November 7, 2007

ENDA, sans Trans protection, passes

Posted in Civil rights, Gender issues, GLBT issues, Government, Trans issues at 7:59 pm by The Lizard Queen

This is not acceptable. I hate the idea that it’s necessary to throw Ts to the wolves so that the rest of us who fit into the LGBTQ alphabet soup can be protected.

Barney Frank (D-MA):

I used to be someone subject to this prejudice. And through luck, circumstance, I got to be a big shot. I’m now above that prejudice. But I feel an obligation, to 15-year-olds dreading to go to school because of the torments, to people they’ll lose their job in a gas station if someone finds out who they love. I feel an obligation to use the status I have been lucky enough to get, to help them.

Well-said, sir — but what about 15-year-olds dreading to go to school because of the torments not about their attraction to their own sex, but about their feeling that the sex of their brains and the sex of their bodies don’t match up? What about the people who fear they’ll lose their job in a gas station if someone finds out that Chris isn’t short for Christopher but Christina, or vice-versa? Is it really acceptable to let them continue to live in fear and dread as long as someone who mirrors your 15-year-old self is protected?

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:

As someone who has looked forward to this day for the 20 years that I have served in Congress, it is a joyous occasion. It simply would not have been possible without the outstanding leadership and courage of Chairman Barney Frank and of Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. Anyone who cares about a country without discrimination is deeply in debt to Tammy Baldwin and to Barney Frank for their leadership in this regard.

Here’s the thing: I care deeply about a country without discrimination, which is why I’m so upset that this bill went through without very necessary protections in place for trans people. I can’t be joyous knowing that maybe I’m safe, but my brothers and sisters aren’t.

Pam:

…the big picture is that this entire situation is a complete embarrassing mess of mixed messages and motives, inadequate preparation, poor PR strategy, and a hell of a lot of anger and vitriol that is damaging, painful and was this amateur hour was avoidable. One can only hope that whatever tattered relationships remain can be stitched together in some form or fashion, because there’s more legislation and lobbying coming down the pike. Our community, for whatever that word means at this moment, needs to find a better way of doing things.

Hear hear. Finally, Liss, from a post that I meant to link to a while back:

Realistically, the breadth of allies in a comprehensive challenge to the patriarchy is vast and varied. Though all of us, sans rigorous philosophical exertion, are hapless conduits for every limiting and oppressive archetype upon which the patriarchy depends, conveying the bars of our own cages, very few of us are its unconstrained beneficiaries. Even the average straight, white, middle class American man exchanges privilege for severe limitations on his personal expression and emotional life—and he is encouraged never to examine that devastating trade-off too closely, lest the veneer on the alleged bargain prove thin enough through which to see. We all serve the same callous master, and there’s little to celebrate in being the favored slave—especially compared to a life of freedom.

It is foolish to believe that there is more feminist, gender-queer cisgendered straight women, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and the Ts don’t all have in common culturally and politically than that which we do, given the particular restraints and prejudices of the patriarchal structure and its rigid notions of sex, gender, and sexuality conveyed in all its aspects. We struggle to achieve and/or maintain, to varying degrees, autonomy over our own bodies, and, crucially, freedom of choice with regard to what we want to do with those bodies. Life- and identity-changing events hang in the balance for us all—parenting, marriage, gender reassignment, being legally able to keep a job in spite of prejudice.

The only question worth asking is how willing any of us are to secure rights for some of us at the expense of rights for the rest. Because we are in this thing together.

And from a post from today:

I don’t know what else to say at the moment, except that I’ll continue to be a fierce ally for the Ts.

Indeed.

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