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ENDA: Has "LGB" Dropped the "T?" Ask HRC

by Laura Amato
May 2007

Last year Joe Solmonese head of HRC Human Rights campaign declared that there would be "no hate crimes or ENDA legistlation without the Transgendered being included". Imagine my surprise then, when I came across the following article on "Radical guy". "While at a luncheon for the Stonewall Democrats in Atlanta Georgia, Guest speaker, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) brought up the fact that he will not support a transgender inclusive ENDA without explicit language that includes stipulations to shower usage. Monica Helms, President of the Transgender American Veterans Association and board member of the Atlanta Stonewall Democrats was able to question Congressman Frank regarding his lack of support". The worst part is that HRC knows about Reresentative Franks position and approves.

Another fact that isn't in the interview is that Rep Franks approved language allowing employers to improvise a "Dress Code" That would make Transition impossible for many Transgendered. This is prescribed treatment for anyone before obatining surgery. HRC considers this a small necessary concession.

I did receive an email from HRC, as I am a member, asking me to thank my Senators for their Hate Crimes sponsorship of the Transgender Inclusive Bill (and send money. It sounded great until I investigated and found that there is no Transgender inclusion in Senator Kennedy's Bill. In fact last year Kennedy said that "Transgender inclucion in the bill was a deal breaker". HRC knows about this too. Have the Transgendered HRC members been told any of this. Of course not. In fact neither bill is posted on HRC's web site in it's entirety.

Does this mean the gay community opposses us? Some do, but not all. This is HRC and Washington Politics pure and simple. They are selling the Transgendered down the river on a garbage scow. While the word Transgender could end up in both final Bills, it is just that a word without substance.

For years the Transgendered have openly campaigned for gay rights even when we were'nt always getting something out of it. They have given millions to their cause and HRC. Many of us felt thet the "T" in LGBT was an afterthought. Yet we were assured we were welcome and be supported. Still we were suspicous and always felt we would be betrayed at the last minute. Our worst fears have been realized. When was HRC going to tell us?

Barney Franks and HRC are making excuses not to support us. No pre-op Transsexual is going to shower with either gender until they are post-op. They are going to go home. What we do need are bathroom rights, as everyone has to go somewhere. Going to the men's room is a hate crime waiting to happen. Employers can easily designate one accepted bathroom for us. It is not a reason to deny us employment and not a reason to deny us Hate crimes protection. Joe Solmonese needs to get up of of his pompous derrierre and fight for the Transgendered as much as he fights for Gays, Lesbians and Bi-sexuals. He needs to make good on his promise to include us. You can bet if the shoe were on the other foot his letter to us would be a lot nastier than this one.

I have written to HRC by email three times and have not received a reply. If you are Transgendered and wish to write to them this is their address.