Friday, June 27, 2014

When Equality Isn't Equal

 When DADT was repealed September 20, 2011 a funny thing happened on the way to free our hard working, sacrificing members of the armed forces of the onus of having to hide their sexuality.  To arrive at a place that the generals would agree to remove DADT from the code books, someone had to be left behind, the transgender members.  The last time I heard the "code" of the military is to never leave a solider behind, but DADT repeal left some members behind enemy lines for three very long years.  Hostages to the fear and hate of transgender humans.

This isnt an isolated case, sadly.  Nearly every bill that protects the  LGB community from discrimination, started life with a guarantee of the rights of the T community as well.  However a grim thing happens on the way to the floor for a vote, the language including the trans folk is stripped. Because including the transgender community means the bill won't pass.  Rather than the groups fighting for our rights sticking it out in the trenches and get into a slugging match to insure that all of our rainbow brethren are protected from bigots and religious fools, they ditch the T under the bus to make sure the LGB folk are a protected community.

Usually the memo sent out by the groups who lobby for LGBT rights, say something along the lines that the trans community HASN'T been forgotten.  We will come back for you!  Keep the faith in us.  And oh yeah, can you send more funds?

But do they ever come back for us?  Sadly, the answer is rarely ever.  2014 is half over and while there has been some talk about allowing the trans service members to be out, no true forward movement has occurred.  So, our trans service members keep hidden, needing to make the painful choice of staying in a career they adore while hiding in plain sight, or leave to be able to live open and free. 

What a fucking terrible choice.

What I think is the true sticking point is that for many in the LGB community is they don't truly understand why the trans community is included as they believe the trans isn't a sexual minority.  What totally blows me away is the hate filled language they spew.  It isn't all that different from what the conservative "christians" use against the rest of the rainbow league.

Over on Queerty, a post about a trans man being voted as Mr. Gay Philly has raised a firestorm of hate and bigotry.  While I won't celebrate the haters, a sample of the hate runs along these lines:

orcanyc I’m sorry, really am, I’m sure he’s great, but unless he has a penis, is he really Gay, because being Gay, I thought, was a man attracted to a man. I wonder if we are getting to politically correct?

From here on the posts degrade into these....

She is not a gay man, simply because she is not a man. She is a straight woman with a fetish. And by the way, why do t3annies get to have their own contests, but gay people are forced to share theirs with t3annies?, same as with parades, news sites and activist groups?

 and this....
I agree 100 percent. People have gotten so extreme with political correctness that they’ve become delusional and/or intellectually dishonest. This story is a perfect example. How can she be a gay man when she has a vagina? Homosexual means same sex.

What is up with a small but extremely vocal minority of the LGB community? 

It's this transphobia and bigotry within the GLB world that is causing the more vocal of the trans folk to see hate and sniping when there really isn't.   To snarl at RuPaul's use of the "t" word, was she wrong to use that word?  Yes, of course every minority is allowed to label words as cruel and hate speech.  But then again, to different people, the label tranny has different meanings.  To the transsexuals it is hate in word form.  To drag performers it's a "fun" word to label themselves with!   Personally, I feel that drag is one of the reasons that trans ladies aren't taken seriously.  How can they be, when a fella dresses up as a parody of a women?  Straight humans watch RuPaul's show, and if they don't personally know any trans ladies how are they supposed to know that for the transsexuals they just aren't playing dress up?  Remember when "black face" wasn't thought to be racist, but funny? 

  Refusing to believe that  Dan Savage has evolved from being unenlightened about what it means to be transgender/transsexual, to being supportive and a firm ally.  Cast your mind back 10 years, do you hold all the same beliefs as you did then?  Haven't you evolved on certain issues, I know I have.  They hold onto the hurt long after the person who caused the initial hurt no longer holds those primitive views.  Being faced on all sides with hate, bigotry and an unreasonable and a nearly insatiable curiosity about their genitals, is it really surprising they are lashing out at everyone and everything?

The time has come to ensure that bills on the way to a vote aren't stripped of the language protecting the trans community.  To tell the gay lobby groups when they call for funds and ask what is the single most important problem facing LGBT people today, answer with the lack of protections for the transgender community. 

Now that our piece of the equality pie is growing by leaps and bounds, with support for equal marriage at an all time high, for believing that gays, bisexuals and lesbians all deserve to be treated equally, its time to share that with the less legally fortunate, the trans community.   No more buying into the bathroom canard, nor the straw man argument that surgery can't change DNA, so transsexuals can't be REAL women or REAL men.  The idea that if a trans lady can't "pass" as a believable woman, she is less than real, she is a man in a dress with poorly done up makeup and a bad hairdo.  Do people point at ugly women and claim they aren't REAL women, phfft of course not! 

For gays and lesbians in America we are living in a golden age.  Is it perfect?  Fuck no, but life has never been so sweet as it is today.  Are there still hate crimes, children being thrown away for being gay, or are forced into religious institutions to change their orientation?  To my deepest grief, yes.  But times are a changing, and for the better.  Now that the main reason for squabbling among the LGBT camps is lessened, the lack of protections and freedoms, its time to pull all of us up into the same level of equality.  Fight as though your freedom depends upon it, because it does.  If your brethren isn't free, just how free are you?


  1. I hate to see the splintering of LGBT into LGB and T.

    I understand that some folks have this idea that transgender is not a real orientation because how can you be a man without a penis; or a woman without a vagina. Folks need to see that a your gender isn't just a penis or vagina.

    And so it irks me to see our transgender btothers and sisters marginalized into some new subset of LGBT minus the T.

    We're all in this together.

  2. I'm with Bob and you on this one.

    It really angers me when people like RuPaul have no clue that words have negative meanings. I once had an issue with several RuPaul supporters on Twitter about this, so I threw out one of those blanket statements that drove it home.

    I don't remember the exact words, but it was something along the lines like, "If you want to use the word tranny, then you're cool with me calling you a faggot?"

    I hate that word, but sometimes people have to learn the hard way why you don't use certain words under any circumstances.

    And about the splintering of the LGBT community, I'm not shocked. There's a lot of LGB supporters out there, and I don't say that mockingly. People like Tina Fey forget the T all the time, unless they're making jokes about us.

  3. I don't get it. Aren't we supposed to be enlightened in this day and age? It drives me crazy when the trans folks get left out of everything! I fear though that we're going to have to fight even harder to be totally inclusive, and that shouldn't have to be.

    Peace <3