I’m kind of an incrementalist. I try to see the positive in any legislation that either protects oppressed minority groups or offers them tools to make their lives easier.
I see any sort of trans-inclusive ENDA sort of legislation as positive and tend to see a different set of short comings than those seen by my friend, Kelli who lives on the other end of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
We have different concerns based on where we are at in life and how society relates to us.
I might be concerned about discrimination that arises when ever a company runs even a hundred dollar back ground check for anything above an entry level position. Kelli points out to me that many other sister and I suspect a few brothers as well are having to deal with bathroom issues, even in those entry level positions.
While I tend to believe in get what you can get and come back asking for more others believe in one big push to get everything or at least most of what you want in one big effort.
I can see the rationale behind either approach. It is hard to maintain activist group cohesion for multi-year efforts. At the same time we are living through an extremely reactionary era and struggles tend to be prolonged.
Here’s Kelli’s take on the Massachusetts Law:
From Planet Transgender: http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2012/06/massachusetts-toothless-transgender-law.html
By Kelli Busey
June 30, 2012
Reposted with permission
Fail. Caved. Gave up. All these terms come to mind when considering the Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights law that does not protect transgender peoples right to be in public places. Why would I condemn a law many see as a step forward? Because on the ground, unemployed or in the workplace, this law means squat.
Perception is 99% of social Conscript. The haters won. Sure they aren’t celebrating openly, we are still alive after all.
Point to consider. In September of last year I was hired to work in a warehouse in a small Texas town. Its a huge state of the art electronics distributor, a place you might assume to have enlightened people employed.
The second day I was there I learned of a rumor that I was seen using the men’s room. The next thing I knew I was being questioned by HR as to whether hiring me had been a good idea. It’s been a uphill battle since then with myself continually having to be on the defensive, essentially fighting for my life.
Employment revolves around public accommodations. Without a job having housing or credit protections doesn’t mean mean jack shit.
No high falutin’ lawyer came to my defense even if they could have. But there are Lawyers who defend the Transgender Equal Rights In Massachusetts: Likely Broader Than You Think.
I am not a lawyer but the reality for Massachusetts transgender people in Public Accommodations is this. The public now knows for some reason unlike any minority before you, you were judged unworthy, unequal and untrusted enough not to be thought of as fully human. Not to be granted the same dignity.
I’d rather die than live a life so judged.