Not Happy About The Incrementalist Sentiment In White LGBTQ World Over Trans Rights


If civil rights laws without public accommodations language are not acceptable for cis people, then why should transpeople be satisfied with a human rights crumb of an unjust law that cis people wouldn’t accept or want to live by?
-TransGriot, November 16, 2011

While I was in Philadelphia doing a panel discussion on June 10 during the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference, an invitation meeting only meeting was taking place that according to Buzzfeed involved the Gill Foundation and several LGBTQ organizations.

It was a conversation about how to push forward on passing trans human rights laws, and one of the things that disturbed me was hearing some BS words I thought were dead after the 2007 ENDA fiasco in terms of ‘incremental progress’

To be more specific, the folks at that June 10 meeting want to basically push a legislative strategy of passing trans human rights laws WITHOUT public accommodation language.   That’s not only a non-starter for me and the trans people of color I represent, It’s a HELL F-WORD NO in terms of pursuing that strategy.

The proponents are citing what happened in Massachusetts, a state with Democratic legislative supermajorities.

That lack of will to pass a comprehensive bill even with Democratic supermajorities in hand does not need to be the template for what needs to legislatively happen in the rest of what you East and West coast and DC Beltway based orgs derisively call flyover country.

When legislators get the courage to pass trans rights bills, we need to be ready with comprehensive ones, not watered down ones.

I also wouldn’t be surprised to discover that the proponents of this incremental trans rights strategy all live in areas that already have comprehensive bills passed that protect them.

I’m sick of White run LGBT organizations who from the safety of the I-5, Washington DC and I-95 corridors trying to insist on and push incremental progress as the only solution to pass incomplete human rights laws for trans people.

That dog won’t hunt as we say here in the Lone Star State, so stop trying to sell that incremental progress horse manure.

Trans rights bills without public accommodations language are unjust laws.  In case that term is unfamiliar to you, let me point out for your reading pleasure what an unjust law is according to the Rev. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

 “A just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself.”

 “To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted  in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”

Rev Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘Letter From Birmingham City Jail, 1963

The bottom line is that a trans rights law without public accommodations language that allows the dehumanization of trans people and for our haters to continue to discriminate against us for transphobic reasons is an unjust law.

There was no compromise when you lesbian and gay folks pushed marriage equality.  Why should trans folks, who face discrimination in the public accommodations arena, send the message it’s okay to do so by leaving it out of a bill that is supposed to protect our human rights, a way to remedy that discrimination and send the message that public accommodations discrimination aimed at the trans population is unacceptable?

Public accommodations are also more than just bathrooms and locker rooms.  It is hotels, restaurants and other public places that we trans folks interact with and face discriminatory behavior.   If you’re non-white, unjust profiling can lead to your arrest as Megan Taylor unfortunately experienced in Iowa.

She was able to file a civil lawsuit for the anti-trans discrimination because the Iowa law covers gender identity.and has a public accommodations component.

As we have discovered in Houston, Jacksonville and other locales including blue state Massachusetts, Republicans and their right wing allies are going to fight trans rights bills period with or without public accommodations language, so we might as well continue fighting for comprehensive bills while finding an effective antidote to their fresh out of the Jim Crow segregation playbook of bathroom attacks.

Image result for Trans Rights are Human rights meme

Trans Rights Are Human Rights.   Did it occur to anyone in that June 10 meeting to ponder that basic reality?   So why are you Gay, Inc attempting to foister an unjust legislative strategy on our community and trying to claim it’s the only way to pass trans rights coverage?

No it isn’t, and I suggest you peeps who get paid more than me to think up ways to make trans rights laws happen get on the job of doing so and ending the blatant societal discrimination we face.  

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