Thursday, November 15, 2007
How A Self-Hating Drag Queen Helped Cost Us ENDA Support
And no, I'm not talking about Barney Frank, who hates transpeople period.
One of the things I've been warning the GLBT community about over the last two years is how the Shirley Q. Liquor controversy would come home to roost one day if they didn't take forceful steps to deal with it.
White GLBT peeps who found the minstrel act funny pooh-poohed mine and others assertion that SQL would (or could) possibly be used as a wedge issue in the African-American community.
Well, I'm about to say I told you so.
In this ENDA post mortem, while trying to ascertain why CBC offices who were solidly on board with HR 2015 that Dawn and I'd lobbied back in May were suddenly shaky on the issue, I discovered an interesting reason for the ENDA sqeamishness.
The Hi Impact Leadership Coalition (Lou Sheldon's TVC African-American sellout ministers division) returned to the Hill to lobby CBC offices in the wake of our Transgender Lobby Week to kill the Hate Crimes bill. They had a not-so-secret weapon in hand: the June issue of Rolling Stone containing the SQL article.
Their copies of the magazine had Syimone's comments prominiently highlighted. Syimone is a African-American drag queen (at least on the outside) who just happens to be from Louisville, where Dawn and I reside. She was tapped for comments for this pro-SQL article.
Let me rehash what Syimone said in that June interview.
I’m not offended by Shirley Q. Liquor because my sexuality is more important to my sense of who I am that my skin color is, and I don’t see the so called Black community out there in the streets protesting for my right to love and fuck and marry who I want.”
My source told me that those anti African-American comments were gleefully pointed to by the Hi Impact ministers. Not only did reading about Shirley Q. Liquor's minstrel show piss them off, Syimone's comments added gasoline to their pissivity as well. While the Hi Impact Leadership Coalition's stated mission was to kill hate crimes, this lobbying trip had the inadvertant effect of pissing off enough CBC members to initially shift several CBC votes out of our column on ENDA.
In addition to the ten votes we initially lost, the Hi Impact 'Don't Muzzle Our Pulpits' smear campaign combined with the anti hate crimes, anti-ENDA calls, visits they received most of the summer from Hi Impact church congregants and intense pressure from the Hi Impact boys moved other CBC members from solidly on our side to wavering.
We already have major problems in the African-American transgender community in terms of our images and 'ejumacating' our people on transgender issues. We don't get much ink or air time as is, so any African-American transpeople who are asked to interview for a media outlet need to be aware of this fact. We need to go into that media interview opportunity making sure that we are on point, accurate, articulate and paint this community in the best possible light.
Syimone obviously forgot that lesson, but then again she considers herself more 'gay' than African-American. I guess after November 7 you're not as 'gay' as you thought you were, huh?
Yo, sis, how does it feel to be cut out of legislation by your gay 'friends' and being used as the tool to grease the skids to make it happen?