Monica Roberts

HRC Calls Police To Stop Houston Dinner Protest

Filed By Monica Roberts | April 10, 2008 4:07 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: ENDA, Houston, Monica Roberts, Texas, transgender

As I noted in a TransGriot blog post, it's my Houston homeboys' and homegirls' turn to protest an HRC dinner.

The HRC Dinner is being held at the convention center hotel across the street from the George R. Brown Convention Center on April 12. The protest is being coordinated by the distinguished stateswoman of the Houston transgender community Phyllis Frye and veteran leaders Vanessa Edwards Foster and Josephine Tittsworth.

But it seems as though HRC has a problem with the Houston transgender community exercising their First Amendment rights. The National HRC office called the Houston Police Department in an attempt to shut down the protest.

Phyllis just concluded a meeting with the HPD, and this is a just released statement courtesy of Phyllis' Phyllabuster e-mail newsletter:

It seems that in response to my national Phyllabuster about our protest, ...... GET THIS ...... the National HRC called the Houston Police.

HPD and I had a very nice meeting. I do not foresee any problems. HPD was so courteous that I was given a "Demonstration Guide" that they published in 2003 to assist citizens in expressing their 1st Amendment rights will not violating any laws. I told HPD that I would scan it and attach to my list. It is attached herein as good general information.

During the chat with HPD, I was also informed that HRC has also instructed the hotel security to ask us to leave if we attempt to pass out any written information or ask folks to wear our stickers.

I always thought that HRC was big on education and discussion.

Well, we will be there (read reposting below).
and we will be peaceful,
and we will be within the law,
and we will be protected by HPD,
and we will attempt to hand out our lapel stickers.

Yeah, the Homosexual Rights Corporation is a friend of the transgender community. If you still believe that fairy tale, I have some waterfront property along I-10 in the Atchafalaya Swamp between Breaux Bridge and Baton Rouge I'd like to sell you.

The series of HRC dinner protests initiated by the transgender community not long after our ENDA betrayal in October 2007 has been conservatively estimated to have cost HRC $1 million dollars in lost donation revenue.

So I understand why they wanted to sic HPD on the trannies. That rent is expensive on that headquarters building in DC, isn't it?

So if you're in or are reasonably close to the Houston area and want to make your voice heard, the H-town transgender community would love to have you there. The fun will start at around 4:30 CDT. Just head to the corner of Polk Street and Avenida de las Americas. You'll see Phyllis', Vanessa's and Josephine's smiling faces there.

Give 'em hell H-town!


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Yes - calling the Police on a peaceful civil rights demonstration BEFORE it even happens.

That's some fine PR work their Lou.

Especially given how the police have historically treated transgender people- which HRC should be aware of - here's the Amnesty International Report for those who (apparently, unlike HRC) take these issues seriously.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?lang=e&id=ENGUS20050922001

You scooped me, I just emailed Alex about this, I got forwarded the email from Phyllis.

Guess they are afraid of them Houston trannies?

John R. Selig | April 10, 2008 7:13 PM

I have made the decision to have nothing further to do with the HRC as long as Joe solmonese remains its executive director. The organization seems to have lost touch with the thinking of the majority of the LGBT community. Solmonese has done our community more harm than good. I suggest that our community send their donations to other, more deserving national and local organizations other than the HRC.

Thanks Monica for this. When HRC came to The University of Connecticut Queers Without Borders, Ct. TransAdvocacy and our student allies who went inside the "town meeting" gave them a good demo. We can't be in Houston but send our spirits to join in. Oh, HRC can't take the heat that you would call the police on our people. Seems to be a trend with the mainstream from SF to NYC to Chicago. Whats happening here? We know we can't trust them when the going gets really rough and they will turn us all in in a second. Its really come to this? What a short way down.

Monica I will do a link from QWB blog to your piece as we are keeping track of HRC protests. Thanks again. Glad I never ever gave them a penny.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | April 10, 2008 7:48 PM

Wish I could be there in person, but for now I'll be restricted to supporting the protest in spirit only!!!

John, you've got the right idea.

HRC, shame on you!!!!!!

Joe is turning HRC into the Log Cabin Republicans, a rich white gays only club.

Solmonese has to go.

My reply has nothing to do with my position on ENDA, but I find this rather incendiary....

