Waymon Hudson

Trans Bathroom Scare Smear used against Gay Gainesville, FL Candidate

Filed By Waymon Hudson | February 18, 2010 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Action Alerts, Fundie Watch, Politics, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: bathrooms, Concerned Citizens of Gainesville, Craig Lowe, Florida, Gainesville, homophobic behavior, human rights ordinance, mayor, transphobia

Our readers may remember last year's battle in Gainesville, Florida where anti-LGBT forces came together to try to repeal Gainesville's Human Rights Ordinance, which included sexual orientation and gender identity & expression. concerned_gainesville.jpgThe fierce battle at the ballot box included tons of odious transphobic statements, mailers, and commercials, yet the anti-LGBT forces were defeated, thanks in large part to the great campaign run by the equality advocates in Gainesville.

Craig Lowe was Chair of the successful campaign to stop the repeal of theHuman Rights Ordinance. He's now running another successful campaign to become the first gay mayor of Gainesville and one of the only openly gay elected official in North Florida.

Cue the scare tactics and homophobic, transphobic fear-mongering.

A group called the "Concerned Citizens of Gainesville" has already started a nasty and outrageous smear campaign, complete with trans panic bathroom scare flyers.

n267763370187_7616.jpgLowe is a good candidate, supported by both the LGBT community and the progressive and union groups. From our friends over at Equality Florida:

Craig is the most experienced candidate, having served on the Gainesville Commission since 2003. During his time on the commission Craig led the way in passing a Domestic Partnership Registry and an inclusive non-discrimination ordinance. Craig is running a strong grassroots campaign and he's going to need our help to emerge as the winner in a crowded election.??

In addition to earning Equality Florida Action PAC's endorsement, Craig has the backing of a number of local organizations including the Gainesville Professional Firefighters' Association.

He is up against an anti-LGBT movement stinging from their defeat over the Human Rights Ordinance and unafraid to stoke fears and bigotry to win. They did it before, using lies, fear, and panic to try and undermine equality and fairness. Who can forget their "be afraid of men in bathrooms" commercial from the HRO campaign:

Craig Lowe needs our community's help to keep the forward momentum of Equality moving in Gainesville and all of north Florida.

Donate what you can to his campaign, follow him on twitter, and support him on Facebook. We defeated these anti-equality, fear-mongering forces before and we can do it again!

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I find it difficult to believe that most voters would fall for such nonsense... but then again, we *are* talking about Florida... and most of the US, I suppose. Seriously, if the voters are so stupid as to buy into this bullsh*t, then they get the government they deserve. :: sigh ::

The HRO repeal was only defeated 52%-48% based on arguments like the one in the flyer. I would hope people would see past it, but unfortunately I'm not so sure.

Look how far we've come in just 35 years.

At least, in 1975, leading in to the 1976 election cycle, there was a city supervisor in San Francisco re5ady and willing to take on Anita Bryant on a national level.

So where's Barney Frank?

At least, in 1976, we had a presidential candidate willing to take a stand, in California, against an initiative banning gays from teaching.

So where's our supposed "fierce advocate"?

The national Democrat party used to get involved in these "small" state issues, but no more... it's more important to the Democrat party to keep making promises to the gay community - promises they never intend to fulfill. If all "our" issues are, suddenly, settled, then the DNC potentially loses on $upport from the fags.

I find it very easy to believe, myself. Even in super-queer SF transphobia can be found all over the place. Most people don't know the first thing about trans issues. Many only know a little, so they might support trans equality but oppose "men in the bathroom", because they don't understand the overlap.

The problem here is that "getting the government they deserve" won't hurt most of the ignorant voters, because they aren't the ones being targeted. It's the people who *do* know this is bullshit that will get hurt most.

I meant "men in the women's bathroom," of course.

Thanks for this, Waymon. That this kind of thing is still happening (and in a city like Gainesville, which is traditionally progressive and pro-equality) continues to shock me...

You know all that money you are *not* sending to Democratic National, HRC, and any other group that is not actually fighting for our rights? Remember all that talk about only supporting "our" candidates?

Now's would be a good time to put it to good use.
http://www.craiglowe.com/donate/ (just in case you missed it in the main story).

Here's another tactic once you've done the "easy" feel good thing:

Educate people who might be on the fence. Find one forum or blog or news article comments page and explain why this is important. Do it respectfully and make sure to take the high road.

Get out there and talk to people. Wear a button or T-shirt to get conversations started while you are waiting in line for coffee. Get involved on a very personal level. Even if you only change a few people's minds, they add up. Doesn't even matter if you are local or not; even if we live half a country away we need to raise the level of visible support for our candidates.

Oh, and slip his name and link into the whole DADT blogfest, to make a point.

Craig Lowe seems to get the fact that we are all transgender. We all cross the line of what is expected of a man or a woman in mainstream society. We all deserve equality and the right to not be discriminated against.

I couldn't have said it better, Sara! :)

I'm not spending a dime on any candidate this year; period. After our "fierce advocate's" absolute refusal to do anything for us, the tap didn't just get turned off... we shut the service down, completely, including re-registering, and changing our party affiliation to "Republican."

(Though, of course, we have absolutely no intention of ever voting for a GOP candidate.)

I totally understand your frustration, but another alternative is to *only* help out those few politicians that have visibly and openly fought our fight wither by voting record on issues or by publicly pushing our agenda. The goal is to encourage others to do so as well, and slowly grow the numbers that are openly in favor of equality. It only takes a small number in the beginning...but we have to support them.

The goal is to encourage others to do so as well, and slowly grow the numbers that are openly in favor of equality.

Exactly! Sara, I think we share a brain!

While I fully support withholding money from the DNC and other candidates that don;t support us, we should show our support for the people that come from our community and fully support us.

Kathy Padilla | February 18, 2010 1:54 PM

Just sent him a donation - thanks future Mayor Lowe!

Interesing - an article from December listed the funds raised by candidates for this race in the thousands only. With Lowe leading the fundraising race at that time with $12,500 - the others $2,500 or so. It seems like somewhere were even a small donation can have a large impact.

You are so right- in a race like this every donation makes a huge impact!

Again with this stuff? It doesn't really work as well as they think it does - I think quite a few people find it to be a ridiculous turn-off.

And what's with the bad design of that poster? How many fonts did they use? Some people.

I thought the same thing about the design!! One of the many reasons why they shouldn't hate on the LGBT folks- we could help them with their presentations and artistic designs! ;)

but on a serious note- the vote for the HRO was so close that this may unfortunately resonate with some voters. It almost worked in the HRO campaign.

This is very similar to a flyer that was circulated regarding a campaign here in Phoenix last year, in the "well to do" area around north Scottsdale and Paradise Valley.

The subject was the challenger, who was ahead in polling by about 12% prior to the release, and plunged down to behind by about 3%.

And as I'm reminded often locally, such things will be used often against me.

which is why its important to shine a light on this crap and show how horrendous and bigoted it is. I'll have your back too, T!

Rev. Donna Tara Lee | February 22, 2010 10:18 AM

I worked with Craig during the charter amendment fight and I am disgusted that a year later this is being brought back up. As a transgendered activist I would gladly refute these demogougic claims right out of the McCarthy campaign book. But of course they shall never accept a challenge as they only fight by lying, defaming, slandering etc. That's the only way the so called family values folks fight us. They are just plain homophobic, period!