CNN series ‘The Eighties’ takes on the AIDS epidemic

Larry Kramer

LGBT and AIDS activist Larry Kramer was one of the loudest voices in the fight against AIDS and its stigma in the 1980s.

How old were you when the AIDS epidemic first hit?

How old were you when the New York Times printed that first story about gay men dying of some mysterious cancer? When they called it GRID — Gay-Related Immune Deficiency? When they realized it wasn’t just gay men getting sick and started calling it AIDS — Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome? When they finally discovered the human immunodeficiency virus — HIV — that causes AIDS?

How old were you when the men of our community were dying every day?

Truth is, a lot of people reading this weren’t even born yet back then. A lot more were just wee tots with no idea what was happening. For some, the 1980s are ancient history, not personal history, with no relevance to their day-to-day lives.

That lack of historical perspective may be why HIV infection rates are so high among young people.

Now CNN offers a chance to maybe fill in some of the historical gaps for the younger generation with a new episode of the cable channel’s original series The Eighties, “The Fight Against AIDS,” airing tomorrow (Thursday, June 2, 8 p.m. CST). The program “focuses on the pandemic that created a movement and defined a decade.”

According to a press release, this “mysterious and lethal illness developed into a pandemic with enormous political and cultural consequences. What started as a medical detective story grew into a societal nightmare as first dozens and eventually thousands of people all over the world contracted the lethal virus that came to be known as AIDS. It’s a story of ignorance and heartbreak, but also one of compassion, courage and dedication.”

Award-winning producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, in association with HBO producer Mark Herzog, present the series, The Eighties, which “explores the individuals and events that shaped a decade of exceptionalism and excess.” The program combines rarely-seen archival footage and interviews with journalists, historians, musicians and television artists to tell the story of the decade. Future episides will focus on the age of Reagan, the end of the Cold War, Wall Street corruption, the tech boom and the expansion of television and the evolving music scene.

—  Tammye Nash

Please: No more ‘us vs. them’

justiceLast night (Monday, Nov. 24), officials announced that the grand jury had decided not to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson on any criminal charges in connection with the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. As expected, protests, riots and looting exploded in the streets of Ferguson and elsewhere in response.

And of course, the Internet exploded, too. Journalists on location in Ferguson and at the sites of other protests were Tweeting minute-by-minute updates. News outlets were posting articles examining the issue from every angle and op-ed pieces from all sides. And on social media sites like Facebook everybody with access to the Internet was posting their own personal opinions. Television news was also swamped with stories.

And with every word I heard or read, I felt myself growing a little more sick to my stomach. I am sick to think that another young man has died needlessly. I am sick to think a police officer will carry the weight of that death for the rest of his life. I am sick to think that some people think stealing from the Family Dollar Store or setting a car sales lot on fire is an appropriate or helpful way to respond to injustice. I am sick to think that others believe the protestors are all a bunch of thugs who need to just get over themselves.

And I am sick to death of the whole idea of “us vs. them” and all the hyperbole and name-calling.

Not every police officer is a jack-booted, power-hungry racist Nazi in disguise, just waiting for a chance to hurt or kill somebody they don’t like. But neither is every cop one of the good guys. There are very good cops, and there are very bad cops.

And not every person — regardless of gender or color — who ends up hurt or killed in a confrontation with police was some sweet saint just minding their own business and unfairly targeted by the brutish cops. But neither were all of them “thugs” who “deserved what they got.”

And you know what else I am tired of hearing? I’m tired of hearing that the protesters and rioters and looters — and those are very distinct groups, because not all of the protesters are violent and none of those taking advantage of the unrest to loot are protesters — are “hurting their own cause.” What is “their own cause”? Civil rights? Equality? Justice? Well you know what, none of those things are “their cause.” Those things should ALL be OUR cause. We should ALL be dedicated to making sure that every person is treated equally and that justice prevails (justice, not necessarily the law, since we all know of some unjust laws) in every situation.

Justice should be the end goal for everyone. But I don’t believe we will ever reach that goal as long as we continue in our “us vs. them” mentality: Blacks vs. Whites. Cops vs. Thugs. Rich vs. Poor. Native vs. Alien. Gay vs. Straight.

In the LGBT community, every October we celebrate National Coming Out Day, because we know that even though “society” may hate us as a group — the faceless “them” — it is much harder for an individual to hate another individual once they get to know each other. We know that people who know an openly gay person — as  a relative, a friend, a coworker, etc. — are less likely to oppose equality for LGBT people as a whole.