Past HRC Dinner protests were just fine...and I didn't hear one critique from HRC staff or leadership of those who protested outside or chose to wear "Equali_y" stickers at the National Dinner; In fact, many were wearing them.

If a call to the police was placed, I do not know whether it was to address general safety concerns or to try and shut down the protest. I suspect the former, as HRC didn't try to stop protests in DC or NYC.

What I'm a little more troubled with is published statements like "ENDA betrayal in October 2007 has been conservatively estimated to have cost HRC $1 million dollars in lost donation revenue."

Says who? Organizations about whom such things are written, at least should be made aware of the source of such statements. Only fair, right?

And, "That rent is expensive on that headquarters building in DC isn't it?"

Actually HRC had the good economic sense to acquire a building. Much smarter to be collecting rent instead of paying it.

A hope that I have for the community is that we work together like we did on Sally Kern. Kern-tape-gate(?) is an amazing example of what we can do working together. An elected official steps up to the podium of homophobia and the Victory Fund quickly moved the message of hate.... Who better than to coordinate a meeting with Sally (and the smarts to get her to say OK to recording it)? P/FLAG... GLAAD was on the ground working with the press to coordinate messaging...Truth Wins out provided talking heads and information to counter general misinformation on FOX, MSNBC, etc.... And, GASP!! HRC was there too, providing important overall messaging from a national movement perspective and connecting a variety of forces working on the issues. And, as it happens, one of the Oklahoma's native sons -- HRC Comms Director Brad Luna, is one of our community's experts on the politics of every corner of the state. (AND that's not easy, what with all the waving wheat and corn as high as an elephant's eye.)

We're all on the same team here.... the offense may not always get along with the defense...but let's remember, we're all here to win.

The trouble is, the offense keeps fumbling the ball, then refuses to do anything to make up for it.

The trans and gender-varient community has gotten almost nothing from the HRC under Joe Solmonese. He is more than willing to take our money, but when it comes to supporting us, they have fallen short.

In the eyes of many, HRC has a long way to go to make up for their past mistakes, calling the cops on a peaceful demonstration just digs the hole they are in deeper.

1st rule when you find yourself in a hole; stop digging.

Good ole Joe seems to have forgotten that.

You go Houston! I moved to the Atlanta area from Houston 3.5 years ago and was impressed at the get up and go of the T*s there. Unfortunately I can't say the same for the Atlanta T*s. When I suggested a protest at the Atlanta dinner much like the one scheduled in Houston one of our FTMs decided he was completely in charge and would ask HRC for the right to educate people on trans issues at their dinner. I bailed out on the "protest." HRC is not fit to work with so long as Joe Solmonese is around.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | April 11, 2008 3:57 AM

OK, I am a non trans white homo guy. (not that there is anything wrong with that)

I am also old enough to remember the 1967 Arab Isreal war even though I am not Jewish. (not that there is anything wrong with that)

Isreal won against five countries allied against it in a war. (it made all the papers)

There was a cartoon on the editorial page of "The Chicago Tribune." It featured stereotypical
"arabs"dressed in flowing robes each weilding a sword running in a circle. Each figure had a name written on the robes: Egypt, Lebanon, PLO, Syria, Jordan, etcetera and the caption beneath read:

"BROTHERS, FORWARD AGAINST ISRAEL!"

With apologies to Alex who hates it when I caps lock, the message seems clear to me that we prevail or we hang together. Anyone with half a mind knows that trans persons have been in the back of the bus.

Right thinking Gay men and Lesbians are there with you. There are also wrong thinking Gay and Lesbian persons who cannot, for reasons of their own, understand your priorities. I have heard open anti trans remarks and have spoken up remembering one of my earliest friends when coming out. Michael, or Michelle, was male born, in process of transgendering and worked in a beauty salon. We socialized, as the community was a small one. More than once I protected Michelle because he (or she) was a genuine friend.

We used to be grateful there was a Woman's Movement, way back then, because if women got equal rights we knew we were not behind. It is the same story with transgender issues. Do not hack away at your own safty net.

I would like to comment on the up-coming Atlanta HRC dinner. I organized two Educational Initiatives against HRC here in Atlanta, but this year, I wanted to see if anyone else wanted to take charge. There was a discussion about this and everyone wanted to do something different. Others who were gung ho came up with excuses on why they couldn't be involved, on a Saturday afternoon and evening. There was no one who stepped forward and they couldn't agree.

There are several ways to approach a protest or educational initiatives, but you have to have people who are willing to step forward and say, "This is how we're going to do it." That's what happened in Houston, NYC, Charlotte, DC and other places. Atlanta's dinner is one of the biggest in the country, but we will not be there. I'll be at home watching movies that night.

So, the leaders of a movement that began, in the US, with an uprising where police were sent to quell trans-people and gay men sent in police to quell trans-people.

Does anyone see any bit of irony there?

So, the leaders of a movement that began, in the US, with an uprising where police were sent to quell trans-people and gay men wanted to send in police to quell trans-people.

Does anyone see any bit of irony there?

Much of the credit for the cohesiveness of the Houston transgender community can be traced to our founding mothers, Phyllis, the late Dee McKellar, Sarah DePalma and Jane Ellen Fairfax.

Early on we were told that we weren't having that crossdressers vs preop vs postop vs nonop crap. We didn't have time for it. We had to fight the Texas Religious Reich and the Texas GOP tooth and nail.

It's no accident that we've had five Houstonians win Trinity awards.

I have been reviled and had to look over my shoulder with some fear regarding my views on HRC, and the activities it has been involved in and what I think is taking place. Remember I have several times here, and many other places indicated a behavior that is historical and a model of activity that has transpired in the past. It is classic and is working very effectively. You may want to start looking over your shoulders too!

You have a “not for profit” organization which has collected millions, has associations and connections across a broad span of businesses, government agencies at all levels, and uses its resources often counter to its proclaimed organizations charter, and in many ways clandestine to public knowledge and reporting. What actions do they have the benefit of, and assets made available which are not reported or made public? I would question HRC’s ability to with stand Section 1962 / RICO sub sections (a),(b),(c) which likely could be applied in a number of ways. No less, there are many conservatives who would love to exercise the Mann Act as in Hoke v. United States, (1913).

I have tried to explain the strategy of isolating and vilifying a small group before the public. To place that vilified group in a light to make the public see them as the clear danger that must be stopped. In the process laws get enacted and focus is shifted to those who are being made to appear as the clear threat. Those who are orchestrating the campaign then, start to show themselves as the credible activists in the public interest. They show themselves as the legitimate party and the ones to be trusted. As the campaign progresses, those being vilified are aligned and associated with activity and others who the public has established animosity. The organizers of the campaign may even undertake themselves actions to physically protect the public. The result is that the thugs have elevated themselves, found refuge under law, and moved into a place of authority and control. The vilified, who were the target of the attack and vilification are eliminated or subjugated to strict social isolation. (You may substitute “Transgender” where “vilification” appears.)It is classic!

I know that most here do not see what is happening, or that the movement HRC and others are working to execute is targeting a particular group. I know that there will be a few stout souls who will stand and protest, perhaps get arrested. God help them if the arresting officers are part of the collusion. And do understand that HRC is only a front for a much bigger coalition and body of activity.

You are seeing some good laws being rescinded, or rewritten, in a way that is taking away protections we have come to rely upon. The protection Transsexuals once enjoyed, legal and medical, are now disappearing as in the actions caused by Dr. Hugh in conjunction with Bailey so as to remove John Hopkins from recognizing the need for a Transsexual to have Reassignment. It’s ripples are spreading. The shift, in fact, is to place the issue of Transsexual as not only a “Mental Disorder” DSM IV, but to move the whole of the medical community to instead come up with ways to eradicate the Trans-community by modification and prevention. (They again are looking to institutionalize/incarcerate.) Do note that homosexuality was removed from the DSM years ago. Do you get it? You can be gay, but it is now seen as a crime to be Transgender. Yes, there are local laws popping up all over the place, and most are poorly written, such as the Montgomery 23-07, which caused a huge reaction and public outrage. Hence the Transsexual using a bathroom is now at risk, those married are finding that they may not remain that way, and having medical access may not be possible. I have seen some of the medical community pushing to remove hormone therapy from treatment for the Transsexual. ENDA and other future protections are fading into the darkness for the Transgender, and there is a monster growing that is being fed by the HRC campaign, I do not see any dragon slayers among the Transgender community. Do you?

This is only the beginning!

Thomas Johnson | April 11, 2008 8:48 AM

SO I was at the Leadership Summit hosted by HRC last weekend in DC. HRC actually finished their fiscal year 1 million over projections...where did the information come from that ENDA has COST HRC 1 million?

One more fact Monica...HRC does not pay rent and actually sits on a huge assett--their building.

Thomas

The facts are that HRC dinner attendance is down significantly from last year. It's also intersting to note that when the New York dinner happened every GLBT politcian in town had a 'scheduling conflict' and several others joined the picket line.

I also have sources that confirm what I quoted.

When HRC starts treating us like human beings instead of barganing chips and goes all out to pass an inclusive ENDA, then and only then will we stop protesting the dinners.

Until then, hope they paid that mortgage this month.

When I was at the Wshington DC dinner I witnessed personally the effect our protest had.

"SO I was at the Leadership Summit hosted by HRC last weekend in DC. HRC actually finished their fiscal year 1 million over projections...where did the information come from that ENDA has COST HRC 1 million?"

Yeh...

And Joe said HRC would oppose a non-inclusive ENDA.

HRC has sufficient lack of credibility on all fronts that if it issued a press release indicating that the Iraq occupation was still underway, I would at least initially think that there's a possibility that the troops are all home.

Michael & Thomas. That attendance at dinners is down comes from reports all over the country - in my city it was from the local dinner organizers and in the local gay paper. I believe the Carolinas Dinner was reported as down by a third(?) in the straight press.

When questioned about it locally - the steering committee said that fundraising was not down - that they made up for the loss of direct support from the community with increased corporate donations at the dinner.

Which is always the case with HRC - never rely on what they say one first reading. It's almost always a qualified statement that ecompasses no small amount of deception.

They will answer that the dinners have met their fundraising goals when asked about attendance - but the money came from corporations. And no one will ever be able to prove what ticket sales were because they're the only ones who have that data. And just like those receipts from the Millenium March - good luck proveing where the money came from or went. What we do have is reports in the media and from the local organizers of the dinners that attendance has been down as much as 30% and reports from attendees.

HRC has just been making it up from the Dinner's Corporate Sponsors. Now - let me ask you - where is your documentation on what the Dinners projected revenues were by HRC before the Dinner Protests started?

If you believe in moving the community forward together - you should support the community letting HRC know they know longer enjoy their suppport in the only way HRC cares about - money.

Which isn't to say that support should evaporate - give it to groups doing work you do support. Word is that the United Enda groups will be puttingtogether a mechanism to support their work shortly.

Give till it hurts.

the gay community is our community. personally, i did not "wake up" and discover i was transgender. there was no "transgender". the gay community was my first hint of acceptance - and they were always there for me.

HRC - and a small faction of gay men and women with limited vision - did not change my sense of belonging and community. i don't support HRC and i don't agree with those who support them. when united ENDA was formed i wept with pride. our fight is for justice and equality for all - not just a select few. HRC has lost all credibility. Until they change their attitude and their leadership they can expect more opposition and protests from within the community.... sad, but very true.

Bastards. I hope they choke.

The LGBT center in San Francisco also called the police on a group of queer protestors. Mattilda was involved in that protest and had wrote about it.

I am constantly saddened by HRC's moral disintegration. HRC has perverted and diverted the gender message. This is no longer a strictly LGBT issue. The consequences of misinforming, disparaging and denigrating the most vulnerable section of society is reminiscent of the tactics employed by infamous regimes such as the Nazi's as they silenced and then eliminated the weakest. Some would argue that HRC does not have a national political agenda which includes forming and controlling what Americans consider proper moral and behavioural standards. I would argue that they do and have a aggressive program aimed at transgender people. Using police to silence and intimidate transgender people is the second step. Actual violence supported openly by HRC or one of its dominion is next.

Please get over yourself, Stellewriter. Stop with "the sky is falling" rant. A lot of good people are working day and night to advance our rights in this country, and the protections we gained just this past week in Kansas City and Detroit are proof of that.

Does this generate a backlash? At times, yes. I happen to be the personal favorite of the right-wing these days, and I can take it. I don't need you insulting my work in Montgomery County and that of Equality Maryland, Lisa Mottet and the Task Force, and yes, even HRC. If you think the bill was poorly written I suggest you read it. Stop complaining about transsexuals in bathrooms, because few have been or are having a problem anywhere (It's generally the gender non-conforming gay folks who get into trouble). No married couple has been or every will be forced to get divorced.

