Serena Freewomyn

HRC Posts Video for Transgender Day of Remembrance

Filed By Serena Freewomyn | November 22, 2008 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: hate crimes against LGBT people, HRC, transgender, Transgender Day of Remembrance

The HRC posted a video on its website this week to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance. It co-opts the images of Lawrence King and Robert Eads, and urges our community to demand hate crimes legislation.

iPhone users: Click to watch

Really? Demand hate crimes legislation? Fuck off HRC! Where were you during the ENDA debates? Oh yeah . . . you were busy chucking the transgender members of our community to the wayside.

And Lawrence King, to my knowledge, didn't identify as trans. He got killed because he didn't conform to traditional standards of masculinity. But that doesn't mean he was trans. You don't get to co-opt the images of murdered children to further the HRC's agenda.

Kit Yan from Good Asian Drivers has this response to the HRC's "cute" video.

iPhone users: Click to watch

I agree. Instead of giving money to the HRC, there are lots of other things you can do to support the trans community. If you own a business, how about giving a trans person a job? That would be a revolutionary idea, right? Or how about eliminating the word "tranny" from your vocabulary? Or how about making a conscious effort to get people's gender pronouns correct? All easy things, and none of them involves giving money to the HRC.

Fucking HRC . . .

Recent Entries Filed under Transgender & Intersex:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

Karen Collett | November 22, 2008 12:12 PM
And Lawrence King, to my knowledge, didn't identify as trans. He got killed because he didn't conform to traditional standards of masculinity. But that doesn't mean he was trans.

Well, to be fair, Lawrence King was one of the names on our "official" TDoR list, so including him in a video commemorating the TDoR is understandable.

Amen! You really understand, Serena!

Thanks, Polar. Coming from you that means a lot! :^)

As far as Lawrence King, he called himself "Leticia" at times, which is one reason he's included on "official" TDrR lists -- although I for one made sure to point out that he -- and we -- never got the chance to find out whether he was a budding trans woman or budding femmy gay man, or whatever King would've turned out to be.

More to the point, in addition to it's other actions on ENDA, HRC actually penalized the seven Congress critters who voted against ENDA because they wanted the more inclusive version brought to a vote. And they've shown themselves to be utterly unrepentant about it all during the past year, even with their non-apology "apologies."

It would be one thing if HRC was putting out the video to try to make amends -- and maybe they genuinely think they're do so. But, to build on Donna Rose's apt summation, they've got to be willing to talk with us -- not their usual talking down to us -- before they can even think about talking for us.

IIRC, Lawrence King once asked a teacher to call him -- I don't remember, Letitia or something like that -- and at another point told his mother he "wanted a sex change" (in the words of the article I read.) I think it's fair to say that he was exploring a trans identity, though calling him trans is perhaps going a bit far because it doesn't seem that he was sure one way or another.

He was killed for being gender variant as much as for being gay, though, I think that's quite clear. So I'd put him on the list because when it comes to hate crimes, how the perpetrator sees the victim is more important than how the victim sees his or her self. It's the perpetrator's views that tell us where the problem is.

None of which is to say that the HRC isn't pretty damn' hypocritical acting all pro-trans while throwing the T community under the bus whenever they hit an obstacle, of course, because it is hypocritical.

Thanks for the correction, Lena and Phoenix. I didn't know that part of Lawrence King's story.

Instead of just standing around and loudly proclaiming "Fuck HRC!" I'd like to take this to a positive point.

I doubt any of us actually think that HRC's Communications person sat around thinking, "How can I co-opt the trans community on behalf of my employer?" I doubt the Director of Comm did that either. Or the VP really.

I'm going to guess that the VP was probably thinking, "We have a problem with trans issues and need to look as trans-positive as possible.", but that the communications workers are just, well, trans friendly and trying to be helpful. I'm thinking they are doing what they can (after all, they don't get to SET the message - those type of corporate directions come from the board) to be as trans-friendly as possible.

After all, not every single person at HRC is an asshole on trans issues. That's too broad of a brush; even a couple of trans folk have stepped into the breach to fight on trans folk's behalf again. (I know how long that battle's been going on, I'm just honoring any with the spirit to continue that needed fight after so many others have been exhausted.) There are HRC staffers that want to help.

