Bil Browning

HRC observes Trans Day of Remembrance

Filed By Bil Browning | November 20, 2008 7:00 AM | comments

Filed in: You Gotta See This
Tags: hate crimes against LGBT people, HRC, Human Rights Campaign, TDOR, Trans Day of Remembrance

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HRC released this video about Trans Day of Remembrance yesterday. It's very well done; I hope trans groups are able to use it as they lobby politicians and the public.

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Karen Collett | November 20, 2008 9:02 AM

Donna Rose has a slightly different take on this; from The DonnaBlog:

[...] I originally planned to let the video speak for itself and to leave it alone, but I can’t.

I don’t mind sharing that although I appreciate these kinds of things in principle I’m having a hard time appreciating this. I blame this organization for actively supporting the single-most destructful thing to be forced upon the transgender community despite their commitments to the contrary. I blame this organization for continuing to treat us with disrespect and, over the past year, could have used their resources to create untold amounts of support and education - but has not. I blame this organization for actually penalizing legislators who demonstrated a higher standard and a greater commitment to full Equality than HRC held itself to. I blame this organization for doing more to fracture the GLBT community than anyone from the outside would ever have been able to do. I blame this organization for trying to become a voice for transgender people when, in fact, they have no right to speak on behalf of any of us: they need to talk with us before they can hope to talk for us. All these things make these kinds of videos feel like a slap in the face more than something to appreciate. They don’t seem to learn that how you do something is just as important as what you do and they continue to do things wrong. [...]

You DO realize, that hrc has been actively working to make more dead transwomen.

This is beyond tasteless. They are celebrating their long career of assuring that trans women will find it harder to survive. They are reveling in it, and rubbing it in our faces.

And this is not at all unusual for gay and lesbians. Not at all.


How long will it be before they rename it "Gay on Trans Hate trophy day?"

I disagree, Alyssa. I have no doubt whatsoever that HRC had the best of intentions in mind when they made this video. I think the real problem highlighted by the release of this video (aside from the obvious) is that the leadership of HRC apparently has no clue why something like this coming from them can and will be seen as offensive given the history here.

The real lesson to the learned here is understanding just how vastly far out of the LGBT community mainstream the HRC leadership's thinking really is.


I am honestly not sure how you can describe actively excluding us from vital protections such as ENDA and SONDA is not also actively making sure we lack the tools we need to survive.

If I kill you by withholding what you need to live, surely that is just as evil as plunging a knife into you.

Either way, you are just as dead.

And with your defense of this group, I am severely disappointed in you. You are no fool, (or so I used to think). You know the history. You know what these people do to transfolk. Use us, and toss us aside.

The pinnacle of gay immorality, right here. Because when a group historically abuses its most vulnerable, no pretense of morality can be made.

Bil, you should be ashamed of yourself for posting this pap by a group with a proven track record of using and marginalizing transfolks.

But what can you expect from a fairly well off white gay guy, huh?

Dead trans women? No skin off your back.

Rebecca is absolutely right. The question of intent aside, what bothers me is that even giving the HRC the benefit of the doubt leaves us with a clear ignorance on there part, a complete lack of awareness of how the trans community would respond to something like this.

This year and last, the HRC has been desperately trying to get their hands on DOR. They weren't invited to participate with the DC DOR last year, so they created their own competing DOR event. But their guest of honor convinced them that would be a bad idea, would get protested, so they didn't.

This year, they are at it again, trying desperately to pretend that they are a part of organizing this event. In Portland they apparently went so far as to email their membership saying that they were presenting DOR "in conjunction" with the organizers when in reality the DOR organizers gave them a firm "no."

