I’ve watched the attacks on HRC by the transgender activist community with a certain level of detachment.
The last couple of years Tina and I have gone to the “True Colors” HRC benefit concerts put on by Cyndi Lauper when the tour has come to our area.
In the past I’ve paid my dues with HRC and probably still would if the economy were better. My biggest issues with them have more to do with my class consciousness and viewing them as more elitist and less conscious of working class and minority gay and lesbian people than either Lambda Legal or the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
Last night I mentioned to Tina that I started hormones some 40 years ago this month. I was in Berkeley and I was part of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). People’s Park and the police shooting at us during the demonstrations was almost 2 months away.
After People’s Park and before Stonewall I would start living as a woman. While Stonewall was important I was more caught up in SDS and the break that resulted in Weatherman.
But I started attending Gay/Lesbian Conferences that year. I felt more like a mascot than a participant.
Transsexual never felt like a part of L/G but being feminist made me feel closer to the lesbians than to the gay men.
After SRS I became more and more radical feminist and because feminism was the theory and lesbianism was the practice my being bisexual slid more and more into lesbianism.
As some have agrued regarding the issue of same sex marriage and how priority should be place on protecting post-SRS women’s heterosexual marriage rather than extending the right to marry to all couples by removing the matter of the sex of the two getting married from the equation I too have a different take on ENDA and other employment non-discrimination.
You see I remember when employment want ads were divided between “help wanted-men” and “help wanted-women”. Over the years I have faced a good deal of employment discrimination simply for being a woman. The Equal Rights Amendment might have helped me on these issues far more than a transinclusive ENDA.
Then too I have faced more employment discrimination and sexual harassment for being a lesbian than I ever did for my medical history. A non-inclusive ENDA that protected me because of my being lesbian and partnered with a woman would be of great benefit.
So while others put their being trans first when looking to laws that offer non-discrimination protections, I put being a woman and wanting protections for that first and then protections from discrimination for being an out lesbian. Now my medical history isn’t part of that thinking. Perhaps it should be with Total Information Awareness (TIA) and computerized records but I’ve been female so long and dealt with life as a woman for so long and been part of the feminist and lesbian movements for so many years transgender issues do not take the priority in my thinking that they take with people either just entering into the process or in many case with people who have gone through the process since 1995 and the emergence of Transgender as umbrella and the addition of T to LGB. Hell I never included a B with L/G until some 15 years ago.