So if we stop and think that they actually intended something good instead of just an evil reverse psychology of "Make a video telling Americans to help trans people so we can hurt trans people," the crux of the brouhaha seems to be this: Trans people would rather that HRC remain silent on all trans issues.

This seems short-sighted and cutting off your nose to spite your face. They haven't done a good job advocating for trans rights, granted. But isn't this a case of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"? I mean, America is an ally Kuwait. We think a lot of their government and way of life sucks, but that doesn't stop us from working together where we can.

And secondly, what can HRC do to help? If you have staffers that want to help the entire LGBT community and "get it," what can they do? If they try to help with items like this video, they get slammed. How do they advance the cause in favor of trans rights when anything they do is criticized so heavily?

Fair enough, Bil. I hear what you're saying. But I do find it a little disingenuous for them to say you should help the trans community by supporting hate crimes legislation. *cough, cough* Excuse me?

the crux of the brouhaha seems to be this: Trans people would rather that HRC remain silent on all trans issues.

I don't think that's exactly the case. It's true that, as Mark Twain said, "Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt." But in this case, I'd really rather the HRC stop being a fool, if that's actually an option.

There are several things about how they did this that are, well, foolish. First off, it appears they did it without consulting trans organizations or larger communities of trans activists.

Second, trans activists generally see ENDA as a much more significant step toward ending violence than hate crimes laws. The fact that they are advocating for hate crimes, while not mentioning (and therefore taking attention away from) ENDA, seems suspicious at best, or malicious at worst.

And third, their communications people were probably, as you suggest, looking for the best way to look trans-positive. But they still really haven't done much to be trans positive. This begins to look like just a PR attempt, which considering the lives on the line, can appear to be pretty disrespectful.

If they were speak with us, then I'd definitely prefer that rather than silence. But if they are going to pretend that they can speak for us -- and deliver a message that doesn't reflect the greater trans community's intent -- then I'd rather they keep their mouth shut.

Oh, and to your question of what the HRC staffers could be doing to help, here's a few ideas.

Don't make it about the HRC. Don't put up the HRC logo. Don't tell concerned people to get involved with the HRC (really, that's probably the most disturbing, if they are trying to collect up and coming trans allies then indoctrinating them in the belief that trans inclusion in ENDA is expendable).

Tell people to get involved with trans organizations in their area. Help give smaller trans organizations some name recognition and publicity.

Overall, recognize that HRC isn't the expert on trans issues, and use a video like this help support those who are.

If the video concretely helped build the infrastructure of the trans movement that'd be great. Right now, it looks like it is about 50/50 raise awareness and build the HRC brand.

And if their higher ups won't allow any of that, then they just need to recognize that their job is just a job and not expect huge community activist recognition for it (I know plenty of folks who do their activism of the clock because their job doesn't support it).

Bil, Your shameless defense of rich white gay dudes is typical of rich white gay dudes who want to flush everybody who isn't a rich white gay dude down the shitter so they can go on being rich white gay dudes empowered to dish out the same hate and exclusion that other rich white dudes dish out.

rich white gay dudes who defend bigotry seriously need to die. Maybe then, just maybe, they will understand that being rich and white and male and an aspiring bigot does not constitute the alpha and omega of a valid queer existence. At a minimum, they would learn empathy in their final moments... because nothing else seems to do it, now does it?

Make NO mistake, Bil, you are evil. You are evil because you defend evil here. And, you are iconic of all to many white gay men demanding that oppressed queers suck it up when white gay males screw them over repeatedly. You throw your weight around as a privileged white gay man and dictate the terms by which queers you oppress choose to deal with that oppression.

And you are apparently not at all shy about taking a public stand and showboating your eagerness to oppress nonwhite nonmale and nonmainstream gay guys is simply....

business as usual.


After all of your incredibly mean and hateful comments over many posts lately spewing stereotypes, making baseless charges, and denigrating contributors and commenters alike, there's only one thing left I can say to you.

If you don't like it here, then leave. It's just that easy; no one is forcing you to read or comment. Perhaps instead of hanging out online you could be better helped with some anger management therapy.


The charges are documentable, and proveable. The opinions are my own. Telling someone angry at injustice to seek therapy is the very kind of thing that I am so upset about. It smacks of privilege and entitlement.
Blaming me for being cranky at gay on trans hate and the ubiquitous gay racism problem is not served by anger management...
it is best served by social justice. But you seem more invested in squelching the call to action than learning anything that makes you uncomfortable.

