Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Say It, Democrats, 'Transgender'

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | September 05, 2012 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: 2012 Democratic Convention, 2012 Democratic Party Platform, ENDA, LGBT Inclusion, marriage equality, transgender

The Democratic Party 2012 Platform is out and it is good for the gays. It's pro-marriage equality, calls for continued support for combating HIV/AIDS and conducting medical research, mentions "LGBT" twice in reference to supporting LGBT youth against bullying and protecting bi-national couples from deportation. It calls for elimination of discrimination in its civil rights platform and expresses specific support for ENDA, mentioning "gender identity" - twice:


Civil Rights. We believe in an America where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody plays by the same set of rules. At the core of the Democratic Party is the principle that no one should face discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability status...We know that putting America back to work is Job One, and we are committed to ensuring that Americans do not face employment discrimination. We support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act because people should not be fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.(emphasis added)

This is a great platform. Of course, I've been disappointed that I didn't get everything I wanted for Christmas from President Obama and Congress, and I'm holding out for a pony. But my stocking has had something besides a lump of coal for the first time since forever, and I am ardently supporting President Obama and my local Congressional candidates (Go Sean Patrick Maloney!) with my scarce money and my even more scarce time.

But -- and feel free to call me silly -- I want to see my little community reflected in the Democratic National Platform. For so long, we have been considered sideshow circus freaks, and it would mean a lot to me to hear the word "transgender" coming out of the Democratic National Convention. After all, we have a dozen transgender delegates there.

President Barack Obama is the first President ever to mention the word "transgender" in a speech. He didn't quail at the prospect.

Now I did hear that, Gov. Tim Kane made reference to "LGBT Americans." And Rep. Jared Polis made reference to being gay.

Think about your own community -- what does it mean to you to get a shoutout? Would you hoot and holler with glee if your special family were called out by name? Oh, I'm aware that they can't necessarily give a special mention to everyone, and we're a tiny group, and popular in the tabloids but not for our achievements. My people are some of the bravest people I know, standing up against odds that are difficult to explain to those of you who have never experienced those particular looks, the jokes, the insults, the threatening gestures. I know that there's a lot to do at the Convention, and that the stakes are high for our country. Yes, I do know that. But hey, wouldn't it be nice?

And guess what, 39 minutes into the Convention, DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias said this:

The Democratic Party under the leadership of Barack Obama has dramatically improved the lives of millions of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual Americans and at no cost to anyone else.

Good on you, Andy Tobias, and good on you, Democratic Party!

Now we need a transgender Member of Congress. Any takers?

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