Spend your time working with our allies, and allies-to-be. Education takes a long time, and if you're not out there putting your best face forward and presenting yourself civilly, you're not doing yourself or anyone else any good.

Methinks Stellewriter's only real problem was with the statutes she utilized.

When pointing out HRC's legal transgressions, stick to one: fraud. They have proven themselves to have been soliciting money based on a narrative that they were not following and clearly never had any intention of following.

Dana, if that's the type of ethically bankrupt organization *you* want to defend, go ahead - but don't be surprised when you find yourself guilty by association.

"No married couple has been or every will be forced to get divorced."

The first half of that would appear to be true as of now, but you're living in Barney Frank's Oz if you are unwilling to accept that its a possibility.

Dana,
With all due respect, HRC has a decades long documented history of talking out the sides of the neck when it comes to transgender inclusion.

You want to drink the HRC Kool Aid and trust them, that's your right.

But I don't, or can I trust as a representative of the African-American transgder community an organization with a proven track record of double dealing, lying, breathtaking ignorance and an arrogant disrespect for my community.

Robert Ganshorn-

Believe me, I appreciate your willingness to be an ally. If I may offer some constructive criticism, it's considered extremely rude to bring up a transperson's old name if there's no genuine reason to do so (and 99 times out of 100 there isn't) and to say things like "he (or she)"

You can just say Michelle and she.

Other than that, rock on.

Dana,

I am grateful for those who are not only active as advocates of Trans-community welfare, but the many who are trying to live within the social context and environment around them. It often is difficult when the public is assaulted by media and others with the GLBt mantra. As well, I appreciate and generally commend your work in Mont'y MD. However, the reaction of the public and its anger tells me that the issues were not presented clearly, nor had they been worked out fully; the piece was not written or presented effectively.

As for getting over myself? You may have gotten comfortable in your civilized part of the country, but it is not so everywhere. As a conservative Christian, you are far left of those I know and with whom I was in league. None the less, I left my past in a bucket and walk alone, not lapping up the tribal GLBt propaganda.

Stellewriter is going away, as the hazards are growing and I understand the real danger in which I have placed myself. I was struggling as to when; leaving the game now.

The problem for many people is that they rush to make inferences. Since the bill I worked has been targeted by the right wing then, of course, we must have screwed up. Since I am on the Board of Governors of HRC then I must be guilty by association.

The trans bill was written by the same woman who has written most of the gender identity and expression laws in the country. We worked it in the same open and accessible process we work every other bill, from land use to zoning to trans fat bans. The fact is -- we have been fighting the extremists in this county since the 2004 election when we were targeted by the national anal obsessives to prove that with the 1000 year Reich upon us, they could even recall the Montgomery County Board of Education, that hotbed of God-hating, radical homosexual activists.

Guess what? They failed. They couldn't recall the school board, nor could they prevent a new sex-ed curriculum which discusses sexual orientation and gender identity in a respectful, factual manner.

As they were ending their defiance, we passed the trans bill unanimously. So they got an infusion of cash from Colorado, changed one word in their name, and decided to go after us.

So be it. We are standing tall and will take them down, again. Nobody messed up, unless you consider even trying to get such a bill passed a threat to those who are trying to live their lives quietly and with as little attention as possible. I understand, and the tension between speaking out and doing nothing can be exquisite and dangerous. I believe, however, that we need to do this.

As for the HRC, I get plenty of trash talking from them as well as from some on the TG left, so I think I'm doing something correctly. If people want to condemn me for this, then fine. I just happen to think that it would be a very good thing to get the nation's largest LGBT organization fully with us and behind us, and, guess what? That takes work, time, networking, even developing friendships and relationships. It requires giving to them so they will give back to us. It requires staying involved so we become the family they will not leave behind.

And, one day, when HRC has a President who is an Afro-Cuban Jewish trans lesbian, we can all celebrate together.

Actually Dana, weve been fighting the extremists of this country since the 1992 election.

And being from Texas, I'm a hell of a lot more familar with their tactics since they used us since 1985 as a laboratory to hone what they're throwing at you now in Maryland.