Do you seriously believe that gay folks get a free pass for their hate because they are gay...
Because, you seem to act like it. And, when you put gay bigotry and exclusion in a public venue, expect people to comment.

And that is why I post what I do.
So folks can see the hypocrisy for what it is. And maybe, decide that it is worth addressing.

Bil, if I am wrong, there are very smart people out there who will quickly take me to task. Count on it.
As a multiply minority person, I am used to living under a microscope, and having my every action examined, and intentions questioned.

But, ask yourself this: Does what I tell you make you uncomfortable because its true? or because its wrong?
Is it something that should be squelched? Why?

I honestly think making gay white men squirm when faced with their own foibles against their own is not a Bad Thing. Especially, if they learn to do it less.
I think it makes us stronger.
And I am not shy about doing that.

So, think it over. If you want me gone... tell me to leave. And I will cheerfully do so. If you truly cannot handle gay male hegemony being challenged by the peple it has trampled, say so.
And I will go. White gay men telling me what can and cannot be said is not news to me.
I for one, am quite at home here. But...its your house, and your rules.
So, ultimately, you get to say what gets said here, no?

Alyssa, Stick around if you want, just stop insulting the various contributors. From the Terms of Service:

While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

Play by the rules and there's no problem. Thousands of other readers are able to chat and comment while following the guidelines since it makes conversation that much more possible. If you truly seek social justice, my suggestion would be that you approach your goal in a way that will actually turn folks on to your cause instead of turning them off with your baseless and random attacks.

Because it's not "gay privilege" that's causing this, it's "blog owner privilege." I enforce the rules for the site. And the rules say "Don't attack contributors and other commenters personally." Period.

Actually, they don't work.

Anger management courses are not able to effectively deal with the source of the anger that transfolk feel, because it is inevitably sourced in the privilege, ignorance, and visceral reaction felt by those we encounter when we stand up for ourselves instead of toeing the line like a good tranny.

I now Lyssa. She's pissed because she lives at teh epicenter of the purposeful and intentional discrimination against transfolk by certain elitist, assimilationist gay men.

We may not always agree on method, but the message is going to across to you one way or the other.

Bil is speaking from a position of white privilege and anger. He truly does not get it.


But...for all his rather creative interpretation of my "attacks," he forgot one small point.

I do not lie, as he falsely claims.

Bil, I challenge you, show me where I have lied.

You called me out by saying my accusations are baseless, put your money where your mouth is.

Or shall I go through every word I wrote, and back it up?

Because your indignation at having your privileged position tweaked is not a valid excuse for shooting down a woman's opinions as "baseless" simply because they disagree with your somewhat inflated self image.
Or do you toss folks for making you uncomfortable for not bowing down and kissing a gay white man's ass?

Put up or shut up, Bil. Seriously... you call em baseless... prove it.

Alyssa -

This is my last comment engaging you. You've wandered severely off topic from the subject of HRC's video.

I'll just point out two of your inaccuracies:

1) I am hardly rich. Go back a few posts this year to my lament about being on public assistance and disability.

2) I am not friends with Joe Solmonese. I've spent about an hour and a half in his presence.

I've criticized HRC repeatedly. I'm not exactly a supporter. I am, however, a fan of reality-based politics and advancing our agenda.

Apologize for the first comment you made, and we can bury this.
I asked you to once.
But, hey, its up to you.

There is a big difference between those who wilfully exclude us when it's convenient, and those who might do so innocently, simply because they may not realize some of the things that drive our perspective. We achieve nothing against the people who don't support us by attacking the ones who do.


My issue here at this point is his ableist dismissal of me...and tha "anger management" comment.

That was just plain nasty, IMHO.

But...I (sorta) trust you, since you have been dealing with him longer than I.

And if you say that I should not interpret his promotion of Joe Solomonese, the hrc, and Chris Crain as endorsing these views, even over the loud protests of other transfolks here, I will try to believe you.

But it will be quite an effort to trust him...not after today. Not after reading Crain, Uncle Joe, and company. And if I leave here, I will remember bilerco, Crain, Solomonese, and hrc promotion all in the same sentence. If he is as he claims, that may not be the image he wishes to project.

If he wants to write me off as a crank, fine. There are 6 billion other potential readers on this planet, and losing one is no biggie, I guess. And I am not so entitled to think what I think should dictate what some guy halfway across the country thinks.