The same principle holds true in every facet of life and society, I think: It is harder to hate a group of people for being different from you when you actually know someone in that group.

In other words, we have to start looking at people as individuals, not as part of some larger group. Michael Brown not just a black teenager. Darren Wilson is not just a white cop.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying we don’t have racial problems in America. We most certainly do. “Walking while black,” “driving while brown” — that most definitely happens. Yes, there are bad cops. We cannot ignore that. But neither can we find a way to fix the problems, to reach our goal of justice unless we put aside the “us vs. them” way of doing things and start to see each other as individuals and each situation as unique.

They say that Justice is blind. Maybe it is. But if we truly expect to find Justice, then we have to start looking with our own eyes wide open, seeing all sides and not just our own.

—  Tammye Nash

Holiday greeting card activism

If you’re like me and you still haven’t yet sent out those holiday greeting cards — or if you just have a few left over — consider this idea from Equality Texas:

Holiday cards are inherently personal — they are a meaningful way to share a part of your life with other people. When you are thinking about who you want to send cards to this year, consider adding your State Senator and State Representative to your list. For those who do not have lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people in their lives, it can be easy to label us as an “other.” As long as LGBT people remain only an idea to our representatives, they are unlikely to fight for us. When they receive your card, your family will become real and personal to them. When they consider legislation affecting LGBT people, they will no longer see something intangible and distant — they will see you and your family. This simple action can be extremely powerful. If we show more people what we are really like, we stand to gain many more allies. Use your holiday card to put a face to LGBT equality.

To find your representative and their contact information, go here.

—  John Wright

SMU marks World AIDS Day with film screening

Dec. 1 isn’t just World AIDS Day — it’s also the 22nd annual Day With(out) Art, a movement launched in 1989 by the group Visual AIDS to mark the effect of the AIDS crisis on the arts community. In observance of the day, SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will be among more than 50 colleges, museums and arts groups holding a free screening of the film Untitled.

Untitled, from Jim Hodges, Encke King and Carlos Marques da Cruz,  is an hour-long,  non-linear documentary featuring montages of archival footage recalling the period of activism in the early days of the AIDS crisis. The screening will take place in the Greer Carson Screening Room (room 3527) of the Owen Arts Building on SMU’s campus, 6101 Bishop Ave. at 5:30 p.m.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

East coast victories for LGBT candidates

While we’re waiting here in Houston for the results of today’s municipal elections the Victory Fund reports of victories for LGBT candidates on the East coast where polls closed an hour earlier than Texas.

State Del. Adam Ebbin (D-District 30) was elected to Virginia’s state Senate today, making him the Commonwealth’s first openly gay senator.

“I am honored by the trust the voters have showed in me,”  Ebbin said in a statement. “During the campaign, I listened to the voters’ concerns and will work on behalf of the values we all share: improving our public schools, expanding our transit system and cleaning up Virginia’s environment. I will make sure their voices are heard…”

“Alex Morse, a 22-year-old graduate of Brown University, has just been elected mayor of Holyoke, Mass., a city of nearly 40,000 residents near Springfield…”

“Zach Adamson has won his race for city council in Indianapolis, giving the city its first openly LGBT city council member.”

“An incumbent on the Largo, Fla., City Commission who attacked her openly gay opponent over his sexual orientation has lost her reelection bid to him tonight. Michael Smith defeated Mary Gray Black, who has a history of anti-gay and anti-trans activism on the commission.”

—  admin

Dottley, Shores mix it up with protesters in WeHo

In today’s National Pride edition of Dallas Voice, we have an interview with Jason Dottley (who is performing tonight at Station 4) and his partner Del Shores, and their activism. Well, here’s another example of that: At Pride in West Hollywood last week, protesters attended waving anti-gay signage. Not to stay silent, Shores and Dottley carried their own signs and put on a show for the haters. Another image below.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones


“It’s why we can’t have protest movements in Dallas. People here are too obedient. Gay rights, black activism, Tea Party — doesn’t matter. There’s something in the water. If the mob in Tahrir Square had been made up entirely of members of the Dallas Tea Party, all Mubarek would have had to do to shut the thing down was tell them all to go sit in time-out.”

