Up Next: HRC Denying that it Discriminates Against Trans Women in its Own Employment Practices

From Q Notes:

Various posts on Facebook and Tumblr asserted that an HRC staffer asked transgender community members to remove a transgender flag from the podium area and said, according to one post, that “marriage equality is not a transgender issue.”

Jerame Davis, executive director of National Stonewall Democrats, said in an update on Facebook that he witnessed an HRC staffer asking that a transgender flag be removed, though he did not hear the alleged statement regarding marriage and transgender issues.

“I was there. I saw this happen,” Davis wrote on Wednesday. “It was only the HRC reps asking for the trans flag to be moved. If they’d only asked once, I’d have given them a pass, but they continued to harass this person over a flag.”

Davis described the incident as “really poor behavior.”

I’d describe it as: HRC-oids jockeying for promotions.

And, of course, where the Rhode Island Avenue Cesspool is involved, there are lies, wrapped in obfuscations, wrapped in doublespeak, with hegemony oozing from every pore..

HRC Communications Director Michael Cole-Schwartz issued a statement to qnotes in response to the allegations.

“It was agreed that featuring American flags at our program was the best way to illustrate this unifying issue

Okay, lets stop it right there.  The mere fact that HRC has declared that the shoving of marriage up to the SCOTUS right now is “unifying” is an act of rhetorical assault against everyone who is offended that Gay, Inc. has, in practical terms, killed the issue of employment anti-discrimination outside of those states that already have it (whether legitimate or gay-only.)

And, yes, I expect nothing less from an organization that still feels shocked when it is called out as transphobic – after perfecting the institutional practice that Jean O’Leary and Ron Gold pioneered over at NGLTF.

which is why when managing the area behind the podium, several people were asked to move who were carrying organizational banners, pride flags or any other flag that was not an American flag,” the statement read. “Several people refused and they were allowed to stay. The coalition welcomed the variety of signs and flags that were throughout the plaza that demonstrated the wonderful diversity of our community.”

HRC added, “It is a not true to suggest that any person or organization was told their flag was less important than another

Dude!  In your previous paragraph you all but explicitly stated that all flags were less important than the American flag!

— this did not occur and no HRC staff member would ever tolerate such behavior.

Bullshit.  Now, to be absolutely fair (1) I was not there.  (2) There is the slightest of chances that HRC guy could be telling the truth and that all of the reality-based people got it wrong.  And I genuinely and sincerely assert that, absent conclusive audio/video of the incident, we all should leave open that slightest of possibilities.

But don’t you dare EVER spew out the lie that ” no HRC staff member would ever tolerate such behavior.”  Your organization’s entire history – replete with its 2 1/2 trans employees, none of whom are still on HRC’s staff (and to this I address Q-Notes’ crack staff: Why didn’t you question why HRC had no trans employees available to answer inquiries about the alleged incident?) – is emblematic of gay transphobia.

To be clear, it is the position of the Human Rights Campaign that marriage is an issue that affects everyone in the LGBT community.”

And, once again, HRC is dead wrong.

It does not affect everybody in the LGBT community any more than gays-in-the-military does.  That doesn’t mean that trans people who do fight the marriage fight because of their personal interest in the issue or just because of solidarity are wrong.  But that sentence is just another act - albeit a touchy-feely one, cloaked in inclusivity to hide its poisonous core – of erasing the concerns of all LGBT people who might not have marriage as their first, last and only interest.

Here is the fully encrypted chunk o’ propaganda from Rhode Island Avenue:

Tuesday and Wednesday were historic days for our community, as thousands of LGBT people gathered in front of the Supreme Court and in every state across the country to demonstrate their support for marriage equality. HRC was proud to play a role in these events as a member of the United for Marriage coalition, the group which organized the gathering at the Supreme Court. Marriage equality is an issue that fundamentally impacts hundreds of thousands of LGBT people and families across our nation and is greater than any one organization.

It was agreed that featuring American flags at our program was the best way to illustrate this unifying issue which is why when managing the area behind the podium, several people were asked to move who were carrying organizational banners, pride flags or any other flag that was not an American flag. Several people refused and they were allowed to stay. The coalition welcomed the variety of signs and flags that were throughout the plaza that demonstrated the wonderful diversity of our community.

It is a not true to suggest that any person or organization was told their flag was less important than another – this did not occur and no HRC staff member would ever tolerate such behavior. To be clear, it is the position of the Human Rights Campaign that marriage is an issue that affects everyone in the LGBT community.

The events at the Court featured lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender speakers as well as LGBT families, religious leaders, Republicans, military spouses and civil rights activists. This has been a historic week and truly demonstrated how all of us – lesbian, gay, bisexual and straight, transgender and cisgender – can unite as one voice to advocate for our constitutional rights

No, it demonstrated how what is indeed a legitimate issue for many thousands of people – LGB as well as T – can be turned into just another corporate battering ram by a bunch of disgusting, self-interested greedmeisters who, apart from having never had to compete against a trans person for their current jobs, are so disconnected from life outside of the Islands O’ Gay Marriage that they probably really and truly believe that no one currently adrift on the waves over the horizon and beyond the view of Married Gay Millionaire White Sandy Beach, New York, or Loot-Loaded Lesbian Marriage Beach, Maryland, might want to get to Employment Island rather than one of the Marriage Islands.

