Is Dropping Transgender Protections The Only Way to Get Republicans On Board With ENDA?

Republicans are totally harshing on Rep. Barney Frank’s attempt to get the Employment Non-Discrimination Act through Congress. They’re all, “Transgender rights take this thing too far,” and are saying they’re only going to back the bill if Frank & Co. strip out the Ts from the bill. Which Frank agreed to do last time, but the bill never made it through the Senate. So what happens now that Republicans are only promising (tepid) support if trans employees are told to suck it?

Oh, how we’ve been here before. It wasn’t so long ago (2008) even Joe Solmonese at the Human Rights Campaign was backing a transgender-free ENDA, only to realize a year later what a dumbass call that was. But you can bet Solmonese and policy director David Smith, as well as the queers at NGLTF and NCLR are going to feel pressure from some to get behind any ENDA bill, even if it means leaving transgender brothers and sisters behind. (You cannot underestimate the influence major donors wield over strategy decisions at Gay Inc. groups.)

Frank says he’s not caving, so that’s some good news. But even with 202 cosponsors for his bill, which would cover companies with 15+ employees, ENDA needs some Republican support. And that means convincing conservative lawmakers to cross groups like the American Family Association and Traditional Values Coalition — hate groups that evidently put more fear in Republican lawmakers than gay activists do in Democratic ones. Just don’t count on Rep. Steven King.

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  • Lanjier

    I sure Republicans would like to carve up our civil rights like a turkey. Sorry, put away the knives, we are not your fucking toys anymore. L (Lesbians) G (Gay Men) B (Bisexuals), and last, but least NEVERMORE ~ T’s.

  • Kieran

    Why not demand protections for hermaphrodites and transvestites too?

  • Javier

    While I support basic transgender rights, they are not the same issue as sexual orientation rights. Transgender rights involve a set of issues that are distinct and more problematic than gay rights, including public restrooms. While the restroom issue may seem like a red herring to us, mainstream America is fixated on the issue and it will take time to educate people and allay their fears. You can’t just sneak T issues in with gay issues and hope the public swallows it all.

    We won’t gain a huge number of Republican and conservative Democrat votes by dropping the T, but we will gain enough for passage. I say drop the T, and pass the bill.

  • Bill Perdue

    Barney Frank has a nasty habit of betrayal. He did some service a couple of decades earlier introducing legislation but now he’s a consistent roadblock to struggle, opposing mass action and direct action and gutting legislation like ENDA to appease big business and rightists in both parties.

    Frank is testament to the fact that the closet, specifically the political closet of the Democrat Party warps those who spend time in it and teaches them the arts of betrayal.

    That’s exactly what Frank did when he gutted ENDA and organized a vicious campaign against trans people. That what he did when he opposed the NEM March on Washington, opposed Newsome’s SSM initiative in SF and defended the use of vile anti-GLBT lies by Obama’s DoJ in its repeated court arguments in favor of Clinton’s bigoted DOMA and DADT. His deliberate attempt to split our movement with vile attacks on transfolk is nothing less than treason.

    That’s why we call him a Quisling.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Javier: says “I say drop the T, and pass the bill.”

    Why not drop the B, the G and L and make double sure that it’ll get enough bigot votes.

    “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.


  • Lamar

    I’m not too sure about the trans-gender thing myself, I mean if you are born a man and have an attraction to other men and have surgery to make yourself into a woman then aren’t you now straight technically? Having said that I don’t think that people should be allowed to discriminate against transgendered people though.

  • julie

    @Lamar: Transgender includes many groups including the MTF transsexuals you describe. There is a whole set of genderqueer individuals who feel they don’t belong in either male or female or fit in both. They need the protections as badly if not moreso than us transsexuals. Also, transgender can include anyone who doesn’t cleanly match the social norm of male and female, which I’d wager to say is >80% of our community, as well as people who spend part time in roles of another gender like cross dressers and drag queens. Transgender often includes intersexed peoples as well, which Kieran so vilely referred to as ‘hermaphrodites’ earlier.

  • DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)

    First off, I think part of it depends on when (if???) a vote comes up. If the vote comes up before the mid-term elections, a trans-inclusive ENDA may very well pass. If the dems get slaughtered in November, and that is a very real possibility right now, I don’t see a trans-inclusive ENDA passing As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure a non-trans-inclusive ENDA would pass. This is, sadly, another example of how the democrats have completely squandered the majority they had.


    And therein lays the point no one really wants to admit, Javier. People would rather use Julie’s “all inclusive” definition of our community than recognize the real and valid differences between LGB and T.

    There are ways around the washroom issue, such as unisex, single person washrooms, but too many progressives don’t even think about how others may feel a bout sharing a restroom or shower/locker room facilities with someone who is transitioning and dismiss it as hysteria/bigotry, when it’s really lack of understanding or knowledge. It’s an issue which the T community has not done such a great job educating people on. And it is the T community’s responsibility to do the educating, since they’re the ones who know it best.


    There are already legal protections in place for “genderqueer” people, Julie. It’s called “sexual/gender discrimination”. Look up the recent legal cases which hold that it is unlawful sexual discrimination to fire someone because they do not fit traditional gender norms. Effeminate men and masculine women are covered under the law. Can that be expanded, I don’t know, there is practically no law in the area.

    On the other hand, I think that the “genderqueer” community, of which I am not a part, wants a total redefinition of gender roles which America is not ready for yet, and trying to ram it down the collective throats of the Americans isn’t going to work. The trans community needs to step up the education. We can’t do it for them. We can be allies, but we are not transfolk and can’t do the work for them.

    PS, Julie. Don’t make up statistics just to boost your point. Never works well. Trust me.

  • DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)

    * crud, that one sentence should read: Can that be expanded to include transgendered, et al? I don’t know, there is practically no law in that area.

  • Qjersey

    Sadly, it’s about compromise. Many of the states that have non-discrimination laws started with LGB first and added trans protections later.

    This of course will lead to all sorts of infighting. Trans folks feeling thrown under the bus and LGB folks feeling they shouldn’t give up a chance at the law because of lack of trans inclusion.

    This of course is not helped by LGB folks who don’t see trans folks as part of our community and trans folks who don’t see themselves as part of the LGB community.

  • Paschal

    @Bill Perdue: Get real. Barney Frank only got rid of the trans protection last time because there are so many idiots in Congress who oppose trans rights. He obviously supports trans rights but dodn;t believe that ENDA couls pass the last time with trans protections. It’s sad that the trans community isn’t as valued as it should. No one deserves to be fired due to prejudice.

    I wouldn’t pin DOMA and DADT on President Clinton as DOMA had huge veto-proof support in Congress and DADT was progress in the previous policy. Of course the U.S.A. should follow the example of many allies and just get rid of the stupid policy.

  • Jorge

    ENDA has 2 Republican co-sponsors in the Senate. What is the problem?

  • julie

    @DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12): I was trying to educate Lamar on what “the trans-gender thing” is. I pass just fine as female so I personally don’t need any EDNA. I still think trans people in general need it way more than the rest of the community.

    And I’ve talked to many lambda legal lawyers who tell me that using gender discrimination laws in defense of effeminate men/butch women has worked many times, it largely depends on the judge.

  • Roisia

    @DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12):

    To your response to javier. First The transgender are a part of the LGBT community when fighting for the LGB rights but when it comes to the T rights most of the time we end up having to fight for them ourselves. The T community fights for gay rights all the time but in cases like this were so easily left behind. What is our value to your community even on the local levels we get dropped most of the time when it seems we are going to be a small speed bump to your rights. You say oh we will help you get your rights after we get ours but that rarely happens You I love my gay friends i love them dearly but it seems we get discriminated more from the gay community then the straight community

    Secondly do you think there are unisex / Family bathrooms every where? If you do then your sadly mistaken. What are we supposed to do when there isn’t one? Piss ourselves? Use the mens restroom and risk being attacked?

    Go ahead get your rights. We will still help you fight for them its what we do. Even if we don’t deserve the same from you.

