Naming the Shill, er…, Shell Game

From Get Equal’s Robin McGehee at HuffPo, proclaiming:

We Are More Than Marriage

A nice thought, for sure – one that all of the HRC-purchased/coerced media coverage will never mention today or tomorrow (I can already hear Jonathan Capehart wetting himself over the prospect of being able to victoriously declare the gay rights movement to be over – and that all LGB(t) organizations should shut down – should the SCOTUS rule as broadly in June in favor of gay marriage as many of those with Marriage Derangement Syndrome have deluded themselves into believing is possible.  How deluded?

That’s not a final decision, of course, and SCOTUS history is replete with last-minute vote-switching but lets get real: Once the decision in these gay marriage cases are released, trans rights will be off the Gay Inc. agenda forever no matter how the decisions go.  If its 100% as the MDS-ers want, then Gay, Inc. will all but shut down – replete with Capehart’s wetness – and if it is as bad as that SCOTUSBlog tweet suggests, then every last penny of Gay, Inc. budgeting that isn’t already earmarked for gay marriage will be shifted into undoing the SCOTUS decisions.)

Marriage equality means little if you can’t put a photo of your spouse on your desk without risking being fired because you are gay, lesbian or bisexual.  Marriage equality means little if you can’t find work and therefore can’t afford to live in a safe home because you’re transgender.

And it doesn’t mean shit if Gay, Inc. – or Gay, Inc.-wannabees like Get Equal – have no intention of allowing any of its money to become part of a paycheck for a trans person.

Oh, yes, on Get Equal’s board one can find a transsexual woman and a drag king, but what about the people who are allowed to earn a living Get(ting) Equal?

GetEQUAL Staff and Consultants

Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez, Co-Director

Felipe was ranked one of the top 20 community college students in the United States and best student in the state of Florida in 2008 according to the American Association of Community Colleges. In addition to his educational excellence, Felipe also found time to serve his peers as student government president of Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus. A recent graduate from St. Thomas University, he was born to a single mother in the slums of Brazil, who sent him at age 14 to the United States, where he first dreamed of becoming a teacher. Felipe walked on the Trail of Dreams in 2010 to draw attention to the need for the DREAM Act, and has been organizing for the past few years with both Presente and United We DREAM. Felipe was awarded the “Freedom From Fear” award from Public Interest Projects in 2011 for his work on the Trail of Dreams. He has a long record of pressuring both Democrats (see here) and Republicans (see here) for progress on Latino issues — and now he’s bringing that knowledge and history to the LGBT movement. You can reach Felipe by emailing him at felipe at getequal dot org.

Heather Cronk, Co-Director

Heather  joined GetEQUAL in May 2010. Prior to her work with GetEQUAL, Heather was the Chief Operating  Officer at the New Organizing Institute, overseeing operations and  expanding programs. Heather has also worked with organizations such as  mySociety in the U.K. and with Idealist.org in the U.S., always focused  on building community and pushing for tangible social change. A native  of Lexington, KY, Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in  religion/philosophy from Berry College in Rome, GA, and a Master of  Divinity degree from Wake Forest University Divinity School in  Winston-Salem, NC. You can reach Heather by emailing her at heather at  getequal dot org.

Robin McGehee, Co-Founder and Movement-Building Strategist

Robin  is a transplant from Jackson, Mississippi, who received her M.A. in  human communication, with an emphasis on public speaking, interpersonal  and intercultural communication, from California State University,  Fresno. She is on sabbatical as an instructor at College of the Sequoias  and believes strongly that “When we speak, we shape the world!” In  2001, Robin was honored with the Martin Luther King, Jr. award for her  work with Youth Empowerment, and worked for four years with the  Gay-Straight Alliance Network and Fresno’s REEL Pride Gay and Lesbian  film festival. Robin helped organize Meet in the Middle for Equality in  Fresno, CA, a statewide reaction to the passage of Prop 8. She was  asked to co-direct the largely successful National Equality March in  October 2009 in Washington, DC. Those experiences led to her co-founding  GetEQUAL with Kip Williams in March 2010. In her free time she enjoys  traveling and spending time with her family.

Now, unless any of them are ghost trans persons – a la the phantom trans presence on the HRC staff (a person so stealth that even a number of trans people who met said person had no idea said person was trans, though said person had no problem heroically claiming to me in private e-mails not only that said person was trans but that I just had HRC soooooooooooo all wrong) which bridged the tokenism gap between double-token of Kylar Broadus and the post-2007 joke of Allyson Robinson – the staff is even more trans-free than Gay, Inc.

Yes, if the staff is but 3 it is indeed possible that it could come to be trans-free without animus.  However, there are far too many trans people out there who have been hit over the head with Gay, Inc’s ‘trans people need not apply – doubly so if you’re a trans woman’ sign and desperate for relevant advocacy work – and with experience far more specifically relevant to LGBT issues than what Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez brings to the table based on the above paragraph – for Get Equal to get a pass.

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3 Comments

  1. Sweet – they hire a closeted trans person.

    It does indeed, get better.

    • For Chad Griffin.

      • More of a hanging chad in the Florida of trans equality than a Griffin’s courage and boldness.

        Heraldry – what is it good for?

        I leave the refrain to you…though a certain acronym has the same number of syllables.


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