Marti Abernathey

HRC's Project Win Back, Part II

Filed By Marti Abernathey | July 19, 2008 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Allyson Robinson, HRC

I recently wrote about the lead role the Human Rights Campaign took in the historic transgender hearings, and it looks as if their project win back strategy is coming to fruition. The Human Rights Campaign has hired ordained Baptist minister Allyson Robinson as their Associate Director of Diversity. Here's Allyson in action:


iPhone users: Click to watch

The HRC website states that:

This is a regular, full-time staff position reporting to the Chief Diversity Officer. The Associate Director of Diversity will lead the Human Rights Campaign and its volunteer base in creating and promoting awareness of transgender issues and ensuring that all program areas demonstrate measurable commitment to transgender equality and inclusion.

Called for comment, Massachusetts transgender activist Ethan St. Pierre said of the hire:

She seems very kind and innocent and I'm sure she'll do the job that HRC has intended.

I spoke briefly with Diego Sanchez about the recent hiring. He said that:

Allison is a great addition to the team. Under the direction Cuc Vu she'll do a great job.

Meghan Stabler told me that:

Allyson is a good hire. She comes to the position knowing the challenges that lay ahead. Challenges that are not internal to HRC, but challenges that exist externally both with the broader community of LGBt, as well as specifically to the transcommunity. What she brings from her ministerial teachings, learnings, and just being out there, is being able to listen and feel the hearts of the people.

Stabler also noted that:

She's not there just to drive things for HRC, she's there as a trans individual, that just like so many of us, want to move towards an inclusive ENDA. I think the hiring of Allyson is a good approach, and that it's worthy of note that the hiring of her was not in reaction to actions happening in San Francisco. It's been in the works for a very long time.

But some have not been as positive about the hiring. Blogger and activist, Autumn Sandeen said:

The HRC changed their position on ENDA last fall regarding how inclusive an ENDA bill needed to be to receive their support. The organization hasn't since changed it back to requiring parity for sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

Hiring a transgender woman without a corresponding change in the HRC's political policies regarding full inclusion for all legislation the organization supports...Well, I think this hiring is going to be perceived by most transgender people as the HRC engaging in tokenism. If the HRC isn't going to treat gender identity and expression as having the same level of legislative priority with sexual orientation, then how is a transgender employee at the HRC going to be perceived externally as an equal to the gay and lesbian employees at the HRC?

I personally don't see how.

Donna Cartwright added:

I have nothing against Allyson Robinson, but it's hard to see how she can reach out to the trans community, given HRC's current policies on ENDA, as well as HRC's historically weak record on trans representation on its board and staff.

Regardless of how it is viewed, this hiring is historic. HRC has never hired an openly transgender woman. It's obvious that HRC is actively trying to refurbish its image in the transgender community. What is still a question is how the community responds to that push.


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Gees Louise. They're going to do every f---king little useless gesture they can come up with to try to smoke screen the fact that they are still going to treat us like street scum when it comes to insisting we should be included in ENDA. They can hire every damn one of us and it won't make a f---king difference if they aren't going to support a fully inclusive ENDA.

Wait, if they DID hire every one of us, then we would all have jobs and the problem will be solved. (NOT) I guess that's their warped plan, starting with Allyson first. I want a 6-figure salary.

Ms. Helms;
You know by now that I am no fan of the HRC's; being aware of the devestating impact that exclusion of gender identity and expression would have upon large parts of the Lesbian community.

That said, I do not instantly put a negative spin upon every single movement and hiring that the HRC performs. I generally wait til the next few moves to see the intended direction and impact.

We know where the HRC went politically a year ago, it was an unfortunate direction though I personally feel that it itself was played upon by Democratic politicians to mobilise the LGBT and then just the LGB base...

I cannot imagine that the HRC could remain so obtuse as to be indifferent to the toxic chaff that sprang from what they sowed. I never have given them high marks for broad based community awareness or concern, but I withhold judgement this time til their intent is clear.

As for the woman that they just hired, she seems nice and she seems genuinely well-intentioned. Keep in mind that Dr Beyer, whom I have gradually developed high regard for, is also associated with the HRC and she is one lady whose voice I cannot imagine being ignored.

As for the woman that they just hired, she seems nice and she seems genuinely well-intentioned. Keep in mind that Dr Beyer, whom I have gradually developed high regard for, is also associated with the HRC and she is one lady whose voice I cannot imagine being ignored.

Umm hmm. That's the same thing people said about Mara Keisling, Donna Rose, Riki Wilchins.......

Keep drinking that 'HRC is our friends' Kool-Aid.

I'll believe HRC has changed when they push an inclusive ENDA with the same vigor that they've been dissing the trangender community with for the last decade.

People can keep playing the same old "wait and see"
routine with HRC right up until they pass a gender identity ONLY ENDA and it is signed into law by the President.
Just how much clearer do they have to be? They are spelling out the fact that they are STILL only supporting a sexual orientation ONLY ENDA.
"“HRC helped introduce ENDA 13 years ago to prevent workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. ENDA was originally proposed as a piece of legislation to protect lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender Americans from employment discrimination at the federal level in HR 2015. HR 3685, a bill that protects only sexual orientation does not include protections for transgender Americans. While this wasn’t the fully inclusive bill that HRC wanted, the organization believes the successful passage of HR 3685 bill is a
valuable, albeit incomplete, step forward for the community.”

Here's the link to the whole story: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/human-rights-campaign-announces-24th-annual-bay-area-gala,472134.shtml

The LGBT community and City officials in San Fransisco are BOYCOTTING their dinner! Read about that here: http://leftinsf.com/blog/index.php/archives/2738

Don't forget to check the updates.

I think that working with our allies and people whom we know we can trust is a good idea. I'm not waiting to be screwed again.

oops..I meant to say right up until they pass a sexual orientation only enda.

Babs Casbar Siperstein | July 19, 2008 7:08 PM

A few direct comments:
1. HRC did not take the lead in the recent House transgender hearings, despite what their media and communications mill may have trumpeted. The basic agreement for the hearings was worked out between sub-committee chair Congressman Rob Andrews NJ-1 and the president of the NJ Stonewall Democrats working through NCTE and the Task Force.
2. As one who was in the witness room just prior to the hearings, it was clear that the organizations that worked with the witnesses preparing them for the hearings were The Task Force, NCTE and NCLR. The HRC people were present, but like myself, not engaged in actual work with the witnesses.
3. As one who had access to the materials and talking points given to the actual house members, they were prepared by The Task Force, NCTE and NCLR.
4. As one who was actually at the hearings, I observed that the HRC people present who attempted to grab the front row seats and save them for their colleagues were in fact chased away and the Task force people were seated in the prime seats.
5. I did notice a job opening for a senior policy person at HRC, perhaps a transperson should apply?

Monica R;
No one has ever accused me of "drinking the HRC kool aide" before. Congratulations upon being the first to make that particular leap of logic.

The LGBT community has expressed its displeasure with the recent actions of the HRC both subtly and overtly. Lip service and gestures will not resport confidence in them, actions will. I am waiting for the actions

Respectfully, though, a point comes where loud, angry, shirll attacks start to sound tiresome to the larger community and become counter-productive. That point has been reached.

That is not to say that I personally support the HRC; I do not. My support and monies go to Kate Kendall and the NCLR. I have been pointed and nearly vicious in my past attacks upon HRC's actions vis 'a vis ENDA. I ought not have to justify my antipathy towards them nor the genuineness of that disdain.

Still, at this point it is better to present a positive, separate face in activism rather than simply being the counter to and nemisis of the HRC. It is simply unhelpful to microscopically analyse every action HRC takes and apply a negative interpretation to each one.

I have to admit that my familiarity with the names that you listed is essentially non-existent, save for Ms Rose, who made a principled resignation from the HRC during the ENDA meltdown. I am unsure of the implications of what the list of names represent.

Ethan, I am not so much wait and seeing in the activist sense as much as I am simply unwilling to microscopically dissect the implications to the Lesbian community of every box of paperclips that the HRC orders and thereupon assign sinister intent to the action.

I don't think that pointing out the glaring statements made by HRC spokespersons is nit-picking.
But if you're having office product issues, please check with staples, they have some pretty good deals.

Babs - Wasn't Diego testifying on behalf of HRC?
I recall him wearing an HRC pin and an NCTE pin directly under it.

Babs said:

HRC did not take the lead in the recent House transgender hearings, despite what their media and communications mill may have trumpeted. The basic agreement for the hearings was worked out between sub-committee chair Congressman Rob Andrews NJ-1 and the president of the NJ Stonewall Democrats working through NCTE and the Task Force.

So you're calling Joe Recalto a liar? Because Donna Rose had made the comment that NCTE was the lead in a blog post and Joe contacted her to tell her she was mistaken.

During our conversation today HRC came up several times. Joe (Racalto, Barney Frank’s senior policy adviser) went out of his way to assure me that HRC is taking the lead in these hearings in many ways. As far as our community is concerned I’ll take his word for it and let it all unfold….

If you want to talk about spin, you only have to look as far as NCTE's website:

* Shannon Price Minter, Legal Director for National Center for Lesbian Rights (founding member of NCTE)
* Diane Schroer, Retired Colonel, US Army (member of NCTE)
* Diego Sanchez, Director of Public Relations and External Affairs for AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts (Founding Board of Directors for NCTE)
* Sabrina Marcus Taraboletti, Former Space Shuttle Engineer (founding member of NCTE)
* Bill Hendrix, Chair of Gays, Lesbians, and Allies at Dow (GLAD) for Dow Chemical Company

The fact of the matter is that Diane Schroer was there for ACLU, Diego Sanchez for the AAC AND Human Rights Campaign, Sabrina Marcus Taraboletti for NCTE, and Bill Hendrix represented Dow Chemical. The site makes it look as if NCTE was the lead. If that's not spin, I don't know what is. I'm not sure why you refuse to give HRC their due.

Maura, thank you for mentioning the NCLR. I've been meaning to donate for some time now, and never seemed to get around to it. I finally did. :)

As for the Rev. Robinson, her latest blog entry describes her approach to activism as love. This suggests that she may not be as fiery as some would want. But perhaps we should give her the chance to use the opportunity HRC is giving her.

"It's been in the works for a very long time."

I first got involved with 'the community' and, in turn, started learning about HRC, etc., twelve years ago.

There is no reason - other than the obvious - why there were no trans *employees* (MTF and FTM) at HRC back then. There also is no reason - other than the obvious - why its record on trans hires has been so abominable since then.

I've looked at her blog and its unclear when she transitioned, but starting at her graduation from West Point and adding up the begats, I'm coming up with a Cheryl Jacques-ish number. (Hmmmm...HRC not learning from its mistakes? What a concept?)

Clearly, its taken HRC this long to find a token MTF who will not publicly dissect - or question - what her employer spews as official doctrine. Given her post-military, pre-HRC employment I wonder if, in her HRC interview, she asked Joe Solmonese if he believes that lying is a sin.

Love is certainly something worth promoting and while I don't doubt the reverend's faith, I do doubt that HRC has the same intentions. It is useless to expend all this positive energy on an organization who has not and is still not helping us. The outcome is the same regardless of Allyson's intent.
I can not and will not support anyone or any organization who is promoting HRC's agenda as long as HRC is supporting legislation that includes sexual orientation but not gender identity or expression. I do not stand alone in my convictions
and I will not waver.
I don't believe that I have stood side by side with another activist that hasn't approached their activism with anything less than love, for each other and for our community. I think that goes without saying. Most of us have done extraordinary things because of that love and without the benefit of a paycheck from an organization who has done nothing but harm our movement.
Sorry Dale, my love doesn't come with a price tag, many of us just do what is right.

Ethan;
I have given the HRC the full force of Irish wrath in the not so distant past. I am oposed to aything other than an inclusive ENDA. I still believe that we ought not be picking over the Reverend's appointment and instantly imputing evil intent and outcome.

As far as ENDA, everyone goes on the journey.

BTW: I have a decent sense of humour. However, I am not fond of dismissiveness. From my understanding of your past, you ought be sensitive to patriarchal condescension and subtle misogyny.

Yes, That's right, I am a misogynist. Sorry, that one just doesn't fly.
I lived in those shoes for waay too long for you to try and pull that out of your ass.
I didn't dismiss you. and losing an argument doesn't give you the right to accuse me of something that couldn't be farther from the truth.
I guess you don't have a sense of humor after all.

Yes, That's right, I am a misogynist. Sorry, that one just doesn't fly.
I lived in those shoes for waay too long for you to try and pull that out of your ass.
I didn't dismiss you. and losing an argument doesn't give you the right to accuse me of something that couldn't be farther from the truth.
I guess you don't have a sense of humor after all.

Babs

Go check you meds. You are wrong ! HRC was involved via Diego, they did work behind the scenes to help secure the hearing, to brief all involved AND DID WORK TOGETHER IN COALITION WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS. Everyone worked TOGETHER to make it happen. Whether we like it or not you could say that the other organizations EVEN worked WITH HRC behind the scenes. Even Mara was on the phone to them ! like it or not the others were complicit in their actions to work with HRC too.

this bilerico blog hates HRC too much

"this bilerico blog hates HRC too much"

How would you feel about an organization that:

1. Baldfaced lied to 1000 transgender people at their largest convention?
2. Has placed former and present interns and aides in Congressional offices to act as gatekeepers, to keep T people from meeting actual Members of Congress, so Barney Frank can say that we've never lobbied Congress?
3. Subverted T lobbying organizations with financial support that carried control strings, then using said organizations to destroy the one organization that remained independent of their control?
3. Used their lackeys to backlobby and prelobby no less than 7 transgender lobbying events?

Hate, Annon? Hate? No, not hate. Try "deep burning contempt" and "total distrust", built over witnessing nearly 15 years of HRC calumnies dating back to the twisted reign of Queen Lizzie Birch, Be advised that people who outright lie to me, let alone to 1000 of my friends and colleagues, are people that, to me, get to see the sharp end of the claws, and that's just the beginning. The fact that Solmonese and Smith are nutless wonders, people who lack the moral fortitude to confront their critics and defend themselves, raises my contempt level for them beyond the level of Chimney Rock. How anyone can give money to them after the debacle of the Millennium March, let alone what's gone after, is beyond me.

I'd love to say "screw HRC, they're hopelessly dishonest corporatist hypocrites, nobody should do business with them." However, they stand at the door of many, many Congressional offices, their sickening fresh-faced little low-20's wet-behind-the-ears recent ex-aides telling any T person who dares make an appointment that "I used to work for HRC, you know we support you." - then making sure your lobbying materials head straight for File 13 when you leave, and God forbid that you ever get to shake hands with their Congressman. If you count on that support, you will be falling into the precipice, and you probably deserve to for trusting them to do anything but lie and screw up.

Now, this girl who's going to work for them might be a great person. I don't doubt she is. But HRC is 2 organizations: it is a 501c3 education org, and a political lobbying organization. How much you wanna bet she has no say whatsoever in setting political policy? She'll get trotted out when they need their token T, along with Diego. I expect that she'll be gone the next time they screw the T community over.

Ethan's point of working with other organizations is a good one, but I am having trouble trusting any national organizations.
I work with my local organization, and it is our policy to make sure HRC doesn't get its money-sucking tentacles into our state. We work with local and state candidates and lobby state legislators, and have had a bit of success. Nationally, I know my Congressman, and a couple others, on a first-name basis. At this point, I trust no national organizations, and speak only for myself. I might go to DC, or I might not, you might hear about it after I've recrossed the Worst Virginia border heading west, but I will run into Congressmen and Senators at local events - and I waste no time whatsoever speaking to fleas, when the dog is available. That is what T people should all be doing: talk to your Congressman and Senator at home, where the gatekeepers cannot block you as easily.

I'm GDI. That stands for #@$-damned Independent. I represent no organization. I speak only for myself. I trust a tiny handful of people in the T community, countable on hands and a toe or two, only. Given the present state of T political organizations, and the level of trust they're inspiring and have inspired over the years, I'm staying GDI. Are you?

As a child, we start learning that the world is not a safe place and has creatures that can harm us. The neighbor's (insert mean dog) is an alive, thinking creature that when trained to attack, it will do it in an efficient manner. Rattle snakes in the desert are poisonous. Grizzly bears can tear you apart, as can the great white shark. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my. You learn to be cautious when you are in their territory, or just don't go there. If you are there and you encounter one of these creatures, your instinct tells you to escape.

We have learn over the years of our lives to avoid creatures that can harm us. Also over the years, HRC has proven to be one of those harmful creatures to transgender people. We have stacks and stacks of information proving this over and over again, yet people like Diego and Allyson want to ignore it. What Donna Rose and Jamison Green endured means nothing. When people think that they can just walk up and pet the lion on it's mane without anything happening, then they are fooling themselves.

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." It's been much more than twice, so shame on those who still want to be involved with HRC.

Everyone,

It was a COALITION. In coalitions each group often likes to claim that it stands at the head. The coalition handed in a list of about 70 names to Chairman Andrews, and the subcommittee chose the witnesses. This is the routine procedure in legislatures.

Diego was not representing anyone; he was wearing lapel pins of his choice. When Republicans wear flag pins, are they representing America?

As for Donna and Riki and Mara, they are all doing their best in their way to advance the rights of the trans community, as well as America in general. Issues of sex and gender cut across all lines and impact everyone, and we should be aware that this is ultimately about more than the T or even the LGBT. We will win when our straight and cisgendered allies recognize that, and they will only do so when we educate them as to what is at stake.

First my Dad is an ordained Baptist minister and as far as I know they do not allow women to be ordained and they definetly do not support gay marriage.Secondly I was in a relationship where we sought out counseling from an MCC minister.It was the Reverend Steve from the Daytona Florida MCC church.Much to my horror and my boyfriend's delight he recomended we have an open relationship.I am a strong believer in monogamous relationships and support gay marriage because of those beliefs.The Reverend Steve was removed from his position shortly there after if I remember correctly for skimming funds from the church That happened somtime in the mid 1990's.Given all the grief I have faced in my life from religion I am more than a little insulted by her appointment Trans or not.Hrc can kmwa.Amy

Amy,

I think some arms of Baptistness will now tolerate women preachers, though indeed, most Baptists I know adhere to 'no woman shall have power over a man.'

"Given all the grief I have faced in my life from religion I am more than a little insulted by her appointment Trans or not."

Also, thank you for bringing up what is probably the biggest mistake HRC made regarding this hire. I think, if anything, it will only cause more people to hate (or dislike or whatever you prefer to call it) HRC - only for a non-trans-specific reason.

Polar

You continuously post about exHRC interns blocking access to representatives and now you talk about them taking lobbying materials and placing them in file 13, what evidence do you have, and can you give specific names and examples? You spout words but dont seem to ever be able to cite fact to back them up.

Dana, It is interesting that this argument would come from you considering you are on HRC's board of Governors and NCTE's board of directors. What pin do you choose to wear?

