Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Many Reasons Transgender Rights Are Behind In The Equality Race

I was reading an article about how transgender rights is twenty years behind gays and lesbians rights. What the article neglected to say is why. Well, I'll highlight a few.

At the Stonewall Riots in 1969, it was transgender people and drag queens who stood fat the police. Later, when the leadership positions were secured by predominant middle class, white gay males, transgender people were shunted to the margins. Why? We didn't look 'presentable'. It was feared that we would hurt the movement for equality. To this day I fail to see how. 

Many gay and lesbian groups threw up roadblocks so we could not join their organizations. Trans people had a difficult time during seventies and eighties getting the resources that they needed. In my mind, groups like TERF and people lie Janice Raymond are complicit in the deaths and suicides of transgender and gender variant people. Strong words from me but I stand by them.

I find even more disturbing is that our history(and especially people of color) is being whitewashed and erased regarding our involvement in Stonewall and other movements. I'm proud of my trans history and we should be. I'll be damned if that's going to happen. 
In the drive for marriage equality, transgender rights were either ignored or 'conveniently forgotten' in the euphoria of the passage of marriage equality. That was the case in New York State in 2010. 

Lastly, social and religious institution haven't been receptive to the idea of transgender rights. Misinformation, lies, and fear rule the day. 

One thing I don't want to hear is that we were never involved in the fight for equality and respect. At Stonewall transgender people were front and center while many gays slinked back in the shadows. 

This is a very touchy subject with me because it didn't have to happen. It's true that many lives have been affected from without; however just as many were affected from within. That, I find disturbing.

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