But that apology would go a long way.

The Legislative agenda is dead.

During the campaign they told us that DADT would come first, if I remember correctly.

Well, friends, that is slated for 2010.
Which would put Hate Crimes and EDNA in 2011 or 2012, which won't happen because the re-election campaign will have begun.

It will be "Wait ti; after the election and we expand the Democratic Majority" all over again.

In the meantime, President Obama WILL be expanding the Faith Based Initiative funding of our enemies with LGBT tax dollars, paid at a higher rate than straights because those same organisations getting our monies block our rights.

Plus, with the popular uprising of LGBT's going on, the HRC is by and large irrevelant, at least for now, unless we are foolish enough to surrender the movement to their leadership again.

I, for one, am not.

The uprising is our one shot, the Stonewall of our time, and it needs to be about everything that we deseerve, complete equality and full citizenship for all LGBTs. Everybody goes on THIS ride, no compromise, no incrementalism. We disrupt tim it is too coslty for them to continue to oppose us.

What does this have to do with Trans-Remembrance?
If we win, the Day of Remembrance will be about the fallen of years past, not the past year.

Thank you for this, Maura.

I couldn't have said it better.

Well, friends, that is slated for 2010. Which would put Hate Crimes and EDNA in 2011 or 2012, which won't happen because the re-election campaign will have begun.

Is that the official stance? I'd heard it was strictly a recommendation that was made; no word yet on whether it would be the party line.

I do expect the dems to be squeamish now on GLBT issues, because the outcome of Prop 8 certainly would have them biting their nails. But it doesn't mean that the issue can't be forced, either by a GLBT-aware leader or by the current movement by the public (provided people stop giving the Fundies opportunities to portray that as "rioting" and possibly provided the Fundies get caught staging things to make them look like victims).

"I doubt any of us actually think that HRC's Communications person sat around thinking, "How can I co-opt the trans community on behalf of my employer?" I doubt the Director of Comm did that either. Or the VP really."

Sadly I do think something akin to this. Every year over the last few years HRC has attempted to co-opt this Day. If you may remember last year there was a huge outcry over them trying to hold the Service at their headquarters. Not supporting or attending our communities service in DC - and right after the ENDA contretemps. Putting their logo on our deaths - as they do in this video.

They've been told time and again that the Day of Remembrance isn't about organizations - yet they continue to paste their logo on it - they've been told that if they're welcome to come to the services in their areas as individuals to support the members of those communities - but they just can't stop trying to slap their damn logo on our tombstones. I don't know how many times and how many ways they can be told to stay away from this event as an organization.

Fuck HRC indeed. Your self aggrandisement is neither needed nor desired.

Again - if you want to come and grieve with us & support us - you're welcome. But - if you keep this up - we're - strike that - you're going to have some serious problems coming your way.

I think your threats are insulting.
I think your anger is real.
I think it is misdirected.
HRC is and has been committed to an all inclusive ENDA. Much like when LAmbda Legal issued a fatwa on same sex marriages to go back to their states and close the closet door until the best or more effective test case or court surfaces--that was a strategic choice. Did you theaten them or their supportors or even doubt their commitment to Marriage Equality?
The reality is like marriage equality and all inclusive ENDA or Hate Crimes bill (which I think will pass) you have not done the work.
MAybe this video was not intended for you.
MAybe it was pitched at those who don't know anything about.

Thanks Serena for posting Kit Yan's amazing video response! HRC has a lot of work to do to ever regain our trust. Earlier this year I received a telemarketing call from them, I told them in no uncertain terms why I would not donate to them. My limited contribution dollars go directly to trans community and organizations.

The more I read about Lawrence King, the more angry I became that majority of media reports said only that he was gay. Larry was also gender variant, sadly though, we won't ever get to know exactly how he might have identified, trans, genderqueer or whatever else.

The Champaign Fund deserves to be criticized for screwing trans people over on ENDA. However, your statement on Lawrence King makes no sense.

And Lawrence King, to my knowledge, didn't identify as trans. He got killed because he didn't conform to traditional standards of masculinity. But that doesn't mean he was trans.

What happened to King shows why we need to focus on gender identity issues. Transphobia is part of a larger heterosexism and sexism that effects anyone who doesn't gender conform 100% of the time.

