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  • Topic: GIVE US BACK OUR "T!"

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    • September 28, 2007 4:55 PM BST
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      The rejection of the original draft of the Employment Non Discrimination Act in Congress this week, and the introduction of an alternative version of the bill excluding gender identity from discrimination criteria is a slap in the face to every transgender American by not only the members of Congress who, up until this past Wednesday made the pretense of supporting the bill, but by the LGB community, who once again have used the cause of trans Americans as a bargaining chip in their effort to gain political capital.

      Those who would presume to speak for our community in Washington entered into a relationship with HRC and their ilk earnestly, no doubt, and with only the best intentions. They accepted the endorsement of HRC and, I’ve no doubt, some amount of financial support, in the hopes that by forming an alliance with the LGB cause, we might make some progress in the struggle for transgender equality, only to be sold down the river for 30 pieces of silver.

      Time and again, legislators have sidled up to the gay cause sandwich bar to be offered the same bill of fare, an LGB sandwich, light on the mayo and hold the T. In Washington today, representatives of HRC are publicly lamenting the failure of ENDA in its original form, but you can bet that privately, they’re laughing all the way to the bank with the political capital they’ve gained at our expense.

      Those trans advocates who bought into the HRC company line have served their purpose. Whatever has been gained from this relationship has now been paid for in full, and the time has come to end this relationship, go our separate ways and use the presence we have developed on Capitol Hill to establish an autonomous political identity independent of the LGB movement.

      Continuing this relationship would be counter productive to the cause of trans Americans, and would only serve to further perpetuate the popular perception of trans people as pathetic flamboyant circus clowns with a penchant for Judy Garland films, mincing about in a June Cleaver getup and lip syncing to Cher records. We need to break this pattern of exploitation by the gay community and make it clear that we are separate and distinct.

      If you agree with this view, and you want to see us get what we deserve, the time is now to make your voice heard not in the hallowed halls of Congress, but to those who presume to advocate in our behalf. Take a minute and drop an email to the National Center for Transgender Equality ncte@nctequality.org, and let them know that we won’t stand for this compromise at our expense any further. Let them know that we need to send a message to LGB leaders to GIVE US BACK OUR T!
    • September 28, 2007 9:16 PM BST
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      I have said all along that being associated with LGBt is the wrong thing. All it does for us is associate us with SEX not gender. We gain nothing and they gain numbers to scare politicians with. You can count on me to send the NCTE a piece of my mind.
    • September 29, 2007 12:36 AM BST
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      May I add my total agreement to all of the above - the situation is the same in the UK.
      I have been trying to add my voice to steering committees looking at various policies - especially to do with health services for the trans man or woman. Various alliances appear, and I include rainbow amongst them - purporting to be LGBT. as soon as funding appears this miraculously morphs into a gay and lesbian federation!
      As a bi TS I have been asked to speak at vatious moots but whilst happy to do so prefer to keep my sexuality seperate to my gender issues. And here is a problem - I am a TS yet have issues with my gender. Most TV's are called transgender but for them to lose their 'sexuality' would be a no no. To a degree we have lost our 'gender' as much as our 'T''. Again, an uproar was caused here in TS groups by claims that the recent discrimination bill did not include the transgender community. Some unfavourable press peices emerged yet it would apppear that TS are specifically included in the bill - it is TV's who are seen to dress by choice (and possibly for thrill) and are therefore deemed not to need protection.
      Selfish as all TS have to be I feel sorry for my TV friends yet am against caterwauling that may lead to TS being also excluded.
      From my viewpoint it should be obvious that whilst I applaud groups like Press For Change I adhere to the viewpoint that, except for medical/age reasons in this country; a TS can only be pre or post op and that non-ops should be proud of being TV's or emotionally transgendered and not try to steal our T
    • September 29, 2007 1:02 AM BST
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      Tina,
      I completely understand and agree with your situation, unfortunately here there is no separation between CD/TV's and TS's or the gay male who likes to dress, we all fall under the TG unbrella yet we are stereotyped as the "queen". Once again this puts us under the "sexual" heading rather than gender. I understand the GLB's plight, but that is not ours. They have already won acceptance of their existance and don't seem to be concerned about helping get T's to that point. It is all about them! Until the GLB community actively supports our community, I cannot and will not support theirs.
    • September 29, 2007 1:35 AM BST
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      That is a very interesting point that transgender is not about sexual orientation but rather gender. For me personally I don't like to be labeled a lesbian, bi or strait but I am not sure where that puts me. I just feel I am a genetic girl with a preference. However my issue is sexual orientation and not gender.
    • September 29, 2007 5:30 AM BST
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      I agree that lgb and t need to be seperate. I also agree that we are about gender identity and not sexual orientation. The only hard part is going to be getting together all of our community. While yes, we do have black sheep in our group, we are going to have to get together under one banner as a t community and get a bill pushed through congress. While I'm glad that the bill has been approved for the lgb community, something has to be done for us. It is now going to be our turn to all come together and make our voices be truly heard.
    • September 29, 2007 10:49 AM BST
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      Trisha,
      Betrayed and Used are the perfect words. I think this latest action is a clear statement that "our" organization, glbt, does not truly want to support us. After having the AMA endorse non descrimination for the transgendered earlier this year, how could something as simple as a one word change be allowed to happen in this non descrimination bill. As I see it, the only way it could happen would be for the GLBT to offer it in the first place. Somehow I just don't see congress going to the GLBT and saying we can't pass this bill as it is written, how bout we drop the transgendered and all will be ok.
    • October 1, 2007 12:42 AM BST
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      Thanks so much for all the input here. Plainly, we're all on the same page here.

