Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-08-05
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWS: THE TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY & ENDA
by Elizabeth Birch
2003-06-18

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


In the past few years, the movement to include transgender and gender-identity issues within the mainstream gay and lesbian movement has achieved remarkable speed. From Chicago to Washington, D.C., activists have managed to change the hearts and minds of activists, gay organizations, and politicians. While the Human Rights Campaign was once picketed in Chicago for not pushing for trans-inclusive national legislation, some of those same picketers are now joining forces with HRC for major activism on gender issues.

Following is an op-ed by HRC Executive Director Elizabeth Birch, released during a week expected to include historic announcements on gender rights. See next week's Windy City Times and the Web site www.WindyCityMediaGroup.com for more breaking trans news.

----------------------------------------

BY ELIZABETH BIRCH

One of the most intricate, important and challenging issues to ever face the Human Rights Campaign is how to grapple both legally and authentically with the issue of 'gender identity and expression.'

Transgender people have always been part of our community. We have marched together, been brutalized together and embraced each other in the hardest of times. Usually it is transgender people—both transitioning individuals and gender nonconforming gay and lesbian folks—who are on the front lines. They are the first to be fired, the first to be rolled into a ditch for kicks, the first to be humiliated in ways large and small each day.

For years transgender leaders have been adamant that protection based on 'gender identity and expression' be incorporated into the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA). There have been a number of challenges in this regard. First, many of us actually believed there was a better and faster way to achieve protection for gender identity and expression under gender protection laws. The challenge on that front stems from concern about opening up Title VII of the Civil Rights Act—which some feel is the logical route to achieve such protection.

Second, with the near passage of ENDA in the Senate in 1996, we hoped against all odds we could pull it through before President Clinton left office. That was then, this is now.

Two years ago our Board voted to include transgender Americans in our mission. In December of 2002, the HRC Board of Directors voted to support inclusion of protection based on gender identity and expression in ENDA. They reaffirmed that vote unequivocally just two weeks ago.

Since December our team of professional lobbyists has done yeoman's work, advocating with everything they've got to make this specific change to ENDA. This work has been done passionately, using every imaginable moral and legal argument that was developed by a working group of transgender leaders, community litigators and HRC staff.

Make no mistake, in our hearts and minds, the boards and staff of HRC are committed to including and protecting the transgender community. We will leave no one behind. As we continue on this odyssey, we are searching for a pragmatic, just and timely key that will unlock the door for transgender civil rights and protections.

It took decades to educate the country on gay issues, and we must now educate America about the bias and discrimination facing our transgender brothers and sisters. HRC—working with transgender and community leaders—is opting to work with members of Congress to educate them and to develop a new strategy for a fresh unified bill that will address the discrimination faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. In this way, we will have an opportunity to reposition the issues, and redouble our efforts to provide the extensive education that will be required to make progress.

A dual track will not satisfy the hearts of those who have focused on ENDA only as a solution. Some will be angry, and we respect that anger. But, the reality of the current situation is clear: at this point, we cannot get where we need to through that one narrow tunnel.

This new bill approach may not feel as pure, or as noble, or as emotionally satisfying to some, but we believe that the broader path we are pursuing is the best course of action for our entire community.

The simple truth is that this is not an ideal solution, but it is the best and brightest work of a group of idealists working within an imperfect system. HRC is committed, heart and soul, to achieving equality for the entire GLBT community. It will take time and hard work—and we will have to bring our nation along slowly. But make no mistake, history is unfolding before us, faster than ever before, and we will not stop our pursuit of equality for all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans until victory has been won.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

VIEWPOINT Coming-out letter 2020-07-28
VIEWPOINT Uncle Charley 2020-07-22
Stand up and be counted 2020-07-10
LETTER Standing up against racism 2020-06-27
MOMBIAN Supporting LGBTQ families requires that Black Lives Matter 2020-06-24
Remembering a leader: Larry Kramer 2020-06-02
Planning your legacy: VA benefits for LGBTQ veterans and servicemembers 2020-05-27
THE AMAZON TRAIL Is there a doctor... 2020-05-27
VIEWS LGBTQ discrimination is a disgrace 2020-05-18
LETTER Handling the pandemic 2020-05-13
MOMBIAN: COVID-19 pauses family-building for many LGBTQ people 2020-04-29
LETTER In praise of Pritzker 2020-04-29
OP-ED The media needs to stop reporting about Queen Latifah's sexuality 2020-04-28
LETTER Administrative errors 2020-04-15
OP-ED: COVID-19 LGBTQs, minorities disproportionately affected 2020-04-15
THE AMAZON TRAIL A giant 2020-04-15
Teachers Union: South Side Black residents need ready access to services 2020-04-06
LETTER Missing Marc 2020-04-03
COVID-19, closed churches and LGBTQ Catholics 2020-03-29
OPEN LETTER Census 2020: The LGBTQ+ community counts 2020-03-27
Chief judge weighs in on bail reviews during COVID-19 epidemic 2020-03-21
THE AMAZON TRAIL Mick's potato fertilizer 2020-03-17
Stop comparing coronavirus to early HIV/AIDS. Just stop. 2020-03-17
Open letter about Coronavirus and the LGBTQ+ communities 2020-03-11
VIEWS In 2020, being queer could be key to a courageous career 2020-02-08
OPINION 'Trans-formal' education 2020-02-05
VIEWS Warren's America would center our voices 2020-01-28
VIEWS College for LGBTQ students 2020-01-22
THE AMAZON TRAIL The tabloid edition 2020-01-22
LETTER Impeachment 2020-01-22
MOMBIAN LGBTQ parenting: The year in review 2020-01-08
THE AMAZON TRAIL All I want for the holidays is a left earbud 2019-12-24
MOMBIAN Childhood stories of LGBTQ, other social justice activists 2019-11-26
LETTER GroceryLand anniversary 2019-11-26
THE AMAZON TRAIL The Terminator 2019-11-13
LETTER Voice your choice 2019-11-13
Halloween unmasks our troubled history with race 2019-10-30
LETTER Response to hate 2019-10-30
MOMBIAN LGBTQ-inclusive books, and hope, in rural schools 2019-10-16
GUEST COLUMN Ignorance and shortsightedness lead us to the Supreme Court 2019-10-02
 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Submit an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.