Saturday, February 7, 2009

Here We Go Again: IFGE Elects HRC’s Allyson Robinson To The Board


The past few days I’ve been attending the IFGE Conference in suburban Virginia. As today was the Trinity Awards for the community, I made a point of attending. I was please to see folks get rewarded for their hard work – many times done out of pocket and unfunded.

During the announcements portion of the luncheon we heard the news of the newly-elected board at IFGE. Congratulations go out to all, and a special congrats to Bree Hartlage who will be the new board chair.

But then, at the end of the announced new board members for IFGE was a name that stopped me cold: Allyson Robinson. Shortly after I verified with board member Ethan St. Pierre: yes, this is the one employed by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). She is now on the board of IFGE.

This wasn’t just a blindside, but a gut-shot and a lead pipe to the back of the head! This one came out of nowhere. The same girl that some of these same folks were panning when HRC hired her about the “activist” tag they tossed around, the same one folks have stood warily away from for her obligatory HRC promotion and concerns about motivation is now the same one on the board of IFGE.

So now, HRC has established their first foothold in yet another trans organization, and is eyeing another trans conference opportunistically. While Allyson may not be a bad person (I don’t know), one thing I am fully aware of is HRC’s propensity for strategic placement with a distinct eye toward marketing and ultimately their own bottom line. They must continue finding ways to keep employing themselves and bring up the next crop of gay and lesbian activists and future leaders – you know, the things trans people have never been able to enjoy?

“Got moneys not looking for the cure.
Got moneys not concerned with the sick among the pure.
Got money, “let’s go dancing on the backs of the bruised.” — Head Like A Hole, Nine Inch Nails


Have we not learned anything from October 2007? Southern Comfort Conference was just over a year ago, and it seems we trans folks are willing to forgive and forget and offer and olive branch of trust once again. WHY? What did we do wrong in the build up leading to October, and subsequently when we were unceremoniously ditched by both Barney Frank and HRC. I mourn that our community is once again doing what will paint us as nothing but brain-dead dupes still too stupid to be aware of when we’re getting fleeced.

And please do not give me nor anyone else the crap that this was all Barney Frank and that HRC was solely an unwitting participant in this whole travesty! From 2005 on, this was the direction HRC was lobbying toward. NTAC held its tongue, practically biting through the damn thing after Lobby Days in May 2007 as we were preemptively “damage controlled” by Mara Keisling at Esprit Conference and after. We watched, waited, gave them every opportunity to make an unfettered decision, and HRC obscenely screwed us!

It reminds me of what I’d just finished writing about a week ago: how have we NOT learned our lessons? Where has HRC done anything that even smacks of change, much much less atone for the damage they’ve wreaked on the trans political scene? When has there been anything but this constant attempt to drive wedges, divide and conquer, ultimately crushing the trans community leadership and voice, then waiting around for the spoils of their war against trans people fighting for our own egalité?

“No you can’t take it.
No you can’t take it.
No you can’t take that away from me.” — Head Like A Hole, Nine Inch Nails


Now it’s the trans community, in the persona of IFGE, that wants to let bygones be bygones, amazingly undermining our own ability to even leverage HRC, and pry away any gains! What the hell has HRC ever done for trans activism to deserve favor? We’ve always been, and still continue to be dismissed, disrespected, disengaged, discredited, disempowered, crushed and dispensed to the four winds!

Now they’ve convinced yet another organization to allow them to worm their way in so that they may undermine the trans political leadership once again, with a particular eye toward what opportunity they may reap for themselves and their own on the backs of ours, and availing themselves of the tragedies of the trans community! I have two words to describe them: selfish greed!

For trans people who don’t genuflect and capitulate, showing them what they feel is proper deference, they will vindictively retaliate as always. So much for thinking there was a chance for change from them. That killed it!

It’s ironic that Lisa Mottet of NGLTF, one of the Trinity Award winners, mused that it was ashame that the trans community doesn’t work together, and how far too often we find ourselves at odds with each other. This followed on the heels of the HRC employee now a board member, with their long and consistent history. They not only can’t see things from a trans perspective – the absence of hope, the pervasive unemployment, the pulverized dreams, the constant betrayals – they refuse to! That was a nice try, but I’m not buying those words for half a second! I’m following what experience has taught numerous times – the only change came from our side, not theirs!

