As Usual, Listen to Gunner

With Gunner’s permission, I’m reposting a piece Gunner Scott added to the transgender LJ community:

We need our own Trans Political Groups
I posted this as a response to NH not passing trans rights, but I would like more people to see this…

Transgender issues will never be a priority for LGB(t) groups. Whether that is achieving laws, changing policies, or advocating for resources. I am not just saying this because I am part of MTPC, but if we want our community to be equal then we need to do the work. LGB(t) can support this, but we need to be steering that ship and not waiting for LGB(t) groups throw us a bone.

There is more to equality/rights/liberation then just passing non-discrimination laws. I think California is a good example – even though they have non-discrimination laws many trans people are still experiencing employment/poverty issues, so they next step is services, job fairs, education etc… and that is what Transgender Law Center does and this is and will be the types of stuff MTPC will do before and after a law passes.

We need our transgender organizations to advocate for us… we cannot wait for HRC, NGLTF, or MassEquality or any other state equality group to do it for us. We need to do it ourselves which means we need to fund our trans organizations, we need to volunteer, and we need to show up.

The other issues with NH was that not that many trans people showed up for the hearings on the bill, not that many trans people made phone calls to their legislators, not that many trans people got their friends to call.

We can be mad at larger orgs for not pushing as hard as they should have and for putting marriage first, but we also need to hold ourselves accountable when we don’t do our own heavy lifting. And yes those larger LGB(t) orgs did put all their money and resources to marriage in NH. We need to do they same – we need to put our resource into our own movement.

If you have a job, then start donating (if you don’t already) to a transgender specific advocacy group in your area and/or NCTE – monthly, $5 a month does make a difference when we have several people doing that. If you can do more then do that. I give to several transgender specific orgs, some monthly, others once a year. Lets get more transgender people hired to work for trans rights full time – it makes a huge difference to have trans people at the table advocating for rights and resources. We are the experts on our lives… we are not some LGB(t) group.

If you don’t have money then donate your time and show and do something…

I know I sound like a broken record, but after doing this for over ten years and the reality is no one and I mean no one is going to fight as hard for our rights, for resources for our community then we are, trans people.

LGB people don’t get us and I don’t think they ever will…(and I also identify as being queer) yes they can be our ally, but our issues will never ever and I mean never be their priority. We as the larger trans community need to stop thinking that someday they will. The LGB(t) orgs are not going to save us. As long we have no power or influence in their organizations, meaning on boards and big donors, trans issues and the needs of the trans community will never be at the top of the list. There is no incentive for that. Our needs will always be pushed to the bottom.

So yes be mad at HRC or NGLTF or your state marriage group or equality group, but do something more with that anger…

We need to be our own movement, we need to make our allies and not just with LGB groups, we need to fund our own organizations, and push for our own rights.

We can do this, I know we can…


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