Antonia D'orsay

HRC: A comment from Dyssonance

Filed By Antonia D'orsay | November 24, 2008 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: HRC, Human Rights Campaign, TDOR, Trans Day of Rememberance, trans-friendly, transgender

Note from Bil: I'm trying out a new feature with our software that allows me to take a comment and move it up to the front page as a post. Serena's post about HRC's Transgender Day of Remembrance video from Saturday drew quite a few comments. After I asked how HRC should proceed with their trans-approach when they get slammed for doing anything trans, Dyssonance left this very thoughtful comment. I thought it might spur some more conversation and since Serena's post will drop off the front page today, Dyssonance gets to be our guinea pig for the new feature!

I've been thinking how to approach this a couple days.

Serena -- thank you for being there tonight. If you hadn't worn a cap I might not have recognized you, but I chickened out at the last sec and just said Hi as I walked by.

Bil, I said the bulk of the sentiments you see expressed here today when you put this video up. Previously.

I'd like to point some things out. FIrst, GLAAD's didn't put out a trans only video. And they didn't crap.

Think about that for a sec.

Now, The HRC video was absolutely cool. By any measure, it is one of the best videos made for the concept overall.

But, as usual, the HRC didn't get it right. They used old names, when the event is about the last year. There were 31 this year, Bil.

That's one thing that peeves us.

They use it to speak to hate crimes. It shouldn't be used that way. They use to call for donations. It shouldn't be used that way.

It serves one purpose and one purpose only. To make people aware that each one of us is pretty much 500 other people -- each one of us is 50 LG people.

That's the impact of it. In the trans community, we have 4 degrees of separation. At most. Usually 3.

Thats how heavy each of these weighs on our minds.

And that video does a disservice because, yet again, it is the transworld *from outside*. IT was set up and designed to be palatable.

It was like a prop 8 ad that had no gay people in it.

Transfolk can't be handled that way.

So you know, most transfolks *do* think the HRC sat around thining "ok, how can I co-opt the trans community on behalf of HRC".

Literally. We think that because the HRC has proven that it will do that. Time and time again.

We *also* think the VP is thinking "we have a problem with trans issues." The rest was already addressed in Tobi's outstanding response.

You are right -- not every person at the HRC is that way. There are certainly staffers willing to help.

IT doesn't matter.

The organization as a whole has, for the most part, screwed us over. In everything they do. We are *secondary*. An afterthought.

And we are tired of it.

I'm certain they made the video with the best intentions. Really, I am. I just, after all this time, suspect that their intentions are never in *our* best interests.

They don't want to hurt us, mind you. Once they get LGB protections in place, they will have to have a reason to exist. We are going to become that reason. Because that's all they will have left.

But they don't want to deal with us, Bil. We do not play well in Peoria. We fail focus group tests.

Transgender, Bil, means gay, lesbian, bisexual, and straight. It means men and women, and that which lies in between. It means the people that are called faggot first. The people who are shot in cars. The people who are hookers and prostitutes (something even our own activists all too often shy away from). It means the people who have AIDS now.

You once described your childhood in terms of gender roles. What you described is almost word for word what every MtF has ever said.

Word for word, Bil.

when I came out, I told a friend of mine, who really liked me. His reaction was immediate and visceral: "why do you wanna be a freak and cut your dick off?".

He was gay, Bil. Of the first 30 people I came out to, one of whom was my wife, he was the only negative reaction.

He showed up at the Phoenix TDoR tonight, and he gets it now.

IT is not that we want them to be silent. Saying that is akin to saying "I'll take my ball and go home".

what we want is action. concrete, visible, purposeful, intense action.

We want them to give our single greatest need the same amount of effort they give to marriage. Because we dying faster than the GLB community is, and there's a hell of a lot fewer of us.

Think for a moment, Bil. When was the last time that you, personally, felt a physical threat to your existence in an encounter with another person? When was the lat time someone called you faggot and then threw a bottle at you?

I've got a couple girls at the halfway house who have had that happen to them every day in the last 7.

They aren't called trannies, Bil. They are called faggots.

They are straight, too.

When the cops did their raid of the "gay bars" in New York City, they didn't go to the places that the then in power groups went to. Those bars no one knew because everyone seemed so "normal".

They went to the transgender bars. The places where the flamers and wild ones were. The places where the monsters were.

We get all the nastiest crap targeted at you. Because we are visible when you are not. You alone no one would think was gay, right? Well, we aren't that lucky.

