Monday, July 12, 2010

I'm beginning to see double!

I read an article in the Gay City News about the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) becoming involved in the fight against those New York State senators who voted against civil marriage equality last year.  The first paragraph of the article tells us,

     Signaling clearly that it is “all-in” on the push for marriage equality in the Empire State, the Human Rights Campaign, the Washington-based LGBT lobby, has launched the Campaign for New York Marriage, promising to deliver what the group’s top spokesman, Fred Sainz, termed “an unparalleled commitment of resources.”

With the Empire State Pride Agenda (ESPA) so closely resembling the HRC and it's Gay Elite Inc. focus on the monetary benefits of marriage for well to do gay and lesbian people it's no wonder that I'm seeing double.  HRC and "HRC-Lite" in the same state, working together on an issue that, while it's important, is geared primarily towards benefitting straight acting, well off gay and lesbian couples while simultaneously, and with unfortunate consistency, ignoring once again the gender variant gay, lesbian, bisexual and straight citizens of New York?  It's enough to make you nauseously dizzy!

I suppose the push towards electing politicians who support same sex marriage rights might benefit the trans community somewhat.  They might be a bit more likely to support nondiscrimination laws for gender nonconforming people.  That's a long shot though, as we have seen for far too long in this state.  It's much more likely that support for trans inclusion in the state's nondiscrimination law will be nowhere near the list of criteria they draw up for possible candidates to support.  ESPA and HRC have traditionally been too lazy to reach alll the way to the furthermost reaches where gender variant people have been pushed, substantially by Gay Elite Inc.'s doing.  The Sexual Orientation Non Discrimination Act (SONDA) of 2002 has been called a gay hate crime against the trans community.  I may not go that far but, to tell you the truth, it sure feels like it sometimes.

Where was the HRC when ESPA was giving it's lip service to the trans community this past year and previous?  Where was Senator Duane when the Senate's Judicial committee was voting the Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act (GENDA) into the trash bin?  When will it be "all in on the push" for ESPA and the HRC instead of a feeble nudge when they get around to it for GENDA?

I've written before in this blog that marriage equality affects the trans community as well as the GLB's.  My marriage is legal but because it looks like a same sex coupling I have to be prepared to out myself as trans, and to take the obvious risks by doing so, to defend it .  And do we need to be reminded of the egregious cases in Kansas and Texas where trans women were denied their existing marriage rights because of their past?  The fact remains, however, that being legally married in a legally recognized union is poor consolation when you can't get a job or are fired for transitioning.  The bigots that harass us in restaurants and who deny us a decent place to live because we are different would laugh in our faces if we waved our marriage certificates in front of their noses, no matter how legally valid they were.

I will, as I have done before, publicly support civil marriage equality in New York State and the rest of our country.  It's only right that I do so, transgender couples have a dog in this hunt as well as the GLB's.  I will continue, however, to remind Gay Elite Inc. of their promise made in 2002, to "come back" for the trans community all the while adding the less than welcome fact regarding their part of the responsibility for the broken lives, shattered families and economic failures within the New York trans community.