Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Incrementalism is Unacceptable

Mercifully, a flawed bill in Maryland has died in the Maryland senate. HB 235, which has no provision for public accomodations, is a flawed bill which would have hurt transgender people in that state. Transgender people could have been denied access to bathrooms, restaurants, social services, the movies, dressing rooms, and other public places. This flaw was pointed by many transgender activists and concerned citizens, only to be ignored by those who are suppose to represent us. There is this idea by Gay Inc. and others that incrementalism is better than nothing at all. I beg to differ on such logic. If there was incrementalism regarding freedom for slaves, we would still have slavery. Gay Inc. is one of those organizations who, in my mind, confirm that assimilation was more important than equality back in burgeoning gay movement in the late sixties. Transgender people were at the forefront of the movement. When the mostly white, white middle class gay males assumed the leadrship positions, transgender people were shunted to the margins because we were'presetable to the straight world. Like Prop 8 in California, minority communities were ignored. The vast majority of LGBT people discrimnated against and murdered are people of color. My question is that if you're getting your behind kicked by the cops and social institutions that hate you, do you really care about looking good. Come on, get real. As a transperson and an African-American I proudly wear my identity. If people want to know me, that's fine. If they don't, that's fine too. I have have to justify who I am and why I exist. While the bill failed this time, it can be presented with the public accomodations included. HB 6599 in Connecticut has done it right with access to public accomodations included. What disturbed me is that Equality Maryland didn't have the courage to admit they had a flawed bill and lost the gamble. A final point is that if groups like Gay Inc. received incremental equality they would be screaming bloody murder. Why in the world should transgender people accept this? I will NOT accept incrementalism under any circumstances. The sooner that Gay Inc., Equality Maryland and all the spin doctors who shut us out understand that the better it will be for all. ~Genevieve

No comments: