Rebecca Juro

In Response To Meghan Stabler

Filed By Rebecca Juro | July 20, 2008 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: ENDA, HRC, Meghan Stabler, transgender

Yesterday the Human Rights Campaign's Backstory blog published the full unedited text of a letter to the editor of the Bay Area Reporter in support of HRC written by transgender activist and HRC Business Council member Meghan Stabler. Unfortunately, Backstory doesn't allow comments (gee, I wonder why?), so I thought I'd just turn mine into a blog post.

I've never met or spoken to Ms. Stabler and so I would not presume to pass judgment on her or her motives, but I believe this letter gives one an insight into the way the HRC faithful see the rift between HRC and the transgender community.

Examples after the jump.

We must work together for the best strategy to secure employment protections that cover our entire community. To separate our community via a continuance of anger and in-fighting will not move our inclusive need forward. I fear that it will only add more fuel to those so-called "citizens" groups that are doing all in their power and in their coffers to hold equality back, and in some cases put back and down, ALL LGBT people.

Right off the bat, I take issue with Meghan Stabler's entire premise. WE did not separate our community. WE did not break our promises. WE did not endorse leaving the poorest and most victimized behind to gain advantage for the wealthier and less different-seeming segments of our community.

WE didn't start this...but we're sure as hell going to finish it.

My involvement with HRC is part of my personal commitment to do all I can. I don't like "sides;" I never have. I hate injustice and inequality. Most of all I hate conflict, especially now that I see conflict within our community. In my opinion we must move forward and show cohesively that we are one community that is equal to the rest of America, at home and in the workplace.

Again Stabler seems to be relying on this faulty premise, that the conflict is a result of the actions of the trans community rather than the actions and choices of the Human Rights Campaign leadership which precipitated those actions in the first place. Stabler is essentially labeling the trans community and our allies divisive for getting upset about the HRC leadership's despicable behavior and speaking out against it. The closest she even comes to acknowledging that HRC has some responsibility here is when she says:

I, too, was disappointed by the separation of Gender and Sexual Orientation from an inclusive-ENDA, and I was dismayed about how the leadership and board of HRC handled it.

Not exactly what you'd call a strong condemnation, is it? Maybe it's the US vs. UK English thing, but I'm "disappointed" and "dismayed" when there's an hour wait for a table at my favorite restaurant. When I'm lied to and have my community's interests betrayed by an organization that claims to speak for me and others like me, I feel something entirely different. For a long time, far too many in this community have been "disappointed" and "dismayed" but not enough have been genuinely pissed off and angry enough to do something about it. Things are different now, though. For once, maybe even for the first time, the numbers are finally on our side.

I don't say all this to attack Meghan Stabler personally. Again, I don't know her. I have no doubt whatsoever that she is sincere in her opinions. I also think, however, that she has fully bought into the HRC leadership's view of things and we are seeing that viewpoint clearly depicted in her letter. If I am correct here it would explain a lot about why we have yet to see an apology from these people: They really don't believe they've done anything wrong. That, of course, right there is the problem, and the crux upon which this entire conflict rests:

HRC's leadership sees their position on ENDA as smart politics, but most of the politically-conscious American LGBT community sees it as unjust, immoral, and bad behavior.

When you strip away all the politics and political posturing, it's really no more complicated than that. It isn't the trans community that's being divisive here. The true voice of the greater American LGBT community is demanding transgender inclusion in an ever-increasing chorus, but it's the Human Rights Campaign leadership that stands alone here, apart from the vast majority, endorsing legislation that offers protections only to the straight-appearing Queer elite, taking the very same position on transgender inclusion as the Log Cabin Republicans. It's not the trans community, but rather the Human Rights Campaign leadership which has chosen to separate itself from the will and political agenda of the greater community. HRC is isolated because it chose to isolate itself. If it wishes to rejoin this movement and perhaps someday be seen as a leader again then it must move to where the rest of us are. This community has moved on, past the divisive "ivory tower" politics of HRC, to a truly progressive agenda which demands that no American's right to be protected against discrimination ever be considered negotiable.

