What Next For Our TBLG Rights Movement?

The parades are over and the street sweepers have done their work to clean up the trash after they ended.   Some of our BTLG peeps said prayers of thanksgiving during Sunday services in TBLG friendly churches while others woke up to hangovers after celebratory partying well into the night in the gayborhoods during a Pride Weekend that occured as a major policy objective was achieved.

Yes, life in America was forever impacted by the landmark SCOTUS ruling that established a fundamental right to marry and allowed many of my gay and lesbian friends in states like Texas hostile to same sex marriage to do so.  It also conferred after a 12 year battle recognition of the marriages of many others who got them in other locales, but the states they resided in refused to do so.

And yes, it reinstated the ability of my trans brothers and trans sisters to get married that we`d had ever since Christine Jorgensen stepped off the plane from Denmark and have them recognized across this nation.

While the landmark SCOTUS ruling is something to celebrate, it still doesnt benefit the vast majority of people who still have to deal with the reality that in 29 states they can be fired for being gay, and 32 states for being transgender.

And as I have said more than a few times, you need money to pay for the wedding license, the wedding chapel, the wedding dress, the wedding tux, the wedding planner, the wedding rings, the wedding reception, and life after the wedding.

So what should our major TBLG policy priority be after marriage?   Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

A full court press now needs to happen to get ENDA passed nationally, and do a local civic and state by state push to enact ENDA-style laws in all 50 states.

Your bi and trans sisters and brothers need their human rights respected, protected amd codified into law.   Trans folks need ASAP the basic human rights protections you GL folks have enjoyed for decades and sometimes got by repeatedly throwing us unde the legislative bus as you did in Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and New Hampshire just to name a few egriegious examples of it

We want as trans men and women the ability to openly serve in our country`s armed forces.  We want the near genocidal slaughter of trans women of color to end along with the end of the problematic incarceration of undocumented trans feminine women in ICE detention centers with cisgender men.

And yes, we trans people, and especially trans people of color, want to be sitting at the power tables in LGBT orgs helping formulate policy.  We need trans elected officials on large city councils, state legislatures and eventually as US senators and congressmembers.

We need to have a human rights wave building that serves to rise all LGBT boats with it, not just the community have mores.   We need to have a movemen that is also invested in being a justice for all movement and not a just-us one.

We also need to be a stand up ally to other groups and movements that supported our causes in ou time of need and not ones that use as an excuse to opt out of them `this isn`t an LGBT issue`.

The right to healthcare is an LGBT issue.   Fighting for economic fairness is an LGBT issue.  The right to vote is an LGBT issue.  Climate change is an LGBT issue.  A woman`s right to choose is an LGBT issue.   Combating racism and sexism is an LGBT issue.

We LGBT peeps need to focus on being a shining example to the rest of straight cisgender America of how to build and sustain an intersectional anti-racist movement and community.

We need to lead and show the nation and the world how to eradicate anti-Blackness, sexism, transphobia, biphobia and racism from our ranks as our contribution to building the `beloved community` that the Rev. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr often talked about.

We also have to develop the ability to multitask.  While we focus on solidifying our gains at home, we must also be aware that US based wingers like Scott Lively are spreading their LGBT hate message overseas to where it is unfortunately finding receptive ears and causing problems for our GLBT brothers and sisters in those nations.

As you probably realized by now, it takes sustained effort to achieve policy goals. The hard part is to defend and keep them while under sustained attack by our prevaricating right wing oppressors.

This community is at a crossroads now.  It can either acknowledge that the human rights work in our BTLG ranks is not even close to being done and start working on the next phases of our movement, or it can repeat the mistakes made in Canada after they achieved marriage equality in 2003 and stopped working for policies and legislation that protected the LGBT have nots.

Which path will the American LGBT community take?   I hope it`s the former and not the latter one.

Scroll to Top