Marti Abernathey

Nothing Says Patriot Like Hiding... Your Children

Filed By Marti Abernathey | September 21, 2007 2:23 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Marriage Equality, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Christian beliefs, ENDA, hate crimes legislation, HRC

That ever popular bastion of Jesus freedom, WorldNetDaily, is hiding a Transgender Patriot! In their "Letter of the Week" they showcase the anonymous patriot. She starts out by saying:

"First, before I begin, I just want to let you know that I support WND and the work you do primarily as it relates to the illegal-alien invasion and the North American Union. My feedback below doesn't change that."

Then goes on to say:

I feel badly that the "T" is almost always associated with the LGB as well. I often times do not agree with their politics. In fact, I almost never do. I'm very patriotic, and their politics cannot typically be characterized as patriotic.

The rest of the post is an appeal to right wing conservatives to see us as separate from the GLB community. While I don't agree with the writer, I can understand the reasoning behind it. I'm getting rather tired of our community being treated as third rate within the larger G and L community on one end and being used as morality bait by religious conservatives on the other. Acclaimed transgender radio host and National Center for Transgender Equality Advisory Board member, Nancy Nangerioni writes:

"Ethan told me that he is being asked by a member of congress for stories of transgender persons who work successfully with children, in order to counter accusations from the opposition – mostly Republicans, I expect – that transgenders are pedophiles."

Why are we being targeted? The Bible doesn't mention transgender people at all.

"Last night I lay awake while this infuriating accusation rolled around my brain. I have never heard of a case of a transgender person being convicted of child molestation. I HAVE heard of Catholic priests and heterosexual men and – oh yes – Republican Congressmen being convicted as such. But never a transgender person. So why are we being asked to mount a defense against such accusation? Why are we presumed to be dangerous to children in the face of absolutely no evidence that we present any danger whatsoever to young persons?"

The answer is simple. It's our alignment with gays and lesbians that causes our community the most grief with the conservative Christians. What do we get for this grief? We have to protest to be included into ENDA and hate crimes legislation, we get short changed in the Corporate Equality Index, and we can't even get the head of the largest GLBT organization to ask the Democratic Party's Presidential hopefuls more than one question about transgender issues (but they could ask 22 questions about marriage)!

I support marriage equality for gays and lesbians. But marriage equality is the number one issue with these equality groups, to the expense of our issues and our families. Is HRC working on the repeal of the Real ID act? Are they advocating against the "no match" letters that will out transgender Americans in the workplace? How about birth certificate issues? These issues are not being addressed in any substantial way, but they sure can address the bark beetle!

Would we be better off in the long run to disassociate ourselves from the GLB community? It's times like these I wonder.

cross posted from Transadvocate.com


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John Metzinger | September 21, 2007 3:26 PM

Don't forget that many of us in the GLB community ARE working tirelessly--sometimes thanklessly--on transgender rights, because we understand our common ground, shared experiences, and mutual objectives. Let's acknowlege the positive/productive results of our collaborations, rather than lamenting our failures/weaknesses. Teach us what you need from us in constructive terms rather than in destructive threats or demands.

As someone that's worked for marriage equality, I understand what you're saying. It isn't a threat or a demand. More than anything, it's frustration. I'm tired of being a punching bag on one end, and a step child on the other.

I have more than a few gay and lesbian friends and know what great advocates they are for the transgender community as I am for the gay, lesbian and bisexual community. It's not the GLB population at large that is the problem but rather those who are in places of power such as large advocacy groups. They continue to speak on our behalf leaving the transgender community without a voice of our own
on issues that THEY think is important.
I am constantly floored by Judy Sheppard and her advocacy on lgbt hate crimes but when was the last time you saw the mother of a murdered transgender child shaking hands with a Senator? The people that are in the position to make that possible don't. I've asked, nicely at least a few times.
I've seen G&L organizations fight for lgbt rights, bringing us along as long as the G and L are part of the equation and I've seen them fight for just G and L issues that don't affect transgender people but I have NEVER EVER seen them fight for an issue that is exclusive to transgender people. How is that EQUAL?

