Antonia D'orsay

The most important issues, as I see it

Filed By Antonia D'orsay | March 11, 2010 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: comprehensive immigration reform, DOMA, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal, education policy, ENDA, Equity and Equality, health care reform, Immigration Reform, lessons of history, LGBT, lgbt right, Liberty, making trouble, marriage equality, movement, Priorities, Science!, SRS, The Kids

Normally I get up on my little national biscuit company antique store box with the cracked 130 year old glass pane that once rested in Ouray, Colordao. And from that point I talk about meta concepts in the whole of the LGBT community, with special focus on trans stuff.

But I asked a lot of questions and got a lot of answers and they have me doing some thinking while I research a couple other posts, including one on a problem that New Orleans has with making anyone they don't like who has sex a registered sex offender. And so I've got some effort going on behind the scenes that's held me back from doing some stuff I really need to do.

But I know how much ya'll miss me, lol, so I figured I'd toss another post out just to keep you reminded, and in this case, I'm to talk about what I think is important, and how I feel about things because one of the things raised in making trouble is that people just don't know my thoughts well enough.

Well, here's how I see it.

I see ENDA as the single most important legislation possible right now.

Yes, really. And I don't say that because I'm unemployed -- even if ENDA were passed tomorrow, it wouldn't change people's hearts and minds, and let's be real: this ENDA has no teeth to make them want to change their hearts and minds.

I don't say any of this because I may or may not benefit from any of it. I say it because the entire LGBT community benefits from this. Our ability to change hearts and minds benefits from this, and our collective ability to fight injustice benefits from this.

The reason it benefits is, ultimately, money. Get ENDA passed, and more people will be able to work (once the economy picks up) and more benefits will be available and more employers will have to deal with people doing things like having their spouse's photo on their desk or at their counter or whatever than have to do so right now.

And the more LGBT+ people who are working, the more money our community has. And that means more funding available to elect more positive politicians, to fight onerous petition drives, to create effective PSA's that get aired over network objections, and so forth.

That is not just a trans issue. That's an America issue. That's an LGBT+ issue -- that's all of us.

More of us working also means more mainstreaming -- we all know the power of just one of us being present in a workplace, how our perseverance can change a company's outlook.

After that, I believe that Comprehensive Immigration Reform is the next most important piece of legislation we can pass because it also affects every last one of us. No one in the United States is immune to the effects of the broken and crippled Immigration system in the United States right now. Not even those self sufficient prairie muffins and their survivalist families who live off the grid and do everything themselves.

I have problems with some of the stuff I've seen declared, and I've expressed that before, but that's simply a problem that an be overcome -- and it's easy to overcome -- and part of the whole thing. Fully comprehensive reform will be inclusive of all of us -- or calling it comprehensive is an outright lie.

The third most important thing for all of us the way I see it is Marriage Equity and Equality. I've never had an issues with this -- marriage equality is a trans issue as well as an LGBT issue. I'm aware of the reason why it's such, but I tend to focus on the solutions once you you know what the problem is. The problem is that so long as Marriage Equality doesn't exist, and is a patchwork of laws, trans marriages will be subject to various interpretations in different jurisdictions according to whim and circumstance.

The fourth most important thing as I see it is Health Care Reform. Now, a lot of you can say I'm a tad bit out of step and all that, but keep in mind that health care reform is something that trans folks have an additional interest in. Trans folks are at the greatest risk for HIV & STDs in many areas of the nation -- greater than G and B folk. HIV funding loss affects us disproportionately. T and L have needs for medical services that include better research, since most of the research done in the past was exclusively done on men in health care -- creating a startling disparity in effectiveness.

The fifth most important thing is effective education. And, again, I'm out of step. The Governors of the states recently agreed on a set of fairly uniform standards for education. This is important -- there are a lot of people out there who are unaware of this little change, and one of the things that may get left behind (and will be if some of the forces involved here are allowed their will) is structures for how to educate our children on our lives and our contributions. In short, yes -- I'm talking about an agenda item that says we need to educate our nation's children.

So there's five basic priorities. Some might ask "well what about this or that?" Well, DOMA falls under Marriage Equity and Equality (because I won't settle for just one or the other). DADT falls under Employment. So does the non-DADT Trans people deserve to serve openly too thing that everyone runs from as if it were poison because they are afraid someone's going to make them hack something off.