I would assume that this is a part of their project winback, an attempt at a PR move to associate themselves with trans issues. But either they are unaware of how muscling into this event looks to the trans community, or they are underestimated the trans community's ability to see what's going on and spread the word.

i agree with alyssa. i sincerely doubt that the hrc had the best of intentions in mind when they made that video. in fact, i'd go as far as to say that they made it with the intent to try and erase their sorted past behavior regarding trans people. where's the video they made last year, before they threw us under the bus?

yeah, tasteless doesn't quite do this justice.

read little light's post here:
for more of their antics.

True... but what I was thinking could get me arrested.

Of course, I certainly won't shed tears at gay setbacks or gay murders. I am all cried out from my trans woman friends who ain't here to se the gays use and abuse us.

I do not want fake pap from the hrc. I want one dead gay man on a platter for each dead trans woman.

I want blood. I want my pound of flesh.

Maybe when gays start dying... maybe then they will take dead LGBToken deaths seriously, since they almost always turn out to be trans woc.

I eagerly await the live video of Uncle Joe choking to death on his caviar. That will redeem Bil in my eyes.

A well made, if completely inappropriate video. I love the Bilerico Project, but why are you giving a platform for the HRC to spread more lies?

The HRC has fought actively AGAINST the transgender and gender-variant community for years - ENDA was only the culmination of a long struggle to throw transfolks under the bus. Gender-variant people aren't good for the cameras, don't blend with the "straight as you" messaging, don't you know? For them to use Trans Day of Remembrance as a PR move is beyond abhorent, and should not go unanswered by the LGBT community.

What would they suggest that advocates do to stop the cycle of violence based on gender expression anyway? Pass inclusive hate crimes legislation? Not if the HRC has anything to do with it. Pass inclusive employment discrimination legislation? Well, the HRC already put a stop to that one. Tell people to "be nice" to each other and avoid transphobic slurs? Wow - if that's the best a national org with a multi-million dollar budget can do, maybe we should all consider putting our money (and support) elsewhere.

I'm beginning to think the best thing to do in regards to HRC is to ignore them.

I wonder if someone from HRC worked on Sarah Palin's campaign, it seems to be about as effective.


A while back you asked for information on transgender, and we had a couple really good threads on it.

I know you read them.

I also know Joe is a friend of yours.

I can put this no more simply than this, and I've held my tongue.

The HRC is an *enemy* of transgender and gender variant people.

They are, for us, literally the same as James Dobson, or Peter LaBarbera, or Fred Phelps.

IF joe wanted to post here as an individual, that would *barely* be ok, so long as he upfront disavowed that he was speaking on behalf of or regardng the HRC.

That would be probably ok, although he'll still take a lot of flack for it.

I understand the concept of journalistic integrity that says we should be open to all the viewpoints, too.

BUt the HRC has counter programmed tonight in several cities. Instead of seeking what you may have noticed many transfolks have been doing which is to heal the rift by bringing the GLB to our event to see as we have been at theirs, they were actively trying to do something other.

This is not just one simple little event, Bil.

This is a consistent and marked pattern of abuse.

And I know that if I was friends with Fred Phelps, I'd be taking a lot of flack and my credibility with you would be, well, for crap.

You have been unintentionally insulting us, Bil.

All of us. Even your own contributing posters.

And we keep coming back because we keep holding out faith that you will become as affirming as Pam's House Blend.

We really don't want to hear, or see, or deal with the HRC until they do those 30 good things for us and not one more bad thing.

remember, Bil, it takes 10 good things to make up for each bad one. And right now, they haven't even found a way to do one good one.

Putting them before us right now is like poking us with branding Irons. Until there's an inclusive ENDA and afterwards its found out that the single most vocal org that did all the big and critical stuff was the HRC,transfolk are not going to care.

They have betrayed us three times. THey actually think that if they act like they did the last two times it will go away.

IT will not. We will not be silent on it.

We have dozens of blogs dedicated to the express purpose of keeping us reminded. Its a driving force in the community online.

Please, please...

do not make us think that you support our enemy.

I ask because by setting this up, you did.

You were used by them, just as Pam was.

take it down.