  • Roisia


    I dont know if you missed it or not. But last time during the edna time there were many reports from Gay news papers and magazines that basically inforced the straight paranoia over Trans people. They defamed us and insulted us just to justify taking us out of edna. Yes we feel a bit thrown under the bus. Most of the time when trans people get their rights its because trans people worked there buts off with little support from the gay community.

  • Bill Perdue

    @Paschal: Learn some history. Frank launched vile attacks on trans folks in 2007 while he was gutting ENDA.

    Clinton promoted and championed DOMA and DADT. He boasted about it on redneck radio stations before the ’96 elections.

    I tried to respond to Javier but my remarks are being censored.

  • Roisia

    I also want to point out to those who think we need to be educating people. We can educate them so they know everything about transexuality but they still wont support us when our own community decides we aren’t worthy of equality…. Quite yet. OR when the gay community itself defames us to justify removing us from the Edna bill.

  • Paulo

    Drop the “T” for fuckssake! I never understood why the T was added to the GLB to begin with.

  • Baxter

    @Javier: I agree that the trans issue is both more complicated and mostly unrelated to the LGB issue. While I’m all for trans protections, I do think that this bill might not be the place for it and that there are definitely a lot of questions to work out on that issue.

  • Valery

    How would you feel if they took your right to have a job and feed your family away just because you were male or gay or Hispanic or any of the other just becuases. I want my job protected just because I am a trans woman who has transitioned on the job and I want to be able tho use the woman’s bathroom because that is what and who I am.

  • Andy

    Some people aren’t born in bodies they’re comfortable in. Republicans should get the fuck over it and so should everyone else.

  • DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)


    I have been saying for years that we have separate issues. *shrug* This is what happens when we base the notion of “community” on “not being heteronormative”. It’s a meaningless way to define a community. As many transfolk remind us, sexual orientation =/= gender identity, two separate and distinct social, psychological and legal issues. But when it comes time for the politics, we’re expected to be one big family, and that’s a faulty premise.

    I don’t expect you to piss yourself, but if you’re not willing to educate the folks around you about what it means to be a transexual, so you really think ENDA is going to make everything better? AQll it does is make sure you can’t be fired, Roisia, that’s it. Your employer will have to figure out how to make the accommodations, and that’s where you being willing to educate people is absolutely necessary. If you’re not willing, I don’t see how you expect people to capitulate to your needs.


    Maybe it does depend on the Judge, but in one of the most conservative parts of PA, where I practice, it works. One of my associates pulled cases from other states where it worked as well. It’s been that way for years now.

  • Tara

    @Javier: Really? You think it is a different issue? How about boi dykes getting assaulted and harrassed when they go into their gender’s bathroom?
    It is exactly the same issue. When Trans are attacked, brutalized and all too often killed they are called “fags,” and when gays and lesbians are attacked it is often because of their transgression of gender norms in society.
    Our issues are more similar then different across the LGBT spectrum, and we are stronger when we stand together and support and defend ALL the colours of the rainbow.

  • Tara, not the same as above, but posts here a lot.

    To those of you who would strip us to gain your own way, shame. I have and will stand for LBG (I AM a Lesbian, but yeah) You can stand with us.

    Or be a Quisling.

  • Roisia

    @DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12):

    I educate people everyday but do you really think that when our own community disowns us over the issue that any education we do matters.

    They see that EVEN the GAYs dont like trans so why should trans have rights.

  • Fitz

    The only way this could have worked in our favor was if the president had used the huge momentum he had right after the election. This issue is going no where. It’s not going to happen. Almost certainly not in my lifetime, probably not in yours. And to those who would ‘drop the T’– lets drop the Bi too– makes people uncomfortable. Oh, and lets drop the G too– butt sex and dudes kissing is a real turn off to the bible belt. Let’s just have it be hot hooters chicks who kiss each other, and then go for the guy. For that matter, lets just drop the whole thing– why would you extend civil rights to a group that eats it’s own and has such little self respect?

  • Terrence

    Drop the T. It is a different issue. I have never heard any logical reason why T was added in the first place. The only argument I have heard is that “our enemies are the same”. So what? We can’t define ourselves by our enemies. I am all for allying ourselves with Ts when it makes sense, but it makes no sense to fool ourselves into thinking that we are one undifferentiated “LGBT” group and then to sacrifice everything for the rights of crossdressers.

