In summary, both Feministe and Feministing threw up “Yay NH!” posts after marriage equality passed in the Senate. After commenters quickly called them out on not mentioning that the senate also rejected trans* rights protections, both Jill and Vanessa updated their posts to include that information–although in both posts the update was more along the lines of “Whoops! And also this happened” with little discussion or information. (Jill gets more credit for linking this article and quoting three paragraphs; Vanessa’s update consisted of two lines and two links, one of which was actually another Feministing post.)
So why wasn’t the anti-discrimination law on the radar, and why does it matter that it only got tacked on to these two posts?
Here are two of the reactions I’ve seen in comments there:
1. Look, aren’t you glad they’re even talking about trans* rights?
I don’t know. Are you satisfied that some people mention the wage gap, or would you like to see women getting equal pay? Is it enough that books like Yes Means Yes exist, or would it be better to see better prosecution of rapists? In keeping with the theme of the original posts, people have been “talking about” marriage equality across the country–and the overwhelming majority of US states have constitutional bans or DOMA legislation. Clearly “talking” isn’t enough.
2. Well, this post is about marriage. Maybe the author was going to write a separate post–you have no way of knowing!
Yes, I cannot see into the future. What a very astute observation. Given that both authors admitted they didn’t know about the anti-discrimination legislation dying, though, it seems unlikely that a separate post was forthcoming. (That doesn’t mean Jill or Vanessa or one of their colleagues won’t write a separate post now, of course, and I hope they do. But given that these two Senate events happened on the very same day, I don’t think it’s unrealistic to expect them both to be addressed at the same time.)
Here’s what I find frustrating: two big bloggers clearly weren’t paying attention when it came to trans* rights. And that’s not okay. In order to learn the news about both decisions in the NH Senate, all I had to do was follow GLAD on Twitter:
See how easy that was?
[If you’re wondering about the asterisk in the post of this title, it’s because I go back and forth on how to identify when it comes to discussions about trans* issues. I identify as a woman, which would make me cis, but I experience transphobia anyway because of my gender expression. I don’t claim a trans* identity and thus don’t want to speak from a position I don’t hold–I’m very aware of the silencing and erasure of oppressed voices when those of us with privilege presume to speak for others–but the focus of my activist energies now is trans* rights, and the trans* community here in Boston has welcomed me with open arms even while our queer communities have been shitty in return to our trans* brothers and sisters.
And, to be honest, I’m still on my own journey, too. When Jack mentioned the trans-masculine spectrum at Gender Non-Conformity and the Media, I realized that’s a label that resonates deeply with me–even though I continue to identify as a woman and think it’s important to embrace my masculinity while still identifying as a woman.
So that’s the asterisk.]