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 2019-03-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Report: Canvassers can change voters' minds on trans issues
by Gretchen Rachel Hammond
2016-04-13

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Some of the North Carolina lawmakers who rushed through and passed the notorious HB2 anti-transgender legislation last month have argued they were simply responding to the fears of their constituents that allowing transgender people the right to use the bathroom with which they identify will enable sexual predators to invade the privacy of and attack women and children.

Although there have been no cases, documented or otherwise, from which to base those fears with actual facts, volunteer canvassers from the Los Angeles LGBT Center and SAVE, a South Florida-based LGBT nonprofit, who were knocking on doors in traditionally conservative Miami neighborhoods during the summer of last year discovered how prevalent dangerous misconceptions about transgender people are.

A volunteer named Steven had been asking voters what they thought about a county human rights ordinance which included transgender individuals and whether or not it should be repealed.

"I wouldn't want that around children. People can pretend and go after our kids," one resident told him. "That's something to think about. It would probably change a lot of people's minds."

Steven went on to tell the resident about his best friend and showed her a picture of him on his iPhone.

"He's definitely a boy," Steven explained candidly. "He just wanted his body to reflect that."

He added that after his friend received Gender Confirmation Surgery, the negative reaction he received from some people "really hurt him."

"I didn't think about it like that," the resident replied. "Like if I was in his position."

The conversation continued and the resident's concern about restrooms was raised. Steven noted that he and his friend sometimes use public facilities together. "We go in, do our business, wash our hands and leave," he said. "It didn't change anything."

"I don't see a problem with that," the resident said after a moment. "He should be able to."

According to the video released by the Los Angeles LGBT Center, it had taken Steven 22 minutes to change her mind.

He wasn't the only one.

Findings from researchers based at Stanford University and the University of California Berkeley released in an April 7 edition of the peer-reviewed Science journal found that volunteer canvassers trained in a deep-canvass approach like Steven's—one developed by the Los Angeles LGBT Center—were able to achieve a "significant reduction in anti-transgender prejudice among approximately one in 10 voters."

The press release went on to state that "there was a reduction of anti-transgender prejudice comparable to the decline of prejudice against gay and lesbian people that took place over more than a decade, between 1998 and 2012."

Laura Gardiner is the national mentoring coordinator at the Leadership LAB of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.

"Through face-to-face canvassing conversations, we can reduce prejudice against transgender people in a lasting way," she told Windy City Times. "The heart of them has really been the same throughout the last several years. When we engage in a personal conversation with voters, we can make a connection and lastingly reduce prejudice."

According to Gardiner, the volunteer canvassers included both transgender individuals and cisgender allies from multiple social backgrounds. The kind of deep-canvassing in which they engaged is not a tactic that many imagine experiencing during an election season.

"In a campaign context, they would be all of one or two minutes," she said. "It's a one-way conversation in which you're delivering specific talking points and dropping off a flier."

The more intimate and connected approach to fielding people about transgender issues grew out of a stratagem developed by Leadership LAB Director David Fleischer—one first used in early 2009. The Los Angeles LGBT Center went on to talk with voters on the issues such as same sex marriage.

"For us, the Supreme Court decision was an opportunity to focus on something new," Gardiner said. "Because transgender and gender nonconforming people are the most politically targeted groups in the LGBT community, we feel strongly that this is absolutely the most important issue that we can work on. We need to be able to find a way to reduce the prejudice fueling all these political attacks that are spreading around the country like wildfire."

The National Center for Transgender Equality ( NCTE ) lists 19 states across the United States with anti-transgender legislation currently being considered. They include House Bill 4474 in Illinois which would restrict students to using the restrooms of their sex assigned at birth.

No matter what the state, each bill's sponsors and supporters are attempting to perpetuate terror of transgender people using dehumanizing language that ranges from labeling them as "deeply disturbed" to "criminal perversions."

"We found that our conversations not only helped a voter not be as susceptible to those fear tactics but, in a ten-minute conversation, were able to make over a decade's worth of progress," Gardinar said. "The opposition is taking advantage of voters who don't understand what it means to be transgender."

"We can all relate to the feeling of being judged," Steven told the resident during the study. He asked her if she could ever remember such a moment.

"A couple of years ago when I moved to L.A.," she replied. "I got a lot of bad vibes here and there. They make you feel like you are alone."

For more information about the Los Angeles LGBT Center, visit: www.lalgbtcenter.org . For more information about SAVE, visit: http://www.save.lgbt.


facebook twitter pin it 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

Gay News

NATIONAL Couples' eviction, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, dancer sentenced 2019-03-20 - A lesbian couple filed a complaint against the transitional housing facility they once called home after they were forced out, LGBTQ Nation reported. ...


Gay News

"Trans Art Is" Trans Day Of Visibility 2019 Launch Celebration March 31 2019-03-15 - The Chicago Therapy Collective is at is again, building platforms for Trans and QTPOC* artists to share their voices, sounds, movements, and truths ...


Gay News

UIC honors scholar Phoenix Matthews 2019-03-13 - Shortly before they accepted the University of Illinois at Chicago ( UIC ) College of Nursing 2018 Distinguished Researcher Award, scholar/researcher Phoenix Matthews ...


Gay News

South Side trans man discusses life, healthcare journey 2019-03-13 - When Cheno Pulliam, 33, first stepped foot into Howard Brown Health's Hyde Park location three years ago, he knew this was the right ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans military ban, Fla. candidate, inmate meets end 2019-03-12 - A federal judge in Maryland cleared the way for the Pentagon to put in place a Trump administration policy banning most transgender individuals ...


Gay News

Millions of LGBTs would gain civil rights protections under Equality Act 2019-03-12 - New estimates on the number of LGBT people who would gain protections from discrimination in employment, education, public accommodations, housing and credit if ...


Gay News

Pentagon proceeding with anti-trans military ban 2019-03-12 - The Pentagon announced March 12 that a directive has been signed to implement President Trump's policy barring most transgender people from serving in ...


Gay News

Chelsea Manning jailed again 2019-03-08 - Transgender ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning has once again found herself in jail—this time for refusing to testify about her disclosure of military ...


Gay News

WORLD Egypt summit, HIV remission, trans lingerie brand 2019-03-06 - At a summit with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, out gay Ireland leader Leo Varadkar has called ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans textbook, Alaska veto, trans service members, Laverne Cox 2019-03-05 - Introduction to Transgender Studies—published earlier this month by academic LGBTQ book publisher Harrington Park Press—is the first-ever introductory textbook intended for transgender/trans studies ...


 



Copyright © 2019 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
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos 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      Post 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.