    And Fritz, the “B” is completely different b/c bisexuality is a sexual orientation and Bs are subject to discrimination precisely because they are, to a degree, gay. Ts on the other hand can have any sexual orientation, most are straight, and they can be discriminated against for any number of reasons having nothing to do with sexual orientation. The women who don’t want to take a dump next to a biological male are not necessarily homophobes.

  • DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)


    Again, you assume that we’re one big community. This is the problem with LGBT politics. Transfolk like Chas Bono spend a lot of time telling everyone that “sexual orientation and gender orientation are two different things”. I notice you did NOT deny or challenge that statement, and that speaks volumes to me.

    If gender orientation and sexual orientation are not the same thing, then why cram us all under the same umbrella? Why continue to expand the acronyms to the point where any discussion of what our identity as a community is becomes utterly and totally meaningless? That’s where we are now. That damned acronym keeps needlessly getting bigger and bigger and bigger to the point there is no “community” any more, it’s a bunch of people running around connected loosely by this idea that “we aren’t heterosexuals”.

    It’s not a matter of “like” or “dislike”, your (or Tara’s) attempts to cast those of us who do not agree with you as bigots notwithstanding. It’s recognizing that “we aren’t heterosexuals” is not a valid basis for an identity. Identity cannot be forged by defining ourselves with a negative. It just doesn’t work. That’s why there’s so much in-fighting in our “community”.

  • Franseca

    In India the trans community is not lumped together with the gay community and they are making good social strides there.
    Yes we (trans persons) in America played a big part in the progress the gay community has made because of the potency or our small but significant presence. But as a transwoman I realize how much of a disadvantage we have become to the gay community and our own because we are lumped together.
    Let EDNA pass as it will, and let the well meaning Frank help us create a bill that will address our unique issues.

  • FoolMe1

    Trans folks are gay enough to be trotted out to gain sympathy and statistic-padding for state-level gay only hate crime and ENDA legislation (SONDA in NY for example). Trans folks are gay enough to use as propaganda in gay history classes.

    Trans folks literally ruined our political clout by allying with the GL movement in the 70’s. Prior to that we were making steady legal headway – that abruptly stopped right after Stonewall.

    As far as bathroom fears… what group is actually arrested for “T-Room Trade”? Perhaps trans folks need to start seeding the media with reports and fears about gay men going at in restrooms with children around?

  • Fitz

    We have enough in common with T folk to not bite each other’s backs. We all lack major civil liberties based upon who we are. We all need to figure out how to move forward over the next 25 years or so, so that the next generation has a hope of real change. There is no point in fighting over the scraps of imaginary meat. There is nothing for any of us right now.

  • thedarkchariot

    Argh. Everyone just needs to grow up. Most of the arguments are so childish (“A MAN in a WOMEN’S BATHROOM”). Jesus. You spend, what? 5 minutes in a bathroom, 80% of the time? Do we really have to stop and think “hm, should I make sure these people don’t feel embarrassed or uncomfortable when they go pee-pee, or should I make sure these people don’t get FREAKIN’ KILLED?”

  • Devon

    We have to get ENDA passed before January 2011 or it stays dead for at least 12 more years.

    If this is what it takes to get that done, so be it.

  • Roisia

    @DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12):

    Then work to remove us from the LGB community ban us from your funtions and make [email protected]DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12):

    Well being that it was the GLB that added us to your community kick us out. I see that we are not worthy of your support. However I bet you will expect us to be there when YOUR community (since you dont see us as part of it) Needs the votes. However god forbid we expect the same. We are needed when it will effect YOUR rights but when it effects OUR rights Were not worth it.

  • Fransesca

    Wow, bizarre some of the self centered insensitive comments being thrown around.
    Equally amusing is the comment that somehow the trans-community set back the gay movement with Stonewall.
    Before Stonewall gays were freaks of society on par with transpeople, still living in the closets of America. The only gay history in those days were rumors about George Liberachi!
    It would be nice if some gays could just remember how small they were in our society. ENDA is about equality, not about being gay.
    Self important people tend to forget where they come from.