It all comes down to the simple reality that HRC's leadership knows perfectly well that its position on ENDA is in direct opposition to the one held by most of our community. They simply don't care. They are not qualified to represent us and they need to step aside and let a credible organization that truly reflects the will and the interests of the American LGBT community like NGLTF take the reins of this movement.

Of course, HRC doesn't want to step aside, but I think as time goes on this organization will find itself with less and less of a choice in that regard. That decision has already been made by the people, and the politicians are dutifully following suit. It's only a matter of time now before HRC finds itself disempowered in Congress, perhaps even left out of the loop on major LGBT political issues as the politicians increasingly look to our chosen leaders for guidance on where our community actually is on the important issues of the day. And y'know, I really don't think that time is all that far off.

Karma can be such a bitch.


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Right on, Rebecca. I will add the old adage that those who don't read history are doomed to repeat it. Meghan may very well experience history repeated, the same thing that happens to each and every T person who's ever become involved in HRC. Time will tell, and i hope she doesn't get burned as others have, but snakes don't become sheep, they generally remain snakes and just change skins. And, again, we are talking about an organization that is directed by a serial liar.

I feel compelled to comment on this.

First of all, it was not the transgender community that betrayed HRC; it was the leadership of HRC that betrayed us.

Saying that one "mispoke" in my opinion does not constitute an apology. A genuine apology says, first of all, "I'm sorry." I haven't heard that.

Then as part of the apology, one asks what they can to to make amends. There are lots of things the wealthy HRC can do to make amends, but I'm still waiting to see something done about it.

Lastly, they will say that they see the error of what they did, and they promise not to do it again.

None of this has been forthcoming from HRC, and if it were going to have been done, it would be done by now. I'm not holding my breath, but I am definitely withholding any and all donations until I see a genuine expression of regret.

That erroneous decision hurt many people, and the leadership of HRC doesn't see that yet. I no longer consider HRC as speaking for me.

Rebecca said: "WE didn't start this...but we're sure as hell going to finish it." I agree.

(I'm going to repeat a comment I paced on Marti's HRC posting, since it also fits well here.)

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.

Oh Sweet Mother Goddess..
No sooner does Bil try to explain why "all HRC bashing-all the time" might be counterproductive than it begins yet again.

For the record, once again:
1. I am not a fan of the HRC
2. I support NCLR, a trans ally
3. I support an inclusive ENDA.

So to begin. Again, constantly slamming the largest(yes, they are the largest, it was not my idea so do not blame me) LGBT lobbying organisation gets tiresome to those outside of the trans-activist coterie. We know that the "done you wrong;" they did butch Lesbians and other gender transgressors on the LGBT spectrum wrong as well.

"Remember your history"
All well and good, but sometimes people and organisations change from experience. Former verbally gay-bashing Tory Boris Johnson is now a supporter of gay rights and has a gay deputy mayor in his role as Lord Mayor of London. He came a long way. He just marched in London Pride.

I am not saying that the HRC has come so far. They have had the expreience of LGBT protests and coalitions against them, snubs by politicians and celebrities, and a drop in revenues. Someone in their strategy groups might have noticed.

No, the community ought not be "bought off" (or "tossed off" for the more colourfully minded) by meaningless and shallow gestures. But, we have no idea of the portent of these actions, they may be more than symbolic.

Ms. Juro wrote "WE didn't start this...but we're sure as hell going to finish it."

No

If you impeach all of those looking for dialogue, impugning to them the blind spinelessness or self serving deviousness of Vikdun quisling, you will drive off your allies. Keep up the "All HRC abshing-All the time" and that will happen.

And then you will not "sure as hell" finish it.

Andrew Sullivan, Dale Carpenter, and John Aravosis will.

I am your ally, keep that in mind. But I am telling you honestly, as a friend should, that you are stomping out upon remarkably thin ice as far as many of the G/L community are concerned. The fracture lines within the T community raise eyebrows to begin with in the Lesbian communuty, but the constant attack on an organisation that in the end wew WILL have to work with is rapidly becoming a problem for many activists.