Diego has not been a dishonest man concerning who he is working with and to what extent. I respect him for that. At the hearing when Sabrina told the Congressional panel which organizations were able to help continue the education of transgender people's issues in employment, she left out HRC and Diego made sure to include them. Diego was there, in part, as a representative of HRC. If I'm not mistaken, they paid for his trip.

I guess wearing a lapel pin doesn't mean anything except for that is who you support. I guess wearing an American flag pin would mean you support America. God bless Republicans.

Monica, it's one thing to have a strong opinion about things; it's another entirely to disparage other trans sisters and brothers recklessly. This seems to becoming a habit. For all of our sake, please stop or adopt a more civil tone. Many people, including you, contribute in many different ways.

Mardee

The HRC must have liked Robinson's message of waiting for God to fix everything.

One second before we vilify the transfolk who are getting involved with the HRC. I've seen this pattern many times with Canada's HRC (egale), and generally what it is is several optimistic, hopeful transfolk trying to step into a situation to make a positive difference, but ultimately being suckered into token positions that are hamstrung from achieving any accomplishments, all so that the organization can say that "see, we include transgender people, they just can't get their $#!t together." Let's put the blame where it's due -- with the users, rather than the used. Quite often, the used aren't aware of the full history of what they're up against, nor aware of how entrenched the exclusionism is.

I am bowing out of this. Ethan, I've hardly lost the argument, for I've only expressed the opinion that the T- strategy of knee jerk attacks to every move that the HRC makes is counterproductive and there is broad based support in the Lesbian community for that position.

This does not mean that the larger Lesbian community is deserting the T- on ENDA, we are not.
We have common issues on that one, as well as may others. But many of the activists that I know are put off by the incessant imputation of evil to each breath that the HRC takes.

The HRC was wrong, clumsy and perhaps deceitful and certainly opportunistic as far as how it handled ENDA. That said, there are people of ggoodwill and character in the organisation and Dr. Beyer has proven to be one of them. She was "out in the trenches" fighting the petition to roll back trans-rights in Montgomery County Maryland, on the streets to get support for T's as well as to police some of the underhanded activities of the right.

You have allies Eyhan, but do not expect us to give you a blank cheque on the tactics that you employ

Geez - the bickering within the community! My God, it's no wonder we are where we are. Granted, passion about a cause is important. But to start making pointed attacks on people who have gone far above the call of duty to further our cause. Yes, HRC has thrown the trans community under the bus. Yes, some of the very life blood of our community has been lost. But some of the nasty attitudes here won't further anything. You can sit and b$$ch all you want, and take pot shots at those who are on the front lines, and have served in leadership roles to further our cause only to be smacked up along side the head, but your anger (and in some cases - jealousy) won't get you anywhere. There are some unhappy people posting here - and their unhappiness isn't related to just HRC - it's related to life in general. Recall the words, "United we stand; united we fall." I don't see, or hear, much unity. The bickering only chases away any hope of enlisting allies. So take the gloves off, appreciate what everyone brings to the table, and let's get on with it. Cut the CRAP!

Everyone,

It was a COALITION. In coalitions each group often likes to claim that it stands at the head. The coalition handed in a list of about 70 names to Chairman Andrews, and the subcommittee chose the witnesses. This is the routine procedure in legislatures.

Diego was not representing anyone; he was wearing lapel pins of his choice. When Republicans wear flag pins, are they representing America?

As for Donna and Riki and Mara, they are all doing their best in their way to advance the rights of the trans community, as well as America in general. Issues of sex and gender cut across all lines and impact everyone, and we should be aware that this is ultimately about more than the T or even the LGBT. We will win when our straight and cisgendered allies recognize that, and they will only do so when we educate them as to what is at stake.

I'm going to enter this conversation because there is one person specifically that I want to echo.

Geez - the bickering within the community! My God, it's no wonder we are where we are. Granted, passion about a cause is important. But to start making pointed attacks on people who have gone far above the call of duty to further our cause. Yes, HRC has thrown the trans community under the bus. Yes, some of the very life blood of our community has been lost. But some of the nasty attitudes here won't further anything. You can sit and b$$ch all you want, and take pot shots at those who are on the front lines, and have served in leadership roles to further our cause only to be smacked up along side the head, but your anger (and in some cases - jealousy) won't get you anywhere. There are some unhappy people posting here - and their unhappiness isn't related to just HRC - it's related to life in general. Recall the words, "United we stand; united we fall." I don't see, or hear, much unity. The bickering only chases away any hope of enlisting allies. So take the gloves off, appreciate what everyone brings to the table, and let's get on with it. Cut the CRAP!

I whole-heartedly agree.

I think Maura makes many excellent points and that there have been some knee-jerk reactions to her. It is getting old to constantly hear "HRC is the devil incarnate." It is turning off supporters. It is turning off blog readers who are tired of reading the same old thing over and over and over.

The "devil incarnate" are those hideous bastards who are killing our friends and relatives. Any group or person who has helped to advance anything trans (including all of us on this thread!) are angels - no matter how small the contribution. And no matter, how anyone tries to spin HRC's problems into landmines, the good they have done still outweighs the problems. They aren't there bashing and stabbing and shooting our loved ones. Let's focus our anger where it belongs.

Especially since the hate crimes law that HRC worked to pass the same year as ENDA was trans-inclusive. Their record is 1 to 1 on legislation. So while they're working to protect trans folk from violent attacks, we're busily accusing them of being worse than Osama bin Laden (Seriously - it happened in another thread!).

Perhaps there is another person to quote after all:

this bilerico blog hates HRC too much

I agree that it seems that way sometimes. Not all of us hate HRC with a passion so deep. In fact, after the ENDA spectacle, I'd be willing to say that a lot of us went from "Supporter" to "Indifferent." I'd honestly doubt that many went directly to "HRC Hater."

The problem that I see with the Devil Incarnate Strategy of Diplomacy is that by constantly painting HRC as evil and casting aspersions on anything they might possibly do, trans supporters are moving LGB people back to "Supporter." After a while, people ignore constant bitching and harping and start to empathize with the "attacked." It's just human nature.

And just as it's starting to backfire here on the blog (and I've gotten a SHITLOAD of private comments about this situation over the past couple of months), then how do you think it's going to fare with the community at large? I tend to believe that Projectors are a little more trans-friendly than the average bar trolls or golfers. It's time to start using brains to outwit them rather than tongues to disparage them.