  • D'oh, The Magnificent

    In the 60s, this is exactly what the bigots did to try to block civil rights legislation. History repeats. And then, like now, the bigots amongst us don’t get the point. the point is to derail. Let me explain politics to people like DR who constantly posts bigoted positions whether it is trans or gay issues- he always picks the side that’s anti gay or anti trans or whatever. The minute you take out the trans- let explain what will happen. The GOP sense blood, and try to block or water down the gay portions of the legislations. Only you and the weak politician that is Frank doesn’t get this. How do I know this- because this the strategy that the GOP has used on every other bit of legislation in the last 2 years. They will claim “we won’t compromise’ and the minute do- they will screw you over by saying the new compromise is “too liberal.” You people are so fucking retarded. Its like you are Charlie Brown and the GOP is Lucy doing the same thing again and again and again. Yet you never seem to even realize what’s happening. “Huh, the GOP is up to something? Wow, ah-heh, heh. I am so surprised” scratch you head and slobber now like the idiots you are.

  • Alan Bounville

    The idea of dropping trans people is DISGUSTING! I will shut down Barney’s office if this happens! I will not see our trans sisters and brothers left out of this bill. The thought of dropping trans people at this point if DISGUSTING!!!

    Either we all get equality or none of us do!

  • Bill Perdue

    @Alan Bounville: is 100% correct.

    The thing is, we should have been picketing Barney Quisling since 2007, when he gutted ENDA to please the rightist in both parties and the business who profit paying us lower wages.

  • D'oh, The Magnificent

    The other thing that gets me is the pretense that somehow the bigots likes gays more than trans. That’s just bullshit. Its classic divide and conquer when you think about how bigoted this society is.

  • Roisia

    @D’oh, The Magnificent:

    When you come out as gay your the same person when you show up for work the next day. When you come out as trans your a freak when you show up to work the next day. Yes To many Gays are much better than Trans. Even the gay community in part hates transsexuals. They think were just gay men or lesbian woman coping out to have sex with the same sex without being gay. Sadly as far as that is fro the truth of what we are that’s something that we will never seem to escape. Also the right wing likes to paint transsexuals as predators trying to use the woman’s room (Because they always forget the FTMs) To rape little girls, or woman, to kidnap and do other things which again is not the truth. But no matter how much we fight to teach them otherwise it wont be worth anything if the gay community itself tries to disown us like some here seem to suggest.

    To them i say fine disown us. And yes we will fight for your rights because thats the right thing to do. But i hope one day you come around and see that we also need rights though i doubt it will happen once you disown us. Because if the LGB those who are supposed to be part of our family don’t want us then why would straight people believe we deserve rights?

  • jason

    Transgenders don’t want to be gay. I don’t see why they should be included in gay rights legislation. I agree that they shouldn’t be discriminated against but that’s an issue for a different piece of legislation.

    Consider that a man who is same-sex attracted but wants to “be a woman” is rejecting his homosexuality. He wants to be considered heterosexual by changing his gender to being a woman. He’s running away from his homosexuality.

  • Roisia


    There is my point. We aren’t. If all a transsexual is is someone who is running away from their homosexuality why would there be lesbian MTF’s or Gay FTM’s.

    You want us out the bill so be it. But at least learn who we are before you go around telling people the wrong thing.

  • Evan


    Lots of trans people are gay and lesbian. I’m gay. My feeling of being male has literally nothing to do with who I’m attracted to, although it does affect the character of that attraction and the resulting relationships.

    Trans people need employment protection for both sexual orientation (whether we identify as gay or straight, someone always thinks’ we’re gay) and gender identity and expression (no matter how we identify, someone always thinks we’re crossdressing). Assuming that we’re all straight and heteronormative and are perceived that way by others dismisses the vast majority of us.

  • Roisia


    So you only support us when its us fighting for your rights but when its fighting for our rights were not worth your time? Everything we’ve done for the gay community means nothing then. All the times we were there to help you and you want us out? Fine. Have your wish. I see what we have done for you means nothing.