— Dallas Observer columnist Jim Schutze,
in a blog post bemoaning the timidness of Tuesday’s protests
at the Dallas County Commissioners Court meeting

—  John Wright

Russian gay leader Alekseev coming to Dallas

Nikolai Alekseev

According to information I received this morning Russian LGBT activist Nikolai Alekseev is coming to the U.S. at the end of February for a short tour that will include a stop in Dallas. He will be in Dallas March 3-4, but speaking venues have not yet been finalized.

Alekseev is probably best known to Americans as the man who organized Moscow’s first gay Pride parade, which city officials then banned that year and each subsequent year, threatening organizers and marchers with arrest when they persist in marching anyway. Alekseev himself has been arrested several times, including once last year when he was taken from an airport as he was leaving for a visit to Switzerland and held for three days. He was released after a flood of international protests against what his supporters called a kidnapping.

One of his primary opponents in his activism has been Moscow’s rabidly homophobic former mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, who once called gay Pride marches “satanic.” Since Russian President Dmitri Medvedev fired Luzhkov last year, Alekseev and other activists hope that they will be able to hold a Pride march this year without threat of violence or arrest. Moscow’s gay Pride march this year is scheduled for May 28.

Alekseev has also been instrumental in organizing LGBT activists around Russia and in other countries, and has used the European court system to fight back against anti-gay oppression. Last year, Alekseev won the battle when the European Court issued a sweeping ruling in his favor.

Alekseev’s U.S. tour was organized by the Chicago-based Gay Liberation Network, and he will be accompanied by GLN’s Andy Thayer. Supporters hope the tour will raise Alekseev’s profile here in the U.S. and bring more international scrutiny to the plight of LGBT Russians, thereby providing even more protection for them by increasing international scrutiny on the way Russia treats its LGBT citizens and activists.

Watch Dallas Voice for an interview with Alekseev at the end of February.

—  admin

Non-Task Functions And Roles Of Transgender Community Activism

When I talk to folk about activism under the transgender community umbrella, the discussion usually goes to task-based activism. You know, such as working on specific antidiscrimination ordinances and legislation, providing healthcare services, providing for basic needs (such as food and shelter), or educating those in and out of community about community members and their concerns.

But, there are other non-task functions and roles within transgender community that have to do with activism. If one thinks about it for a moment, there is more than one type of leadership within groups. Image: Transgender flagWe know about task leadership roles, but there are other group building and maintenance roles. These other group building and maintenance roles include encouraging (offers praise to group members), harmonizing (seeking to resolve conflict), compromising (resolving conflict by coming “half-way”), and gatekeeping (someone who keeps lines of communication open in a group), for example.

With that in mind — that all the functions of community aren’t task related — let me present a nonexhaustive list of non-task functions and roles within community that are also forms of community activism.

Mentoring: Mentoring is the teaching of the next generations of community members. It can be formal or informal, with formal roles and set goals, or informal “as life happens” moments that are just ad hoc. Sometimes it involves showing mechanisms and means to accomplish goals, sometimes in involves identifying means to cope with the ups and downs of doing the work in the trenches, Sometimes it’s clarifying pit falls others have experienced along the way and how to avoid these.

In other words, mentoring is a lot of things, but in terms of transgender community activism it’s teaching the next generations about how to be activists.

Mentee-ing: Being a mentee is being willing to learn. In a formal setting, it’s listening to, and acting upon the knowledge and wisdom of the mentor. In the informal setting it’s the same thing, but any community member can learn the knowledge and wisdom of any other community member — or non-community member.

I’ve been a mentor, and even now I’m a mentee. Learning is a lifelong process where one never knows everything there is to know — keeping oneself open to learn is an important function of all transgender community members…all transgender community activists.

When to be a rock: By rock, I mean being a person to lean on — a stabilizing force. It’s giving a peer a hug when they’re down, and offering what assistance one can to others who need assistance of one kind or another.

When has a community filled with as much hurt, pain, and need as transgender community has, one can see how much being a rock matters. And, when one knows that more than four in ten transgender community members have attempted suicide in their lives, and more than eight in ten have seriously considered suicide, can see how much being a rock matters. Being rocks to others is a function our community can’t afford to ignore.

When to be the untamed sea: Sometimes, the boat needs rocking. Sometimes we need to rock the boat instead of being a rock.

It’s too easy for all of us in community to get comfortable within our own lives or our safe community spaces, accepting conditions that shouldn’t be accepted. Being the untamed sea that rocks us our of our comfort zones is often a necessary function to awaken transgender community members from being complacent.

