Friday, August 22, 2014

Commentary] [USA] The Historical Oppression of Transgender People within the LGBTQ Movement

I did not write this article just found it very informative please check it out
[Commentary] [USA] The Historical Oppression of Transgender People within the LGBTQ Movement
7:16 AMTransgender News
PQ Monthly, OR, USA

The Historical Oppression of Transgender People within the LGBTQ Movement

admin — August 21, 2014

By Leela Ginelle, PQ Monthly

Lateral oppression occurs when one member of a marginalized community oppresses another. This dynamic has been practiced, with demonstrably damaging results, by the LGB community toward its transgender counterparts repeatedly as the campaign for rights has proceeded since the Stonewall uprising.

It’s commonly known that among the Stonewall rioters were many transwomen and drag queens. One such participant was nascent trans activist Sylvia Rivera. Seventeen at the time, she’s reported to have shouted, “I don’t want to miss a minute of this. It’s the revolution,” when the uprising started, and to have thrown one of the first bottles at the police.

Following Stonewall, Rivera organized with the Gay Activists Alliance in New York City, as they worked to attain protections for sexual and gender minorities. Within a year, however, the GAA began to drop protections for drag and transvestitism (as gender expression rights were referred to then) from its agenda. In 1971, the GAA put forward a citywide Gay Rights Ordinance excluding those rights, officially splitting the LGBTQ rights movement, and jettisoning those who’d helped begin it.

The men making these decisions were able to do so, in part, because they benefitted from male cisgender privilege transwomen like Rivera lacked, and in doing so they perpetrated a bias toward the gender variant members of their community. Though LGBTQ minorities themselves, they preemptively assumed bigotry on the part of the politicians they hoped to court, and then acted upon it, hoping that excluding trans people would make their movement more palatable to the politicians they wished to court.

Rivera inferred the motives of her former comrades, saying later, “When things started getting mainstream, it was like, ‘We don’t need you anymore.’”

This abandonment proved fruitless. The gay-only ordinance failed to pass. Spurned, Rivera formed STAR — Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries — with fellow trans activist Marsha P. Johnson. STAR staged marches, and operated a shelter for gender variant youth experiencing homelessness, the latter a priority reflecting the precarious nature facing the trans community.

LGB activists, pursuing their own interests, eventually procured the passage of a sexual identity protections ordinance in NYC in 1986. Gender expression would not become a protected right in the city until 2002.

Those dates reflect the larger pattern of the advancement of gay and lesbian rights relative to those of transgender people in our country during the last forty five years. That marginalization following Stonewall, the decision on the part of those in the movement with the greatest social capital that mainstream society was ready to embrace sexual minorities, but not gender ones, i.e.: people like the decision makers rather than those different than them, left the trans community decades behind its gay and lesbian counterpart in terms of legal rights and social acceptance.

This dynamic that followed Stonewall repeated itself almost identically seven years ago in Congress with the maneuvering that surrounded the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Trans-exclusionary versions of ENDA were put forth in 1994, ’95, and ’96, all unsuccessfully.

The Human Rights Campaign, which shepherded these efforts, earned the extreme ire of the trans community, when its then-executive director Elizabeth Birch was reportedly overheard at an LGBTQ event saying a trans-inclusive ENDA would happen “over (her) dead body.” Trans activists began picketing HRC dinners and events to bring light to this lateral discrimination, and eventually, by 2007, their efforts appeared to have made an impact.

In 2007 Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. For the first time, HRC announced it would not support an ENDA bill that excluded trans protections. According to Transgriot founder Monica Roberts, the organization also raised $20,000 from the Southern Comfort Conference — an annual trans event in Atlanta — to support their efforts.

On September 27, 2007, however, gay congressman Barney Frank, acting unilaterally, decided trans protections would doom the bill, and struck them. In the wake of this, the HRC equivocated, saying it would not support the bill, but would not encourage congresspeople to vote against it, either.

The sense of betrayal within the trans community at this turn was mammoth. Donna Rose, the first trans member of the HRC’s board of directors resigned almost immediately, and while a coalition of 300 LGBTQ groups quickly formed, calling itself, United ENDA, and prevailing upon the Democratic Congress to immediately pass a trans-inclusive ENDA bill, the HRC stayed apart, and kept its silence.

