Our friend Dana Beyer offers her two-part review of 2015 for the transgender cause.
My year-in-review column went online today at the Blade. My summary blurb is "Historic progress met the usual backlash." Here's an excerpt:
"Set the motherfucker on fire!" That recent call by a Donald Trump rally goer concerning a black protester, with another attendee yelling "Sieg heil," illustrates the viciousness fueling Trump's presidential campaign. If you take this lightly, Google "lynching." It is not just that what happened in Europe in the last century could happen here; what happened here could happen again. Trump's incitements, and those of his rivals, do not just pander to intolerance, they spray gasoline on the fire.
Hate-spewing demagogues were not the year's only newsmakers, but they produced its most dangerous legacy. The demons they unleashed cannot easily be tamed. But the haters cannot win the general election unless the rest of us allow it. Before we head back into battle, let us review some positive developments of 2015, though with cautionary notes.
The landmark victory for nationwide marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges, which President Obama celebrated by lighting the White House north front in rainbow colors, inspired opponents to switch tactics by pushing "religious freedom" laws (better dubbed "religious supremacy") to continue their anti-gay attacks. The Equality Act represented a new approach to LGBT anti-discrimination legislation, but stood no chance in a Republican-controlled Congress. Openly gay Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson and several colleagues launched the smart, well-designed Campaign Zero policy website.
Excellent commentary by J. Bryan Lowder at Slate on the problem with the gaffe-prone Caitlyn Jenner.
John Riley at Metro Weekly follows up on the controversy over an online petition to "drop the T" from the LGBT movement.
Dana Beyer and I are quoted (agreeing with each other) on this obnoxious and historically ignorant petition. Here's a portion of my remarks:
“For gay folks to support dropping the T would be like the turkey inviting the cook to lunch,” Rosendall says. “It would be suicidal. Our opponents are not going to be fooled. They will continue to lump us all together because they consider all of us a threat to what they believe are proper gender norms.
“That reality of diversity needs to be asserted and defended because our opponents want to pretend that everybody in the country looks like them, loves like them, believes like them and thinks like them. And they want to make the rest of us effectively disappear or disenfranchise us. It would be the politics of subtraction for us to consider dropping any of us, and that simply is not going to happen.”
A transgender friend alerted me last night to the Change.org petition. Here is my short comment:
No. Over thousands of LGBT activists' dead bodies will this exclusion ever happen. For us to buy the "male predators in dresses" slander, or allow it to stand, would be like the turkey inviting the cook to lunch. As Ben Franklin said, "Let us hang together, for surely we will hang separately."
Regarding Stonewall, I recommend the book Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter.
Signorile is spot on. Prop 8 redux, indeed. So many of our allies with deep pockets have a fear of flying, to use a 70s phrase. The bathroom panic lie deserved a powerful, hair-singeing response. I can imagine someone suggesting it at a meeting of overpaid "experts" and being shot down.
We know what Tony Perkins is going to say. What is more scandalous at this point is how our community's and its allies' money is squandered by people afraid of pressing the fight. It's like people still sending money to the Red Cross after $500 million in Haitian relief donations translated to a total of six houses being built. These incompetent people, these wet noodle warriors should be run out of town on a rail, not rewarded. Instead, we'll get more hand-wringing appeals from them saying, "We're not done, send your faith offering now and we'll send you this lovely rosewood crucifix." Sorry, I'm confusing them with religious hucksters.
We need to put our armor on and get ready to fight! No, our rights should not be subject to a popular vote. That's part of it. But when a fight is on, we've got to bring everything we've got to it.
I am quoted in this article on the LGBTQ Cultural Competency Continuing Education Amendment Act of 2015, a hearing on which was held on October 28. My testimony for GLAA is here.
Breaking News: Voters in Houston have overturned the city’s equal rights ordinance, which covers 15 protected groups https://t.co/oLkYizG9Zg— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 4, 2015
Today's terrible, dispiriting result in Houston is but the latest illustration of why people's rights should not be put to a popular vote. The U.S. Constitution guarantees a republican (representative) form of government, and says nothing about plebiscites. If minority rights are subject to denial by a direct vote of the people, the stirring up of mobs that so concerned Madison can run rampant and undermine the bill of rights. Ballot measures like Houston's Proposition 1 are not appropriate.
The New Civil Rights Movement reports here.