All day the organization and others onstage referenced Sylvia Rivera and her courageous fight. And yet, here we have something that’s not simply disrespecting her memory but is certainly sending her spinning in her grave. If she were alive, taking a look at the trans community’s predicament and with this discovery today, Sylvia would be absolutely furious!

For all the IFGE folks who say “oh, but this is different … it won’t happen to us,” all I can say is bone up on history. There’s nothing comprehensive about this: it’s isolating one thing, wedge here, wedge there, pry and pry until you break it loose, then grab the spoils. Back to their usual selves ….

“Bow down before the one you serve.
You’re going to get what you deserve.” — Head Like A Hole, Nine Inch Nails


It’s time to bloody up the waters, seriously! It’s time to expose these avaricious HRC folks for the greed, manipulation, and hateful disrespect they’ve always shown the community and continue wanting to purvey with impunity! We must find ways to take this to the press, to the straight community and out into the streets.

We must blast them until the truth is finally known and then continue blasting them until we even it up and everything is made right!

Until then, there is no such thing as “equal” when your trans! And I for one am sick of being “lesser than”!

“Head like a hole, black as your soul.
I’d rather die than give you control.” — Head Like A Hole, Nine Inch Nails

“Blood on the streets, blood on the rocks,
Blood in the gutter, every last drop!
You want blood? You got it!” — If You Want Blood, AC/DC

19 comments:

Polar said...

I realized this was happening Monday, when all the mail that backed up when it couldn't be delivered, arrived, and the mailman had the IFGE ballot.

I've never met Robinson. I can't slag her personally. But, if it quacks, it's generally a duck. And, generally, any T person who chooses to work with HRC is probably a quack. They might not have started out as a quack, and if they open their eyes, they may not remain quacks, but for that period of time they work there, they're selling snake oil.

I hate blanket condemnations. Too often people I've slagged have done good work in the end, just as bands I've hated have earned my respect in the end. But, Nessie, we have long memories, we remember the history, and this community needs to remember it, too, HRC has rarely done the T community right - and has done it wrong too many times to count. Robinson hasn't been out long enough to know the history.

What I'm most sick of is HRC's constant attempts to defuse T criticism of them by co-opting individual T people. Now Allyson Robinson's on the board of our flagship community organization. I hope to God that she doesn't let HRC co-opt/corrupt it, and can keep her commitments separate. I trust Denise Leclair and Ethan St. Pierre to keep that so, but still, i am concerned.

Andrea said...

Allyson will succeed or fail on her own merits, not based on who her employer is. She is being given the same courtesy and opportunity as any other person willing to serve. If she keeps IFGE's interests at heart while doing IFGE business - she'll be fine. If she doesn't, then she'll be asked to leave. Just like anyone else on the board would be.

And for the record - like so many others, I was at SCC when Joe lied to everyone, and I don't trust HRC at all. You won't see me doing anything with HRC until Joe is no longer with them, and they issue a formal apology to the T community for their past behavior.

Just my two cents worth.

Andrea von Kaenel
New Vice Chair of IFGE
President TGEA

TransmanAZ said...

I can tell you there is one Trans organization that will not be involved in anything with the HRC until time and proof of its total 100% support of the Trans community has been shown.

That may take awhile.

Michael Brown
Executive Director
TransMentors International
www.TransMentors.org

FedUp said...

Is it just me... or is anyone else concerned, annoyed, that Gunner Scott of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MPTC), the organization that took $25,000 from HRC FOLLOWING the ENDA fallout, was a Trinity Award winner at IFGE this year.

I know I am, and I refuse to renew my IFGE membership because of it. MTPC is in the bed with the enemy, so they are on my list of organizations to watch out for.

Lori D said...