Dana, somebody has to stay engaged with HRC that's true. More power to you and anyone else left trying to reason with their politcally clueless and arrogant behinds. But count me as one of those people who has for a decade been in 'Trust But Verify' mode when it comes to the Homosexual Rights Corporation.

When I see them work as hard or even harder to pass something that helps someone else more than them, then I will be convinced that HRC truly does understand the King legacy.

Until then, my atatitude about HRC will mirror Ronald Reagan: "Deeds, not words."

"As for the HRC, I get plenty of trash talking from them as well as from some on the TG left, so I think I'm doing something correctly."

Slight difference, Doc.

One of those two sides isn't lying to you and using you as a tool to continue the prosecution of an agenda of fraud against your own people.

If you think the one who *is* lying, etc., is made up of those who you Log Cabin-ly dismiss as the "TG left", then you've got bigger problems than your coziness with HRC - ones that none of us can help you with.

Kat,

Thank you, but I'm not anyone's tool and I don't need your help. I'm not being used by HRC for anything, nor are they claiming to be doing so; I'm trying to educate and build bridges. Demonstrations and boycotts have their place, as does working from the inside.

Monica, I fully understand this battle has been going on since the 70's, and way before though in a different form. A similar group opposed the County Council when it added sexual orientation to the Code back in 1983. My point is that this particular iteration formed in 2004, and has moved on to attack us now. We are dealing with it.

The protest was a huge success. The police force present included at least 3 horse mounted two bicycle and 12 foot troops, all of which were extremely courteous and curious. They all wanted to know what the threat was that such a huge number of police were requested! I am extremely gratified to know we were of such displeasure to HRC that they had to pull all the stops in trying to intimidate us. To everyone WE ROCKED THE H!!!
Kelli Busey
Gender Advocate

Dana,
I'm going to chime in on this. You said, "Thank you, but I'm not anyone's tool and I don't need your help. I'm not being used by HRC for anything, nor are they claiming to be doing so;" The "tool" that HRC is using you for is to point to others as proof that transgender people are still supporting them.

They don't need to tell you they want you to do something for them. They don't even need to get your advice on anything. Your very presence is the proof they need that the rest of us don't know what we're talking about. You are undercutting our credibility and your own just by remaining on their Board of Governors.

Silence can be a very powerful tool and they can use it well. They don't need to say a word. They just send out their list of Board of Governors and your name and Amanda Simpson's name are there. It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a doctor to read into that. This is where a street education trumps book learnin'.

Way to go Kelli and Houston!!! Is anyone going to post or any photo's of the demo? Let's keep up the heat everyone.

Marti and Monica;
With all due respect, in spite of the differences that Dr. Beyer and I have on some issues, I neeed to point out something to you both.

Dana Beyer represents a viewpoint in the trans-community that is valid, just as yours are.

My viewpoints are certainly not shared by all Lesbians, though most are. There are always going to be some differences in any larger group. Implying that Dana Beyer is a Quisling to the trans-people rather than a conscientious activist is a disservice to her efforts and certainly undeserved.

Would you stand by quietly were the Lesbian community to excoriate me for my support for an inclusive ENDA in public forums and blogs? Would you fail to reply were a Lesbian Separatist shred me for breaking with other Second Wavers on this issue?

I doubt it.

Let Dana be Dana. She works her activist magic in her way and you work yours in your own...

To give money to an organization who advocates keeping the very part of the population that you come from away from job protection begs to be challenged. There just seems to be a lack of integrity somewhere in all of this. Donna Rose had no problem seeing the integrity conflict, so why can't others?

Thank you, Maura.

Monica, you don't define the meaning of integrity for me. I have acted with the utmost integrity since a crisis I suffered eighteen years ago. I respect that you have your integrity, and I have mine. I spoke with Donna at length during the debacle and can agree she acted with integrity, but she has never challenged my decision to stay.

There is no room for purity in politics. You admit that HRC is not trumpeting my membership; you just claim that they're pointing to me as "proof" that that trans people are still supporting them. My being a Governor in no way signals that I support "them," since I don't know what that means. Do I support the organization as a whole? Yes. Do I support its Foundation? Yes. Do I support its choice last year on ENDA? No, and I have made that very clear to all in the organization who played a role in that decision. I am working to change that decision going forward. I am working to bring in a full-time trans person to serve as Deputy Director of Diversity. I am working to improve trans participation on Steering Committees, which changes hearts and minds. Retreating into isolation and picket lines will not suffice, though I accept that kind of activism has its place as well. Since I'm the only one on either Board (Amanda is not a Governor) it will be just that much more difficult.

