Q: Why do we need a Transgender Day of Remembrance?
No one has been more gravely disappointed and, at times livid, with the practically non-existent record of President Obama on LGBT equal rights. Over and over again I have held this administration’s feet to the fire in an effort to force them to move forward in our struggle for freedom. As we all know by now, those pleas often have fallen on deaf ears. Our disappointment, anger and frustration is totally justified.
What is not justified is to allow those emotions to intrude on our ability to be intelligent voters this election day. We cannot and should not shoot ourselves in the collective foot because of the administration’s actions.
Why is it important to vote? Let’s get right down to it: If the House and Senate fall into Republican Tea Party hands on November 2nd, the LGBT community will be facing the most hostile United States Congress in our history. The election of these bonafide Teabagging wing-nuts could cause chaos, fear and intimidation in our political process. Their ascendancy to power would validate some truly dark and despicable forces operating in American politics. If we think it is hard to achieve equal rights now just try and do it in a Tea Party dominated Congress.
Simply put, our political and government process could end up in chaos, anger, violence and the legitimizing of bigotry against LGBT people in American politics. You think I might be exaggerating? Well, then guess again because all over the country we have seen time and time again this election season the most extreme positions, unheard-of actions and uninformed incitement to overthrow the government. These incidents have not been isolated - they have been rabidly, almost incoherently widespread.
The more prominent ones feature the literal call to arms by Sharron Angle in Nevada, the numbing idiocy of Ken Buck of Colorado’s stance on LGBT issues, the handcuffing of a reporter by the black suited, sunglass wearing staff of Alaska’s Joe Miller or the dragging to the ground of a MoveOn worker in Kentucky and then stomping on her head by the supporters of Rand Paul. The list does stop here. The tragic fact is that I can go on and on reciting devastating positions of Tea Party candidates and the mindless and mean-spirited rhetoric they employ daily that validates violence.
Believe me the America they advocate does not include us as full citizens.
Don’t get me wrong. My faith in the Democrats has not been reborn - however there are many, many allies of the LGBT community who support full equality, including marriage equality, who are in tight races on the ballot. For us to punish them by staying home is inconceivable to me. Why in the world would we abandon our real friends in a time of need?
If you need to skip a vote for a Blue Dog Democrat then just cast a protest vote by electing those who are good for not only our community but for our nation.
This year voting is about protecting sanity in American politics. The last thing you should do is play games with this election by stay home. Unacceptable. Untenable. And unbelievably scary.
So I have talked to a lot of people within and outside of the trans community about the word “tranny.” I like to joke around and call myself a tranny sometimes, and I have been called out by other trans masculine guys, saying that it is not really my slur to reclaim, as it was used against trans women. And I have called out some cis friends who used the term offensively - i.e. “she looked like a tranny” and explained to them why it is offensive.
I was alarmed to read that it was used as a slur so casually without any discussion in Glee.
And this quote from GLAAD’s blog sums up why I have decided to stop using the word at all, even when referring to myself.
also read these for more info:
November 2nd is election day in the United States and as a member of a historically-disenfranchised group, there is little to no reason to not go to the polls and make your voices heard.
In terms of trans rights, the best way to ensure that this country is moving in a progressive direction is to make sure our elected officials are supporting legislature that explicitly include gender identity and expression in anti-discrimination laws. We need to make sure that they are supporting LGBTQ rights in all of their political moves, because even queer issues that may not affect transgender people directly, do affect the political and social climate for all queer issues and people, and thus impact our well-being, safety, security, etc.
Now, voting as a trans person is often not as simple as voting as a cis person, because it’s an issue of proof of identity, name changes, gender marker changes, not looking like yr photo, etc. The awesome National Center for Transgender Equality, wrote up a handy guide to “Overcoming Voting Obstacles”. It opens with the advice, DO NOT LET ANYONE REFUSE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE.
Wondering who/what to vote for? I’ve found some LGBTQ voter resources that include endorsements and such. Do yr own research if you can, because some of these endorsements are from groups like the HRC who do not always keep trans rights top priority.
And If you needed a reminder, I got this from HRC’s site:
Why should I cast a vote for equality this Election Day?
You can either write your own reason, or use one of our suggestions. If you select ‘use a random message,’ one of the following will be used:
- It’s 2010 and almost 90% of LGBT youth experience harassment in school, and too many lives have been lost.
Tell the Secretary of Education to include gender identity and sexual orientation in anti-bullying programs »
- It’s 2010 and you can still be fired from your job in 29 states for being lesbian, gay or bisexual and in 38 states for being transgender.
Pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act now »
- It’s 2010 and only five states plus DC recognize that love, not gender, is what matters in a marriage.
Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act now »
- It’s 2010 and more than 14,000 servicemembers have been discharged from the military under the failed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.
Repeal DADT now »
- It’s 2010 and the government’s failure to recognize LGBT families for immigration purposes tears bi-national couples and families apart.
Pass the Uniting American Families Act now »
SO GET OUT THERE TOMORROW AND HAVE TRANS (AND ALLIES) VOICES HEARD. This is not an election to take lightly and you voting or not actually does make a difference.
DASA is the Dignity for All Students Act, which protects students on the basis of “gender identity and expression [OMG it’s written out explicitly!], sexual orientation, race, color, national origin, ethnic group, religion, religious practice, weight, and disability.”
If you are in/near Manhattan and can be there, check it out this Wednesday! Not only will you be witnessing an exciting moment in trans rights history, you will also be showing yr support for a very important act.
Hell, I might take a little bus trip.