Friday, January 30, 2009

Wisconsin Gays And Lesbians, The Transgender Community Is STILL Waiting For You To Come Back For Them

In 1982 Wisconsin became the first state to pass a law banning discrimination against gays and lesbians. Transgender people weren't included in that law, and as we've heard over and over again like a broken record from the GL incrementalist crowd, 'We'll come back for you"'

Wisconsin is Exhibit A of what the incrementalists mean when they screech, 'we'll come back for you'.

'We'll cone back for you' equals 'never'.

I'm focusing on this again in light of the fact that a biracial 28 year old transwoman named Sierra Broussard was denied entry to the Park Central nightclub in downtown Appleton, WI. Sierra is African-American and White, lives full time as a passable woman who has no plans to seek SRS, but unfortunately the gender marker on her ID has that dreaded 'M' on it.

One of the things we are seeing is increasing cases of transwomen being exposed to discrimination because some troglodyte harasses her because they saw on the ID the 'M' in the gender code box. From that point it doesn't take an MIT grad to figure out that the person who just handed you said ID is a transwoman.

“You don’t have to get along with people, but you don’t have to discriminate,” said Ms. Broussard.

The civil complaint Sierra filed stated one Park Central employee said if she "used either bathroom it would cause confusion for the other patrons," and claims she was told to go to another club, one that caters to "her kind."

A manager told the Post-Crescent newspaper that the bar does not discriminate against gays or lesbians, but cannot accommodate Broussard because allowing her to use either the men's or women's restroom is a safety issue.

Bullshit. I'm tired of y'all and the Religious Reich citing bathrooms as the justification for your transphobic bigotry.

We're also tired as a community of being repeatedly cut out of civil rights legislation in various states and at the federal level, being told it's necessary so it can pass, and you'll come back to add us to it later while regurgitating the 'half a loaf is better than none' analogy.

Half a civil rights loaf for you still means the transgender community is starving at the civil rights dinner table after you've feasted and walked away satisfied. The transgender community in Wisconsin is still experiencing a civil rights famine at the state level that has lasted over 25 years.

So Wisconsin GL community, when can my fellow transpeople experience the same civil rights protections that you enjoy and demanded for yourselves?

Then again, the more pertinent question is what are you going to do in concert with the Wisconsin transgender community to help make it a reality?


Unknown said...

thank you for this post!! i've had people i thought were my allies tell me they are "undecided" on this "bathroom issue".

seems we never get a break when educating people.. i hope this lawsuit helps the legislation in our favor!

Monica Roberts said...

You got that right, bro. Have fun in DC!