Again, I am telling you this as a friend.

Maura,
You are willing to say that HRC has changed their history after what happened last year? Are you willing to stand up and say that by not apologizing for the lie at SCC, and by continuing to stand by their support of an exclusive ENDA at this very moment in time, they are a changed organization from how they acted back in 1998? Please, don't insult our intellegence.

In every conflict in this world's history, there have been collaborators helping their people's enemies. Were those people praised by their own tribes/countries for having the courage to help the ones who want them dead? I don't think so.

Unemployment is harming and killing our people. That is the bottom line. No one can justify getting around that bottome line. Period. I have seen it up front and personal. Anyone who supports an exclusive ENDA, for whatever lame reason they want to give, is in fact, supporting the harm of transgender people. The transgender collaborators are also supporting that harm. Do you think they are going to be any more loved by the rest of us as those collaborators of the past? Think again.

Yes, it sounds rather black and white, but so is burying a friend who committed suicide because of being rejected for hundreds of jobs. This is a real war we are fighting, and our people are really dying. This war stops when the next President signs a fully-inclusive ENDA, or keeps going if he doesn't. How many more people do we have to bury before the point is made?

Maura... there are several reasons why the HRC is being bashed.

Number one - a long history of HRC transphobia. But organisations can change.

Number two - when those of us who thought the HRC had changed were duped by blatant lies. It was only 10 days from "we will never abandon you" to "that was then, this is now".

Number three - and they haven't made amends, or shown that they were sorry, or even admitted guilt. Instead, they released a cooked poll showing how popular their stand was.

Please tell me why they should be trusted, based on their past record?

I'd be willing to trust the HRC again, but only after 5 contiguous years of them being squeaky clean. They haven't started that 5 year period yet.

I would accept them abandoning the pretense that rights for T's are a part of their mission. If it's GLB only, that's regrettable, but at least being honest.

Monica;
Unemployment and homelessness are killing our Butches, our "Boi" Lesbians as well as participants in other forms of gender transgression in the Lesbian community as well. That is why, as I have said repeatedly, I support an inclusive ENDA.

I am not critiquing the cause you espouse, I am asking for a shift in the tactics that you employ.

In the organisation that I belong to are women who are members of HRC as well as NCLR. Some are second wave separatists, some are second wavers who have gotten beyond, to a greater or lesser degree, separatism, some are what we call "Third Wave Butlerians." As a European Second Wave Feminist Lesbian(a far different thing than US Second Wave) I sit in the middle somewhere.

Except for the lot of them being in high income brackets, by and large they are a representative sampling of Lesbian thinking and philosophy. Further, they are or have access to insiders in their organisations. I am telling you, as a friend, what is happening, that the ceaseless and intransigent attacks upon the HRC are causing your alliances and support to wither. I am in essence begging you and yours to shift gears.

I am not asking you to accept the "kinder, gentler" HRC at face value. I am not asking you to put your activist eggs into one basket.

I am asking you to call off the vicious and interminable attacks upon the HRC that appear to be a near Pavlovian response to simply seeing the initials. You need their support, Monica. You desparately need a cohesive LGB alliance at your side.

I cannot speak for the gay men or the bisexuals, but I will stress again that the Lesbian activist community is uneasy and enured to the hyperbolic vituperativeness delivered with sledgehammer blows in response to the mere glimpse of the offending acronym.

Believe me to be a friend Monica;
Maura

HRC has called the police on peaceful trans* activists protesting HRC's cissexism. Those same police officers who constantly harass, rape, beat, and murder trans*women (check Amnesty International's Stonewalled report). Given that the group of trans*folk was peaceful, and consisted of what, ten people?
I think that HRC's protestations of innocence and tolerance and inclusiveness are lies.

Maura,
Don't ever think that I have lost one ounze of respect for you, because I haven't. Discussions are that and that only.

I cannot be "nice" to HRC. I cannot work with HRC. I cannot support HRC. I cannot even be at an event of an organization I support if HRC is also there. The Atlanta Pride Committee proven they have intregrity by turning down HRC's money for Pride. The San Francisco people are doing even more.