I’ll say it again (if for no other reason to distinguish this blog from the five gay-male-run blogs that still refuse to acknowledge that they were dead wrong about the Vancouver non-incident of 2012): It is indeed possible that the folks who have made the allegation against HRC as to the anti-flag incident got it wrong, even without animus; honest mistakes do happen.

However, HRC again portraying itself as an organization that would never do anything anti-trans is actually a more disgusting act of aggression against the entire LGBT community than the anti-flag incident even if it occurred exactly as reported.

We – whether T or LGB or just simply reality-centric – cannot let it go unchallenged.

9 Comments

  1. Valuable points. I would like I mention that the HRC’s hiring issue would then also extend to Trans men as well (the title seems to imply that all Trans folks are women). ;)

    • I emphasize the discrimination against trans women because, while there is a buttload of discrimination against both within Gay, Inc., the discrimination against trans women is, in severity and pervasiveness, light-years beyond that against trans men.

      If you and I submitted identical resumes to all of the tentacles of Gay, Inc – the only difference being me being out as a trans woman and you as a trans man – you’d receive a call-back/interview/job-offer from each and I’d be lucky to even receive the formality of a rejection letter. One extremely prominent tentacle of Gay, Inc actually let me get past a first interview to a second – only to ultimately give the position to an FTM ten years younger than me who had less experience (and, thereafter, the tentacle was so disgustingly unprofessional and cowardly that it wouldn’t even send me a formal rejection letter, instead just leaving me a voice-mail that I almost missed.)

      Perhaps the most sickening insult to trans women – and, if you think about it, trans men as well – by Gay, Inc. is that the one trans attorney on staff at NCLR is a trans man. What sort of message does that send both about the competence of lesbian trans women and about the extent to which trans men are actually viewed as being men?

      And I refuse to even mention NGLTF’s decade-plus of claiming to care about the employment concerns of trans people while employing not only a non-trans woman as its trans ‘expert’ but also emplying a woman whose gay activism career started with openly advocating for employment discrimination against trans women.

      • Same old heterosexist misogyny.. it exists in the GL world, too. Feminine lesbians are looked down upon, until a stone butch wants a shag. After the shag, she can go back to the kitchen where she belongs, while the butch takes charge.

        Janice Raymond’s philosophy is still SOOOO present in Gay, Inc.

        AAARRRGGGHHH !!!

  2. HRC did nothing to advance the two cases before the court. They are showing up on the scene waving their banner and trying to look relavent and important at the last moment. The organisation exists to line to pockets. Nothing more.

  3. Hi Katrina,

    I don’t disagree with your point about transwomen bearing the brunt. I only bring this up as in the community (whether LGBT or just T) transmen seem invisible at best, and cute annomalies at worst. I don’t say this to minimize your position in anyway, I say it because I feel a duty to stand up for my visibility, not just here, but anywhere where our absence of mention feels like a hole in the plot of a story. To me, leaving us out of the conversation feels like a way to say – sorry, your concerns are not important enough to mention. Which in a way, feels very much like Gay, Inc’s position on trans people on the whole. Honestly, this is not meant to be argumentative, I mentioned it because I felt a responsibility to do so, because this is a pervasive issue thoughout the community. I hope you take my reply with the sincerety and good will in which it was intended (as I know sometimes it is really hard to convey that type of thing in the written form).

    Have a great night,
    Devon :)

    • Believe it or not I think we’re on the same page on this.

      I only bring this up as in the community (whether LGBT or just T) transmen seem invisible at best, and cute annomalies at worst.

      My point about NCLR’s FTM attorney exemplifies this, though the other places in Gay, Inc – as well as the legal academia which Gay, Inc feeds – do as well. FTMs are ‘acceptable’ because not only do they blend in but because they can be rationalized away by those within Gay, Inc who don’t want to hire any Ts at all as being just really butch lesbians.

      It is all gay transphobia, of course – but this particular strain of it allows FTMs to have careers in Gay, Inc and legal academia that MTFs will never even be remotely considered for.

      Again, its all gay transphobia, but I’m afraid I won’t believe you if you say you’d actually prefer the strain of gay transphobia that blatantly relegates MTFs to burger-flipping and streetwalking over the strain of it that may talk about you behind your back but will nevertheless allow you to earn six figures while using all of your education and experience.

      • Transphobia and cis-sexism exist way more frequently in the G & L world than they do in the straight worlds.

        Until Gay Inc learns to embrace the queerness and genderqueerness within the entire Queer Community, how the F__K do they expect the straight cissies (cisgender) to accept our queerness?

        • Channeling Auric Goldfinger, they don’t.

          Bond: Do you expect me to talk?
          Goldfinger: No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!

  4. [...] from behind the podium because “marriage is not a trans issue.” The full article can be found here. It has a lot of trans friends of mine seeing [...]


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