Marti Abernathey

Protest, HRC, and My Investment Portfolio

Filed By Marti Abernathey | February 14, 2008 11:40 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Barney Frank, HRC

I like to think of my advocacy/political work in much of the same way as I think of how to invest my money. I see activism as an investment in my community and my future. With that in mind, I have to say that I don't see the benefit in protesting the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). There are so many national organizations that support transgender people and support gender identity in ENDA (National Stonewall Democrats, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and Pride At Work, for example), it's a waste of time to try and get an organization to love us that has shown repeatedly that it doesn't.

Protests do have their place. I totally supported the HRC/Nancy Pelosi Dinner protest because ENDA was pending in the House. The media exposure could have had an effect on the outcome of the legislation. But I don't see the same result from these kind of protests/boycotts.

The most effective thing transgender people can do to move legislation forward is to be diverse in their activism and support those who support gender identity inclusion. Instead of buying 100% percent of HRC stock, DIVERSIFY, DIVERSIFY, DIVERSIFY!

Speaking of support, according to PageOneQ, Barney Frank is going to be on the Michaelangelo Signorile Show to respond to Matt Foreman's comment that Barney Frank "has always been pretty squeamish on the trans issue."

It'll be interesting to hear what he has to say. Frank's "penises in showers" outburst in 2000 is legendary in transactivist circles.

Regardless, it'll be interesting to listen to. Frank and the Human Rights Campaign are in an odd position. Two out of three possible candidates for President of the United States support inclusion of gender identity in ENDA, but the most senior gay House member isn't.

cross posted from

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Wait, there was a legendary outburst of penises in the shower back in 2000? Where was I???

You were busy doing gymnastics, Alex.

I can see the value in these types of protests, Marti. By keeping the pressure on HRC and embarrassing them at their events, they attempt to sway the glacier. Unfortunately, like gay Republicans, I can't say that it'll be a lucrative venture as the gains will be small and incremental to say the least. However, if it keeps happening over and over each time, HRC will capitulate.

But it's like a mean dog that rolls over. You don't turn your back.

These protests don't embarrass anyone. The folks inside, will only point to those "crazy trannies" and use it as an example on why they can't work with people.

It's not about turning your back against anything, it's about getting with people that get you and support you.