HRC and the equality Federation lost the transgender community in 2007 by being complicit with Congressman Barney Franks when he divided the workplace protections act ENDA into SENDA(sex) and GENDA(gender).
Today I am sitting in a room with Equality Texas members waiting to testify. I am surrounded by scowling faces. I feel othered, unwanted, and reviled, even hated.
I showed planet transgender to an inquisitive parent of a trans girl. Her response was “what good is that?”
That is our history, lady.
It was getting late and the prospect of testifying against another anti-trans bill in front of THE SAME hateful committee faces was too much to take. I am 62. I am tired and too old for this mess so I went home.
See, I was the only one in that room who had protested HRC shaming them to acknowledge our existence in 2007. We brought HRC to their knees, forced Joe Solomenese to resign, and an apology at the Southern Comfort Conference from the incoming president, Alphonso David.
A must-read. Washington Blade : “10 years later, firestorm over gay-only ENDA vote still informs movement.”
HRC has been in losing a battle against right-wing hate groups ever since and they have no one to blame but themselves.
This year there are 20 anti-transgender bills in Texas alone. Most of those will pass now that House Speaker Joe Stauss, our saving grace was forced out.
Two weeks before I saw the power of allyship in Arkansas when we gathered in Little Rock. Most of the people there weren’t LGBT. Just concerned friends and pediatricians and not a single HRC sign insight. They lost that fight but I never once felt out of place, othered, or hated.
I will gladly return to Little Rock to stand by my community when the time is right.
That community feeling was missing again in Texas. I was persona non grata in 2017 when I testified against the Bathroom bill in Austin. But it didn’t matter because I had transgender contemporaries to stand with. But no one came this year. Not one person.
They asked me if I wanted to testify again. I answered yes. They want me to meet them at the Equality Texas office, a place I have never been, to march over to the Legislative building in a show of solidarity.
Solidarity? Really? Good, God!
There is no doubt that HRC and Equality Texas has played a part in losing our personal freedoms. But I can’t help but wonder if this wasn’t at least in part, by design. As long as the battle for trans rights continues the Equality Federation and HRC have a mission.
They have fought alone, a cold monlithic impenetrable collective where information goes in but no sign of humanity no warmth emanates from.
Meanwhile, our young people just keep dying.
The only saving grace will be President Biden. On his 99th day in office, he is making the highly unusual move to address a joint session of Congress in his first speech to the nation.
News outlets are saying he will pitch his infrastructure plan. I hope and pray he will also be announcing the results of his 100-day plan to identify states like Texas and Arkansas and make good on this threat to defund them if they refuse to comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
If he does President Biden will be our savior on a national scale just as Republican Joe Strauss was in Texas.
I believe in miracles and as always #TransRightsAreHumanRights.