Friday, May 16, 2008

Oh The Lengths To Which They Will Go

"Believe nothing against another, but on good authority; nor report what may hurt another, unless it be a greater hurt to some other to conceal it." — William Penn

Recently I’d been chatting with Helen Boyd, author of My Husband Betty, who had noted HRC wrapping up their final interviews for their “transgender employee.” At least one of the candidates is someone who should very much know better per recent events and will face certain hell over it if she’s their choice, but I digress.

The bottom line is this is just the latest iteration of HRC’s attempt to get us to deceive us. Basically it’s their long-term effort to help spread their version of being “heroes” (certainly not my term for them) to the transgender community and to spread disinformation and to discredit the transgender community leadership and its history with HRC.

In some cases it’s subtle marketing: pulling up an HRC homepage and clicking on their “transgender issues” tab where they gamely attempt to market themselves to the unknowing neophytes and the trans folk willing to fall for a slick message without drilling down to a real-life bottom line. Even their imagery is consciously marketed with a photo of transgender author, Jennifer Finney Boylan currently on their homepage, or the previous version with Mara Keisling and Dana Beyer sporting their smiling visages. They even have a link to Donna Rose telling her compelling story on being trans in the workplace.

Of course they’re all M2F (male-to-female to the uninitiated), and with intent. HRC realizes M2F’s are their greatest skeptics, and typically (though not exclusively) their loudest critics. So you put a picture of people who GLB(T) America will choose last in any pool of candidates for employment and it makes folks think, “hey, they’re not so bad!” (Word to the wise, look at their historical track record….)

Or they can be a bit less subtle and pull out all the stops, such as with Judy, mother of Matthew Shepard and her latest advertising for how ‘great’ HRC has been on all issues – even trans (which needs more “education”, in the perennial HRC mantra). She also issued a call to action for all HRC supporters to help challenge those who speak of their elitism, and to help spread a sanitized version for their posterity.

Yes, they can be shameless. They’ve even enlisted trans leaders they handpick to attempt the same image-cleansing.

There was a measure of success with that effort, especially in these past five years or so … but only until they finally displayed their true colors with ENDA last fall. Then they trashed their own cred along with their handpicked trans minions.

Basically they will stop at nothing to attain their goals and get away with it Bush/Cheney/Rove-style. They’ll even libel or slander if it helps discredit those who would uncover their underhandedness to the world. To wit:

A Houston transgender who is a local-level leader of the city’s Transgender Unity Committee, a local institution that puts on an annual banquet in the city. This longtime leader, who knows nothing of national politics or the history of trans political activism outside of the city put out a nice little smear on her website. Most of it was personal rants from the author, but a segment (which began with a bit of a glowing report of HRC) caught my eye:

HRC National Leadership: HRC has produced several TG educational products such a brochures and booklets. Their website has some great information about TGs and TG rights. They even screen employers by their nondiscrimination policy towards transgenders. When the TG community cries foul because HRC pays lobbyists to kill any legislation protecting TGs, HRC points to the above as proof of their support and characterize protesters and crazy, selfish, troublemakers... basically, HRC leadership does a great job at characterizing any TG who pickets an HRC event as ill-behaved children who need to be managed.

NTAC Leadership: Since the late 1990s, NTAC has worked to stop HRC. They picket HRC events, lobby congress members and sends out press releases. They work hard to condemn the whole of HRC for it's anti-TG efforts. ….

NTAC's strategy is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!!

For almost a decade, NTAC has tried the same thing over and over again. Over and over again they play right into the hands of HRC leadership by playing the part of the unruly TG. By attacking HRC as a whole and shaming HRC members, NTAC attacks the member's personal identity and sense of community. Each NTAC action inspires HRC members into being defensive. ….

Considering this is coming from a trans person who’s never been involved in anything beyond the local, you have to wonder where this particular story would come from. For the record, the webpage (recently removed for some odd reason) was put up in November of last year. At that point, NTAC had sponsored exactly one protest of an HRC banquet. One. And that protest took place in September 2007.

For me personally (who the author chose to single out along with Ethan St. Pierre regarding this HRC-bashing), at that time I had protested one HRC banquet. That was as many HRC banquets as Mara Keisling had protested as she was there with us and she’s one of HRC’s most admired trans people! Two people with similar records on HRC protests – one is unscathed, the other blasted and marginalized as having a decade-long history of protesting and working against trans people.

Wonder where that could come from? Now matter how it got to the webpage tabloidist, whether from local HRC folks or possibly from accommodating trans leaders, the upshot is that it derived from HRC national. This has been their modus operandi for over a decade made to hook the gullible amongst us just as the Three-Card Monte hawkers pull in small-town tourists to dupe with every fresh new wave that hits the big city streets.

Even though it’s a bit picayune, this is libel when they sell this stuff to easily-duped trannies. They’ll even push for more from their new unwitting recruits to the point of getting involved in it themselves by repeating it and toss in some of their own preposterous slander, such as (from the same webpage):

Now NTAC wants to shut down the DOR event that educates 100+ NEW people each year - the very event that inspires those very people into considering how to help the TG community.

Beyond her own personal ax to grind, this person should know better. She’s been given opportunity and there are plenty of locals here who know well the HRC game who could’ve provided affirmation.

It’s exactly these type of little personality snits or private envy that HRC will continue exploiting, turning trans viciously against other trans folks simply to assist in neutralizing the trans community and squelching any voice from our own community. You will never see gay and lesbians attacking their own with such zeal or taking down their institutions in similar fashion … at least not outside of the youth movement.

Perhaps there’s a way for us to attack HRC and the gay and lesbian community in the same way they attack us by availing ourselves of their built-in disenfranchisement of anyone not in their elite confines. Then again, it also reduces us to their level, which is repulsing.

Ultimately, with the gay and lesbian community getting closer to winning their goals, it spells a very mean and ugly time for the trans community ahead. They will do whatever necessary to land the knockout punch. We can look forward to years of externally-designed chaos, character assassination and maddening manipulation. Even the above web tabloid-artist started contradicting herself in the very same webpage. After her blasts of NTAC, she had a manifesto of what the community should do in her opinion, including:

Picket Joe Solmonese's BEHAVIOR wherever he goes. Picket his home... Picket him at his job... If he goes out to eat, picket his behavior there. Never picket the man or his personality. Never shout at him and never come in personal contact with him... Picket his BEHAVIOR only. Ensure that wherever he goes, everyone is educated about this man's behavior. This will create a lot of news interest (more than any general anti-HRC picket) and also send a very strong message to all HRC leaders.

Picket every NATIONAL HRC event targeting Joe Solmonese's incompetence as a leader.

And this comes from the person who reported that NTAC was negative and wrong!

These upcoming years will be hellish, and HRC, Barney and all their ilk will be insufferable – especially in the time before and following their victories. However, it’s imperative we keep our head about this (unlike the above suggestions) and document everything the gay and lesbian community does. It’s going to be their true legacy, and truth should never be silenced nor forgotten.

“Slander is the revenge of a coward, and dissimulation his defense.” — Samuel Johnson, colonial-era writer

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