What happened to King is an extreme example of why our community cannot accept the HRC's position that gender identity is expendable in civil rights legislation.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | November 22, 2008 8:42 PM

What happened to King is an extreme example of why our community cannot accept the HRC's position that gender identity is expendable in civil rights legislation.

I was going to say the same thing! How utterly ironic that we fight over whether King was gay or trans, while our enemies simply kill us because we're "queer."

"And secondly, what can HRC do to help? If you have staffers that want to help the entire LGBT community and "get it," what can they do? If they try to help with items like this video, they get slammed. How do they advance the cause in favor of trans rights when anything they do is criticized so heavily?"

A few things come to mind - one of which is that they can actually reply to their critics. This isn't the first time we've raised concerns over their involvement in the Day of Remembrance - yet they've never relpied to those concerns or spoken to the people who've been most responsible for coordinating these services around the Globe - that would be Gwen Smith & a former Proector - Ethan St. Pierre. Stop bigfooting everything & stop making everything that happens in the community about HRC.

There's so much more - but there's one directly related to this forum. An HRC representative is invited to post here - yet he never responds to concerns raised here.

Why don't you ask him what he can do to move beyond this instead of only asking us? It's not like we're the problem - yet we're the only ones responsible for the solution? Are there no responsibilities that come with the privledge of being given a forum here?

Or any when when he presumes to speak for us & make decisions about our rights? Has there been any real apology for the shabby treatment during the enda debacle? Was there any recognition of the damage caused by the ginned up poll on support for transgender equality? Why the silence from Joe? From David Smith? From Allison Herwitt?

Can you even get a straight answer from HRC on what their policy will be if someone tries to leave gender identity out of the next nondiscrimination bill?

I didn't think so.

I've been thinking how to approach this a couple days.

Serena -- thank you for being there tonight. If you hadn't worn a cap I might not have recognized you, but I chickened out at the last sec and just said Hi as I walked by.

Bil, I said the bulk of the sentiments you see expressed here today when you put this video up. Previously.

I'd like to point some things out. FIrst, GLAAD's didn't put out a trans only video. And they didn't crap.

Think about that for a sec.

Now, The HRC video was absolutely cool. By any measure, it is one of the best videos made for the concept overall.

But, as usual, the HRC didn't get it right. They used old names, when the event is about the last year. There were 31 this year, Bil.

That's one thing that peeves us.

They use it to speak to hate crimes. It shouldn't be used that way. They use to call for donations. It shouldn't be used that way.

It serves one purpose and one purpose only. To make people aware that each one of us is pretty much 500 other people -- each one of us is 50 LG people.

That's the impact of it. In the trans community, we have 4 degrees of separation. At most. Usually 3.

Thats how heavy each of these weighs on our minds.

And that video does a disservice because, yet again, it is the transworld *from outside*. IT was set up and designed to be palatable.

It was like a prop 8 ad that had no gay people in it.

Transfolk can't be handled that way.

So you know, most transfolks *do* think the HRC sat around thining "ok, how can I co-opt the trans community on behalf of HRC".

Literally. We think that because the HRC has proven that it will do that. Time and time again.

We *also* think the VP is thinking "we have a problem with trans issues." The rest was already addressed in Tobi's outstanding response.

You are right -- not every person at the HRC is that way. There are certainly staffers willing to help.

IT doesn't matter.

The organization as a whole has, for the most part, screwed us over. In everything they do. We are *secondary*. An afterthought.

And we are tired of it.

I'm certain they made the video with the best intentions. Really, I am. I just, after all this time, suspect that their intentions are never in *our* best interests.

They don't want to hurt us, mind you. Once they get LGB protections in place, they will have to have a reason to exist. We are going to become that reason. Because that's all they will have left.

But they don't want to deal with us, Bil. We do not play well in Peoria. We fail focus group tests.

Transgender, Bil, means gay, lesbian, bisexual, and straight. It means men and women, and that which lies in between. It means the people that are called faggot first. The people who are shot in cars. The people who are hookers and prostitutes (something even our own activists all too often shy away from). It means the people who have AIDS now.

You once described your childhood in terms of gender roles. What you described is almost word for word what every MtF has ever said.

Word for word, Bil.

when I came out, I told a friend of mine, who really liked me. His reaction was immediate and visceral: "why do you wanna be a freak and cut your dick off?".