      It's even more apparent that we've been sold down the river by the LGB leadership in Washington when you see the comments of Barney Frank, cosponsor of the amended bill, who specifically states that it is the responsibility of the trans community to undertake this effort on our own. Followingf is my letter to the Washington Post:

      As a transgender American, I can hardly express my disappointment and the sense of betrayal I feel toward the LGB leadership in Washington and their abandonment of the transgender community in the struggle for equal rights under the Employment Non Discrimination Act.

      All the pretty words and back pedaling from HRC since acting in complicity with Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi to continue to enforce what amounts to segregation are just lip service. It has always been the intent to use the transgender aspects of the bill as a bargaining chip in the achievement of the LGB objective, and it’s high time transgender Americans and our leadership stop buying into it.

      The time has come for the American transgender community to establish an autonomous political identity independent of the gay agenda. LGB leaders have gained the political capital that they hoped to by exploiting us. In exchange, our leadership has established a presence on Capitol Hill. It’s time to mark the account paid in full and move on.

      Mr. Frank stands opposed to the denial of equal rights to LGB Americans based solely upon “who we are,” and in so saying, unwittingly expresses the plight of transgender Americans, who, by the nature of this phenomenon affecting the very core of our being, our identity, are deliberately and legally discriminated against based entirely upon who we are, not upon the more superficial characteristic of who we sleep with.

      This ignorance and overt hostility toward transgender Americans on the part of HRC and these elected representatives of the people is unacceptable in this enlightened age, and Frank, Pelosi and HRC should be ashamed of themselves.

      The distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation is clear, and supported by a wealth of scientific evidence. It’s time the political reality reflected this. Keep the LGB. Give us back our “T.”