Frank’s trans-exclusive ENDA passed the House in early 2008, but died in the Senate without ever reaching the floor. The parallels between this episode and that of the gay and lesbian rights ordinance forty years prior are so glaring they hardly require illustration: the presumption among gay male leaders that those around them were transphobic, the intra-community oppression, and the utter fruitlessness of yet another legislative abandonment.

These instances of lateral oppression by the cisgender members of the LGBTQ community toward their trans counterparts, are, I find, common knowledge among trans people I know. When I mention them to gay and lesbian friends, however, even ones well acquainted with LGBTQ issues and history, I don’t encounter the same familiarity.

This gulf, in my view, is harmful, as the history involved in these instances constitutes a pattern of injustice that can contribute to a sense of cynicism among trans people, resulting in occasional bitter sayings about our movement, such as “The ‘T’ comes last,” “The ‘T’ is silent” or “The GGGG community.”

I bring all this up not to stoke resentments, or point fingers, but rather to air out old wounds, so they might heal. Such healing is occurring   already, I believe, as attention is given to trans issues, like health care access and coverage, gender identity protections in schools and public spaces, and the removal of surgery requirements from process of updating the gender markers on one’s IDs and documents. Actions like the HRC’s recent condemnation of the trans-exclusionary Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival help, as well.

Our community is big and diverse, and made up of people who likely all know what it is to be excluded. As Stonewall showed, though, we accomplish more when we turn our love toward one another, and practice the acceptance and equality we’re fighting for in the world with the people closest to us.

Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved. Brilliant Media llc
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Against me! Day out filled with punk music and rebelling against social gender norms

It's kinda hard to start this blog because the day was so amazing but here I go. The day started out with waking up and the first thought popping into my mind was the fact that I will have the chance to meet one of my wife's and mine favorite musicians and icons laura Jane grace. I hopped into the shower as my wife started getting ready and at this point I still didn't know exactly what I was going to wear when I got out all I knew was I want to wear a skirt and fishnets with my boots but didn't know what top after trying a ton on I finally just cut up my converge shirt to make it more cute which my wife helped me with. We finally got done getting ready and making a huge mess in the process and left for the day. Me and Chelsea were super hungry so we grabbed sushi before the signing with against me we spent the whole time talking about what we will say to our favorite band so we would have are thoughts straight which didn't really work outta as u will see later. Skipping forward about an hour of hanging at the record store we finally lined up to meet against me. When Laura walked up and against me I almost didn't know how to contain myself I wanted to tell Laura about her impact on my life and what she meant to me and  all I could say was can I have a hug and that she was my idol. I have never been do star struck in my life but I am truly a huge fan and couldn't believe I was finally meeting Laura. After the signing my wife me and our friend Amanda all went to have drinks at a local bar called burgers and brew before we headed into the show. At this point me and Chelsea had already posted pics on twitter with Laura which she favorited and also added my wife who she recognized talking to in the past on line.  We finally went Into the show and got out spots. We heard the opening acts put on a great show so we were excited to see them and let me tell you both bands all the pretty horses and creepoid delivered on a huge scale setting up the night for against me. Finally it was time for against me and the set was perfect from beginning to end playing pretty much every song I could have asked for except for maybe paralytic states and Spanish moss. The high light of the show was seeing the evolution of Laura's stage presence from 2 years ago on her first tour after coming out and now she melted my face and my heart with her stage presence and her recognizing us at the end of the show was awesome. Lucky enough for us we have tickets to see them this coming Wednesday in Fresno. To Laura if you read this thank you and I am looking forward to seeing you in Fresno and many more shows in the future you truly are a huge inspiration to me. And of course here are some pics from the night 

Monday, August 4, 2014

A fun realization

It's a great moment when you first free yourself from the confines of your little closeted bubble you feel stuck in for so long only to do it on just a slightly bigger scale with feeling only comfortable in cd or trans friendly environments. It's another great feeling to no longer feel obligated to those confines and get to explore freely in the world the way you want to. We had a great night at burgers and brew with a group of great friends