It's also not the only work I do. I'm VP of Equality Maryland and Maryland NOW. I'm on the board of NCTE and eQualityGiving, Obama's LGBT Steering Cmte, the Task Force Leadership Council, and others. I'm very happy with my credibility in the trans as well as the gay and straight communities. When I'm elected in two years will you be dissing my credibility? Better that you help me win.

And since you just attended the IFGE conference, please explain their integrity in offering me a speaking slot to next year's conference and then withdrawing it.

I have nothing to do with programing at the IFGE conference and I know nothing about it.

Don't get me wrong, what you have done and are doing in MD is beyond reproach. You have set a benchmark for others to come up to. But . . . HRC has zero credibility with the trans community and near zero with all but the rich GLB (T) people. Even some of them see they are without credibility.

If you are truly making a difference from the inside, then why are they still supporting a non-inclusive ENDA? Words are cheap. Deeds are all we can judge. We see no deeds and only hear lies in their words. "Guilty by association?" Maybe so. I will be happy to apologize publicly and loudly if your "influence" produces an inclusive ENDA. Until then, I hear nothing but words.

Maybe the person who withdrew your speaking slot at then IFGE Conference is also waiting for deeds.

I posted some pictures and a fairy tail

http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2008/04/transelvainia-attacts-corperation.html

if the link fails just click my name...

To Cathy comment 1, bless you heart, thank you for this link to Amnesty International.
I would suggest that HRC is fully aware of the implications of police involvement and uses that as a scare tactic to intimidate would be protesters.
The police treated me very well, but then I work with the police every day and have a very high regard for there professionalism and standards of conduct.
They were curious as to why they were there after talking with us. They were not there because of the governor to their knowledge.
I have attended code pink demonstrations where there were less police.
I am helping to organize a protest for a group that always gets arrested and there are less police at those events arresting us!

http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?lang=e&id=ENGUS20050922001

ROCK ON MONICA!!! Take a road trip to big D some day girlfriend!

Monica,

I just had no idea I was that powerful. Do you really expect me to singlehandedly change HRC? I'm doing what I can, but I temper my expectations because I'm the only one. As long as you and most other trans persons are not helping, you're part of the problem.

Now, I can fully understand that there are many other organizations to which you can give your time and money, and that HRC just may not be worth it to you. That's fine. But you seem to be spending a lot of time and effort to demonstrate against the organization, so you must really care. And if that's so, what is so wrong with trying to work from the inside? It's not as if you're having much success.

As far as rich gay males go, I wouldn't be so harsh on them. Some are hostile, true, and when they are I confront them. It helps to have a relationship with them to gain that access to even make the attempt. Many more are not hostile, and they're increasingly willing to learn. They fund a lot of the pro-trans work that goes on across many organizations. My campaign was fortunate to receive a lot of support from that group; I received very little from the trans community. And that's true even when normalized to income level.

As for IFGE, my point was one of disrespect. It wasn't the first time for me, it was just very direct this time. IFGE and NTAC's attitude towards NCTE leaves me cold as well. It was that kind of infighting that inhibited my transition back in the 90's. We really should do better.

I think that those who are still involved with HRC are showing disrespect to the transgender community.

By the way, I didn't say "rich gay males." I said, ". . . the rich GLB (T) people." I know rich women who support them as well.

I have been an activist for a decade now, not as long as Monica Roberts, but long enough. I personally know dozens of trans people who have worked with HRC on many different levels and they all said, "I can make a difference by working on the inside." If it was true, we wouldn't be having this discussion. They all learned and they all left in disgust.

Even the Corporate Equality Index is a farce when it comes to trans people. I'm an April 2008 living proof of it with my company. Both Jamison and Donna stated that this was the part what they tried to change but couldn't.

Bottom line, the only way a trans person will ever make a difference in HRC is if they are made President of the Board AND the Executive Director AND the entire Board . . . maybe. That will never happen. Never. So, HRC will never change under it's current leadership. Never. You and a 1000 trans people involved will not change their current mindset. Never.

I won't help. I have some important fish to fry. You are on your own.