Perhaps the pitchforks and daggers should be left for the organization and not the person. The little I know about Allyson is that she is one of US, her heart is towards helping other trans people, and she is doing what she's doing for the reason of making a difference. Donna rose, in my opinion, is not a quack because she worked for HRC. Allyson may decide to bail from that carnival someday, but let's make sure we don't bail on her. She doesn't become DeTranssed just by who she works for.

My opinion towards HRC might not be a good one, but I'm not going to compare IFGE with them. Apples and Oranges.

Rebecca Juro said...

Anyone who's read my stuff or heard my show knows I'm no fan of HRC, but I have to admit I think the jury's still out on Allyson Robinson.

One thing in particular that jumped out at me was her comment on a recent piece I posted at Trans Group Blog and elsewhere:

http://transgroupblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/is-it-justice-yet.html

Considering her comment on a piece in which I pretty soundly bashed HRC, methinks there's probably more here than meets the eye.

I've invited her on my show and she's accepted. You can be sure I'll be digging deep on this one. More info in the usual places as I have it.

Jillian Barfield said...

I will be boycotting IFGE while a sitting board member is employed by HRC.

Jillian Barfield
Executive Director
The Transgender Job Bank
http://www.tjobbank.com

ginasf said...

Thank you so much for writing this Vanesssa! Of all the accomplished transwomen IFGE could have added to their board, they chose Allyson. Not what I see as healing wounds. And anyone who points that out is, in Lisa Mottet's view, someone attacking another part of "the community." Moreover, people on the IFGE board knew this would be controversial and knew it would disenfranchise a large portion of people who still hurt from the continued betrayals of the HRC. Whether IFGE wanted to mend fences with HRC or just wanted someone who could link with HRCs money and power is irrelevant, it compromises IFGE and calls into question their decision making processes. It makes me continue to feel distanced and distrustful of many of the groups that have self-appointed themselves our leaders.

Kelli Busey said...

Rev. Allyson Robinson accepted my invite to the Dallas Transgender Activists and Allies. She did so even though I condemned her without mercy on prior posts on planetransgender for presenting in the 2008 DOR which immediately followed Angie's murder. This invite was a true test, for both of us.

Vanessa for the record, I completely agree with you that HRC is assimilates and wishes to fix its transgender problem with homogenization.
Here's where our activism differs.

I sent you a number of invitations to join the DTAA. You did not join. That's cool a lot of people don't join groups for varying reasons.

Jeff Yutes of Soulforce spoke highly in asking for Allyson's inclusion on the panel, but I declined. I knew regardless of the persons value you and possibly others would not participate in the conversation. You are our left point, an unrelenting critic, a political savvy transgender woman. Your presence was as critical as anyone's could be. You stood the challenge like a true warrior.

But I think the "I told you so" mentality could benefit with progressive inclusive T thinking.

Who is Allyson Robinson? In my skewed, humble and often wrong opinion.
First and foremost she is a minister of the lord. This alone is sometimes a hard thing for lay people to understand.
Allyson believes in her soul she can be a positive force in the center of what you and I think of as corruption. More power to Allyson.
She is a transgender voice in the wilderness spreading goodwill and hope. Her advocacy will be a test for the strongest of people.
She has to overcome bigotry and ignorance from transgender people, LGB people, and of course our foes who delight in this rift.
Vanessa I hope you allow Rev. Allyson an opportunity to show her true self to you.
Without conversation there can be no peace.

Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies our only bequest is that you beleive your advocacy is in the best interests of the community.

love ya,
kelli

Vanessa Edwards Foster said...

Michael: I'd say there are at least a few organizations that would fall under that (regardless of their attempts to winnow us down even more). NTAC (as always) will be one of the groups that doesn't take the enticing bait!

FedUp: I've given Gunner the benefit of the doubt on this, waiting to see if he makes good on his 'no ties/obligations to HRC' request. It's interesting to note he's growing closer with NCTE who is allowing HRC to work with them again (not to mention his talk ignoring all past trans history pre-Mara other than 60's rebels -- very HRC-esque, trying to tie themselves & Mara to our pioneers oxymoronically).

Lori: I spoke at length with Allyson when I met her. I let her know fully what the history has been like, and that we don't consider her the culprit in this -- but do not trust her employer. It's a learning experience for her, she must find out on her own and I understand that, as I did with Donna Rose -- to Becky's point. Now if she learns the hard lesson, but returns to try to make amends with them anyway, that integrity disappears and become apologistic. But that's not to be determined until later, so no beef with her now. Major beef with Mara & HRC.

Jillian: I love your work BTW! As for boycotting IFGE, I'm not asking for that. Frankly I'm at a loss of how they didn't learn from Southern Comfort in 2007. We need enough of us to stand our ground and speak truth to power -- recognizing they will punish us for the truth. They'll ensure we feel the pain, but we must endure and never give in -- otherwise, greed and lies wins.

Gina: Yeah I also noted the irony in Lisa Mottet's comments, and she even mentioned "how sad" it was that "many in the trans community can't work together" while accepting her Trinity Award. This coming from the "trans attorney" at NGLTF who did everything possible to not work with NTAC, circumvent and in one instance undermine our work in one ordinance fight to where none of us got a victory! All in the name of being competetive and helping her girlfriend Mara later supplant NTAC with her own creation, NCTE. Their circle will continue isolating, discrediting, blackballing and reducing our numbers of folks like you, me and others of us who bring it to light. The attempts to post-historically revise trans history will continue as well. It's the same tactics G.W. Bush & the RNC attempt to ply, but in time, the truth will out. Sunlight is a great antiseptic. In the interim, we may be broken, blasted and battered down, and they will inflict as much damage as they can in order to silence us. But we must instead crescendo our voices over their squelch and raise them instead to a level that's impossible to be ignored. To them, we are no more than the excrement under their entitled shoes, but we are also on the right side of history with our integrity intact. That's something all their money will never buy them.

Vanessa Edwards Foster said...

Kelli, I did speak with Rev. Robinson at length and let her know my sentiments. For some reason this has come across as a blast at Allyson. Rather, it's not her that is mistrusted, but her employer. They pay her paycheck and can wield influence with that if push came to shove. Would she leave them if it occurs? There was an issue with the TDOR and their use of her, which I communicated. She stated she disagreed with it and let them know. Time will tell if, once this occurs again, she will have enough or be more forgiving of them. Forgiveness is a virtue, but when it's not reciprocal (as in HRC), it becomes an issue of being played for dupes and communicates this impression to the rest of the world. I try to follow in the teachings of the four gospels as much as I can, and have given the benefit of the doubt. However, I'll admit, I'm not even close to being Jesus, and try as I might fall short of the strength to merely turn the other cheek in perpetuity. It's virtuous, but in this Hell we call "life" gets us played as patsies every time. Life is ugly and brutal and if we want to survive, it's a matter of pragmatism when necessary.

Personally, I'll place my money on Allyson leaving their employ when they do betray this. She told me she's gone into this with open eyes, sees HRC as the callous corporate business they are, and realizes there is a very distinct possibility that they will use her and cast her aside once they feel they can reap any more benefits from her. My cynicism for HRC (if that's what folks wish to call it) remains stronger than ever -- and me and a sizable number of notables in the trans community are recognizing the shifts in mindset toward HRC from the other GL(bt) orgs as well, with no small amount of alarm and disspirit. This gay and lesbian model of elitism that they are attempting to infect the trans community with is unforgivable. Hopefully she may be able to make some progress, but I'm a realist and quite skeptical.

Call me "left radical" all you wish. I personally disagree, and didn't ascribe to that when I began in this -- ask some of HRC's own such as Tony Varona, Kevin Layton, Erin Moore, etc. back in the day. But for not compromising principle and easing the way for them to ditch us, I've since been branded the heretic. Since I've already been branded and dismissed as the "insane" loose cannon they've mischaracterized me as, why not self-fulfill their prophecy? I've never lied about them, though maybe I should think about adopting more of their tactics as they're obviously successful to some extent? Better though to just stand my ground and refuse to allow them to purvey their illusion, that they are somehow our friends, our allies, our heroes, these altruistic and generous folks which completely flies in the face of fact! And then to employ some of our own, such as Allyson, to perpetuate and help sell their myth to us. Maybe Allyson can make them see their sins with a softer, less-threatening approach. That model didn't work when Mara did it, nor Donna rose, so understand where my skepticism comes from -- we've been down this road before. Instead, as the gay and lesbian community managed to win some concessions from Obama's White House with their vitriol and prominent protests on both Prop 8 and esp. Rick Warren, I see opportunity for us not in being nice any longer. I see the eventual movement by HRC and the other gay/lesbian organizations coming by holding their feet in the fire until they smell their burnt flesh, where the pain is real and unmistakably unignorable. Once they're thoroughly and publicly embarrassed and have no way to avoid or obscure it from plain sight, then and only then will they decide they need to address us -- and not just the accommodating easily-swayed folks always readily within their grasp. I speak of the entire trans and bi and intersex community that have been the subjects of their anger and disparity over the decades. For 13 years I've witnessed this activism/political display. One thing I've noted is true: you do not get anything negotiating from a position of weakness. As Keith Harper said at the Native American Caucus at the DNC: Power responds to strength. Power does not respond to weakness. As demonstrated last year post-ENDA by the United ENDA Coalition, and even in 2000-2002 when HRC's foibles first started hitting the press and becoming known to Congress.

As George Santayana said (and prominently displayed on Remembering Our Dead website) "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

They're already forgiven, I don't want nor require apologies. But I will never forget! Trust is not based on forgiveness, it's based on what you know and what you remember of them. Their history.

dcleclair said...

In response to “Here We Go Again”

It's a great story, but Vanessa knew about Allyson Robinson's nomination months ago. She was the first person we contacted when we vetted Allyson, but she waited until after our elections to raise an alarm. Vanessa was attending the IFGE conference as my guest when she posted this tantrum. Who blindsided whom?

It's ironic to be accused of collaborating with HRC, when IFGE is the ONLY national trans organization that has been refused a seat with Joe on the National Policy Roundtable. NTAC, NCTE, and NGLTF are all there. Why is that? None of the major GLB (or for that matter T) organizations in Washington DC will give IFGE the time of day, let alone funding.

I have condemned HRC in black and white in the pages of Tapestry, and I have picketed HRC fundraisers alongside Vanessa. Everyone knows I am not a fan. Nothing has changed. Allyson is not HRC.

Allyson Robinson is a sincere, talented, hardworking woman, who happens to be employed at a corporation that hurts our people. She is dedicated to working on behalf of a community that has shown her nothing but hate. That makes her pretty damned brave in my book. I am grateful to have her on our Board of Directors, and proud to have her as my friend.

Denise Leclair
Executive Director
International Foundation for Gender Education
202.207.8364
denise@ifge.org

Kara said...

Denise-
Assuredly you knew about her nomination *way* back as well. Certainly by the time she was on the ballot. Unless things have changed someone contacts the board to nominate someone (or the board contacts the nominee) first. Whatever your procedure is in the early stages there *is* some communication between IFGE's board and the nominee. How else would the nominee even know they are on the ballot for example? Or maybe they do not want to accept the nomination?

So one of two things happened:

1) IFGE never thought to tell her that this nomination would be controversial. Yup, all would be hunky-dory and nobody would (righly or wrongly) mention the HRC elephant in the room.

or

2) The IFGE board did convey the message. She heard it and ignored it. Even if it was not the will of her employers, it sure reflects their attitudes that they can just ignore us!

I am not sure which one is the more frightening situation. But which one was it?

dcleclair said...

Hi Kara,

First of all, thanks for working so hard on registration issues at the conference. Your help was a godsend.

Yes, we were all aware from the onset that Allyson's nomination would be controversial, Allyson is not that naive and neither am I. However, after getting to know her, we also realized that she had talent, poise and integrity. We had no grounds to reject her nomination.

Unlike other national organizations, IFGE's Board of Directors is voted on by our membership. Most DC non-profits appoint their Directors, and keep the whole process hush-hush. IFGE works hard to be transparent. Non-members may have been surprised, but it was their decision not to participate.

In point of fact, Allyson was nominated by Ethan St. Pierre, one of HRC's most passionate critics. HRC had nothing to do with her nomination, or election. It happened despite them, not because of them. You can't throw a stone in DC without hitting someone from that organization, and any national organization that says they don't work with HRC is not being honest. The difference is that we don't lie about what we do.

The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of Allyson. Her candidate biography clearly stated that she is employed by HRC. We followed the same process that we have always used. The honorable thing to do was treat her like anyone else, and let our membership decide. It would have been wrong to make special rules to exclude her.

Give her a chance, and judge her by her deeds, not her company. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Sincerely,
Denise Leclair

HRC Watch said...

FACT SHEET

1) IFGE's membership voted Allyson on to the board
2) IFGE has never proclaimed "by gones be by gones with HRC."
3) HRC is not going to partner with IFGE at ANY of our conferences.
4) IFGE is NOT taking money from HRC
5) Allyson Robinson is employed by HRC, HRC is not her identity
6) I trust Allyson and welcome her to the board and look forward to working
with her.
7) If anyone wants to discuss this issue, if anyone has any questions,
please email me at radicalguy@gmail.com or call me on my cell at 978-518-1835

I want to thank Vanessa for alerting the community to the misinformation
presented in her post, I guess HRC doesn't have to do that now. Way to
go for helping people to think that HRC is working with the transgender community.
Most of all, after all the work I've done and after all we've been through, Vanessa,
thank you for trusting me.

I hope the rest of you do.
--
Ethan St.Pierre
IFGE Board of Directors
www.ifge.org

The International Foundation for Gender Education promotes acceptance for transgender people through education..

ginasf said...

I have nothing specifically against Allyson except that she has chosen to work with and be associated with an organization that has NOT been a friend to the community she wants to help. That's not a way to gain my respect (nor the respect of a LOT of people in our community), but that's her decision. She will live with the results of her decision and I refuse to hear transpeople who didn't agree with that decision be somehow demonized and made to seem like "bullies." Kindly don't play that cynical game in our community.

Denise, I don't buy this idea that Allyson just happened to also be involved with HRC, 'how could you avoid someone connected with them?' You KNEW this would be a strong point of disagreement in our community. Allyson, experienced as she is, doesn't provide some wholly incredible set of skills that no one else could have conceivably supplied. You chose to have her as part of your organization, with all her pluses and minses. Why can't you acknowledge the reality of that and stop trying to shut people up who find your appointment to be highly regressive in nature?

Vanessa Edwards Foster said...

Denise, you wrote: Vanessa knew about Allyson Robinson's nomination months ago. She was the first person we contacted when we vetted Allyson, but she waited until after our elections to raise an alarm.

That is absolute falsehood! How do you figure that I was the "first person" contacted? And what logic would it make that IFGE would contact me on their decisions? I'm not on your board, much less the first person you would go through to run your decisions through! Your decision was your own, do not attempt to try to deflect criticism to me over that!

It's ironic to be accused of collaborating with HRC

Where did I state you were collaborating with HRC? This post was more about HRC and what they plan to do a la SCC (knowing their tendencies) -- find a way to capitalize and another way to drive a wedge deeper into the trans community by doing so. Indeed, I'd noted to Bree Hartlage that if this was following the previous examples, the wedging, the distancing and the discreditation from trans folks at IFGE would begin shortly. She assured that wasn't the case, and I took her at her word for it. Well, now we see ... and in rather over-the-top fashion!

when IFGE is the ONLY national trans organization that has been refused a seat with Joe on the National Policy Roundtable. NTAC, NCTE, and NGLTF are all there. Why is that? None of the major GLB (or for that matter T) organizations in Washington DC will give IFGE the time of day, let alone funding.

Frankly I don't understand that decision either. Mara Keisling sits on the committee that establishes rules on NPR members, not I. That committee is who established that only "organizations that do policy work" would be members, and it is their discretion of who fits into that category in their opinion -- not the entire roundtable's decision! Point of fact, NTAC was one of the original members of this roundtable which began in 2000, about 6 mos. after the previous roundtable called by then E.D, Kerri Lobel to bring the trans community together with them, HRC and other trans-supportive orgs. This had nothing to do with NTAC wangling our way onto the committee -- GenderPAC did not respond and NTAC was the only Transgender advocacy organization at that time. HRC was also an original member, and I don't think that any one org can begin an effort to vote them off of NPR -- again, I presume if any of that were to occur from the report back at the last NPR in Nov, that would be the Members Committee who would have that say (again, Mara, not us). Mara did join up around 2004 once she determined it was something she needed to be involved in. IFGE did not jump into the advocacy game until 2-3years ago.

As for your claim that other major GLB organizations won't give you the time of day -- welcome to the club! NTAC had that in the days before the advent of Mara. Since then, everything has been shut down -- not because of anything we did to these organizations or even said about any (HRC notwithstanding). At the time our approach was to colleet allies to isolate and eventually force HRC to come to terms. Late 2002, Mara told us all this was "adversarial," and that we needed to usher in a new era where we were "collegial" and "collaborative" with our allies, including HRC. And shortly after, it was NTAC who found ourselves isolated and being pressured into this new acceptance of HRC. We've been isolated and marginalized by the groups ever since (I guess it's only adversarial when it's NTAC, but positive when it's Mara). And truth be told, I don't agree with the way the other trans groups beside NTAC -- including IFGE -- are continually marginalized by the very same people who lauded this move "away from divide and conquer" but then employed it on us as if we're the gatekeepers to everyone's rights! The hypocrisy in that is plainly visible.

As for T organizations in DC not giving you the time of day, I hope you're not talking about NTAC. You've never come to us about anything, even when you were on NTAC's board. If you're complaining about NCTE, whine to them. If this is the case, I find it ironic that IFGE is "partnering" with NCTE and working to align the next conference to work in conjunction with them. What does that say?

I have condemned HRC in black and white in the pages of Tapestry, and I have picketed HRC fundraisers alongside Vanessa. Everyone knows I am not a fan. Nothing has changed. Allyson is not HRC.

That's a fact, and I don't entertain the thought that you haven't spoken out about them. There were many years when Mara refused to speak out about them, even when she was aware they were screwing us all -- though that changed in later years after SCC 2007. While I'd never met nor spoken with Allyson before IFGE, I do find that she appears to have integrity and an understanding of what she's working with there at HRC. For the record, I don't think she's disingenuous nor do I question her morals. What I did tell her was that she appears not to be concerned with their history and their behavior patterns, and there was some pollyannish naivete in that. Again, that was not where my concerns derive from.

SCC 2007 was only eighteen months ago. I'm fully aware of how easy HRC believes it is to divert our attention from the past and play us again. They are masters at marketing and completely beguiling whenever it comes to sniffing out ways to make more money and promote themselves to all as something they know they are not. Mara has learned from them as well, which causes the same concerns about anything coming from her. The bottom line is I'm not going to buy into their power play, and I fear y'all may be walking into that very scenario.

And I will also not have you shifting blame over to me for taking heat on a decision that had nothing to do with me.

Vanessa Edwards Foster said...

Denise, per the next comment You can't throw a stone in DC without hitting someone from that organization, and any national organization that says they don't work with HRC is not being honest. The difference is that we don't lie about what we do.

*Any national organization*...? Are you serious? And what exactly are you inferring: that y'all are working with them? I thought you weren't collaborating with them (per the earlier post)?

So, where have you seen NTAC lately working with HRC?

And why all this negativity when this blog was (aside from my surprise at the nomination) directed towards disabusing HRC of any notions of trying to pull yet another Southern Comfort style "win over the trannies" effort? Read the rest of the post beyond the first four paragraphs.

Vanessa Edwards Foster said...

Ethan? I want to thank Vanessa for alerting the community to the misinformation
presented in her post, I guess HRC doesn't have to do that now. Way to
go for helping people to think that HRC is working with the transgender community.
Most of all, after all the work I've done and after all we've been through, Vanessa,
thank you for trusting me.


What?!?!?