The HRC claims to be the largest LGBT civil rights organization, but have been criticized for several years for not being Trans inclusive. In 2008, HRC was the only LGBT civil rights group that supported a non-trans-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). This year, during a Marriage Equality Rally in Washington, DC, they caused an uproar within the Transgender Community, when a trans man holding a trans flag on the stage, was forced by an HRC staffer on three different occasions to leave the stage if he was to remain holding the Transgender Flag, stating that “marriage equality isn’t a transgender issue.” Marriage equality is very much a Trans issue though rarely discussed as such in the greater LGBT message.Many Transgender writers/bloggers wasted no time calling the foul that HRC has made. In the popular article on Transgriot, “Why the Transgender Community Hates HRC”, Monica Roberts, details for us the long history dating back as far back as the days of Stonewall. The conservative elders of the gay movement in the early eighties were entrenched with anti-trans rhetoric.
Now the HRC is yet again stating that they are increasing their work on Trans issues. Unfortunately they are not making this more transparent and vocalizing this to the Trans organizations. HRC members have worked most recently on the promotion of including gender identity and the Transgender bill passed in Delaware. The HRC raised money specifically to work on the gender identity bill and hired six additional contract field organizers.
Whether this amount of attention by the HRC continues or is just a knee jerk reactions due to the press they recieved, remains to be seen. Is this enough fort the average Trans person to feel included by the HRC? They have a long way to go after recent activities and their past behavior to build trust among our community. More should be done to let the Trans Community know what the HRC has and is planning for the Trans Community, in the light.Hopefully we will continue to see the T not being left behind by the major LGB organizations, but I’d have more faith in contributing my time and money to the leading Trans Organizations. At least we know we want be let down again.
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