Jerame Davis

HRC Apologizes: Can We Get Back to Winning Now?

Filed By Jerame Davis | April 01, 2013 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: LGBT civil rights, movement, transgender people vs HRC

Last week, I gave my account of incident with the trans flag and HRC at the United for Marriage rally on the steps of the Supreme Court during Wednesday's DOMA hearing. HRC-Logo-thumb-260x247-14760.jpgToday, HRC corrected their previous statement and issued a public apology for that incident and another incident that occurred with an immigration equality speaker who was asked to hide his immigration status while addressing the rally:

Human Rights Campaign Statement on March 27 Events
From Fred Sainz

In the midst of a tremendously historic week for our community, two unfortunate incidents at the United for Marriage event at the Supreme Court last week have caused pain in the community. In one case, a trans activist was asked to remove the trans pride flag from behind the podium, and in another, a queer undocumented speaker was asked to remove reference to his immigration status in his remarks.

HRC joined in a coalition statement on Friday apologizing for these incidents and the individuals involved have personally offered their apologies to those affected. But to be perfectly clear, HRC regrets the incidents and offers our apologies to those who were hurt by our actions. We failed to live up to the high standard to which we hold ourselves accountable and we will strive to do better in the future.

More after the break.

This statement is exactly the right tone and tenor for the situation and I appreciate HRC's decision to correct the record and publicly apologize for these incidents. It is unfortunate this statement wasn't the first one they chose to release, but I think the healing process can now begin.

But we should ask ourselves - why do things like this keep happening? It's not like any of these incidents have happened in a vacuum or are unprecedented. But it's also not the case that HRC is the only movement org that has issues nor is it false to suggest that some individuals and certain segments of our community make a habit of playing the victim and inflaming passions on all sides.

All of these things are true and they act as anchors that hold us back as a movement. We're all in this together. Every part of the LGBT community is important and has a legitimate claim to be part of the team. It is incumbent upon each of us to educate ourselves on the struggles others face as much as it is incumbent on us all to be willing students AND teachers, depending on the circumstances.

As someone who has worked at all levels of the movement in various capacities on the inside and the outside, I have a different perspective on this than most. I'll dive into this in more depth in subsequent articles, but for now I'll leave it at this: The time for all of this to end is now. We are winning the battle - in some ways despite ourselves - but we are winning and if there was ever a time in the struggle to unite as one front and push toward the finish line, it is now.

Let's get back to winning our equality.


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