He was gay, Bil. Of the first 30 people I came out to, one of whom was my wife, he was the only negative reaction.

He showed up at the Phoenix TDoR tonight, and he gets it now.

IT is not that we want them to be silent. Saying that is akin to saying "I'll take my ball and go home".

what we want is action. concrete, visible, purposeful, intense action.

We want them to give our single greatest need the same amount of effort they give to marriage. Because we dying faster than the GLB community is, and there's a hell of a lot fewer of us.

Think for a moment, Bil. When was the last time that you, personally, felt a physical threat to your existence in an encounter with another person? When was the lat time someone called you faggot and then threw a bottle at you?

I've got a couple girls at the halfway house who have had that happen to them every day in the last 7.

They aren't called trannies, Bil. They are called faggots.

They are straight, too.

When the cops did their raid of the "gay bars" in New York City, they didn't go to the places that the then in power groups went to. Those bars no one knew because everyone seemed so "normal".

They went to the transgender bars. The places where the flamers and wild ones were. The places where the monsters were.

We get all the nastiest crap targeted at you. Because we are visible when you are not. You alone no one would think was gay, right? Well, we aren't that lucky.

We want them to say "Its time for an inclusive ENDA *now*". We want them to get it introduced in the next session and push it through for that first 100 days.

We want them to say "Barney Frank -- retract that bathroom statement". We want them to help fund state and city level protections. We want them to make the score card portions for trans inclusion *equal* in importance (scoring wise) to LGB portions. We want them to work on the ADA stuff. TO stand up and score health care providers with emphasis on transtreatment and care. We want them to ensure we get decent housing and treatment in prison. We want them to mae the fact that as a white gay man you have twenty times the risk of being killed walking out your front door than I do.

The single biggest thing they could do to win back Trans support is get inclusive ENDA passed. And, really, it should be the first and single most important thing they do. Now.

They don't ask us for money. They don't talk about how great it is going to be. They just get it done.

As I said, right now, Bil, they are Fred Phelps to us. They are Focus on the Family, or the AFA. They are every person who voted for Prop 8.

They are our enemy.

What would it take for you to start trusting any of those groups? Seriously, think about it for a moment, because if you look at what our reaction is to the HRC, its that same reaction we have to any of them.

What makes it worse is they say they are working for us when they do it. They say they are being nice to us when we ripped out of a bill.

You know more about us than they do, Bil. Ask them what the ADA would do for us if the provision barring us was removed.

That's due this next session, Bil. That's actually doable. Like, now.

I said it before: it takes 10 things to make up for every bad one. And they've don a lot of bad ones. They are already removed from the mainstream of the LGBT community as a whole -- they have ZERO knowledge of us or our issues.

Half the transfolk on this board have said they would be more than willing to speak with the HRC. What did we get? AN offer to do it during the largest Trans gathering int he world. Its like trying to hold a meeting during gay days on Key West.


If they could get through an ADA and an ENDA within the next 2 years, I'm willing to bet they'd have at least two thirds the trans community behind them. with cash (since we'll actually, you know, have some).

DO you know who Reed Erickson was, Bil? Any clue what that man did to enable the stuff the HRC stands on to exist? Look him up. Please.

He was transsexual.

Shannon Minter, one hell of a lawyer -- this guy argued and won the case for marriage in California.

He is a transsexual.

Lynn Conway, who created the ideas of instruction sets and some of the most critical architectures that enable Bilerico to exist. She is a Transsexual.

The President of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association is a woman I was hugging a short while ago: Dr. Becky Allison.


What do they need to do? They need to find out who we are and what we want, and then go and do it.

Not decide for us.

They need to stop lying to us.

That's what they need to do, and why we are sick and tired of their trite little dumb stuff. Its time for them to come to us, hat in hand, and ask what they can do for us. Because we've tried it that way on our side and look where it got us.


Bil has a choice. Either he can stand with the Joe Solomonese (his friend, I might add), or he can do the right thing and listen and learn from trans anger.

right now, I am incredibly angry at the hypocrisy of wanting to hear trans perspectives, but only when they tell him what he wants to hear.

His condescending medicalization of my issues with bigots did not help his case. The shocking ableism in his tone was incredibly upsetting... thanks for being there on the phone last night. And he actually used the "tone" argument. Can you believe it?
Sadly, that seems to be what I was railing against.
So, thanks for being there. It really helped.