We want them to say "Its time for an inclusive ENDA *now*". We want them to get it introduced in the next session and push it through for that first 100 days.

We want them to say "Barney Frank -- retract that bathroom statement". We want them to help fund state and city level protections. We want them to make the score card portions for trans inclusion *equal* in importance (scoring wise) to LGB portions. We want them to work on the ADA stuff. TO stand up and score health care providers with emphasis on transtreatment and care. We want them to ensure we get decent housing and treatment in prison. We want them to mae the fact that as a white gay man you have twenty times the risk of being killed walking out your front door than I do.

The single biggest thing they could do to win back Trans support is get inclusive ENDA passed. And, really, it should be the first and single most important thing they do. Now.

They don't ask us for money. They don't talk about how great it is going to be. They just get it done.

As I said, right now, Bil, they are Fred Phelps to us. They are Focus on the Family, or the AFA. They are every person who voted for Prop 8.

They are our enemy.

What would it take for you to start trusting any of those groups? Seriously, think about it for a moment, because if you look at what our reaction is to the HRC, its that same reaction we have to any of them.

What makes it worse is they say they are working for us when they do it. They say they are being nice to us when we ripped out of a bill.

You know more about us than they do, Bil. Ask them what the ADA would do for us if the provision barring us was removed.

That's due this next session, Bil. That's actually doable. Like, now.

I said it before: it takes 10 things to make up for every bad one. And they've don a lot of bad ones. They are already removed from the mainstream of the LGBT community as a whole -- they have ZERO knowledge of us or our issues.

Half the transfolk on this board have said they would be more than willing to speak with the HRC. What did we get? AN offer to do it during the largest Trans gathering int he world. Its like trying to hold a meeting during gay days on Key West.

*d''oh*

If they could get through an ADA and an ENDA within the next 2 years, I'm willing to bet they'd have at least two thirds the trans community behind them. with cash (since we'll actually, you know, have some).

DO you know who Reed Erickson was, Bil? Any clue what that man did to enable the stuff the HRC stands on to exist? Look him up. Please.

He was transsexual.

Shannon Minter, one hell of a lawyer -- this guy argued and won the case for marriage in California.

He is a transsexual.

Lynn Conway, who created the ideas of instruction sets and some of the most critical architectures that enable Bilerico to exist. She is a Transsexual.

The President of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association is a woman I was hugging a short while ago: Dr. Becky Allison.

yep.

What do they need to do? They need to find out who we are and what we want, and then go and do it.

Not decide for us.

They need to stop lying to us.

That's what they need to do, and why we are sick and tired of their trite little dumb stuff. Its time for them to come to us, hat in hand, and ask what they can do for us. Because we've tried it that way on our side and look where it got us.


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For some reason it says this post has 2 comments that aren't here. (They were replies to her comment on the original post.) That's a kink we've got to work out.

Not bad for a first try, tho.

Nicely done!

ack!!!

Now I'll have to edit my replies more closely, LOL

I have a call to make in a short bit, then will come back to expand on some of the points in my ramble, and add in the question that was left still standing from the previous thread.

And, um "wow".

Wolfgang E. B. Wolfgang E. B. | November 24, 2008 2:28 PM

But...

How can we expect HRC to do anything right by us when there are so many disagreements between our various factions of trans people? We have so many internal divisions that I can't imagine how any non-trans person who wants to support us would feel anything other than frustration at every attempt to do so.

We do have a few common issues. we all have our own priorities, and our own additions and deletions from this list, which I give as a start.

we want safety.
we do not want to die.
we want respect for our many gendered selves.
we want justice in the media and the courts.
we want medical care, which includes freedom from medical intervention for some of us.
we want jobs, and the opportunity to give to the society we are in by applying our varied talents.
we want to partner with who we love, and have the rights other couples have.

If I am wrong, or any of this is "baseless," feel free to correct me.

But I think this is business enough for any allies for years to come.

"But I think this is business enough for any allies for years to come."

Definitely. The challenge is teaching allies to be good allies. We can't expect them to figure it out on their own, even if they already belong to the LGBT coalition, and no matter how passionate they are. The onus falls on us, as transgender people, to train them, I think.

And that is the hard part.

One of the problems is overcoming arrogance.

Many LGB folks believe that they already know what trans lives are, and can competently stand in for us on trans matters.

One of my lecture points when doing outreach is "Don't trust LGB people who talk about us unless they are us."