I cannot in all good conscienceness change my tactics toward HRC because like the Atlanta Pride Committee, I also have intregrity. My intregrity is guided by one major principle, equality for all. In this city, you learn from the best, Dr. King. As long as one gender non-conforming person is left behind, I will not stop holding liars and backstabbers' feet to the fire for their lack of intregrity. It comes from my military training. We will not leave ANYONE behind, and I will not compromise on that creed. I have been told I'm a bitch many times. This is one situation where I'm proud to wear that label.

We will agree to disagree?

Drakyn;
I am talking about the realities of keeping coalitions of Lesbian organisations and Lesbians of differing approaches to feminism and who is or is not a woman behind an inclusive ENDA.

The repetitive attacks are not helping this, particularly when the 2nd wave separatists are quick to point out a lack of cohesion in the trans community itself in addition to a potential crippling of the largest LGBT lobby with no comparably politically connected lobby to replace them.

At this point, the seps might well start pulling away and advocate a gender identity only ENDA as a bone to the T community, covering transsexuals in transition and recognising them as women post-op as part of protectiong from discrimination on the basis of having transitioned.

To me, just from the Lesbian point of view, that is unacceptable as it would not be comprehensive enough to cover gender-transgressing Lesbians such as Butch Lesbians.

It may be in the end something that the Lesbian community would be willing to settle for though, as it would address some of the knee jerk responses that the 2nd wave seps have with "womyn's spaces."
(I am not a supporter of the coy use of the term "womyn" as substituting a vowel is NOT what Irigaray meant by Escrive Feminine)
It wwould also be lip service to the T community by the larger Lesbian community in response to their increasing frustration with the T-activists playng "Whack the Mole" using the HRC as the mole.

Does this give you any clue to that is happening in activism on my side of the LGBT?

Drakyn;
I am talking about the realities of keeping coalitions of Lesbian organisations and Lesbians of differing approaches to feminism and who is or is not a woman behind an inclusive ENDA.

The repetitive attacks are not helping this, particularly when the 2nd wave separatists are quick to point out a lack of cohesion in the trans community itself in addition to a potential crippling of the largest LGBT lobby with no comparably politically connected lobby to replace them.

At this point, the seps might well start pulling away and advocate a gender identity only ENDA as a bone to the T community, covering transsexuals in transition and recognising them as women post-op as part of protectiong from discrimination on the basis of having transitioned.

To me, just from the Lesbian point of view, that is unacceptable as it would not be comprehensive enough to cover gender-transgressing Lesbians such as Butch Lesbians.

It may be in the end something that the Lesbian community would be willing to settle for though, as it would address some of the knee jerk responses that the 2nd wave seps have with "womyn's spaces."
(I am not a supporter of the coy use of the term "womyn" as substituting a vowel is NOT what Irigaray meant by Escrive Feminine)
It would also be lip service to the T community by the larger Lesbian community in response to their increasing frustration with the T-activists playng "Whack the Mole" using the HRC as the mole.

Does this give you any clue to that is happening in activism on my side of the LGBT?

And I was referring to your line, "But, we have no idea of the portent of these actions, they may be more than symbolic."
If you (HRC) call the police on a small and peaceful protest, especially when the group protesting is constantly harassed by those same police officers, I think that shows that you aren't all that sincere.

I don't really see how you connect 2nd wave feminists/cis*women-only-space/separatists to my comment.

And most trans*folk that I've seen, myself included, want both gender identity and expression in ENDA. Very few would not want gender expression covered as most trans*folk would also therefore not be covered (trans*folk would include everyone from transsexuals to genderqueers). As a queer man who happens to be female-assigned, who isn't very masculine, I am especially not okay with the idea of gender expression being taken out. Though I haven't seen anyone advocate that, or anyone other than you mention folks that do...


