24 March 2009

HRC's anti-transgender activities

Just came across this blog post, via a Facebook group:


It details the development of the leading gay rights organization, Human Rights Campaign, and its background and makeup which is overwhelmingly white liberal, corporate, and elitist. It's not just transgenders who have no voice in the HRC organization, but also nonwhites and those who hail from the so-called "flyover country" (never mind that Southern California, one of the so-called "gay meccas," is, in reality, at least as theocratic and backward as most of the flyover country).

No wonder the gay rights movement is incapable of effective advocacy. When the pro-gay arguments are written exclusively in white liberal languages (partly because there are no nonwhites to write them in culturally compelling terms), the nonwhite communities, many of us hailing from the world's most homophobic societies, will gladly vote for homophobic legislations. When transgenders are excluded for political expediency (whatever it means), the gay-only nondiscrimination laws are toothless, protecting only those who "look" straight (whatever that means). And while the flyover country activists have a lot of wisdom to share (much of it due to having to deal with theocrats on a daily basis, and knowing them), that never makes it into the upper ranks of HRC, making HRC's game plan that less effective.

I am of the belief that the key advances in LGBT rights in the US have come about only because the large corporations (of which United Airlines, Sarah's employer, is a good example) have decided that the white, affluent, professional, straight-looking gay men have tons of disposable income, and therefore are customers to be courted. The goal is to make sure that those who don't fit the program (lesbians, transgenders, nonwhites, the not-so-affluent, etc.) can find a better society to work/live in, so that they have more money that can be spent on various products and services, and that these corporations will court the entire LGBT demographic even more. It makes sense for HRC to fight for everyone. But it won't.

In any case, I will not be fighting for LGBT rights unless there is an agenda that benefits all involved, not just the elitists. It will also need to be an underlying message of Sarah's story, as Sarah is a transwoman on a low flight attendant salary, and her wife Kirsten is half-nonwhite.

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