As harsh as that sounds, it is good advice. That humility and recognition of the limits of one's non trans experience must originate with the nons, however.

And humility is in desperate short supply among self identified allies of all stripes.

While we can teach facts, the willingness to learn and be a good ally, along with the commitment must originate with the allies.

They must meet us halfway.

An example of gay arrogance:
Telling a trans woman upset with many of the things on this list to take "anger management classes."

Medicalization of rage for social justice is beyond not cool. The privilege in this statement is... shocking, to say the least. This behavior is in no way unusual.

The man who posted it refuses to acknowledge it as problematic.

Statements like his breed lasting resentment. They destroy what is often a fragile trust.
Not. Cool.
Allies need to screw up with grace, and admit mistakes promptly, because anything less is simply disingenuous oppression.

No, Alysson, not entirely.

That's only the very first step in all that we do when it comes to making them aware.

The second step, though, is actually more important.

I am a huge believer that the primary source should be us. Its why I'm here rather than in stealth. But there are only a relatively few of us that are out and open and speaking to this, and we cannot reach everyone.

So the bigger responsibility falls on our allies to educate, to increase the web in the way of that old commercial:"and Ill tell two friends, they'll tell two friends, and so on and so on..."

The HRC doesn't get a pass anymore on this. They have to engage us, they have to come to us an say "what can we do to help you speak?"

they can't speak for us any longer.

The HRC can, ultimately, do something right. We just no longer expect them to do so, and that is, to a strong degree, why if they did it now it would be pretty stunning.

An admission of error.

Truthfully, they don't even have to apologize They just have to acknowledge that they screwed up, in pretty plain and clear language.

They have yet to do so -- they have tried, but its not really what they did.

On the other hand, we have to acknowledge that, right now, they can pretty much do whatever the hell they want.

No other organization has the wherewithal they have. They can be faulted for many things, but they cannot be faulted for having the access, because they do.

I'm a broke tranny. I have no money to fly to DC and lobby during their lobby days. Everyone who knows me will tell ya I'd quit a job to do so.

The HRC could pick up that tab. IF they did, I'd be there.

And I'm not a *friend* to them.

I am the chair of the board of a halfway house that helps transgender homeless and recovery clients. I can tell you we'd take a check from the HRC without any compunctions -- but there would be no strings attached.

The HRC is at a point where they have to give without any apparent gain. Some might argue to where they show a loss.

Not something the Board there would be willing to agree to, usually, given that they appear to be overly concerned with their appearances among the small group of people who do pay for a large amount of their work.

What disagreements?

Aside from the typical separatist elements that are present int he rest of the queer community, the majority of transfolk are pretty solid in unity.

transgender is a mighty big concept -- some have argued too big -- but the core elements of it are still, in political terms, being who we are.

The divisions are primarily centered around "I am x, not y" within us.

Those aren't political; they are identifying.

So if you see something I'm missing, please, answer the question.

You hit it out of the ballpark!

Thank you, you're saying what needs to be said.

Dyss, well said.

Just was said in the fantastic critique of the California Prop 8 effort by Tery Lettgoff the other day. It's a matter of asking.

And I wonder how "with all of your groups and factions" computes in this? I mean, I see a lot of dissentions among various groups of gay men and lesbians as well.

There's hardly "one voice" in any of our grouping, no? Yet, shouldn't we make some effort to find out a concensus at any rate? Like by actually consulting some real live people instead of maybe someone else in the building in D.C?

I imagine Dyss and I don't agree on everything and on every move we should make as a group, but we talk and find common ground. I do think HRC is totally missing the boat with a "top-down" approach in the same fashion they and others missed it in Cali for the same reasons.

Perhaps a page from long-time congress-critters might be in order; "help your constituents before you go heeding everyone else who has an opinion."

Just a thought.

They like to throw shade, honey.

After all, if they can slur us as unworthy, it makes hurting and abandoning us go down easier. And someone painting us as too divided to help using a questionable analysis needs to have their motivations scrutinized.

Closely.

Because, I think the question "Why abandon and slur transfolk needs to be asked of all allies.

And they need to be held publicly accountable, by transfolk, to their answers.

Because, lives depend on it.

If you read what killers of trans women say, you'll find many similarities with this.

