“Back in black. I hit the sack.
It’s been too long I'm glad to be back.
Yes I'm let loose from the noose
That's kept me hanging about.
I keep looking at the sky 'cause it's gettin' me high.
Forget the hearse 'cause I'll never die
I got nine lives, cat's eyes,
Usin' every one of them and running wild
‘Cause I’m back.” — Back In Black, AC/DC
Yes, it has been awhile ….
First my apologies to those following my blog. There are a couple reasons I’ve been dormant this past year.
One reason was good news reasons: I began dating and have found love. Sid Maxwell and I have been a serious item since early April last year, after he and his ex split up. Sid is one of my former-members from the now-defunct Texas Assn. for Transsexual Support (TATS) from back in the late 90’s (yes, he’s a trans man). And while he did drop out and go stealth for most of the past decade, he was at least a little involved in trans activism of sorts.
In the late 90’s, there was only one chapter of PFLAG in America that refused to add trans members or families of trans folks to their mission, and that chapter was right here in Houston. There was bad blood going back some years between members and previous trans activists (which I won’t go into here). However, I was bound to change that and comprised a panel presentation to the members and board of Houston’s PFLAG. Sid Maxwell was the lone trans man on the panel I moderated. And as postscript, we won them over and got a unanimous vote to change the local to match the national inclusion after that Sept. 1999 panel.
The second and more pertinent reason I self-imposed silence had to do with politics. In early spring of last year I began to hear the messaging efforts surrounding the 2009-introduced ENDA bill. In a nutshell: the bloggers (with their criticisms) were going to sink the bill (ENDA) and end up being the reason it would fail on Capitol Hill. Essentially it was preemptive diversion of blame from the parties heavily involved in the bill’s process to the outside folks panning the process from the outside.
This messaging effort was virtually the same wording as what was used in 2007. Replace the word “bloggers” with NTAC and you have a mirror image of the 2007 discreditation effort immediately before Barney Frank actually did what we in NTAC were warning about. This time, however, the message wasn’t originating from Mara Keisling and NCTE, but instead from HRC’s and Barney Frank’s folks. Eerily same messaging from two directions, two years apart.
I saw the handwriting on the wall. Rather than play into the snare they set for me, I decided to do the opposite and not give them any words to turn around and use as artillery against me. Zero.
I spent the better portion of a month up on the Hill immediately following 2009’s inauguration day ensuring I got all our freshmen up to speed on “Trans” and was the first person those offices saw from the Trans community. In fact, I even let some of these Trans HRC/Barney folks know which offices in the Senate needed more work and educating and shared other notes from office visits with them. And so … once they wanted us out of the dialogue, what did the silence accomplish? Ab-so-freaking-lutely nothing. Silence gives them (whichever party) a "free pass" and gives those imposed-upon nothing but heartburn, frustration and nothing else.
We had enough votes in the House to vote ENDA through with trans inclusion in the last congressional session – one with super-majorities of Dems in the House and a brief period of the same in the Senate. And again, just as in 2007 with Mara Keisling’s attempts, they can’t finger me for doing anything untoward regarding their efforts. All we got was wholly screwed over.
Moral: never be silent in order to be polite or to keep decorum. Speak out, speak loudly and never cease!
Initially I planned on writing this at New Years, but as fate would have it, I enjoyed a series of Windows crashes with my video card, and then finally a totally loss of use thanks to my motherboard issues and simultaneous loss of income. For now, though, I have a temporary fix.
So this blogger / activist / lobbyist is now reactivating and now has a question to the NCTE’s, the HRC’s, the NGLTF’s and the Barney Frank’s of our political world: what the F#@^% happened to employment non discrimination???!!!
And don't even think of pointing your fingers at me.
“Lucy, you have some ‘splaining to do.” — Desi Arnaz as Ricky Ricardo on ‘I Love Lucy’