      Robyn E. Lee Webb, CTS
      http://www.tgworks.net

    • October 1, 2007 4:57 AM BST
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      Please see Sara Lynn Baker's thread entitled "Letter to HRC."
    • October 1, 2007 5:46 AM BST
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      Please listen to this podcast, provided by Ethan St. Pierre of NTAC.

      http://radicalguy.podomat[...]1-07_00
    • October 1, 2007 11:02 AM BST
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      This is terrible news. Isn’t this a struggle for individual rights regardless of the label used? Lets face it, there’s no love lost between the LGB and the T communities but we tolerate each other and isn’t that the point? To drop any section of society out of this bill is a reckless show of wanton duplicity. I can’t believe they can be so bigoted. I believe that this action will do more harm to the LGB community than good showing the world that individuals can be discriminated against depending on one’s own opinion. Who’s next? Will the milk crate hat wearing community be singled out next?

      If we all posed as black women would be discriminated against then? Can these people who made these choices be sued for discrimination?

      In this day and age this is unacceptable.

      I’m not sure how relevant my little rant is regarding the event but I just wanted to voice my opinion that this goes far beyond the LGB and how could they sell themselves out like this. This goes far beyond the T community too so let’s not lose sight of this either.
    • October 1, 2007 1:29 PM BST
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      True, Anyfer. In the final analysis, this is about Americans being denied the right to work to support themselves and their families. No matter if they're L, G, B or T. Black, white, hispanic or bloody well purple. It's about Americans, and this is simply not consistent with the American democratic philosophy.
    • October 3, 2007 3:20 PM BST
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      Those interested in voicing their views on the failure of HRC and Congressman Barney Frank to advocate in behalf of the trans community for an inclusive ENDA are invited to join NTAC and numerous other advocacy organizations that oppose the non trans inclusive version of the bill at a rally to be held outside the Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC this Saturday, October 6, where Barney Frank will be the featured speaker at the HRC Annual Banquet.

      Anyone interested in participating should contact me for details.
    • September 28, 2007 6:00 PM BST
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      Robyn, I've always believed that we should never be grouped together with the LGB population. I hold nothing against them and lots of my friends are LGB, but our issue is about gender and not about sexuality, there is a difference.

      Sure, some TG girls are LGB but not all, and we deserve our own voice instead of being grouped together with others who also don't think we should be there either.

      I believe the root of the problem is that you can be Lesbian, gay or bi and your outward appearance, (with the exception of the very camp), is unchanged so no one can tell. The same cannot be said of being transgendered, particularly if you are or are intending to be full time. Too many small minded bigots still can't handle that.

      The struggle goes on..........

      Nikki
      ____________________________________

      Nikki x

    • September 29, 2007 12:03 AM BST
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      I know for a fact that a lot of the gay population does NOT like transgendered persons, and have openly said so. I have heard more than one negative comment about us while hanging out in clubs in Chicago's "Boy's Town." That area is very open minded, and there are places there for the transgendered. However, last year I stopped by one particular bar to have a beer before going home. I was not en femme at time, except for my earrings and very subtle lipstick, and knew I could sit there and have a drink without being pestered. Some of the guys there made some very derogatory comments about the TG community. These comments were brief, not made to me specifically, and they moved on to another topic.

      This is NOT to put down the gay community, nor to indicate they are opposed to us as a whole. I happen to support their rights vigorously, and I know so many of them support us. But, not to be discriminatory, I do feel that while our struggle is often the same as theirs, we do have diverse needs that need to be addressed in a different fashion.

      We could, and should, stand together. But, as others have pointed out, our cause is not necessarily about a love/sexual lifestyle. In Chicago one of our free publications is the Chicago Reader, which have ads from people looking for mates. Take a peek at how many gay/bi men make it clear they do not want "femmes" or "queens."

      I will always support the rights of the gay community. But I do not always feel they support mine.

      Mere
    • September 29, 2007 3:26 PM BST
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      When you put this together with that news artical that was posted in another thread.
      You can see we have no base support from any where. We as a group need to stand taller & speak louder.
      But with so many of us that are in the closet out of fear from scorn or evan hate from those we see every day. I don't have an answer. I don't think we can be strong enough to make a difference in one country much less the world.
      As a group we are to far in the shadows by ourselves.
      I'm afraid that by dropping the T we might have been sent back years.

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