Marti, you know I love you like a sister... but keep in mind that while you're castigating the G & L's for not accepting you, you're posting it on the 1st "gay" group blog to seek out trans folks to participate. And we cover something trans almost every day.

We don't treat any members of our family as 2nd rate nor do we strictly talk about marriage issues. In fact, several of our contributors who aren't trans have bemoaned the focus on marriage. Don't throw out the bath water with the baby.

Marti,

I think you're over-generalizing here. The real issue isn't about separating ourselves from the great GLB community, it's about all GLBT's who believe civil rights are for everyone separating ourselves from the elitist, "ivory tower", marriage-focused advocacy games of the Human Rights Campaign and like-minded organizations.

The Task Force certainly hasn't exemplified this kind of attitude, nor have many other GLBT advocacy organizations. It's only those headed by the wealthy and self-involved like HRC and the Empire State Pride Agenda which are still guilty of this kind of discriminatory pandering to the fears of cowardly politicians who are just fine with helping to ensure their own popularity and power at the expense of persecuted American minorities.

Just as in the case of religious believers, there are those who believe in including everyone and those who choose to seek to raise themselves higher by demonizing those beneath them on the social/political totem pole. We all know where we most often see that kind of political gamesmanship coming from, and it isn't from most of the real activists representing our community.

I'm all for calling out those who deserve it, but I'm also for doing it accurately and fairly. I just think you're painting with much too wide a brush here.

I am not going to get into this one too deep....

Would we be better off in the long run to disassociate ourselves from the GLB community? It's times like these I wonder.

I might point out that the same could be said of the transgender community regarding their neglect of the needs of transitioning males and females.

As a patriot and a believer that the Constitution is the law of this land I support everyone's right to liberty life and the pursuit of happiness.
with that said...

There is a strong argument that supports political separatism The article regarding the woman terminated for fear that she would use the ladies room while she is Pre-Op is an indication of that. other issues like proper documentation go completely ignored by G/L political interests. There are common political grounds we can work from While i have issues with ENDA maybe it will teach the activists anti-discrimination laws are Not the answer.

I believe the best to foster good relations with Gay and lesbian folk is through interaction and education. The Bilerico project is good for that.
I can say from first hand experience this group is Much More tolerant then many of the Trans-lists and SanDiego's TASC a supposed transgender service group that fosters xenophobia and spends much of it's time infighting. Some of the most intolerant people i have run across are transfolk.

Ironic isn't it those who want acceptance the most have the least of it to give out.

While i agree with the Trans-patriot I believe there is a middle ground between political Separatism and the co-opting of the TG/TS communities that occurred in the 90's/

I think the real problem might be this.
There isn't enough dialogue when it comes to the diversity of needs in all of the GLBT communities.
The Bilerico Report seems to provide a good place for such exploration and discussion of the needs of the various factions that make up the GLBT.

Take Care
Sue

Becky, NGLTF is just as guilty as the rest of the advocacy groups here. Ethan gets it. I'm sick, so maybe my point didn't come out clear enough. This isn't about Bilerico or the G and L community as a whole, but the people that have taken the mantle of advocates for us, yet consistently DON'T advocate for us. We get the short end of the stick on both sides.

Marti, I didn't really think you were specifically talking about TBP. I was just trying to point out - as Rebecca did - that you were painting with an awfully broad brush. You and I both tend to do that quite a bit - I know I'm just as guilty a lot of times. :) *grins* I'm proud of how many trans folks feel welcome here - and valued. One thing I can say about the trans participation is that I have learned a HELL of a lot from our trans contributors and commenters.

Sue, thanks for the compliments. I'm glad you like it here - and I hope others find as welcoming as you do.

And last of all for Marti... I hope you get to feeling better soon. Need me to bring over some chicken noodle soup?