I agree with the part about how not all HRC staffers are clueless. The folks at the Workplace Project have been wonderful. They are the reason why I feel caught in the middle dealing with them. Complicating it even further is the fact one of the organizations I am on the board of gets some major support from HRC. While that org is totally 1000% transgender supportive, the fact we have to schmooze with HRC as part of our 'job' makes my skin crawl at times.
I was in DC last year when we got thrown under the bus and the mood of disappointment and anger in that room when Mara told us what had happened was unbelieveable. To watch so many LGB&A people give Barney Frank a standing-O at the banquet that evening was more than I could stand.
I may have to work with them as part of the board, but I can not and WILL not support any orgainzation who I feel does not support me. Problem is, the LGBT community needs to unite as ONE voice or we will be divided - and conquered.

JennyC, I would argue we may actually be better off with multiple voices (although I would argue that HRC, at least without _major_ changes, should not be one of them). Multiple voices allow (1) a mix of more "radical" voices demanding what we need and more moderate voices working for what we can get short-term, (2) some people to keep plodding away at building research and support for 'back-burner' issues while others pursue whatever has the public attention at the moment, and (3) multiple perspectives on issues that can reach different types of constituencies.

Angela Brightfeather | November 25, 2008 1:38 AM

I don't buy into the statement that we are any more divided than any faction of the GLBT community. The dirty laundry inside of the Transgender Community smells just like it does in the Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay communities.

What everyone dto understand is that all of us are fighting one really big thing here. It's called homophobia. It may have been classicly assigned to gays and lesbians, but Trans people get the brunt of it these days because everyone thinks they know us so well and that we are exactly like gays and lesbians, but they can't find gays and lesbians to beat up or kill as much becuase they look to much like themselves. To talk to some people you would think that we were parented by gays and lesbians and that Transgender people are the offspring of the former.

But homophobia is exactly what HRC is supposed to be working on and they are the absolute worst in thinking that Transgender people don't get treated worse than GLB's because of homophobia. If they had been thinking about that, they never would have cut us from ENDA and by now their members would have thrown them out on the street. They even adopted another name to apply to Transgender homophobia. Now they call it Transphobia just so they can distinguish that they are not working on Transphobia to their white, gay, male big contributors.

But crap with another name smells just as bad does it not?

What we want is for HRC to do it's job. We want them to fight homophobia for all GLBT people and stop breaking it down into only doable or politically correct catagories or assigning other names to the evil intent of homophobia to foist problems on all GLBT people.

Just do your job!!!

Joni Christian | November 25, 2008 9:36 AM


I AM responsible for the change I wish to see in the world.

Imagine a world where we all live in peace, then embrace...

Blessings, always

That is the gist of the underlying message.

Each of us is an agent of change. Even in the closet, lol.

I agree with a lot of what you said and that more should be done to get all inclusive legislation past.

But I will never be able to agree to the fact that HRC is the same thing to you as Fred Phelps and the Yes on 8 voters.

Fred Phelps will never do anything for you but scream bigotry and probably piss on your grave.

At least HRC, has your back, even if you don't like they have it.

You mean like Elizabeth Birch saying that she would make trans rights a top priority "over her dead body?"

Or St. Barney using the bathroom argument to publicly trash trans women?

or hrc supporters like John Aravosis using the most virulent transmisogynistic language to toot his horn for gay only rights?

And, of course, vanilla LGB hrc supporters like yourself, who refue to listen to trans concerns.

OK: One last time. Stop trying to be openly obtuse. People with far greater eloquence than I are trying to tell you something. Stop being a hrc droid long enough to listen to actual transfolk and real allies when they tell you that hrc is openly contemtuous of transfolk.

So, Matt W, STFU for one damn minute, and listen to transpeople when we talk about trans issues.
Just do it. It ain't that freakin hard.

Dyss...Look here for an example of gays speaking for trans.

http://www.edgeprovidence.com/index.php?ch=askfelicia&id=329

Sadly, this is typical. As bad as it is, its also one of the nicer ones
I have read stories on FOX news that handled us with greater sensitivity.
The hrc is not much better. But the problems run much deeper.

Assuming that nontrans gays and lesbians are trans hostile is warranted when so much transphobia and just plain bad taste comes from them.

hrc cannot be expected to change while so many nontrans LGB types are such clueless hateful fcks about transfolk.

so, maybe hrc is a symptom, rather than a problem?

MattW,

Are you Trans?

Are you aware that the HRC has a consistent pattern of saying exactly what you said and then stepping on us?

If not, then ok. I understand that you find that their work on behalf of the rest of the Queer population is worthwhile and that maybe, to you, the ability of transfolk to do simple things like live a life is unimportant.

But be aware that I was expressing something in the clearest of terms, and that indeed, that's how they are thought of.

And until you can see that from a trans perspective, you will never be able to understand that.

You're right; in a way, the HRC is worse.

The Phelps will be up front and honest about their views.

The HRC will simply use us as tools, and claim we're their friends, but abandon us the moment we're inconvenient.

An enemy, you can fight an enemy.

But a false friend's a lot harder to actually take to task. They're more insidious than Phelps because their transphobia's masked with gay pride and a veneer of respectability.

This is Justin Cole, GLAAD's Director of Digital & Online Media. I'm responsible for our blog and digital media at GLAAD.

I'm not sure Dyssonance is aware that at glaadBLOG we had an entire week of postings dedicated to Transgender Day of Remembrance. You can see all of the posts here - http://glaadblog.org/tag/transgender-day-of-remembrance/

Also, we published, did outreach, and have advised media on our 2008 Transgender Day of Remembrance Resource Kit - http://www.glaad.org/publications/kits/dayofremembrance/

And we have had extensive non-TDOR related transgender coverage as well - http://glaadblog.org/tag/transgender/

This was picked up by many online outlets including in a post on Pam's House Blend by Autumn.

You have a trans board member, from what I understand. I'm just wondering why GLAAD did not scrutinize HRC's TDOR ad and pass it by your trans people for accuracy? Shouldn't queer groups have just as much responsibility to present accurate information in the media as do the straight groups?

Haven't you heard the news? Gays and lesbians are allowed to spew shit like this
http://www.edgeprovidence.com/index.php?ch=askfelicia&id=329
and this
http://www.ourchart.com/content/trans-labyrinth
about transfolk.
The lesbian referencing trans people as "it" is especially hilarious. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy about OurChart.

Not.

Gays and lesbians are all too often the FOX news of transfolk. Sadly, they will often defend their "right" to slur and marginalize us to the death.
And it ain't their death we're talking about, is it?

Before I dive into further responses, I'd like to apologize to everyone for my absence, as I am dealing with the Flu and I pushed a little too hard the other day.

Not an excuse, just letting you know.

Ok, first off, Justin Cole:

Yes, I am aware. You are in my tuesday lists :D

I used the specific example because, to be perfectly frank, HRC's was better. Yours was nice, and GLAAD has helped a great deal in making sure that the wider community outside the queer spaces is aware of us. You have been one of our best allies in education, and I can't think of any trans I know personally who would say something genuinely negative about GLAAD.

Let's face something:

Someone there tried to do a great video. That video really does rock. Its a good overview of what the TDOR is.

Had it come from *anyone* but the HRC, it would be everywhere.

Its an outsiders perspective of the TDoR, though, not one that we hold.

They do not understand us. They screwed up hugely, and its pretty obvious they realize it now, a year after, when they suddenly have to start asking for donations and thanks to transfolk, those are not coming in as nicely and as regularly as they used to.

I call it "Rage against the Mattachine" because it is dependent in part on a lot of the early ideals that are still held today, a lot of the same personal perspectives and views.

The world has moved on. Full circle, no less, and after a year, our rage is now just under the surface instead of sitting on it, and now is finally the time for the HRC to step up and say "ok, we don't grok this. we need help."

Like many, I called for the resignation of the BoD over ENDA, as it is not acceptable that they made that sort of a deal, and that they punished those who voted against it since it should have been inclusive.

All they have to do is bed with their arch enemies, lol. We aren't *that* bad, after all...

"Rage against the Mattachine"

So, so true.

Well said, Dyss, well said!

To Bil's question: would I like HRC to speak out on trans rights? Yes, I would. Just as gays and lesbians need straight allies to win the marriage equality fit, trans people need both LGB and straight allies.

But I have a real problem when HRC as an organization seems to be promoting trans causes for their own benefit rather than ours -- then (repeatedly) turning around and screwing the trans communities over. I wouldn't compare them to Fred Phelps, but Iago seems an apt comparison based on their track record. 

I'm sure there are well-meaning people within HRC but who think they were doing the right thing. The same can be said for some of those who voted for Prop. 8. If the LGB communities have decided that it's "no more Mr. Nice Gay," and are willing to boycott anyone who donated in favor of Prop. 8, why are they surprised that trans people are equally angry at an organization that has repeatedly over many years acted to block trans rights, and then turns around and tries to position itself as the savior of the trans community.