The sheer irony of being told my anger was "baseless" by a white gay man who insisted on being iconic of the prejudice that makes so many trans lives harder...or ends them outright...

Chica, there are no words!

So, yeah, I guess he'll eventually decide protecting his self image is more important than speaking out against gay on trans hate and exclusion.
And speaking for Joe Solomonese is more important than understanding trans rage.

And that is his choice. He certainly has the power to do it. And the privilege to forget the trans lives like reed Erickson that put him where he is today.

I think we are going to see Bil make some choices soon. Ones that will show his true colors.

We already know where the white gay community stands on trans women.
Our necks.

We have only to find out where Bil chooses to stand.

I'm almost too scared to even hope....

Thanks Dyssonance, for a very rational and thoughtful response. I appreciate it. You've made some really good points that I agree with. But my question remains: How do we move past the anger and into rational discussion on how to move forward?

Actually your are where on the film or even on the website that they list at the end do they ask for your are WRONG when you saw they use this to ask for donations.
When you go to the site when they invite you to find out what you can do.
why don't you check it out instead of being one of those knee-jerk reactionaries who feel they are earning their strips by just bashing.

"But my question remains: How do we move past the anger and into rational discussion on how to move forward?"

Bil - it's a gracious invitation - but - this isn't something that can be resolved by discussion with you. This can only be resolved by HRC leadership speaking to transgender leaders and the supporters in United ENDA.

I appreciate your invitation to discussion - and I think we need to recognise that transgender people are here engaging in discussion. Where is the other party?

They don't seem to have an interest - regardless of the good intetions of many staffer who don't determine their legislative policies. It's about top down responsibility - and I don't see any.

Bil - it's a gracious invitation - but - this isn't something that can be resolved by discussion with you. This can only be resolved by HRC leadership speaking to transgender leaders and the supporters in United ENDA.

I appreciate your invitation to discussion - and I think we need to recognise that transgender people are here engaging in discussion. Where is the other party?

I can't argue with the fact that I can't resolve it myself. I can't. But perhaps - just perhaps - if we can find a solution we'll be able to present it to HRC like a check list. "Have you done A, B, & C? No? Well then, you're not done yet..."

Angela Brightfeather | November 24, 2008 10:01 AM

A lot of points to cover and I'm not up to posting about all of them.

But I will say that if the HRC video about DOR is done by Trans people, no matter who they are working for, then respect their effort in trying to make a difference, if you feel that is what they are trying to do.

To HRC, keep your logo off of Trans identified things. At least have the class to show that you deserve to be assoicated with our community before you shove your brands of exclusive equality down our throats. Any attempts by HRC to infringe upon on our deaths, is a clarion call to face our rebuke and anger. YOU are our Prop 8!! When are you going to understand that?

I value all attempts of Transgender people associated with HRC to act like responsible Transgender people and accept all of their actions if they are meant to serve our community. Just don't make it a commercial by associating your efforts with the boss. Surprise people by being Ttansgender first and employees second.

To everyone else. WE ARE TRANSGENDER!!!!!
We have our people in every conceivable area of human effort and work. We have people in the Pentagon and government agencies working on things like wars, that I totally disagree with, even more than I do with HRC. Many of us choose to work on the inside of agendas instead of outside of them. If they are moral in their objectives to create change from that position and continue to listen and accept advise from those outside, then go for it. I served seven years in the Army as a DI way back when and got court marshalled twice for refusing to obey orders. I won in both cases and the Army changed their regulations. Change can happen from the inside if people on the inside listen to those on the outside.

Lastly, if you are Transgender and work for, are members of, or support HRC in any way, then get on this blog and others and talk about it. If your Transgender, you cannot afford to sit quietly and observe the storm, you have to have the strength to face the music in here, before you can convince us that you can face the music if called on the carpet by your boss. Lets see some discourse with backbone attached to it instead of a bunch of shrinking violets who throw out a video and then can't defend their actions. Most of us want to know why you did it and how you felt doing it, instead of assuming that you were made to do it to gain publicity. Exactly how much of your heart and emotions were in that video? What is it you had invested in it? Did it mean that if you refused to do it, then you would be excomunicated by the boys in the big white tower?

There is a lot we can understand about each other if we bother to listen to each other. But the big message is, don't do this again without everyone's agreement first or it merits another FU.