  • Francesca

    @jason: That was ignorant…One has much to learn about what it means to be trans. Let me start with the education, sense someone suggested we dont serve it up enough, insinuating we are to blame for the publics lack of understanding of trans issues…

    Perhaps I could think gays are gay because they feel like failures at being real men? Or no, maybe gays are gay because they really want to be women but are to chicken to dress up like girls?! How about gays are gay because they must have been molested as children? Yeah thats it!!!

    Well you think I got the gay thing down?

  • Terrence


    If you are gay, then you would be protected by ENDA if discriminated against based on your sexual orientation. But a sexual orientation bill doesn’t have to cover every other category you belong to and every other characteristic you possess. You might also be a Democrat, a poker player, and a comedian. But ENDA doesn’t have to, and won’t, cover those categories any more than it should cover your status as trans. If you want additional protection for a different characteristic, then it should be addressed in separate legislation.


    It is one thing to be allies and help one another when it makes sense. It is quite another thing to declare yourself and every gay person to be a hybrid “LGBT” and then demand that gays sacrifice everything for your priorities since we are now one community. That isn’t an alliance. It’s a hijacking.

    And as to that alliance, there is no doubt that trans people are getting the better of the bargain. The truth is there aren’t that many trans people and your demands raise all sorts of issues (bathroom access, surgery coverage) that gay rights doesn’t. Gays suffer a net negative both culturally and politically by associating with cross-dressing and Gender Identity Disorder. Every gay boy coming out and trying to convince his parents and friends that he is not really a wannabe girl is undermined and sabotaged by the concept of LGBT. Ditto for young lesbians.

  • Roisia


    Well first we never asked to be part of the LGB community you lumped us in there when we were good for your numbers. Your right it does make sense to use us when it helps you. But when the slightest indication that we might be a hindrance you don’t even try to make it with us you just drop us off. It would be one thing if there was a vote on this bill with us in it and it failed then you went off and got gay only rights. Its quite another thing that you just want to throw us away unless we are good for you,

    I get it trans people don’t deserve gay help but god forbid we fight against you or not with you. Its required for trans to fight for gay rights but not gays for trans rights.

    Then you claim we want surgery paid. No we don’t. That’s always been a private expense. But then we are all just evil horrible tranny’s who want to use the woman’s room and undermine gay life and the feminist movement aren’t we.

    Do you forget how the gay rights movement really got its momentum. You know that stonewall thing. DO you even know who started it. It was a cross dresser. Yes a cross dresser one of those people who really aren’t part of the gay community. One of those people you want to throw mud at and dismiss. But that doesn’t matter eventually you can rewrite that to make it a gay person and continue to demean transsexuals because hey were just tranny’s where only valuable when you need us and were not worth even trying to get rights for it. Once again I would be fine if you tried a vote with transsexuals in it first and it failed then you throw us under the bus. But you aren’t even giving that dignity to us. Also Transsexuals are not only hated by the straight community but the gay community as well. We have to fight not only you but the straight community. Gays added us to your community and we thought we found a home. Now im not so sure.

    Gays deserve equality yes. Apparently transsexuals don’t.

  • Roisia


    I get it gays deserve rights. Transsexuals are your slaves to fight for your rights and then be forgotten.

  • Sine

    I think the whole idea of extending protections to specific communities is harmful and I think that has been thoroughly demonstrated in this thread by people arguing over which communities “deserve” or “need” protections more and why that is.

    A much better solution would be to strive for a piece of legislation that bans discrimination based on any factor other than job performance. I think that’s something that everyone of every background should be able to get behind. No one deserves to be discriminated against.

  • Terrence


    No, you are not a slave of the gays. You are just in a distinct community. If I show up on your doorstep and declare that I am a member of your family, you are not hating me or enslaving me if you object. In that event, we might still be friends, but I don’t get to become your parent by fiat. For the record, I personally would support protecting trans people from discrimination, but that doesn’t mean it has to be included in ENDA, just as any number of other societal goals don’t need to be included in ENDA.


