So that leads me to pose this question once again. It's one the transgender community and our allies are impatiently waiting for an answer to from our lawmakers and the business community.
How can transpeople contribute to society if you won't hire us?
TransGriot December 9, 2009 'How Can We Contribute To Society If You Won't Hire Us?'
I asked that question in December 2009, and a comment Katrina Rose made on my Facebook page last night got me
thinking about employment issues and the sorry record of Gay, Inc.
advocacy orgs in terms of hiring transpeople.
Sadly the question I posed in that 2009 TransGriot post is not only relevant today, but is even more apropos if I aim it at the Gay Inc. advocacy orgs. This inquiring TransGriot mind and my readers would love to know how many transpeople they have on their staffs they write paychecks to?
And don't even get me started about the leadership ranks and staffs in these organizations being so overwhelmingly monoracial they look like a Republican Party convention..
There were probably more Black delegates at last year's GOP convention (47) than the number of transpeople gainfully employed in all the Gay, Inc advocacy organizations combined.
That lack of transfolks on your staffs is not only problematic, but creates a 'things that make you go hmm' moment in transworld. It makes us wonder just how committed you are to getting the trans inclusive ENDA passed and adding non-discrimination language on the basis of gender identity and expression to state and local non-discrimination employment laws.
It would also be wise, especially if you as a Gay, Inc advocacy org claiming to be speaking for the entire community, to have diverse, talented people from all letters of the TBLGIQ rainbow putting together policies that positively move our community forward.
The United States is going to be a majority-minority country by 2050. Trans people have long considered gainful employment as a non-negotiable bedrock trans human rights issue. It's past time the people you employ and hire to lead your organizations reflect the reality of a multicultural America.
It would also be nice that trans POC's be increasingly included in that candidate mix as you strive to make Gay, Inc. advocacy orgs look more like America.
And one other thing to consider. By doing so you not only send a message to the rest of the world that you're putting your money where your mouths are in terms of hiring and retaining qualified transpeople for your own organizations, you're making a dent in the horrific trans unemployment numbers.
You're also giving that person good, stable employment at good wages and the opportunity with the money they earn to give back to the TBLG community.
You can either do that willingly Gay, Inc advocacy orgs or suffer the embarrassment and fiscal consequences of being called out on this issue or even hauled into court for your pitifully sorry hiring record.
So Gay, Inc advocacy orgs, when are you going to start hiring more transpeople to work for you?