Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Alphabet Wars

I know that as a group the LGBT are not the most cohesive group ever. We only have a few things that truly bind us together, the lack of civil rights, the need for civil rights, and a banding together for protection. And while it makes sense that we don't see eye to eye on many topics, there is one topic that we all should agree on. If you self identify as any of the letters in LGBT then you are family, we have your back and you have ours.

However, there is grief afoot in rainbow land. The fight to get ENDA passed has many of the LGB community throwing T under the bus. They are so eager to have protection under the law, and really who can blame them, that they are willing to start pushing people off of the life raft to get what they want, civil rights. A discussion on ENDA at The Bilerico Project on April 29, 2010 brought one person to say this in the comments.

I have contacted my representative and 2 senators to make clear that I and the gay constituents I know all support passage of ENDA with or without protections for so-called "gender identity".

I (hopefully) made clear that the inclusion of this extraneous category was the product of political maneuvering among certain gay groups, but that it had no resonance with the vast majority of gay voters. If legislators are wary of creating a federal right to sue employers over "gendered" bathroom access and workplace cross-dressing, then the answer is to cut that out of the bill and consider it separately.

That is what I told my reps. As to the folks on this blog, I can only ask why you are so insistent on driving a wedge in our community by insisting that ENDA go down to defeat rather than remove gender identity. Very divisive, IMO.

Suze | April 29, 2010 2:09 PM

Ok, so "Suze" shot a few holes in the life raft. It seems as though she doesn't believe in gender identity, and wants HER civil rights even if it means denying someone else theirs.

And unfortunately there are many in the LGB who don't believe that T should be a part of the family. They claim that with LGB its all about sexual orientation, and that T is about gender orientation. Hmm, well could be, could be, but then look at it this way. "Leaf" is born male, but Leaf's gender is female. Leaf's orientation before transitioning is "straight" as Leaf is interested sexually in women. Leaf has SRS, and yes Leaf is still sexually attracted to women, and now not only has Leaf's body transitioned, but her sexual orientation has as well, Leaf is now a lesbian. Or in my case I'm androgyne, which means my gender is both, and I lean more on the male side of the scale. So.... I guess that I am both straight and gay? My female side enjoys men, as does my male side.

If any of you read AJ, then I'm sure that you read his post on Bisexual softball players having to fight to be included in the Gay World Series. If you haven't heard of this, click here to catch up.

How many times have you heard someone say that Bi is only a station stop on the way to admitting that they are in fact gay. Ok, in our society, yes it can be a much easier step to think of one's self as bisexual rather than gay. For many teens labeling themselves as bi is a much easier for them to handle. If you stop and remember your teen years, do you remember the raging hormones? The silliest things that could set you off? Yeah, a puff of wind blows by 3 counties over and your ready! And for many, these raging hormones confuse the whole orientation question, because if anything turns you on, how can you see clearly who you are truly attracted to?

Yes there are actually bisexual people out there, lurking in our alphabet world. They take a great deal of hate from both gays and straights. It must be hard to be hated by so many, and to be understood by so few.

The other day I read something that caused me to pause and re-read, and read yet again. Yes, this person actually said if you were LG and had only had sex with a same sex person, you were a "pure" gay. Pure? Alrighty then! And on this very blog was a discussion of hatred towards effeminate gays. I see it all the time, men describing themselves as "masculine" "manly", as opposed to "girly" or "fem". I wonder if part of this is indeed masked sexism, I don't know.

What I do know is this, we are a minority in our country who are deprived of our civil rights, and every step forward seems paired with a step back. Attitudes are changing in our country towards more acceptance and more support for civil rights being at long last bestowed on LGBT. It is slow and often glacial movement, when by rights our civil rights were already granted in the laws of our nation, but were taken away with unconstitutional laws. It's time we stopped this inner bickering, this judging each other on our worthiness, asking if "they" should really be allowed to join the club, and unlike the parable, put all of our eggs in one basket and push for rights. Even if you don't plan on getting married, have no interest in serving in the military, and your sex and gender match so using a public restroom is easy peasy.

I watched this video over at Queerty.com today, and this young man says it better than I have ever heard before. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Aek said...

Well said. Such issues parallel in health are almost magnified, I think. Unfortunately, I've heard that medical education doesn't cover transgendered care at all - even if the LGB is taught (which is rather minimal, at best).