As has been said, it takes humility and multiple good deeds to make up for a single bad one. So, just as it's gonna take a lot for the "I'm not against gays, just against gay marriage" supporters of Prop. 8 to win back the trust of their LGB friends, it's gonna take a lot for HRC to regain the trust of the trans communities.

Finally, as others have said, HRC has to speak with us before they can even think of speaking for us.

The sad thing is that HRC could have used the video as a way of making amends. It really is a good video. But that would've required both involving the trans communities before it was released and being selfless in how they released it, and not using it as just another fundraising device.

I agree with most of Lena's points, but will add a bit.

To those of us who've been politically active in the T community, HRC has a long and undistinguished history of anti-trans words and deeds, much of it done subversively and surreptitiously. One semi-nice act of PR isn't going to erase a 15-year history of subverting transgender activism.

The main act the entire community remembers is the Solmonese Lie at SCC in 2007. Had Solmonese had the guts to confront the T community, including his critics, and talk frankly, he and HRC might have recovered. However, they don't feel they have to talk to the T community at all, just their tokens. They've let the problem fester, and at this point, nobody who carries a business card with an equal sign is trusted by most T people, and probably never will.

How bad can it be? I know of a number of T activists who will make a point of attempting to kill ENDA if it is not fully inclusive. I have heard of a couple T activists feeding talking points to Religious Reich organizations, in attempt to kill. It's this simple: ENDA had better be inclusive in 2009, or the HRC/T cold war will probably become wide open warfare.

"What we want is for HRC to do it's job. We want them to fight homophobia for all GLBT people and stop breaking it down into only doable or politically correct catagories..."


Actually, I don't believe that is HRC's job at all. From what I've seen, the HRC exists solely to get politicians supportive of LGBT rights in office for the purpose of garnering power and influence. It seems like everything else is secondary to that pursuit.

So perpetuating themselves, because they see themselves as being so important, has become their staple rather than fighting for our rights and supporting the overall community. Worse of all, they are willing to co-opt our movement and our voice for their own survival. They’re probably so desperate for a win, that they saw no problem in sacrificing the transgender community for an ENDA they could win. And they demonstrated considerable malice with their release of the recent congressional scorecards that punished 7 members of Congress for going against the HRC’s version of ENDA in support of the transgender inclusive version.

I truly believe that we need to bury the HRC rather than trying to change them like some imperfect partner or girlfriend (boyfriend). Otherwise they will continue dominate our community and further divide us like they did with ENDA.

Regarding the elimination of the HRC:

That is a pipe dream.

Seriously. Think about it for a moment. They defied every other major queer organization out there, and got away with it.

The ability to do that shows two things off the bat. One, they are now beyond the reach and the threat of the community rising against them.

Sucks to say, but there it is. No other group has the resources, the alliances, the "ins" that they do, and if we lose them now, it'll take 5 to 10 years to create and regain that.

Not to air dirty laundry, but, um, don't you think the others have working towards that end, since they compete for the same dollars in many cases?

Secondly, it shows that the HRC is absolutely going to collapse. And probably in 5 to 10 years. Because any organization that is that out of step with the constituency that it claims to represent, is basically walking itself into oblivion.

Oddly enough, were they, say, a state legislature, we'd be marching by the tens of thousands in the street.

They have the ball. They took it and went home once already.

Now we need to get them to come back and play in the public courts, instead of the private backyard ones.

Mostly well said and thank you for including the fact some of us identify as straight.From what I've seen there is a large amount of misunderstanding and discrimination in both the lgb community and the T community leading to division.I personally don't care for the umbrella term transgender and think that it helps to contribute to holding all of us back.The term transgender allows groups like hrc to divide who should be seen as variations of lgb from the rest of the lgb.For those who don't have any connection to the lgb other than being transsexual like myself we should be able to persue our needs without interference from the lgb and hopefully with their support just as most of us support lgb rights.While most T needs fall inline with lgb needs there are other issues that need to be addressed solely for Transsexuals by Transsexuals.Ending the confusion that the term transgender causes would benefit everyone except for Hrc and groups like it.Ending the term transgender means ending the myth that gay people can't be identified because they look like everyone else or that there are only rich gay males and females.Hrc would be forced to go for a fully inclusive enda because it couldn't hide from the truth anymore.