Monica, are you completely unable to hear anything? For 12 years I have been telling you and yours that this day was coming. I've been shouted down every time I've tried to remind you that the ONLY political credibility for for trans rights came from medical model transsexuality....and you have waged war on us in return........How do you think most HBS women will react to a gender identity only ENDA after all the insults, silencing and what just happened to me on Pams?

I sincerely hope that if it plays out this way, those who are screwed remember who did this.....look in the mirror for the answer. You've had your fun for years now and the time to pay up for all those yucks is now.

For the most part, the HRC has become irrelevant. We know they're not going to represent trans issues, they have a long history of betrayal, they haven't even apologized for the last one, and it's not going to change any time soon. Ideally, they should just flip right off and go do their thing, while we spend our energies working for the rights relevant to all GLB and T, and working with organizations that are interested in doing the same. The HRC is not.

The trouble is, the HRC still wants to play the hero and be "big daddy." They $till want to pretend to be the champion that $peak$ for everybody, becau$e of the donation revenue that bring$ in. And being that leaning toward complacency is human nature, without the T protests, people would probably eventually buy that lie completely.

I do think that with regards to the majority of GLB people, time could very well be on the HRC's side. That doesn't mean that their actions should not have consequences.

This isn't so much bashing, as a reminder that they're not the bloody heroes they keep claiming to be, and they don't get to reascend to the podium of transadvocacy that easily.

For the most part, the HRC has become irrelevant. We know they're not going to represent trans issues, they have a long history of betrayal, they haven't even apologized for the last one, and it's not going to change any time soon. Ideally, they should just flip right off and go do their thing, while we spend our energies working for the rights relevant to all GLB and T, and working with organizations that are interested in doing the same. The HRC is not.

The trouble is, the HRC still wants to play the hero and be "big daddy." They $till want to pretend to be the champion that $peak$ for everybody, becau$e of the donation revenue that bring$ in. And being that leaning toward complacency is human nature, without the T protests, people would probably eventually buy that lie completely.

I do think that with regards to the majority of GLB people, time could very well be on the HRC's side. That doesn't mean that their actions should not have consequences.

This isn't so much bashing, as a reminder that they're not the bloody heroes they keep claiming to be, and they don't get to reascend to the podium of transadvocacy that easily.

Drakyn;
I am not ok with gender identity only either, but it is an option that has come up recently with some second wave seps.

Second wave seps do not come onto Liberal blogs as a rule as they tend to get TOSsed out when they get going on the issue of gender identity and expression, so you would not be likely to run into them. As a Lesbian activist, I have frequent contact with some activists who are second wave seps.

Mercedes;
To a large part of the LGB part of the community, not only is the HRC not irrevelant, but it is what comes to mind first when they think of Queer activism. Don't shoot the messenger, I am just relaying what my experience has been.

I appreciate the fine distinction that you make on bashing vs not being supportive of them. It is the bashing that is problematic from the point of view of an increasingly larger number of Lesbian activists...

I am departing this discussion as I have a touch of La Grippe that I probably picked up in Spain. In addition, I've a meeting of the "doxie girls" (nickname for our group) Tuesday and get to deal with the varied positions of the women involved again.

Monica, Rebecca, Cathryn, Drakyn, Mercedes, and Bil who is prolly grittting his teeth right now: please be assured of my continued respect and support. Plus, I genuinely like all of you....

I started living full-time June 23, 1997, 11 years ago and started my first activism project on January 1998 and started working on a national level in middle 1999, only 9 years ago. Did you mean Monica Roberts? She's been active for about 12 years now.

Maura, thank you for staying in this discussion. Your voice and insights are valuable, and your patience is very appreciated.

Maura, thank you for staying in this discussion. Your voice and insights are valuable, and your patience is very appreciated (at least by me).

Actually, I've had far too much contact with some second wave "radfems". A quick look at my blog would even give you the names/screen names of some of those in a certain clique.

Oh dear god..this again...You people wont STFU about it will you...Im putting my HRC sticker back on the car..broken record people....

Maura, although I disagree with you very strongly, can I echo Dale's words?

