Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Barack Obama: Showing Some Love and Fixing Society

By Sabrina Samone, TMP

Young, innocent Leelah Alcorn gave us all a command and our POTUS responded.  Many, even within the community, may already have their negative opinions of Obama's State of the Union Address. Continually refusing to see any positives in his words due in part to their own personal prejudices. That is a sad constant dividing factor within our trans society. Someone recently told me that when a person says anything it is always up to that person receiving the information on how they choose to perceive it. We can choose to see it as meaningless that the President said the infamous T word, or we can be positive and have faith in knowing that this is the first President in United States history to take a step in "fixing society".  Regardless of your political beliefs, as trans people we should all applaud the POTUS for opening a door far too many refused to even acknowledge.

Janet Mock, the host of MSNBC's 'So Popular', recently said in the newest Time Magazine article that, "The President’s acknowledgment helps shatter the cloak of invisibility that has plagued trans people and forced many to suffer in silence. By speaking our community’s name, the President pushes us all to recognize the existence and validity of trans people as Americans worthy of protection and our nation’s resources."
In  many ways it's so much more; a loud voice saying to the million little Leelah Alcorns of the world that their lives matter. It says to American society that it's time to acknowledge and discuss our society. It screams to the LGBT community that the T will no longer be silent. Also, it says to the African American society, as the nation's first African American POTUS, that our Trans sisters and brothers of color must not be continually ignored.
As Lavern Cox mentioned in Time Magazine's 'Transgender Tipping Point' article, “We have to listen to people about who they are and not assume that there’s something wrong with trans people. Because we know who we are. And I think the biggest thing is folks want to believe that there’s something, that genitals and biology are destiny. … When you think about it, it’s kind of ridiculous. People need to be willing to let go of what they think they know about what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.”

Tuesday night 'OUR' President turned the page saying in his yearly address,  "As Americans we respect human dignity even when we're threatened, which is why I've prohibited torture and worked to make sure our use of new technology, like drones, is properly constrained. That's why we defend free speech, advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. We do these things not only because they're right, but because they make us safer."
It comes as not much of a surprise actually from a President who has shown the most support ever for TBLG communities. From his 2008 campaign he promised to make lives better for the Rainbow community. Since he has taken office in 2008:
  • Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: The President signed the bill to repeal Don’t Ask
    Don’t Tell on December 22, 2010, putting in motion the end of a discriminatory policy
    that ran counter to our values as Americans. As of September 20, 2011, when the repeal
    took effect, gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans can serve openly in our Armed Forces
    and without fear of losing their jobs for who they are and who they love.

  • Ending the Legal Defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA): In February
    2011, the President and Attorney General announced that the Department of Justice
    would no longer defend Section 3 of DOMA against equal protection constitutional
    challenges brought by same-sex couples married under state law. In July 2011, the White
    House announced the President’s support of the Respect for Marriage Act, introduced by
    Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman Jerrold Nadler, which would repeal DOMA
    and uphold the principle that gay and lesbian couples should receive the same Federal
    rights and legal protections as straight couples. The President has long supported a
    legislative repeal of DOMA.
  •  Signing Historic Hate Crimes Legislation: President Obama overcame years of partisan
    gridlock to pass and sign the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes
    Prevention Act into law, which extends the coverage of Federal hate crimes law to
    include attacks based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender
  • Ensuring Hospital Visitation Rights for LGBT Patients and Their Loved Ones:
    Following a directive from the President, the Department of Health and Human Services
    (HHS) now requires all hospitals receiving Medicare or Medicaid funds – just about
    every hospital in America – to allow visitation rights for LGBT patients. The President
    also directed HHS to ensure that medical decision-making rights of LGBT patients are

From coast to coast, as American society constantly reeled from one tragedy after another, our President took the first step in fixing society. It is now up to us as the Trans society to carry that torch to full victory.

Bullets as stated in the White House TBLG online record.

"We do these things not only because they are the right thing to do but ultimately it will make us safer."
         - Barack Obama, POTUS 2008-2016


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