    You might be right, but not one state has such an approach to employment law. In general, an employer can fire you for any reason or no reason, except if there is an employment contract in place or if statute forbids it. And the statutes are written only to cover a limited number of characteristics. That is because we respect the rights of business owners to run their businesses to the greatest degree possible, only interfering when there is a strong public interest involved. Every additional protected category imposes a greater litigation burden on employers, and legislatures don’t like to do that. That is why if an employer wants to discriminate against funny people or people who love sports, the state won’t forbid it even though it is not particularly rational to do it. So if trans people want to be covered and impose burdens on employers, they have to make their case based on the specific nature of gender identity. It is unfair to gays and to employers to try to slip it into ENDA.

  • Roisia


    The problem is RIGHT NOW we are included in the bill. What you want is to take us out and never put us back in without giving the bill a chance to pass. So Really we don’t know it wont pass yet but you want us out all together. And yes we are slaves to the LGBT because you expect us to fight for your rights but many many times we’ve been told that after you get yours you will come back for us. And you never do we end up getting the laws passed ourselves. After putting blood sweat and tears into your rights. Also When a trans person is murdered its often while being called fagot or similar epitaphs.

  • Terrence


    You aren’t slaves b/c no one is forcing you to take any position or to do any work w/o compensation. I think that an alliance only works if it is mutually beneficial. If Ts aren’t getting what they want from it, then they should end it. If gays aren’t getting what they want from it, then they should end it. But be clear about it: it is an alliance on specific issues, not a fake singular “community,” since trans and gay are 2 different things.

    Also, we do know that it won’t pass w/ trans in it. Read the Roll Call article. There is no appetite for dealing with trans bathroom issues 6 months from the election. There does not seem to be any vocal opposition to passing the gay component of ENDA. It may be that nothing passes, but if there is going to be any chance at all, it has to be w/o the T.

    Finally, as to your last point, epithets that may pass through the mouths of murderers are not a basis for self-identity. Homophobic murderers may link trans and gay in their minds, but that doesn’t mean that we have to define ourselves by their beliefs. Those same bashers may also link gays to pedophiles and trans people to serial killers, but we shouldn’t embrace those links either. We decide what is true, not the homophobes.

  • Cassandra


    If you are willing to allow employment discrimination against Trans folk, then you do not deserve protection against it yourself.

    All prejudice has the same root, only the target changes. If we allow Trans folk to be discriminated against, we implicitly endorse prejudice and nurture prejudice against gays and lesbians as well.

  • Elle

    The interesting thing here is we seem to be getting two contradictory arguments from certain LGBs against a trans-inclusive ENDA. The first being that the onus is completely on trans people because we “need to better educate people” instead of trying to “piggyback” (thanks for nullifying our presence and contributions in this fight, often on issues that do not necessarily hurt trans people as much as gay people) on the LGB movement. The second is that we’re not a “real” community because–as we horrible trans people keep reminding LGBs–sexuality and gender identity are not the same thing.

    So, if I have this straight, we need to pull our own weight and educate people so that we can justify gaining our rights, but when we do educate people by trying to explain what gender identity is, the action serves as our resignation notice from the LGBT community, of which we’ve poured decades of hard work and educational outreach for both gay and trans issues, and so we shouldn’t expect to ride the LBG wave to achieving our rights.

    What makes you think the lay, hetero public is even educated on vanilla gay issues? Remember, these are people who are still afraid to let gays and lesbians in the military because they think being gay means you’re going to rape hetero servicemen and women in the showers, or while you’re pinned down under enemy fire. The public also happens to think immigration (legal or illegal) costs citizens jobs when all research points to the exact opposite conclusion. Is the onus solely on immigrants to prove they aren’t costing the rest of the country jobs, or should we be decent people and stand up for their rights when we know the conservative talking points are wrong?

    This idea that only people adversely affected by bigotry should be standing up for their rights is exactly why it’s taken our country as long as it has for any marginalized group to achieve equality. “Screw you; I got mine” is what some of you are advocating. Just realize you wouldn’t get any kind of ENDA, ever, if our Congress and advocates across the country felt the same.

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