I realize a lot of folks wont agree with my priorities. I set them up on the basis of money, not opportunity. On the basis of real, tangible need, not segmented desires, I set them up on the basis of their benefit to all of us, not just some of us.

And mostly I set them up so that they can harness the power of a collective will instead of an individual one.

But hey, they say I'm a dreamer. And no, I'm not the only one. And part of what makes for a strong community is the ability to disagree with each other without erasing or ignoring a segment.

And as I'm learning right now, I just keep getting into ever more easily erased categories...


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My priority is better treatment of trans veterans in the VA. Since the VA doesn't have jurisdiction on non-veterans and health care reform will no affect the VA, then this cannot be put under your "health care" category.

The same argument can (and has) been made regarding my putting DADT under Employment.

The error is that it's too shallow a focus -- I look at the issue beneath it all, not on the surface.

The issue beneath your concern is one of better overall health care, which does indeed place it under Health Care Reform.

Which, ultimately, is part of the reason that all of it works so well together.

The VA doesn't really give a shit if the rest of the country gets health care or not. They are independent of what the rest of the country does, so making their decision on improving health care for trans veterans will not be related to health care reform.

Yes, it maybe such small potatoes compared to all the other stuff, but it is my focus and it could be done much easier than all those other things. I'm not required to focus on bigger issues, am I?

Well, now, Monica, I never said it was small potatoes nor did I say that ya had to focus on the big ones, lol, nor even on a different se tof priorities from mine.

I said that it could indeed be included as such in my system and is, therefore, at that level in my priorities overall.

Ok. Got it. Thanks for the clarification.

Ok. Got it. Thanks for the clarification.

I'm a MTF TS and have received care from the Houston and Atlanta VAs. I was treated with respect at each facility and extend my gratitude to the VA for helping me during difficult times when I could not afford medical care elsewhere.

If you do not have as good an experience as I have, every VA hospital has a complaint system in place in the event someone feels they were mistreated. Complaints are taken seriously by upper administration. I advise using this system if necessary. In the unlikely event you remain unsatisfied you can write your congress person for help. The VA takes congressional inquires very seriously.

In Monica's defense, she and I are both aware of several shortcomings surrounding the VA system's treatment of trans folk as a whole.

I have generally refused at all costs to use the services myself, due primarily to the issues I had when I left service. At that time I said I'd never go there.

I am proud to have served, and I benefited from my service, but I neither liked it nor enjoyed it.

Two facilities don't paint an accurate picture of the nationwide abuses trans veterans have had across this country. The so-called "complaint system" ain't shit when you're trans.

If you think the system is so good, then maybe you should read the TAVA 2008 survey, where 827 trans veterans posted their answers on 117 different questions. You can find it at: http://www.tavausa.org/Survey_Results.html

Whether or not you intended it, one could read what you wrote and believe that passing ENDA will get rid of DADT.

It will not.

Thank you.

This is correct.

However, ending DADT will not solve the military issue for trans people.

Angela Brightfeather | March 11, 2010 4:37 PM

Here is a few novel and bright ideas for you Antonia. I thought of this today on the way to work while listening to the Bill Press show. I hope they give you a chuckle.

We need to pass legislation that moves the Congress to another location like Detroit where the economy is Super-Failing and they can do the ost good.

Why don't we just spend about a half a Billion (chump change now-a-days) and for three years make the entire Congress and all of it's paraphanelia move to Detroit? This would do some pretty good things, while turning over the halls of Congress to the tourist crowd and reminding them that in three years these seats will once again be filled with a bunch of big, fat, old, closeted, white men's butts.

First of all it wouldn't be to costly to take over a few of the abandoned car plants and make them into offices for the Congress.

Then you could get all the aids to move there and take over the almost free housing and start to redecorate the inner city and make it look decent, fix up the housing and it would still be thousands of dollars cheaper than paying the rent in DC for a studio apartment in Georgetown.

Then industry would have to follow with new jobs, new construction and buildings and new businesses. I imagine that the printing and reproduction process stores would multipy by the thousands also.

In other words, every single thing would change almost overnight and nothing would change as far as casting votes. Detroit would be rebuilt almost overnight and start to prosper again if only for the houses that would be sold to lobbyists wanting to be near the politicians. Media would move into the area by the multitude and everything would be different. The Detroit airport would be rebuilt to handle the influx of lobbyists flying in from all over.