[Cheerleading, healers and nurturers, holding a mirror, “rock stars” and martyrs below the fold.]
Cheerleading: Cheerleading is recognizing our accomplishments, and encouraging the activism of others.

When I’d been out for just a couple of years, I had began volunteering as an amateur, online community news archivist with transgendernews. (I still back up the transgendernews archive every other week.) At a healthcare hearing up in Los Angeles, I met Cecilia Chung for the first time, and she told me how important what I was doing was for community, and encouraged me continue archiving our community’s news and history.

Image: Transgender SymbolThat was meaningful and important to me. I knew who Cecilia Chung was, and was surprised to learn she was aware of who I was and what work I was doing. Her appreciation of what I was doing, and her encouragement, built me up — I went to back to archiving as an energized activist.

Here five-and-a-half years later, I still remember what Cecilia Chung said, and still feel energized by the realization that what I do for community matters. She gave me that encouragement, and it cost her little but a few moments of her time.

I’ve had many opportunities to encourage others as Cecilia did — as an informal mentor to me. She taught me by example that cheerleading the good work of others, and the people themselves, can result in energizing people who are doing wonderful work…others who otherwise may feel that both who they are, and what they do, is unimportant.

Cheerleading is kindness that is both a very human and humane thing to do. But beyond how cheerleading builds an individual community member, it’s an action that when done by many to many, is a strong community building action — and transgender community needs that kind of building work.

Being the healers and nurturers we have historically been: In indigenous societies in America, and across the world, transgender people have been healers, nurturers, and shamen. Trans people have been spiritual leaders who bridge division.

One of the roles of transgender community is to continue that tradition of spirituality — whatever that might mean to an individual — and that tradition building bridges.

Holding a mirror to ourselves, our individual peers, and to our community: One of the non-task functions of transgender community is to hold up a mirror to community and community members. When one holds a mirror up to one’s community or one’s community members, one is asking:

“Is what we see reflected back to us beautiful? Is this ugly? Is this both a little bit beautiful and a little bit ugly at the same time?”

The follow up question to those questions always is:

“What do we want to do — what are we going to do — about what is being reflected back at us?”

Recently, as many of you here at Pam’s House Blend know, I looked in the community mirror, and saw something ugly reflecting back — So I held up a mirror to community to show others what I was seeing reflected back.

Presenting an ugliness reflected back from one’s community is always messy. It’s always messy because we don’t like to think of ourselves, our peers, or community as being capable of ugliness. And too, showing the reflection of ugliness it’s always unpleasant because of that unspoken question:  

“What do we want to do — what are we going to do — about what is being reflected back at us?”

The person who holds up the mirror often is subject to blowback — person who holds up the mirror is often accused as being as ugly as what he, she, or ze is trying to show his, her, or hir peers in the mirror.

There are other times when holding up a mirror to community is a joyous action. When we can reflect back what is beautiful about a community member, our community peers, or our community as a whole — this can be a most wonderful experience.

But of course, there are often those who want to see the ugly in the beautiful, and the beautiful in the ugly, so even holding up a mirror to community to show the reflection of beauty is often an ugly experience.

Holding up a mirror to transgender community is a difficult function to engage in, because for good or for ill, any person who holds up a mirror to community members, community peers, or to community as a whole is putting themselves out as a target for community slings and arrows.

But holding a mirror to ourselves, our community peers, and to transgender community is a necessary function. We can’t be mentors, mentees, rocks, the sea, healers, and nurturers unless we’re willing to reflect who we are and what we see to others about us. Without the function of holding up mirrors, no non-task functions in community can occur.

Rock Stars: “Rock stars” seem bigger than life and people we can admire — even if an individual “rock star” has feet of clay.

Communities need “rock stars” because we need to see people who are much like us succeeding in society. We need to know we too can be successful, we too do belong in society, we too aren’t complete pariahs, and we are not alone. Transgender community is no different than other communities in this way — we love to have “rock stars” we can love, or can love to hate.

Martyrs: Just as we need our “rock stars,” we need our martyrs. We know the value of the lives Martin Luther King Jrs. and Harvey Milks — people who gave their lives in pursuing betterment for their respective communities. We know the value of the four young African-American girls who died in 1963’s 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, Matthew Shepard, James Bird Jr., Gwen Araujo, and Angie Zapata because they were innocents victims who didn’t deserve to die just because they were members of minority groups.

We need our martyrs to remind us what we should strive for as a community, and to remind us who we are fighting for the lives for. We need them to remind us to say “We will take societal oppression no more — we will push back against our oppression.”