As regards the non-T lesbian groups - whatever wave they may be - please ask them one thing: if ENDA at the last minute had been modified to exclude lesbians, and only include gay men... wouldn't that have been seen as a betrayal that would cause a terrible fracture, no matter what the short-term gain? Would there not have been well-founded suspicions of bad faith? Would it not be a cold day in hell when a group that supported that kind of thing would ever be trusted again?

Some wounds cannot be mended, not without radical change in the organisation concerned. We should recognise this new reality, not try to deny it, and try to move on from there.

Zoe, you are missing a vital point here......taking the gender protection out of ENDA WAS indeed taking a large hunk of the lesbian community out of it....and Maura came right out and said so and has said so over and over.

Lesbians are being placed between a rock and a hard place in all this. On one hand, there are lots and lots of gender non-conforming lesbians, they are called butches and such......they were cut out of ENDA but the TG crowd just seems to keep forgetting that. On the other hand these lesbian women see the TGs going after the WOMEN gathered under the transgender umbrella and them being silenced, insulted, censored and not allowed to leave that umbrella while the old tried and true insults go right back to their genitalia, in this case their post operative ones, just as men have done to women over and over and over, think the comments made about Hillary. Once again, these loud voices of TG activism do not even consider the message this sends to non-trans women.

The problem with the loud voices of TG activism isn't that if they deserve civil rights coverage, they do.....period. The problem is they allow zero compromise in that.....any disagreement with their viewpoint and you are the enemy. The focus is so singlemindedly defined as themselves they cannot and will not see when their issues are larger issues and make common cause.

My viewpoints have been called "odd" and what I said deliberately misrepresented but you know why? When I transitioned it was the bi and lesbian women's communities that welcomed me and I socialized with. The trans community wanted nothing to do with me because I wouldn't join the cult of the local gender program and worship at the altar of the nutcase who ran it. I approach trans civil rights issues from a woman's perspective....how telling that is considered "odd".

I've started a petition to GLAAD to get them to stop using transgender as an insulting and demeaning "umbrella" with women of transsexual history dragged under it. It's at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/transgender-is-not-an-umbrella
It's a first step.

Well, it was posted to HRC's blog, that letter. It's an org blog and should be taken with a grain of salt from the start.

I guess over 300 organizations in the GLBTQ could be wrong and the one that lied is the right one. Not only did it lie once but many times and try to put the blame on others. I put my money with them all the time. Hahahaha
Sheila

Midtowner | July 21, 2008 1:23 PM

Wow...just read the letter was extremely impressed. It represented what a lot of LGBT's feel about the issue. A nice clear voice of reason that doesnt suger coat or gloss over the issue and the missteps that took place, but takes a mature look at it and says lets move on together.

Very Nice Meghan Stabler!!!

Enda smenda HRC who cares.As a heterosexual identifying TS woman I can't even begin to understand the logic in the fight for LGBT equality.Persuing special privilege laws should be left up to the religious right or as I call them wrong.As Americans we allready have to many laws and the problem isn't needing more it's needing the ones we have properly enforced in an equal way.If you want to win the fight for equal rights fight for equal enforcement of the law and an end to hate crimes laws.Attack the religious community for having special protections like hate crimes protection and state recognized mariages and tax breaks for their businesses and seek to remove them.Sue the Catholic church for dumping their pedophile priest problem on the Lgbt.Attack focus on the family for using dangerous and not recognized methods of therapy on LGBT children.Attack them for having a seperate political wing and seek to have them audited on a regular basis to ensure there not laundering money from the non profit side into the political one.Remind them their right to religious freedom doesn't include the right to force us to live by beliefs even they fall shortof Put some heat on them!Use the press, I personally spent money out of my pocket to place an add in the local dollar saver argueing against the anti gay marriage amendment in Arizona.Good press is bought and paid for bad press is free.Remind your fellow americans we're supposed to be free and we have rights.Not all guys have to have short haircuts and some wear makeup not all women have to have long hair or wear makeup.Unity is strength and there is a huge need for all the partys involved to sit back and take a good look at a strategy that has failed in the Bush years.More than half the States now have Marriage is between a man and a woman amendments thats a huge hurtal to overcome.Violence is up as it now seems ok to express compasionate conservatism on us in a physical way another tough hurdle to overcome.We must repackage ourselves as the ultimate Americans who are excercising their personal freedoms and seeking to make America better!When I see an LGBT organization pay for a full page add in the New York times or wall street journal instead of an LGBT magazine with a logical and well written piece on why we should be treated better then I'll send them a donation they'll have earned.Amy