I wish Rev Robinson the best of luck with her new job. I'm confident it'll be full of difficult decisions, necessary ego stroking, and uncharted territory navigation worthy of Magellan.

Go check you meds. You are wrong ! HRC was involved via Diego, they did work behind the scenes to help secure the hearing, to brief all involved AND DID WORK TOGETHER IN COALITION WITH OTHER ORGANIZATIONS. Everyone worked TOGETHER to make it happen. Whether we like it or not you could say that the other organizations EVEN worked WITH HRC behind the scenes. Even Mara was on the phone to them ! like it or not the others were complicit in their actions to work with HRC too.

My point was never to say that they didn't work together... quite the opposite! But the organization that had the lead before the hearing was HRC. There is no denying this. You have to call Barney Frank's senior adviser a liar to do so, since he told the Boston lobbyists AND Donna Rose that HRC was taking the lead.

Dana said:

Diego was not representing anyone; he was wearing lapel pins of his choice. When Republicans wear flag pins, are they representing America?

My biggest beef in all this has been the jockeying for who led these hearings. It's been suggested to me that NCTE and HRC were just in the same room together. That's a complete and utter falsehood. Babs keeps making it seem like HRC was just sitting there, and had NOTHING to do with the hearings. I'll say what I told Brad Luna last night:

I've always believed fairness and equality should be practiced on an individual basis before you ask others to practice it too. I can't stand when someone lies to support a false narrative.

People prolly will start calling me Anikin Skywalker, but i haven't given a shit what others think of me before, why start now?

"Polar
You continuously post about exHRC interns blocking access to representatives and now you talk about them taking lobbying materials and placing them in file 13, what evidence do you have, and can you give specific names and examples? You spout words but dont seem to ever be able to cite fact to back them up."

I was there, in DC, repeatedly, and observed all the above acts, done to me and others. I eyewitnessed it, it was done to me, so it happened. I'm you're proof. You can ask others I was with - Dawn Wilson, Vanessa Edwards Foster, to name a couple people. The "Big Payback" report (published in 1999) documented the acts done in the 1990s at 4 lobbying events - I don't think Big Payback is online anymore; I have a complete paper copy lying around my files somewhere, and I should probably digitize it and put it back up. I have had 2 sitting Congressmen, a sitting US Senator, and 1 former GOP Congressman and Kentucky Governor tell me (and others) what HRC was doing behind our backs, and one of these was as recently as last fall. If you'd like another person's perspective on this, here's a link for you:
http://gallae.com/cathy/essay11.html
This link takes place nearly 10 years ago, yes, but it happened to me in offices last year, once again. I know that Monica Roberts has observed this on her lobbying visits as well.

Actually, I agree with Bil's perspective that the whole subject of HRC is tiresome. Probably there are people who read this blog who avoid anything with HRC in the title, because they know what will be in the comments. My remarks, and the remarks of others, are going to be easily predicted. HRC stinks. Most of the T community knows they stink, and have stunk for over a decade. If those of us who know they stink haven't conveyed that by now, then we've failed, as we've failed many times previously. And, since anything HRC says or does to or for the GLBT community is news, it will probably be put on Bilerico and every other GLBT blog by one or more contributors, I'd expect we're not finished with HRC yet. I'd rather not speak of them at all, but more and more T people come out all the time, and they need to know the history involved, lest they make the mistake of getting sucked in by the lies, money and slick PR of HRC. Their history indicates to me that they will lie, won't do the right thing, or will take steps backward for each step they take forward. You may disagree, but I will continue to run my life and activism with that knowledge in mind.

Sara, I'm very sorry that i haven't, and don't, set up videotape equipment when I go into a Member of Congress' office. I promise next time......naah, I don't promise anything. I work for me, not for you. GDI, remember?

History. Why is it so easy for people to ignore History? “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” - George Santayana - We have all seen this quote hundreds of times, and too many ignore it.

Donna Rose was told by many people that she should not join HRC because they would screw her over, based on their history. She ignored them and they did indeed screw her over. She didn't learn from history and so she became part of history. Her history with HRC should now teach others that HRC's history with trans people has always been less than stellar.

History. It has nothing to do with bitching and moaning and being pissed off at HRC and the people who work with them. Those in the know are more pissed off at people who ignore history. But, you can't tell trans people anything because we know it all. Just ask any of us.

History. Ask Monica Roberts and Katrina Rose about this particular history, and learn so YOU will not repeat it.

FYI, I personally know Allyson and I'd agree with Mercedes characterization of it being a case of "optimistic, hopeful transfolk trying to step into a situation to make a positive difference." Is she being naive? Quite possibly, but she won't find out unless she tries -- although I and others have cautioned her to be wary of being used as the token trans woman.

That said, while I've got no love for HRC, I agree with Bil that painting every move in terms of evil intent is counter-productive. It's important to give adversaries carrots as well as sticks. Otherwise if they think you'll never be satisfied, what incentive is there to change their behavior? Likewise, it can alienate potential allies, as Bil has noted. And praising things like this hire doesn't mean that we can't also note our anger at their current position on ENDA.

I think we ought to be applauding the appointment -- and simultaneously challenging HRC to demonstrate that Allyson won't be just a figurehead.

Polar, you realize of course that by linking to an essay I wrote you just destroyed your TG activist Creds, right?

The only person you are supposed to hate more than Barney Frank is me.

Cathryn, When it comes to the archives of this history, you have great material. No one will deny that.

The only person you are supposed to hate more than Barney Frank is me.

LOL! Thanks for the gut laugh, Cathy! Seriously, most people don't hate you, heck they don't even know who you are.

I think the phrase I'm looking for is delusions of grandeur.

Cathryn, When it comes to the archives of this history, you have great material. No one will deny that.

Agreed. But make sure you look under the right section at your local TRANSGENDER library. It's filed in the fiction section. The Transsexual Manifesto is a HOOT!

Marti - stay on track. Let's not go there. Please. Jesus Christ.

Lena - well said. "Carrots vs sticks"

Ethan,

I wasn't wearing any pin. I'm on something like ten boards at last count, with a number of major projects such as the Montgomery County battle and the DSM 5 revisions as well, so I clearly represent myself when called for. It keeps me sane.

I get a lot of unnecessary grief from people who don't like something I do or say and then associate that with their organization of choice which was their target in the first place. If people have a problem with me, they should address me. If they don't like my work with HRC, fine, let them say so. If it's NCTE or Equality Maryland or NOW that pisses them off, they should direct their comments to those organizations, unless it's something I said while representing a particular organization.