Well, these are some of the non-task functions within transgender community. There are obviously more non-task functions for community than I’ve listed, but these are some I’ve been thinking about lately. If you have functions that you believe should be added to the list, please feel free to do so.

And too, if you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer without identifying as transgender or transsexual, what parallels to you see in your own subcommunities of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community? If you belong to a different identity group — or belong to multiple identity groups — what are the parallels you see between non-task functions of the L, G, B, and T subcommunities and the other community you belong to?

I believe this is an interesting time — we have an opportunity point within communities to ask what we want community to look like at this point in time, and looking at non-task functions of community ties into community leadership — it’s a look at some of the maintenance functions and roles that are every bit as important task leadership.



* Why Transgender Activism

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Why Transgender Activism

I work on LGBT community issues, as well as transgender community issues. I have, and will continue to work with LGB and T activists working on issues that effect transgender and LGBT community. From what I’ve learned and experienced within LGBT community, and activism within the transgender subcommunity of the LGBT community, I know why for many of us there is LGBT community activism; I know why for many of us there is transgender activism.

Image: Transgender SymbolAnd, I would begin by having us look at Asian-Pacific Islander (API) community activism. There are differences between those of Samoan ancestry and those of Chinese ancestry; there are differences between those Americans who have familial or ancestral ties to Japan, and those Americans who have familial or ancestral ties to Indonesia. But along with differences between ethnic groups that fall under the API umbrella, there are also many similarities and many commonalities. And the commonalities include the discrimination they experience that’s based in racism. Many of those who discriminate against API community members can’t tell a Korean-American apart from a Chinese-American from a Japanese-American; these racists discriminate against all who have gathered under the API umbrella equally because they don’t see any difference between the subcommunities of the Asian-Pacific Islander community.

For similar reasons, there is a transgender umbrella, and an LGBT umbrella. We have gathered under community umbrellas in part because the prejudice and discrimination we face is based in how those homophobic/transphobic people don’t bother to differentiate between crossdressers, drag queens, feminine gay males, and transsexual women; apart. We have gathered under community umbrellas in part because the prejudice and discrimination we face is based in how those homophobic/transphobic people don’t bother to differentiate between masculine lesbian women, drag kings, and transsexual men. We, in their minds, all are in violation of societal sex and gender norms, so they engage in bigotry and discrimination against those who have gathered under the LGBT umbrella — they don’t see any difference between the subcommunities of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

Everyone who is African-American doesn’t appear to be black. In African-American community, its community members are familiar with the word “passing.” Before the civil rights movements of the ’50’s and ’60’s, many African-Americans who could pass as Caucasians hid their heritage and ancestry. Many others who could “pass” as Caucasian choose not to publicly deny their heritage and ancestry. During the civil rights movement, those African-Americans who could have passed as Caucasian, but chose not to, stood with their African-American peers because African-American community was their community.

Many who are gay, but “pass” as straight, still publicly identify as gay — Even when that subjects those folk to discrimination. Many who are lesbian, but “pass” as straight, still publicly identify as lesbian — even when that subjects those folk to discrimination. Many who are bisexual, but “pass” as straight, still publicly identify as bisexual — even when that subjects those folk to discrimination. And, many who are transsexual, but “pass” as natal men or women, still publicly identify as transgender — even when that subjects us trans folk to discrimination. Sometimes, it’s not about individuals, but about the “we” of community.

With legislative or regulatory language, there is no way protect against discrimination of the gender identity of transsexual people without protecting the gender expression of genderqueer people and crossdressers. When a newly out transsexual comes out in the workplace, protecting gender identity doesn’t protect the gender expression of someone who is still legally not the sex and gender to which these someone’s identify. If an employer defines an individual as male, but the gender expression of that individual as female, the lack of protection of gender expression means an employer can fire someone in the first year of transition — assuming a transsexual follows the transition standards of the Harry Benjamin Standards Of Care. One cannot separate, for the protection of transsexual people in the workplace, gender identity and gender expression without providing employers a loophole for firing transsexual people early in transition.

But not every individual who belongs to subgroups that fall under the sociopolitical transgender community umbrella chose to identify as transgender. It’s equally true that not every individual who identifies as gay or lesbian chooses to identify as members of the LGBT community umbrella.

And, this is true in other sociopolitical umbrella communities. Not every individual who identifies as Chinese-American, Samoan-American, Korean-American, Japanese-American, Indonesian-American, etc. choses to identify under the API community umbrella.

