Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Louisville Forum Still Stonewalling On Adding Trans Panelist
-TransGriot. June 23, 2014, 'Louisville Forum, 'Why Are You Hosting A Trans Issues Forum With No Trans People On The Panel?'
With the scheduled Louisville Forum 'Growing Up Transgender' panel set to take place next Tuesday, the questions that Jaison and I asked began to be echoed around the Louisville metro area in local media outlets as Dale Josey and the Louisville Forum unconvincingly insisted that the exclusion of a transperson from the July 9 panel was not intentional.
But their stonewalling in terms of not immediately correcting their mistake gives people in Louisville and across the country the impression that's exactly what is happening in Da Ville.
Louisville Human Relations Commissioner Dawn Wilson echoed the thoughts of many people, myself included. While we commend the Forum for taking on this trans-themed topic, it's problematic there is no representation on this panel from the Louisville trans community, as she noted in the WFPL-FM story about the controversy written by Laura Ellis.
"“It’s a very good start. But we really do need somebody who has the experiences of school, growing up transgender, growing up as a person who is questioning gender, that perspective needs to be there," Wilson said.
Wilson, who is black, likened the panel to a discussion on African-American issues by a panel of white experts.
“It doesn’t really make much sense, because they’re never had that experience. They’ve never been through those trials and tribulations," she said
The comments of Dale Josey have also been disquieting for the Louisville trans community and our allies. Josey is co-chair for the programs and issues committee for the Forum, made some problematic conflations of sexual orientation and gender identity in Ellis' article, and it emphatically points out why a transperson is needed on this upcoming panel in light of the fact an opponent is already on it.
Because the Louisville Forum is usually being done in a room full of predominately white male business leaders, politicians, and other influencers, and it's being videotaped, I cannot underscore how vitally important it is to have the perspectives of an actual trans person in that discussion.
So do the right thing Louisville Forum and add the trans panelist. It will not only balance the panel, it will improve the quality of the discussion.
And since you are discussing our trans lives, it needs to happen.
TransGriot Update: Looks like a change has been made to the July 9 panel. Trans teen Henry Brousseau has been added to the panel.