We do this a lot. Maybe it's generally effective when a person represents only one organization, such as Mara and NCTE, but otherwise it gets very complicated.

The betrayals of ten years ago are not relevant history in my mind, Monica. I'm sure you've noticed the incredible progress over the last seven years, so I think it's fair to temper your enthusiasm for th past. Otherwise you will end up sounding like the Bosnians and Kosovars.

"Polar, you realize of course that by linking to an essay I wrote you just destroyed your TG activist Creds, right?
The only person you are supposed to hate more than Barney Frank is me."

Hate you? No way, ma'am, I remember far too well how good you are in a Congressional office. Frankly, for those who don't know, Cathryn is a terrific advocate in a lawmaker's office - one of the best I've seen in action. She is a person of wisdom and good humor, one I wish I could spend more time with. Cathryn is not her reputation, and she has been, and is, right a very large percentage of the time. Whether people agree with her or not, she is part of the history, still is an astute observer of the present, and history will eventually judge her favorably, in my opinion. She has gotten a bad rap, and I'd reckon most of the bad rappers don't know her and haven't done the work she has.

In fact, I'll say it here: Bil, Cathryn would be a great choice as a Bilerico contributor, if she's interested. People either love her or hate her, but, by God, they'll have something to say about what she writes, and it will cut right across the GLBT spectrum, not just the T community.

Actually, I don't hate Barney Frank. I actually find him interesting. And very, very, very wrong and quite mistaken. But interesting, nevertheless.

There goes my cred,........ oh, I ever had any? I'm GDI, don't have to care about cred.

But Dana, betralyals of ten MONTHS ago are very relevant. It show that even though the tiger has an all new inside (HRC staff and board members,) the stripes haven't changed. If what happened ten months ago is no different then what happened ten years ago, then are we suppose to believe that HRC wants to help us? And, I'm not talking about the table scraps you seem to be satisfied with as proof of them really helping us. I'm talking about the big kahuna, a fully inclusive ENDA. As long as they do not support a fully inclusive ENDA, all the rest is meaningless.

Oh, and the Corporate Equality Index is also a piece of s--- as far as I'm concern. Another failed HRC experiment.

If they reverse their position on ENDA and oppose Barney, then I will be waiting for my "I told you so" from you. Odds in Vegas are that I will die first.

Maura, thank you for your patience. I don't know enough, nor have I been active enough, to take a stand. But I do appreciate hearing your insights.

Barbra Siperstein | July 20, 2008 11:30 PM

Well, I checked my meds, and I'm fine!

Let's see...
"The fact of the matter is that Diane Schroer was there for ACLU"

Yes they are handling her lawsuit, but her first advocacy was with NCTE where I first met her. Indeed NCTE and HRC collaborated on an educational piece I use for trans inclusive legislation.

"Diego Sanchez for the AAC AND Human Rights Campaign"

Diego was in fact wearing an HRC pin as well as an NCTE pin

I believe all the witnesses were wearing NCTE pins, and only Diego wore an HRC pin

"Sabrina Marcus Taraboletti for NCTE, and Bill Hendrix represented Dow Chemical. The site makes it look as if NCTE was the lead. If that's not spin, I don't know what is. I'm not sure why you refuse to give HRC their due."

Perhaps some day you might figure it out, and when you do, please give my personal regards to Joe Racalto, he does owe me ... you can ask him directly.

HRC has done some decent work and I will always give credit where it is due. However, in the political arena where often the game is hardball, and they only play softball, they will be open and vulnerable to valid criticism. Spin and self promotion will not win the game.

Endorsing luke warm GLBT candidates and giving them money only to see their HRC scores go to zero in the next congressional cycle, indicates they are, politically speaking, at best, inept.

Ok, *my* bonafides as an HRC basher I suspect are fairly well established. As are the same in bashing pretty much half the commenters to this thread.

But I am not an idiot, and when I take control of my emotions I see things coldly and, to be as positive about it as possible, f-ing evilly.

And I'm going to note, right now, that I see people behaving badly.

Specifically:

Monica Helms
Ethan St Pierre
Kat (who knows how frothy I am about the whole ENDA thing)
Marti Abernathy
dyssonance

Some points:

a) - nothing is going to happen trans-wise in washington without the HRC being involved.

Sorry it just ain't gonna happen. They have the contacts and have avoided pissing the f-wits like Frank off.

Key: we need to *use* them. Just like they used us.

Did they run it? Personally, based on the available documentation, I don't think so. I don't think they are capable of doing such because they don't *get* trans issues well enough to be able to pull something like that off.

So Monica: your thoughts are horsecrap, and your little bitchfest over mara is *OLD*. Get over it. Please. You could do so much more...


b) HRC lied to us. But they only supported the person who did the actual throwing under the bus.

Its not the HRC that's enemy. THey are merely consorting with it.

The enemy is Frank. He's the one who actually *did* everything.

Pretty slick the way he used them as his own personal scapegoat, huh?

They are f-wits, but they are tools. And he wore them like a belt.

c) Do we trust them? No. They have shown they *cannot* be trusted.

Keep your friends close.

Keep your enemies closer.

And their contacts closer still.

Before we can avoid them, we need something to replace them. There isn't anything there right now.

Nothing.

Unless someone has 30 mill to toss a the T group of their choice for the next 5 years. I'm busy making housing and employment possible on my own -- the rest of ya whining about it sorta seems, well, out of touch.

d) I'm not hopeful or optimistic here. Personally, I don't think jack is gonna be done for at least ten years at the federal level on an ENDA or other meaningful Transrelated stuff outside of medical.

So I'm working at doing it at the street level. More meaningful impact, but it does mean sacrifice.

d) Marti, I'm none too fond of Cathryn's oddness either, but that doesn't devalue her or her contribution.

if folks hate her, its her own damn fault.

e) and yes, I included myself on the list for this post.

Someone needed to tell ya all to shut the hell up. You are doing a better job at destroying forward progress on trans issues than Frank and HRC combined are.

For seven months I've worked with a street queen who started a tran halfway house.

Only for trans, no one else, and its working *outstandingly*.

She says nobody is better at wrecking their own success than transfolk.

Ya'll are proving it.

Someone needed to tell ya all to shut the hell up. You are doing a better job at destroying forward progress on trans issues than Frank and HRC combined are.

You're giving this blog post a bit too much power.

I said much what you're saying in this post earlier on another list.

if it was just this blog, Marti, that would be one thing.

But it isn't.

Seriously -- look around. We all got so pissed off at the HRC and frank and all that other crap (who's working with them, who's a patsy for them, who's this, who's that) that we turned like starving dogs on ourselves -- and this is just one more example of it.

And *we* are the problem, now.

We don't just confine it to here.

We aren't that many in number -- and those of us who are active read pretty much the same ones.

That is power. Maybe not to those outside the T, but to those within, it is certainly power.

(and yeah, it pisses me off that I'm not immune from it either)

Do you not realize that what you, and Monica, and cathryn, and Donna, and Mara, and Dr. Allison, and Ethan, and Diego, and all the rest of us who are active; that what is said by you folks in particular affects transfolks that have yet to *think* about such things?

And this sort of stuff stops them. They turn from it. They mock it. They avoid it.

All of that history is important -- but what's the point in reading it if its going to be glossed over because of who posted it?

Cathryn, for example, is pretty much my polar opposite in a lot of things and thoughts trans related.

But that doesn't detract from the value of the knowledge she imparts -- even if the way she shares it is sometimes colored by such opinions.

Your own blog is subject to my occasional visitation, and you don't think you are having an impact through TA?

Hell, woman, you made a difference to me and for me in some things.

And pissed me off in others.

There is power here. Influence is essential, and you and the others do indeed have that.

If not, then why have it?

Btw, I wouldn't characterize my quoted comment in Marti's post was either positive or negative of the HRC, despite Marti characterizing it as as a negative comment. I'd characterize it as more of an observational comment.

Hey -- I would like the HRC to change their position on passing an inclusive ENDA. But, my observation on their recent hire of a transgender woman is independent of that wish.

Basically, I was observing that this new hire, had it been done in summertime of last year, and the HRC hadn't changed their position on ENDA in autumn of last year, would have signaled real embracing of the T of LGBT. However, this new hire doesn't send that message of change now -- it sends a message of "damage control," with a likely unintended message of transgender tokenism.

Let me give one more observation. Allyson Robinson's credibility with the trans community was compromised on the day she accepted the job with the HRC. That's specifically because of the HRC's long history with the trans community, and their recent history on ENDA. I hope Allyson can take criticism well -- she'll likely experience a great deal of criticism from her transgender peers during her tenure at the HRC.

A while back someone made a comment on one of the blogs asking what I was doing to change things. It kicked me in the pants to get involved on the ground. "We all" wasn't and isn't all inclusive. Ive been asking people an essential question about HRC, and that is are we going to control our own destiny and build our own power, or are we continue to ask others to do it for us. But the key in all of activism is to act. There are so many people that have lots of words and little action.

We aren't going to use someone that holds all the cards. We either need to shut the hell up, or go get some poker chips and play ourselves. If we expect to be able to trick someone into giving us rights, I think we're not going to like the results from that.

And for the record, I don't want anyone to do something because I said they should. I post what I do so that others can think for themselves an make a decision that is based on truth and are fully aware of the consequences of that choice.

Ultimately Allyson's actions will speak much louder than her words on her blog.

Now let me give you an observation Autumn....
You, Marti and Helms do NOT represent the "trans" community and your continuing to speak as if you do has alienated vast sections of the LBG world. You don't even speak for a major section of that world Autumn, just one little cloistered activist group.

I don't speak for anyone but myself either, but I also don't think it's appropriate to plan to go to the Democratic convention specifically to CAUSE a bathroom incident. Personally I think that is just about the most boneheaded thing you could do.

I actually saw a discussion about whether Allyson was post op or not and how long........what possible relevance does this hold outside your group feels it's easier to demonize post ops? And why is that exactly?

This blog and Pam's have been turned into the 24 hour Trans-all Trans blogs and you know what? I didn't come here for trans.....I came for the wider LGBT viewpoints.

This might get me bounced here too, but what the hell, it needs saying.

Autumn, you nuked every single word I wrote in a year, diaries, comments and EVEN everyone else's replies to any of that including comments.....

You did this because you say it's "hateful of transgenders" my saying that if those who scream to the rooftops they are women cannot come to women's space AS women (as in paying attention to sisters and their concerns as well as your own) but rather as trans-whatevers...that if you cannot do that, you do not belong there. Did you stop to consider for even a single second what your actions said to non-trans women? I've witnessed SUPPORTIVE lesbians do a double take when some trans talks about her "right" to have penis in a women's shower and that some are doing so....

That's being done in LGB blogs as well, you aren't coming as LGBs and considering the ENTIRE community, just screaming "me me me" and guess what, the non trans LGSs are now telling you they are fed up with it too.

Autumn, I have never, in all these years, had a bathroom "incident". I have always found myself welcome in any women's space I've entered.......why? Because I do so as a woman, not a product of my past.

It is pretty damn egotistical to declare that anything position you, personally, disagree with is "hateful of the trans community" and it precisely that sort of excess that is wearing really really thin with the greater LGB communities right now.

dyssonance,
I said nothing against Mara. There are two "Monicas" on this list. Please read the last name carefully.

Wow. How did the discussion of Allyson Robinson joining HRC suddenly become the discussion about bathrooms? Can people stay on subject at hand? Is Bil reading this? Geees.

I think part of the problem with why this blog seems to hate HRC is that the HRC supporters here (and there are/were quite a few of them!) have chosen to remain silent on this topic. A few snarky statements here and there from some of them, but no real defense of their actions.

But, hey, whatever. This specific hire seems like a good thing, even though it does nothing to address criticism of the organization.

Someone needed to tell ya all to shut the hell up. You are doing a better job at destroying forward progress on trans issues than Frank and HRC combined are.

Oooookay. Nobody ever won civil rights by shutting the f--- up, but it's supposed to happen now? It sure didn't happen here, in my experience. Everyone shut up, the activists won their primary agendas and all went home... I'm a little puzzled about where the civil rights part comes in, especially when employers can still fire female employees for shaving their heads for breast cancer research.

"Get back in your closet, tranny, you're ruining it for the rest of us" is what I keep hearing. First from the HRC and Crain/Aravosis folks, now (again) from the GLB at large, and even from transfolk. Sometimes, I think it would be easier to win over the fundies.

Mercedes,
To paraphrase an old saying, "We have met the fundies and they are us."

Incidentally, some of the earliest feminist thinkers felt that women would ultimately rule by submission, and that some of the more radical feminists coming along were divisive and would ruin everything.

