Thursday, May 15, 2014

Houston Trans Community, If You Want Your Human Rights, Time To Fight!

City CouncilAs some of you in H-town and elsewhere are more than aware of, we are in a battle with the Forces of Intolerance to pass the HERO and get long delayed and denied human rights coverage to the LGBT community.   We all are quite aware of the fact that trans rights are human rights, and by expanding human rights for us, you expand them for everyone in the city of Houston.

This HERO vote should be a no-brainer vote for City Council, but our opponents went there and deployed anti-trans hate in their strategy to defeat this ordinance.  The nanosecond they started flinging lies about the trans community in this Houston human rights debate they gave up any claim to it.

While they are attacking our dignity, the point remains that we have the moral high ground on this issue, not the faith-based haters.  Our human rights cause is a just one, and it is incumbent upon the Houston trans community to take the lead role in fighting the haters and get this HERO passed.

Lou, Jenifer, Dee Dee, Amelia, Tye, Brenda, Cristan, myself and others have stepped up to unflinchingly lead this effort to ensure our diverse trans community's voices are heard, but we need other trans voices in the mix.

We definitely need more H-town transpeople of color telling their stories.  We want to ensure the narrative about trans people is not exclusively defined by our opponents, and frankly it is our responsibility to defend ourselves and rebut the people who are demonizing us.

While we deeply appreciate the help from our allies inside and outside the trans community, the reality is the best people positioned to push back against the anti-trans lies, speak about being trans Houstonians and discuss the discrimination and other issues we face are us 

The time is now for you to be the trans men and women you say you are..  The last time we had this opportunity in Houston was back in 1984 and the passed sexual orientation only law was rolled back.  It has taken 30 years for this opportunity to return to our beloved city and we must win this time.  

Our just human rights fight must not only be for ourselves, but present and future trans kids.    

Yes, I know some of you are 'scurred' to reveal your trans status.  You fear losing your jobs, having anti-trans violence and slurs hurled at you or being assaulted.   But aren't your human rights, dignity and humanity worth fighting for?  

Photo: Houston remains the only major city in Texas without an Equal Rights Ordinance safeguarding citizens from discrimination. Last week, Mayor Annise Parker took a step toward changing that. 

But we’ve got some work to do, and that’s where you come in: bottom line trans community, is that if you want human rights coverage here in Houston,  you are going to have to take a risk, exerts some sweat equity and fight like hell in order to get the reward of living in a Houston that protects all of its citizens.

How much of a risk you're willing to take is on you.  But one thing is certain, you as the trans adults are going to need to be the ones fearlessly standing up for your human rights, not cowering in the shadows hoping 'somebody else' does the fighting for you.

As Nelson Mandela once eloquently stated, 'Any man or institution that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.'  

While our dignity and humanity has been under fierce assault, we are still standing tall and proud, and the faith-based haters will lose.

But we have to do our part, Houston trans community.   If you want your human rights and value them, it's time to stand up and fearlessly fight for them.  

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