Sociopolitical umbrella communities still exist even if individuals who could define themselves as members of a sociopolitical umbrella community choose not to personally to step under a particular sociopolitical umbrella.

[More below the fold.]
The common interest in protecting the gender expression of feminine men (to include feminine gay men), masculine women (to include masculine lesbian women), and all people who choose to stand under the transgender umbrella is probably the most important impetus for why transgender community activism exists. Gender expression is the commonality that binds transgender community and its activists.

Image: Transgender flagAnd gender expression isn’t just a transgender issue. For example, school bullying of those males who don’t conform to societal sex and gender norms for masculinity are presumed to be gay, school bullying of those females who don’t conform to societal sex and gender norms for femininity are presumed to be lesbian — it’s this kind of bigotry that makes gender expression a broader LGBT community issue.

If sexual orientation becomes a protected class without gender identity and gender expression, then peers and employers can discriminate against or harass males for appearing to those peers and employers as too feminine, or can discriminate against or harass females for appearing to those peers and employers as too masculine. If gender identity and gender expression is protected without protection of sexual orientation, then it won’t be gender expression that will be a tool for firing those not conforming to societal sex and gender norms. It will then instead be that those who don’t conform to societal sex and gender norms will find themselves being defined as gay or lesbian, and that definition will leave them subject to discrimination based on perceived sexual orientation.

It’s advantageous for people to organize under umbrella community designators to address issues related to their commonalities. It’s advantageous for broader communities to focus common issues that effect broad numbers of people because numbers do matter to legislators and regulators. This is a truism for transsexual, genderqueer, and crossdressing people who choose to fall under the sociopolitical transgender umbrella; this is a truism for LGB and T people who fall under the socioplitical umbrella for the LGBT community.

Umbrella communities are an aspect of community building. Building bridges between large numbers of people who associate themselves with subcommunities in a broad coalition –under sociopolitical umbrellas — means there is a greater pool of activists to draw upon to address common community issues. Broad community formed under sociopolitical umbrellas create opportunity for solving common community issues for the broadest range of community members — to result in the broadest range of legal and regulatory protection for the broadest number of human beings sharing significant commonalities.

Those involved in the practical considerations of drafting legislation and regulations, know that language which just picks addresses the issues one narrowly defined group fails. Just as legislation that protect against discrimination of Chinese-Americans but not Japanese-Americans would leave gaping holes where Chinese-American could be discriminated against because an employer or peer perceived as Chinese-American as a Japanese-American, there are holes in protecting people based on sexual orientation without protecting against discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression. If government or employers designate sexual orientation as a protected class without defining gender identity and gender expression as a protected class, that leaves legislative and regulatory holes that all LGBT community members can fall through the cracks.

And too, language that is not based on broader, umbrella definitions is going to be exploited by people who wish to divide the umbrella communities that share notable commonalities. Does anyone remember the what the happened with regards to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007/2008? The division of community that occurred didn’t even benefit the gay, lesbian, and bisexual people who were left in the bill when gender identity (to include gender expression) was taken out of ENDA — we still don’t have a federal law that protects based on sexual orientation, let alone one protects on sexual orientation and gender identity and gender expression. Community numbers, and broad community solidarity, when pushing for freedom, equality, and justice — for civil rights — matter.

Transgender activism exists because people in groups that fall under the sociopolitical, transgender community umbrella have common issues that can be addressed by common legislation and regulation. Transgender community members who fall under the sociopolitical, LGBT community umbrella have common issues that can be, and should be, addressed by common legislation and regulation that protects LGBT community members.

And, there are other models of sociopolitical umbrella communities working on common issues — the sociopolitical API community being one example of such a community.

There is a case to be made for transgender community activism, even if a significant number of transsexual people don’t want to themselves fall under the transgender umbrella. There is a case to be made for transgender community activism within LGBT community, even if a significant number of transgender people don’t want to themselves fall under the LGBT umbrella.

Those transsexual people who don’t wish to identify as transgender are not required to identify as transgender — but at the same time, transgender community activists are equally free to push forward on legislation and regulation that addresses the transgender community issues based on the community commonality of gender expression. That these transsexual people don’t want to align themselves with transgender community activism won’t stop transgender activists from working on transgender community issues; it won’t stop transgender community activists from working on LGBT community issues.

The transgender community, as a sociopolitical umbrella community, is here to stay. Transgender activists are here to stay too.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin