Letter to the editor published in Bay Windows December 6, 2007
The Washington Blade published a story, “Experts question HRC’s ENDA survey”, in which a Human Rights Campaign survey methodology is denounced as obviously biased. If you’ll recall, in the 11th hour of the US House maneuvers that led to the passage of a trans-exclusive ENDA, HRC announced the results of their poll showing that 68% of GLBT folks supported passing a trans-less ENDA. This survey is exposed as prejudiced.
Clearly, this is evidence of less-than-ideal behavior at HRC. Fortunately, none of the rest of us have ever behaved less than ideally, so we can all rise up in righteous indignation. How dare they!
Any movement such as ours is bound to run into such snags. The question is, what are we going to do about it? Are we going to maintain our pressure on HRC to do the right thing, while looking forward to, and strategizing over, how we can ALL get the results we want, or are we going to watch as our hard-won movement disintegrates into self-righteous polarization?
I just hate to see the GLBT community – my community! – being torn apart by this. The women’s movement foundered in the 70’s over stuff like this, and suffered great setbacks thereafter. We need to keep looking forward, put our energy into progress, not recrimination, or else, guess what?
We’ve been divided and conquered.
This past year has seen tremendous gains in visibility and recognition of the legitimate needs of all people of diverse gender expression and identity. Let’s not blow it like Bush did, wasting the gift of public support by going on the attack against the wrong folks. Instead, let’s build on the good that has happened, while keeping up the pressure on HRC – and the money behind them – to do the right thing. There’s a lot of education yet to be done, and we can’t do it while we’re frothing at the missteps, or even betrayals, of allies.