Marti Abernathey

Joe Solmonese On Transgender Inclusion

Filed By Marti Abernathey | September 29, 2007 7:54 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: ENDA, Joe Solmonese

Lest anyone think I was unfair earlier today...

This is from Southern Comfort Conference September 14, 2007. I think Joe's own words speak for themselves:

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And yet, his words apparently do not speak for him.

The Many faces of Joe Solmonese.

Thanks Marti

Take care

You are so anti-HRC and anit- letting them take credit for any of the work they do that you gleefully announced they threw the transgender community under the bus when in actuality it was the House Democrats. Why didn't Joe take the time to add HRC's name to the weak, ineffective letter sent by outside groups who weren't in the room? Could it have been, as it turns out it was, that he was for 48 hours, in the room w/ Pelosi, Frank & Baldwin, fighting to keep the HRC-fought for GLB & T ENDA bill together (as he successfully did when they tried to separate them in May in the Hate Crimes bill that by the way ,when you were having a fit over letter-signers, passed the Senate by a bi-partisan vote of 60-39, but noting or acknowledging that wouldn't have helped your negative diatribes would it?), despite the House Democratic Caucus not having the votes to pass the ENDA bill as it was drafted? That you characterize, not surprisingly that HRC "betrayed" the trans community because the House Democrats, including the politically realistic and savvy gay Rep. Frank created a separate bill for the T in ENDA is a leap in logic beyond reason except for those already prejudiced against and jealous of HRC and any other group with clout and anything they have a hand in, like HRC having the second best record only to the AARP in getting their endorsed candidates elected, which, by the way, flipped the US House and the US Senate back to Democratic control and made possible the historic passage of the Hate Crimes Bill by both houses in 07 as well as even having the hearings on and movement on ANY ENDA bill. The House Democrats called the shots, no matter who fought for or said what. And they did so in the face of reality, not conjecture or hypothesis or misplaced anger by bitter outside factions railing away on blogs. Blame the real decision-makers, not the PAC that worked very very hard but in the end could not persuade them to ignore political reality and do otherwise. Then, after that? Move On. Spend time NOW and from hear on out focusing the community's efforts on passing BOTH ENDA bills, the GLB AND the T ones. That would be a more productive use of the internet and your power than conjecturing about the past, mis-characterizing, distorting, and supposing what happened in meetings you weren't in. We ALL need to now fight for the reality as it's existed since late afternoon Friday - there are two House ENDA bills, GLB and T. Let's band together to get press for both of their passage, not continue in a totally unsubtle attack by you yet again on HRC. They are not the be all and end all of the GLBT community, they don't purport to be, and the only way to contribute what you can is to fight for us every single day, not spend time and focus alleging horrific slights against you that simply did not occur. Use your powers for good, not slandering the past. O.K.?

You obviously don't know me. I've given HRC credit in the past. In fact, I've stood up for NCTE when they were working with HRC and said that I supported HRC as long as they were supporting us.

HRC betrayed their own words. I know that you're upset that I posted Joe speaking in his own words, contradicting the actions of just a few weeks later. Slander the past? I think you need to speak to Joe on that one.

As far as having two separate bills, how about passing the hate crimes bill as a stand alone bill? Anyone with any intelligence knows that the hate crimes bill wouldn't have passed by itself. The GENDA bill won't either.

If you read this blog regularly you'll know that I was the one that reported first on the hate crimes bill passing in the house

In my earlier post today I even said that I'll work with HRC in the future... so I'm not sure where you get off saying that I'm anti-HRC. I'm for HRC and Joe Solmonese to either stand up for us as he said he would, or remove us from HRC's mission statement. Period.

Your vitriolic response is understandable, but not helpful to this debate.

Let's put our efforts into the Gender one first since it appears that's the hardest. Leave the other one till after we've passed it. After all, Transfolk may be a minority, but they suffer far more employment discrimination than gays do.

That OK with you John?

The HRC effectively GLB-only lobby has lost all credibility. Help transfolk first - then we can talk about the issue.

The HRC's "all help short of actually doing anything" means we should give them "all encouragement short of actual donations".

Enough already. This isn't the first time this has happened. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

No John i am not giving them credit when they won't stand by their word.
At the very least they should tell the bill's sponsors to pull it. They haven't even made a token attempt to do that.

You see it's all about principals,
a rare commodity in this day and age.

Maybe this could have something to do with it...

Read This

Do they really think we are that stupid?

Yes i am upset about this not for me but for my friends and the 75 dues paying members of the support and social group I am president of.

They deserve equal rights not to be treaded like a second class citizen. what good does a hate crime law do if you can't get a job? Besides a hate crime difficult to prove in court and that decision is usually up to the DA.

You see john I don't like liars and I don't like people who don't have the fortitude to stand by their word. The Bill should be pulled until these people can make it happen for Everyone.

Yes i am angry Now i have to go write a newsletter article before my Monday deadline.
I will give you three guesses what it is going to be about.
Have a nice day
when you sit back and enjoy your new civil rights
Think of us The ones who don't matter the throw aways We don't need to work.

I am wasting my time you could really care less.

Good Bye

Sue Robins

Maybe what needs to be done because Lesbians are seen in a more favorable light then Gay Men, perhaps the bill should be divided again. They would have a much easier getting a Lesbian only ENDA passed.

I would go for that

john can wait another four years for His rights. Maybe hear empty promises every two years for the next six years.

Take care

Hi all,

I just sent the letter below to HRC (, and would encourage others with similar viewpoints to do so as well. If HRC would not collaborate with Congress for a trans-excluding ENDA, there might be hope after all. My apologies for cross-listing this posting to several Trans Yahoo groups.

To Whomever it May Concern:

I am a young transsexual woman living in Georgia. A recent university graduate, I have nevertheless had a difficult time finding work despite being more or less passable as a genetic woman. The news that ENDA as conceived has been killed is obviously very distressing. Despite the fact that many gays, lesbians, and bisexuals themselves present gender expressions that deviate from the norm, the removal of gender identity protection is somehow seen as an issue relating only to the transgendered. HRC's statement released online on 28 Sept 2007 seems to imply that Congress has pursued its present course of action without the support of the LGBT community and its representatives. Yet, HRC continues to consult with Congress on a trans-exclusive ENDA. How can you support legislation that does not cover your entire constituency? Only through the COMPLETE withdrawal of community support (HRC included!) for the bill in its present form can we hope to redress this gravest of errors. Gender-variant people make up a substantial portion of the LGBT community (I would actually argue practically EVERYONE but the butchest of the butch gay men and most pretty and feminine lesbians), and to support legislation that doesn't support us is shameful. It is NOT too late, HRC.

Ophelia ***********

Sorry John,
There were 5 organizations who signed onto that letter that were present when Joe Solmonese gave his speech at the Southern Comfort Conference which took place in front of nearly 1,000 transgender people.
I was also there and I proudly represent one of those orgs..
I realize you are angry but by directing your anger at the people who are pointing out the hypocrisy of HRC, doesn't make your case seem very credible.
Perhaps you should calm down and think before you comment.

Thanks for sharing this video, Marti. Everyone should have to watch it and realize how important this issue is in regards to HRC's relationship with the trans community and the history behind it.

Thanks for posting this video, Marti.

One thing that's clear throughout this whole debate about the ENDA being split is that life is PAINFUL and we all SUFFER and sometimes/all the times things don't work out in our favor. We should all be together, but we split up because of some outside reason, and maybe that reason preceded the getting together and we knew that this would eventually happen but it doesn't make it any less PAINFUL.

And as we move on separately thinking that we're going to have a great time that way we'll look back one day and realize how STUPID we were to think that.