Friday, October 12, 2007

"How the T got into GLBT."

In his blogs Gay lawyer John Aravosis asked "how the T got into GLBT." He should study some GLBT history.

They're the ones who started our movement. It would be more accurate to ask how butch fags and lipstick lesbians overtook the movement started by radical trannies.

A drag queen, José Sarria ("The Widdow Norton") ran for San Francisco County Supervisor in 1962 as perhaps the first openly queer candidate for public office in the USA

Trannies at Compton's Cafeteria in San Francisco in 1966 started demonstrations that made huge strides in raising awareness of GLBT issues.

Trannies were part of the Stonewall uprising.

The pre-stonewall GLBT movement owes much to Magnus Hirschfield's "Scientific Humanitarian Committee" which pioneered our movement in Germany from the early 20th century to the beginning of the "Reich." Hirschfield was a transvestite who advocated for "third sex" gender variant men and women.

Trannies have ALWAYS been at the forefront of the queer rights movement.

Now some "incrementalists" think we can more easily win some rights by jettisoning our transgendered brothers and sisters. We'd never be where we are today without their courage, and this non-TG gay man would not want to be a party to the betrayal that is being advocated.

Let our TG friends wait for rights later? How much later? And will the gays and lesbians really remember the trannies later after we have been divided against each other for the larger group to take a moderate gain?

And when nelly men and butch women are fired for their gender non-conformity, will bosses say they weren't axed for being gay, but for gender variant behavior? If protection for gays only extends to the gays who can pass for straight, that's not much protection.

It is unfortunate that this issue did not get widespread attention sooner and that people who worked hard on ENDA are getting blindsided at the last minute, but "better late than never." We must never tell our TG brothers and sisters who have included both the most heroic and the most vulnerable among us that their rights are any less urgent than our own. Indeed without assurance of their rights, there is little assurance of ours.

1 comment:

Love.Peace.Love.Peace said...

hi. i read a post of yours at yahoogroups and it had the link to your blog. i like it a lot and i'm adding it to my blogroll, hoping that's ok with you.