I want to comment on the idea that butch lesbians have been cut out of ENDA as much as transwomen and transmen. Butch lesbians will be protected for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by the current ENDA. Butch lesbians are ALREADY protected against discrimation on the basis of non-gender conforming appearance or behavior under Title VII. Federal Courts have repeatedly held that Title VII provides that sort of protection, and even protects transexuals in transition against discrimination for non-gender conforming appearance and/or behavior. But Title VII does not stop employers from firing transitioners on the basis that they fear lawsuit from the employee using the wrong restroom. So I think the transgender exclusion does not impact butch Lesbians the same at all, and they do not have the same stake in seeing the transgender protection included.

On another matter, one wonders why HRC even bothered courting the transgendered over the past few years. Certainly, transexuals have not donated enough money to warrant the cost of the bad press that has followed the non-inclusive ENDA endorsement. Those donations will hardly be missed. And the T supportive GLBs will likely be wooed back to financially supporting HRC. But, perhaps it is the CDs that are the real goldmine. They have $$$,$$$,$$$. At this point, I think another lobbying organization can supplant HRC as the top GLBT organization if they court CD donations and seek protection for all transgendered persons. Such protection will surely have to be be based on freedom of gender expression, and not on some sort of medical model that differentiates transexuals from other transgendered persons. So I don't think that it is inevitable that HRC must be accomodated.

As far as the HRC endorsement of the non-inclusive ENDA goes, I have mixed feelings. I know I wouldn't want to be in Meghan Stabler's shoes right now. I don't know her, but I think she is probably sincere in her beliefs, and that she has a lot of integrity and courage to take such an unpopular stance. I also recognize that HRC did the transgendered a lot of good by including criteria for recognizing protection of the transgendered in the Corporate Equality Index. But I would like to see another group come to the forefront at this point. It strikes me as being justice. And I think it would strengthen the community and HRCs commitment by showing our solidarity and forcing HRC to shape up in order to battle its way back to the forefront.

Sorry folks, but given the track record, I just can't trust HRC. That said for the record, here is my question for all of you:

What will it take for us to present a united front on fully inclusive ENDA? Leaving HRC (specifically) out of the equation, what do those of us who support inclusive ENDA need to do to pull together? How do we coordinate 300+ organizations to work together for our mutual benefit even when we, as individuals disagree?

What do you all think--and what do you all want, in terms of what would really help us to find the solidarity that has eluded us for the past forty years? How do we both learn from the past and move past it, without holding resentments that are going to keep dividing us?

Can I dare ask what the United ENDA coalition has been doing since it was announced last October? If there are 350 national/state/local organizations United together for this single cause, what have they been doing? Or was it just a signature list and many of those organizations have done nothing since signing?

At first there were statements of "we will meet daily", but I have not heard much on the activity level of the so called group. http://www.commondreams.org/news2007/1005-03.htm

There is a UnitedENDA site - but there is nothing there http://www.unitedenda.org

Glinda;
The gender expressions related to Title VII have been spotty and inconsistent, and neither Lambda Legal nor many Lesbian activists who are attorneys consider the matter even approaching settled.

There have even been setbacks, a lawyer citing the usual case on gender expression, "Tronetti" was queried about how this went with the legislative intent of the House of Representatives in excluding gender expression from ENDA, even though ENDA was not enacted into law.

In addition, there is the further burden of dealing with the fact that gays and Lesbians are specifically excluded from Title VII protections by legislative intent.

Butch Lesbians and other Lesbian gender expression transgressors are at the whim of a district Court Judge, who can choose to follow nearly any precendent that he wishes....