Sunday, November 11, 2007
The Kentucky Fairness Alliance Dinner Protest
Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Kentucky Fairness Alliance Out and About dinner here in Da Ville at the Frazier Arms Musuem. KFA is our statewide GLBT org who is just as pissed as we are about the non-inclusive ENDA.
It was shaping up to be a great event. Robbie Bartlett, one of our local favorite blues, R&B and jazz singers was the entertainment. I had a great time talking to her about a variety of subjects before she had to exit the table and join her band in preparation for her performance. We had some local and state politicians that came to show their support along with many members of the progressive civil rights community in Louisville. I had a great time kicking Transgender 101 knowledge to some of our straight allies who were sitting with me at the Fairness Campaign table.
Unfortunately, the keynote speaker was the first executive director of the Homosexual Rights Corporation, Vic Basile. So when he strode to the podium to make his speech, I stood up and turned my back to him.
Another transperson at the dinner joined me along with five other guests. Others picked that moment to head to the bathroom or take cigarette breaks. When Basile got to the point in his speech about the ENDA passing on Wednesday being a historic moment, there were scattered boos in the room.
The protest had the effect of making Basile angry and I noted he started stumbling over his speech. When he was done I sat down as he got some weak golf clap applause. He hightailed it out of the room before I could pin him down about some selective retelling of African-American civil rights history in support of the HRC 'incremental rights' spin they are trying to use to justify cutting transgender people out of ENDA.
My point is that your push for 'incremental rights' will result in exponential increases in bigotry, discrimination and violence against transpeople like myself. We've already seen the anti-transgender sentiment surface during the ENDA debate among some elements of the GLB communty. And as Terrance at the Republic of T blog so eloquently put it, the 'incremental rights' crowd is extolling the virtues of using spoonfuls of justice to counteract shovelfuls of injustice.
It's not cool when you're the one at the receiving end of the shovelfuls of injustice.
In Basile's speech he made the point about standing in the way of intolerance. For a few minutes last night I took his advice and did just that.