Rebecca Juro

Why I Believe: Barack Obama For President

Filed By Rebecca Juro | January 07, 2008 7:51 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Barack Obama, election campaigns, ENDA, LGBT, politics, queer

Let’s start with some basic, honest facts: I didn’t start out here. I had to reach this place, and I had to be shown the way.

At the start of this Presidential campaign season, I was an ardent supporter of Dennis Kucinich. The truth is that I still believe in Dennis’ vision, his platform, and his staunch support for real equality in America. None of that has changed. What has changed for me is that I now believe that our best chance for America to get there is with Barack Obama as our President.

It was not a short or easy trip to get here. I’m not someone who trusts politicians easily, no matter what platform they run on or which party they happen to represent. We’ve all heard politicians speak of change before, just as we’re hearing it now, and we’ve been sorely disappointed when those supportive words and promises were not later backed up with positive action.

I’m a transsexual woman, and over the last few months, I’ve watched the leaderships of both houses of our current US Congress tell me and every other Transgender-American that our right to be protected from discrimination in the workplace through the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, our right to be able to pursue the American Dream like other American citizens, is seen by these people to be expendable and politically inconvenient to fight for.

I’ve heard Congressman Barney Frank, considered by many to be a champion of civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, tell me and others like me that even when this election is over, even when we have a new President and a new Congress in office, the Democratic House leadership has already decided that those Americans who look and act differently from that which is considered the norm will be left behind, excluded from ENDA and from the hope of a better tomorrow, in order to better ensure those selfsame rights and opportunities exclusively for those who present themselves to the rest of the world in the same way as straight people do.

I’ve witnessed Congressman Frank take to the floor of the US House of Representatives to tell his colleagues and the American people that those who believe the rights of gender-variant Americans are just as important, just as urgent, and just as worthy of being protected under the law as those of other Americans are being “unrealistic”, and that we’re “living in Oz”. I’ve seen Senator Kennedy, another man who has said he supports equality in the workplace for all Americans in principle, make it publicly known that despite that belief he and his colleagues in the Senate leadership will also turn their backs on us and will validate and endorse Congressman Frank’s view by seeking to pass a version of ENDA which excludes us from its protections.

As time goes on, it’s becoming harder and harder to say exactly who is the real barrier to the dream of an America that offers its blessings of liberty and justice for all: Those who say outright that they stand against protecting our equality under the law, or those who claim to support that goal, but then when actually called upon to stand on principle and stand up for these values, prioritize political convenience over principle and turn their backs on the most persecuted and violently oppressed American citizens in order to make it easier for themselves to offer these rights to wealthier, more populous, and less different-seeming minorities, even though they come at the expense of those Americans who are in need of these protections the most.

This Congress has told us, in no uncertain terms, that while they believe that it’s not acceptable for people like us to be beaten and murdered in hate crimes, if we have to be excluded from being protected from discrimination in the workplace in order to protect those minority groups which offer the Democratic Party more money and more votes than we do, those minority groups whose members look and act more like themselves, they’re OK with that.

I’m not OK with that, and I never will be.

Of the three current frontrunners for the Democratic nomination for President, Senator Hillary Clinton still hasn’t even done so much as address the issue publicly without being directly questioned on it, and even then she equivocated, saying she was concerned about gender-variant Americans being placed in positions of authority. Former Senator John Edwards has proven only marginally better, only stating his support for an ENDA that protects all of us in response to direct questioning, but never discussing it proactively in any public forum that I’m aware of. We need more, and as Americans we deserve more, than just this kind of halfhearted, lukewarm support for our basic civil rights under the law.

Out of these three, only Senator Barack Obama has taken the real high road here, speaking out on these issues on numerous occasions on the campaign trail, as well as coming to our community of his own accord and telling us in a guest blog posting at the Bilerico Project, where I am an Associate Editor, that when he is President he will “…place the weight of my administration behind the enactment of the Matthew Shepard Act to outlaw hate crimes and a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”.

This is the first time, in all of the nearly eleven years I’ve been living as an out transsexual woman and have been speaking out these issues for almost as long, that I’ve heard someone who has a real chance of becoming our next President say something like that. And honestly, to be blunt, it’s long past time we did.

A “hopemonger”? You bet he is, but it’s more than just that. When I hear Barack Obama say these words, I believe he really means them, that to him these words are more than just the kind of pleasant-sounding but ultimately empty promises we’ve heard so often from politicians like Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy, and even the largest LGBT political lobbying group in the country, the Human Rights Campaign.

I believe that Barack Obama understands, better than any other candidate running, why our inclusion in ENDA is so important to us, and why it’s so important to millions of Americans who believe as we do that these rights must be extended to all Americans now, not years from now or even decades from now, that over 350 American civil rights organizations chose to rise up, speak out, and band together under the banner of United ENDA to say that they too believe that these rights are indeed self-evident, that we really are all created equal.

I believe Barack Obama when he says these things. I believe that to him they are more than simply inspiring words said on the campaign trail, they are promises, and I believe he knows that they are promises which cannot be compromised or watered-down for the sake of political expedience. I believe he understands that these protections are vital to our ability to pursue the American Dream with the very same fervor and success as other Americans, and that he understands that the happiness and even the very lives of real, hardworking American citizens depend on their being kept.

Most of all, I believe that Barack Obama will be the kind of President who makes ensuring the basic civil rights of each and every American citizen and our full participation in the democratic process and this great experiment which is America, a priority for himself and his administration. I believe that by standing up for Barack Obama, every one of us, no matter how much we may seem to differ in some ways from other Americans, are also standing up for ourselves.