I wonder which approach worked.

My opinion of the HRC is as low as anyone's. And I don't really expect Allyson to be able to persuade the HRC, single-handedly, to support only a a trans-inclusive ENDA. (I am always, of course, willing to be surprised!) Nor, of course, do I believe that her appointment, in and of itself, will do anything to repair the possibly irreparable breach between the HRC and the trans community. As this thread demonstrates!

But it still means something to me that she's the HRC's first full-time trans employee (AFAIK). And there are certainly other trans-related issues and areas that the HRC is involved with; ENDA isn't the only issue out there.

Most importantly, like Lena, I know Allyson personally, and have for several years. She is incredibly smart, and being an ordained minister hardly means that she's the least bit naive or innocent. (She is a graduate of West Point, after all!) So I think all the condescension and figurative head-pats are offensive, and highly inappropriate.

And if there's actually speculation ongoing someplace about whether she's post-op or not -- that's absurd. Ugh. I'm certainly not telling -- because, who cares? What possible difference could it make to anyone but her? I can, however, assure you that she is, and will be, an advocate for all trans people, regardless of how they identify.

Donna

My opinion of the HRC is as low as anyone's. And I don't really expect Allyson to be able to persuade the HRC, single-handedly, to support only a a trans-inclusive ENDA. (I am always, of course, willing to be surprised!) Nor, of course, do I believe that her appointment, in and of itself, will do anything to repair the possibly irreparable breach between the HRC and the trans community. As this thread demonstrates!

But it still means something to me that she's the HRC's first full-time trans employee (AFAIK). And there are certainly other trans-related issues and areas that the HRC is involved with; ENDA isn't the only issue out there.

Most importantly, like Lena, I know Allyson personally, and have for several years. She is incredibly smart, and being an ordained minister hardly means that she's the least bit naive or innocent. (She is a graduate of West Point, after all!) So I think all the condescension and figurative head-pats are offensive, and highly inappropriate.

And if there's actually speculation ongoing someplace about whether she's post-op or not -- that's absurd. Ugh. I'm certainly not telling -- because, who cares? What possible difference could it make to anyone but her? I can, however, assure you that she is, and will be, an advocate for all trans people, regardless of how they identify.

Donna

Monica, I apologize.

I also apologize in general -- I was angry.

Now, to the point of Mercedes:

What civil rights are going to be won through the internecine fighting going on here? Context, Mercedes, is critical, and If it worked for labor and women, well, tellin ya'll to shut up -- about our internal issues -- so that we can move forward will probably work for us.

What you do after shutting up is more important, and personally, if any of the women I went after were to stop agitating, I'd likely go on and kick their hind ends in a horrible display.

Cathryn:

Bad news for you. They do indeed represent a wider view than you do. Which you didn't get. Which is why your stuff was dumped.

Alex:

I agree. And while I'd like to think it is because they can't come to HRC's defense, I'm not a fool. I'm thinking its more along the lines of they are just tired of it.

Marti:

I agree with everything in your post but one thing. ANd that's not so much a disagreement.

How are we to get our own chips to play the game?

That's the question that needs to be asked.

That history noted earlier is the sort of subtle, evil discrimination we are going to face for a long time, even with the bills and such that people want to push forward. Washington is not going to change faster than the US.

My answer, for me, was to start building our own table. Make our own cards. Create our own chips.

Which means create the infrastructure to enable a new generation of trans politicians to run for office.

I'm working on the infrastructure. Housing, Employment.

I will discriminate in creating such. Only transfolk. ITs wrong to do, and I know it.

But I'll only do it as long as its not against the law. And at least a few of us might get a chance out of it.

Lastly...

DO not equate being silent with being submissive.

"But it still means something to me that she's the HRC's first full-time trans employee (AFAIK)."

Allyson isn't the first full time transgender employee, she is the 3rd transitioned transgender employee but the first mtf transgender person to work for hrc.
I wish her the best of luck.

Donna,
You says she's a graduate of West Point? Well, that's proof positive she's nieve. She was in the Army AND an officer. (giggle) Just having a little fun, since I was enlisted and in the Navy. It's that long-standing Army vs Navy thing. I couldn't resist.

On a serious note, I fully agree that her operation status is none of anyone's business and has no place in this discussion.

dyssonance,
Sorry to disappoint you but I am not an HRC "basher." I haven't bashed them in one of my responses. I quoted them twice and said that we have other allies to work with and that is who I am concentrating on.

Maura, My reactions have not been knee jerk reactions and I do not and have not reacted nor picked apart everything that HRC has said or done, I only wish I had that much free time.
I wish you knew me well enough to know what my "tactics" are but you don't. If you would like to have a private chat, that would be nice, perhaps getting off on the wrong foot when we are both on the same side could be remedied. My private email is: radicalguy@gmail.com

Ethan, that doesn't disappoint me at all.

You might want to re-read my post to see why.

My biggest concern is that we, as a group, are spending so much energy on pissing on the HRC and anyone who we even start to think might look at them in a positive light that we are ignoring the things we need to be doing for each other.

They are not our friends. Near as I can tell, every transperson of the freaking planet knows that now.

They do not hate us. THey just underestimated and continue to look down on us. We know that.

So, who actually do we have to use *other* than them?

Are those crickets?

NTAC? NCTE? Maybe if those two buried their hatchets (preferably somewhere other than in each other) they might have something in 10 years.

By which time another conservative block will be in office (tides do that).

so when I hear of "someone else", I gotta ask: who else?

Last time I checked NTAC and NCTE don't have an issue. We even worked together at the protest in DC.
I think there are a number of orgs doing fantastic work on various issues. I pray that none of them take the place of HRC.
I see us all helping each other wherever we can and I think it's beginning to pay off.
I don't see our activism as an either/or situation, That is limiting. It's not that either we work with HRC or we have to have another giant org take their place. There are many orgs who are willing to help each other. I'm not mad at HRC for not helping us, I'm mad because they continue to pretend they are.
The same goes for people who work with HRC. I'm not mad at people for working with HRC, I get mad because SOME of them either pretend they are not, are too naive to understand what is going on or have an agenda that isn't about community at all but is very self serving.
There are many wonderful activists out there both new and seasoned that we desperately need and who are appreciated. Thank you for being there and know you are supported!

So we're done with the bathroom stuff. Right?

Cathryn and Autumn, please take the personal thread off the blog. You know each other's e-mail addresses.