Empire State Pride Agenda Disbands, Screwing NY Trans People

Empire State Pride Agenda
Empire State Pride Agenda
It’s ironic the Gov. Cuomo invoke the statue of liberty at the ESPA dinner as a symbol of full equality in a state that still does not have laws doing so for transgender people. Image Lavern Cox.

Realizing the trans community’s worst fears, the New York Empire State Pride Agenda announced the shocking news Saturday that they are ceasing operations after 25 years of operations.

Pushing themselves from the equality table, ESPA said that they have completed their mission with Gov. Cuomo’s announced executive order protecting transgender New Yorkers. Mara Keisling at the NCTE announced it in October with an upbeat take, perhaps without knowledge that there wouldn’t be a state organization left to advocate for the real and substantive, legally binding equality of GENDA.

The New York legislature passed laws protecting gay people with Sonda in 2002 and marriage equality in 2011. But since then the Senate has failed to pass transgender protections or “GENDA” eight times. Although there have been strong arguments since that SONDA also includes transgender people based on perceived gender identity the interpretation remains subjective.

amancipation proc
Neither Gov. Cuomo’s transgender order or the presidential proclamation freeing slaves are law.

“The mission was to get these policy objectives passed and we feel we have done that,” said Norman C. Simon, the group’s chairman and a co-chairman of the foundation’s board. The continuation of the PAC, he said, would allow the group to “maintain a continuing voice in electoral politics,” in order to safeguard its victories.

Transgender New Yorkers will have conditional protection under the law during the Cuomo administration, but there’s no permanence as it can be rescinded a number of ways. Kansas’s Brownback rescinded a previous governor’s executive order removing LGBT people’s legal protections and there wasn’t a thing anyone could do about it.

“The group will wind down its operations across the first half of 2016, working to “identify aspects of its policy work to transition to partner LGBT organizations” said Nathan Schaefer, the Pride Agenda’s Executive Director.

SO WAIT! WHAT? Schaefer just said the job isn’t finished without saying transgender and every fucking person in the room knows that’s what he’s eluding to. (it’s their little secret) They’ll just walk.

So gay New Yorkers will spend money on making sure the laws protecting them aren’t eroded but will throw the T under the bus. Nice.

Empire State Pride Agenda
You can still sign the ESPA pledge  for “The Long Haul” by clicking HERE or until its scrubbed from the internet.

Just last year the New york Pride Agenda supported Cuomo’s campaign citing his intent on passing GENDA.

It is very important to note that neither the NY Pride agenda or Governor Cuomo mentioned GENDA or any plans to introduces new laws specifically protecting transgender people.

Thusly the worst fears have been realized by those who have spent decades struggling for transgender rights in the Empire state. Cuomo’s claim as the national and world’s example of inclusion and acceptance run thin as every time a trans person go’s to court they will first have to prove SONDA covers them, making the process cost and time prohibitive.

I’d sure love to see the pre-election emails that were sent between the NY Gay Agenda and Cuomo. No doubt we’d see another gay organization emerge if or when gay rights laws are threatened.

sTonewall with a T: Jacob Tobia reflects on post-marriage LGBT movement from Samuel Nemir Olivares on Vimeo.

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Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender


  1. Helen. Girl, BYE! Your mother’s mentally ill. We fought your battles & were at the FRONTLINE- while you & MANY gay people hid in the trenches. That time is over!
    I bet you weren’t talking that BULLSHIT when we were at the NY Capital fighting for YOUR gay marriages, right? I was there for seven fucking hours & many of you didn’t even care! You ungrateful bitches have the NERVE to judge people who paved the way for your tired, LATE asses. Never forget who made the way for you. If it WEREN’T for the Pioneers of Stonewall; Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, Miss Majors (Thank God she’s alive & I hope she sees this post) & many, many others who died from mindless, senseless violence, there would BE no you. Mental illness?! You tell that to the parents who lost their poor children to downlow men who acted like they didn’t know they were trans women only to get insanity plea bargains.

    I’ll tell you what, lesbian. The next time someone discriminates against your nasty, LATE ASS, don’t go pretending to be the victim. WE won’t be there. You can go jump off Mount Everest. Face first. I’m DONE fucking being quiet. People will recognize their actions & I will make sure that we achieve BASIC, HUMAN rights! Say something to me if you want to. I’ll be waiting.

    Reading Is Fundamental.

  2. @Helen Actually being gay is no longer considered a mental illness. It is safe for you to come out of the closet to enjoy the rights trans* leaders won for you from Stonewall on.

  3. Learn to fight your own battles, the LGB community does not want to have sexual orientation associated or confused with what is basically a mental illness. DROP THE T!

  4. Kelli is right. It is irrelevant whether there is an executive order or proposed regulations. GENDA has not passed. Unless there were zero New Yorkers reporting they suffered discrimination in the latest NTCE survey, it is not quite time to fold the tents yet.

    Unfortunately this has been the history of mainstream Gay, Inc. Once the most privileged portion of the LGBT alphabet soup gets what they want, they just throw everyone else under the bus.


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