For all of these reasons and more, I declare my support and my endorsement of the candidacy of Barack Obama for the Presidency of the United States of America.


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Ok heres my question why should I as a Republican as well as a Tranny who happens to be Center Right as they say in Europe be comfy with the Senator let alone consider casting him my vote. As I will vote but not for Huckabee or Ron Paul.Romney im luke warm to but could live with this is speaking as a live long Moderate Republican not a Tranny. After all I have found Republicans can move to the muddy middle a whole lot easier than Democrates. So help me out here after all I may need a backup plan on who to vote for come November!

My major reasons for supporting Obama instead of the other Democrats are above, but the reality is that no Republican will be better for any of us than any of the Democrats. Basically, for GOP voters it seems to be coming down to a question of which religious extremist you prefer, unless of course, you're a fan of John McCain, the man who has said he'll continue the policies of George Bush.

No matter where you come from politically, I think most of can agree on at least one thing: We've had enough of George Bush and people who think like he does in charge of our government. It's not working, and it never has.

The best hope for real and positive change in America that includes all of us all of us is Barack Obama, and that's why I endorse him for President.

Change means what? It does make a pretty slogan now doenst it.Yes I have beem losely following the major players in this campain.Funny seeing that religion tag palced on the GOP doesnt cut it either I refuse to vote for anybody with the title Revarnd in there resume no matter what there party. As far as the war goes we need to finish it not just run away from it like the major players all have said in various plans.
And yes McCain is my prefered choice but im a realist and dont believe he's going to win the nomination.See im a hard nosed sell im that dreaded form of voter the southener who doesnt fit any nice cubby whole im part redneck part world travelar as I have lived and worked overseas. Im a Tranny im a Pagan and as I said im Moderate but saying hes for change dont cut it Ron Paul is for change.

Again, Cathy, I laid out the aspects of change that matter to me above. I believe we need an ENDA that protects all of us, and I believe we need a President who's going to stand up and use that bully pulpit to help make it happen.

We can't count on Congress to lead that charge, that much is clear. In my opinion, our best chance of seeing it happen is with Obama in the White House.

Rebecca,
I couldn't agree with you more if I had written the words myself.

A good reason at the moment to be for Obama: He's not Hillary.

If HRC's HRC wins, there will never be a trans-inclusive ENDA.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | January 8, 2008 12:03 PM

Thanks, Rebecca. I know that the evolution of your own thinking has been thoughtful and perhaps at times a bit painful in light of some of the issues involved. My partner is a black man in his late 50's, old enough to have experienced the turbulent 60's up-front. Thursday night when it appeared that Barak Obama would triumph in the Iowa caucuses, I was tears in his eyes, as if we were witnessing something historic, and much more than "hope-mongering". He may or may not get the Democratic Party's nod, or the Presidency. But the mere fact that, after many years of doubting it might ever happen, a person of color is being looked at as a possible, if not probable, President of the United States. And we share your hope and relative comfort level with where he would go on our issues, all of them.

The Disseminating Machine | June 17, 2009 7:47 PM

Speaking of Barack Obama—he has been a great president!
_______________
SCANDAL! SCANDAL! SCANDAL!

EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY!

George W. Bush continuously criminally stalked Margie Schoedinger to the point that she could not get away from it, and she committed suicide in desperation to escape: he murdered her.

“In her suit, Margie Schoedinger states that George W. Bush committed sexual crimes against her, organized harassment and moral pressure on her, her family members and close relatives and friends. As Schoedinger said, she was strongly recommended to keep her mouth shut. . . . Furthermore, she alleges that George Bush ordered to show pressure on her to the point, when she commits suicide” (blog of drizzten).

“One of those ‘very leasts’ [was] George Bush’s personal complicity in the death (murder to be precise) of my friend Margie Schoedinger in September of 2003. Determining the exact whereabouts and contacts of [then] president-elect George Bush on September 21 thru 22, 2003, should be entirely lacking in difficulty” (Leola McConnell—Nevada Progressive Democratic Candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010).

Leola McConnell is correct: Bush applying pressure (continuously criminally stalking Margie Schoedinger) purposefully to force Schoedinger to commit suicide does in fact constitute murder where it culminated in her death.

Bush is a racist hate criminal and hates black people. (Schoedinger was an African-American woman.)

BEWARE: If the president of the United States hates one—for whatever reasons—he can continuously criminally stalk one to the point that one cannot get away from it, and one ultimately commits suicide in desperation to escape. He can murder people in this way.

Bush is getting away with his murder of Schoedinger—with no sheriff, prosecutor, or court willing to uphold the rule of law.

Bush’s method of murdering Schoedinger cannot exist in a vacuum: he must have murdered other people in the same way.

Bush should confess, come out with the names of all of the people whom he murdered in the disgusting way he murdered Schoedinger, undergo execution, and accordingly find himself at the intersection where he would be free.

(There are thousands of copies of the information above on the Internet. It exists very extensively in all major search engines. Please feel free to go to any major search engine, type “George W. Bush continuously criminally stalked Margie Schoedinger to the point that she could not get away from it, and she committed suicide in desperation to escape: he murdered her” or “Bush applying pressure (continuously criminally stalking Margie Schoedinger) purposefully to force Schoedinger to commit suicide does in fact constitute murder where it culminated in her death,” hit “Enter,” and find innumerable results.)
_______________
Andrew Wang
(a.k.a. “THE DISSEMINATING MACHINE”)
B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
Messiah College, Grantham, PA
Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993