"But the big message is, don't do this again without everyone's agreement first or it merits another FU."


And, I think Bil owes me an apology.

How do we go past the anger?

Well let's see...

Some of the things that could be done;

Stop trying to make the TDOR a feelgood "Trans Awareness Day".

Don't arrange a HRC Orientation "fun and laid-back occasion" that directly clashes with TDOR observations. Like they did in Dallas/Ft Worth, Houston, and other places, only a few days ago.

From the Transgender Job bank:

Please note that I’ve concluded that the overwhelming majority of corporations that have been contacted by The Transgender Job Bank who are on the CEI 100% inclusive list are NOT inclusive and that I believe that the Human Rights Campaign organization is deceiving the public by representing that the problem of transgender workplace discrimination is not as prevalent as it truly is.

A Straight - or rather, Gay - answer to whether a trans-exclusive ENDA is acceptable or not would be good.

You see Bil, the problem is not just past wounds: it's that they keep on stabbing us. It's a bit difficult putting the past aside when every day brings yet another HRC "mis-step".

In some ways the HRC is in a "no-win" situation. No-one believes they act in good faith. There's too many examples of their continuing bad faith - or more charitably, crass insensitivity and intransigent ignorance. Every slight, however tiny, is seen as a calculated insult, because so many of them could not be reasonably interpreted as anything other than that.

What most Trans* people would like is for the HRC to drop the pretense of being Trans-inclusive. They're not. They may intend to be, they may want to be, but they're either treacherous or incompetent, not to mince words.

If they can't help, just get out of the way, and leave it to other groups. Don't sabotage them, as has been done in the past. Don't say the HRC speaks for Trans* people when it so patently doesn't.

Then maybe we can start talking about how to co-operate now the mendacity is removed. Remember, fully one third of Trans* people are also Gay or Lesbian, the HRC's cause is our cause in many ways too. But ours is not theirs, and to pretend that it is just causes further resentment.


Well said.

The problem is, that claims of transinclusiveness far outstrip actual transinclusiveness.

While the hrc is our favorite, most visible demon. the truth is, that trans hate and exclusion are endemic on the queer community.

Add to that racism, sexism, and a slew of other ills that are well documented in queer communities, and you get a very dismal picture.

To be fair, the queer community as a whole is just beginning to grapple with this.

But the motivation, and accountability are simply not there. Very few, if any queer organizations have any accountability to transfeminine spectrum folks.
Most of the non trans-only organizations with any trans presence tend to favor transmasculine folks.

So, sexism is as rampant as transphobia. And there is no way this is accidental.

Transfeminine spectrum people are willfully and deliberately marginalized in queer communities. Any claim of ignorance or simple negligence is fraudulent.

So, the problem goes way beyond "just the hrc." They just make an easy target that does not threaten gay male hegemony as much as the alternatives.

"I can't argue with the fact that I can't resolve it myself. I can't. But perhaps - just perhaps - if we can find a solution we'll be able to present it to HRC like a check list. "Have you done A, B, & C? No? Well then, you're not done yet..."

People have been doing this for HRC for - well - 15 years that I've been involved in it. It's not lack of knowledge. Again - where are they? Didn't an HRC employee just post on this site? Not wanting to single out a staffer who doesn't make policy - but - she was in this video. So - why doesn't HRC respond to these concerns?

It wasn't very long ago in these comments section that a transgender HRC Board of Governor's member proposed a meeting with the senior staff - they ignored her. Indeed - they laughed at her in their office (yes - people share what goes on in there Joe. We know about you calling her on the carpet as well. From several sources.)

I'm coming to the belief that the only way to see change there is to change their senior management - from the top to the entire group handling legislative issues. A new person may feel inclined to open a real dialog. A new person may have a chance of some credibility - and - given the change in DC - moving out all of the Republicans & the people who staffed Republicans - would make sense when working with the new Admin & Congress.

Let's face it - it's not that the issues are unknown - change your policy on ENDA being the top of the list. After that - all things are possible.

not true...HRC did not penalize them...did not even score...My congressmen Nadler...even though he voted against my civil rights with his shameful vote...a vote our only lesbian congresswoman ended up voting for and urged...but what did Mr. Nadler win by his shameful anti gay rights vote? A few less votes this year and a few more dollars from lobbiests

I'm not sure why you are coughing about?
Well done Bil no matter what HRC does the same comments are spewed.