Another chic idea I heard about the other night is pretty nifty. Make the entire Congress work out of their home district offices a total of 90% of the time and make that mandatory. They can cast their votes from their computers and have them tallied immediately on TMZ instead of having lengthy counts and all their debates and discussions could be on Skype. Just like real people do every day. We would save billions in the first year and the lobbyists wouldn't know what to do any longer.

Just a few long shot priorities of mine that make a lot of sense, but stand about the same chance of getting done in the next 10 years as getting rid of DOMA or passing an affective ENDA bill.

Well, first day of my break begins. I will be checking in on comments and such, but ya'll get a couple days off from my columns here.

I have to be all domestic and stuff. *sigh*

No articles from Tony for a couple of days??? That'll be a hysterical event! Ooops. I mean, "historical."

No. Wait. I was right the first time.

Monica, I'm a teensy bit oversensitive to the use of the wrong gendered name for me. It's Toni. Tony is derived from Anthony, not Antonia. We've both fought for our names, let's try to keep that in mind.

Oh, and you do remember that only women an be hysterical, since it's derivation is based on women going "crazy" because of their uterus and thusly it's somewhat sexist, right?

Just checking...

(Cackles madly as she wanders off)

Sorry about the "y."

There are multiple meanings to "hysterical." The one I meant was: "causing unrestrained laughter; very funny: Oh, that joke is hysterical!" Maybe you do need some rest after all if you're going to psychoanalyze every word people use.

ah, but I didn't psycho-analyze anything. Indeed, psychology was rather far away from what I did.

What I did is probably best described as socio-analyze, since I applied a couple branches of sociolinguistics.

better choice would have been hilarious, but you'd have lost that whole neat semi-homophony aspect that creates the humor.

(more seriously, that thing you are referring to without knowing what to call it when you say maybe I do need a break is I've stepped back into myself as a defense mechanism against potential anger. Takes a bit to wear off once triggered.)

As for the rest, that's not happening. Rather, I'm taking some time to attend to household stuff. Seeing as how you've been a guest here, you may recall that domestic and I are rarely found in the same place at the same time.

Since you didn't get the joke in the first place, (ie: similar sounding words,) then I don't see the need to add to your hissy fit. (Intentional use of the word.)

But I did get the joke, Monica.

I just have a very strange sense of humor.

Hm. I'd say:

1. Ending the wars
2. Setting up a functional health care system
3. ENDA
4. Progressive taxation
5. Strengthening unions

I'm wondering why you put CIR so high but don't say your position on it. What do you want to see in a CIR bill other than partner sponsorship and REAL ID that reflects the gender people are (I'm guessing that's what you mean when you say fully inclusive)? Lots of people from lots of different ideologies consider immigration reform important, but that doesn't mean that their visions of the legislation are all the same.

I don't give my position on it because, in general, I'm an open borders advocate. Which stems in a strong part from my doing way too much thinking about nature of the Nation State.

Which is seriously frowned on overall (read, incredibly unpopular in my section of the nation), and not specifically germane to my vision of the context of the article.

Regarding inclusiveness, I mean the entire LGBT community. Not merely the Gender variant, but the Gender Normative as well. It should include the end of the marriage and family divisions that affect the LGBT community. It should contain good identification methods.

I put it high, though, because it increases numbers and the ability to work, which in turn increases funding available for efforts such as those that follow.

Then again, I'm a complex person, lol. Looking at your list, for example, I see something that my understanding leads me to believe would actually spark greater trouble if done ineptly (and I confess to a cynicism that it would be done ineptly), something I agree with, Another something I agree with (knowing that for you, it's inclusive to begin with), something I question due to likely poorly grasped economic theories, and something that I'm fine with as long as the notion of a closed shop is avoided -- and closed shops are such a big deal with me that I oppose them utterly and without compromise.

Which let's me segue into your final point -- people rarely see things the same. This is because their only points of reference are individual. Compromise is essential -- and there are times when compromise is not possible, nor is it wise.

There are groups for whom the inclusive aspect is utterly unyielding when it comes to CIR. Some will oppose it if such is there, some will oppose it if none is there -- and the space in the middle is the ground where compromise on the rest will be reached, and finally someone is going to have to take a position of looking at it as a human rights issue (which I see as being an inclusive POV) to solve the impasse.

For me, CIR basically means an end to the police state mentality that requires showing one's papers to "prove yourself". But that's an extreme position, and I'm willing to back a bit off of that provided the dignity and security of individuals is maintained.