Tina and I have been together for ten years now, even though we didn’t start living together until 2002. We talked on the phone for hours everyday during the first year we were together.
It took time to develop trust and overcome our own fears as we had both been badly hurt in other relationships.
Now we are two old lesbians, living in suburbia. She is retired. I work McJobs.
Now some would think it selfish on my part to prioritize marriage equality above ENDA.
I read ENDA Blog and others that are currently filled with a lot of anger towards the Gay and Lesbian Communities for their failure to focus on the issues of the Transgender Communities.
Most of the angry rants from the transgender Community always seem to omit the fact they came late to the party. The modern Gay and Lesbian Movement is over 40 years old. The movement to graft a “T” on the end is at best 20.
I am apathetic at best regarding so much of the Transgender Movement and at times I am down right hostile towards it.
I’ll be honest. I despise the entire Virginia Prince based ideology of Transgender Inc and its hegemonic erasure of post-transsexual women and men. As a whole this movement seems manipulative and cultish.
I often feel that people I otherwise like are caught up in a cult like Scientology or Mormonism or something. Talking with them is weird and the mind games are even weirder.
But back to marriage. I think part of the disregard of the struggle for marriage equality is based in heterosexual privilege, as so many transgender people are either still in a marriage that was entered into as a heterosexual man and woman, or have used the birth certificate game. Either way this leads to a lack of empathy towards gay and lesbian folks and their desire for the rights one can only obtain through marriage.
Those who are heterosexual after SRS become really upset when those of us who are lesbian or gay after SRS expect quid pro quo when it comes to our supporting their marriages. That too is heterosexual privilege.
Sometimes this makes it seem as though much of the “Transgender Community” is made up of straight folks, which makes it feel sort of sketchy when Transgender Inc attacks Gays and Lesbians for acting in their own self interests.
The personal is political cuts both ways. Over the years I have seen little support of the Gay and Lesbian Movement on the part of those involved in Transgender Inc.
That is if you subtract those of us who are post-transsexual lesbians and gay men. And you really do have to subtract those of us who do not “identify as transgender” from the “Transgender Community”.
But back to those of us who have been part of the Gay and Lesbian world for the last 40 years.
We have watched our gay brothers die in large numbers and have seen their long time partners devastated when the families swoop in like vultures and rip apart households.
I’ve seen elderly gay and lesbian couples who have been together 40-50 years and more separated because to the state they are legal strangers, while straight couples in a show of heterosexual privilege get honored by announcements of their having been married for so many years.
Wanting marriage equality isn’t elitist.
Saying we can get those same protections via legal documents is the elitist position when the difference in price between numerous legal documents and a marriage license can be thousands of dollars.
But over and above that.
The expectations being place on ENDA seem divorced from the reality of the present day working world. We have a 17% real unemployment level. I saw a statistic the other day that implied the majority of the American Work Force is either unemployed, part-time or employed at a level far below their education and experience.
You can thank the disaster started by Nixon and worsened by every President since with the possible exception of Jimmy Carter, who actually tried to get us on a saner path energy wise.
ENDA doesn’t have a chance on a national basis with the current House balance in the hands of the Republi-Nazis.
Neither does Marriage Equality but both these issues can be fought on a state by state basis and the struggle for Marriage Equality can also be fought in the courts.
At the same time it would probably aid the passage of a transgender inclusive ENDA were those in Transgender Inc to actually define in real language instead of post-modern psychobabble exactly who will be covered and the expectations on the part of both employers and potential employees.