back to the spin:

It is of course imperative that we build a strong movement of transgender people, LGB people and other straight/cisgender allies. We are committed to continuing the dialogue in order to ensure that we can live up to the promise of equality in Maryland.

And yet, that dialogue apparently cannot include any discussion of what role that organization played in rigging the legal structure of Maryland to the point where some trans people actually think that a bill which will further other them is ‘progress.’

But lets het back to the above-snipped colloquy.

Donna analyzed the statement from Free State Just Us as follows:

so there were NO lgb people from the general population in attendance other than staffers from EqMd or NGLTF?

The question I have is: How else could one interpret, “The other 8 folks work as advocates for organizations including NGLTF and EQMD,” when it follows an assertion that only 24 people were in attendance and 16 of them were trans?

Free State Just Us, though, apparently believe that there is some other interpretation:

@Donna – yes there were LGB people from the general population. But most of the folks there were people from Maryland’s transgender community

Well, my analysis is that apparently basic English comprehension must fall under the heading of “public accommodations” in Maryland and Free State Just Us just presumes that everyone has been sufficiently excluded from it to not be able to read and understand what it posts on Facebook.  What is Free State Just Us trying tohang its overly-privileged hat on? The possibility that some some of those non-trans LGB gay organization employees (who all have positions of employment that trans people likely were never considered for) might live in Maryland instead of DC and, in turn, can be passed off to the Maryland burakumin as representative of Maryland’s ‘general population’ of LGBs?

I’ve said it before…

Get ready for Free State Just Us’s “Maryland is now a discrimination-free zone!” e-blast.

It will come nano-seconds after the gay marriage bill is passed…

which will be years before gays and lesbians in Maryland give up their right to discriminate against trans people.

No, I don’t live in Maryland – and I probably never will.

But I have every right to speak on this.

People who live in one jurisdiction travel to other jurisdictions.

Laws of one jurisdiction can have direct effects in other jurisdictions.

Laws of one jurisdiction can (and often do) get copied by other jurisdictions.

Those realities give people in those other jurisdictions a right to express their opinion about the laws – if, of course, they’ll actually be affected.  And we all know that allowing same-sex couples to get married does not actually affect any actual straight person or the nebulous ethereal, untaxed entity known as ‘the family.’


The trans-inclusive 1975 version of the Minneapolis Civil Rights Ordinance was copied by Los Angeles in 1979 (a fact that doesn’t comport with the dominant gay historical narrative of ‘trans stuff only started showing up last week’.)

That, of course, was a good thing.

When Wisconsin enacted a statewide gay rights law in 1982, it didn’t copy the trans-inclusive law from a city in neighboring state that had thereafter been copied by the largest jurisdiction in the country to that point to enact gay rights legislation.  And when New York City passed a a gay rights ordinance in 1986, its author copied not from a trans-inclusive jurisdiction but from that gay-only Wisconsin law.

Maryland 2001 SONDA 2002, anyone?

As is the case now, I didn’t live in Maryland in 2001 – but I then had an interest in what its gays and lesbians set out to do to trans people in the legislature that year (succeeding, of course) just as I do now with what the current incarnation of Free State Just Us (and its apologists) are trying to pull now.

[Cross-posted at ENDABlog]