Including the "T" in LGBT is obviously important and for those individuals and organizations that say they are fully inclusive hopefully they mean it.
Historically, Transgender people were right there at Stonewall and Compton mixing it up with the police. Sylvia Rivera and other Transgender folks were right there with Brenda Howard and the rest of the New York City gay rights crowd starting the movement. How soon some forget!
Gender expression is a driving force in the whole LGBT equality movement and it should never be downplayed. At the next LGBT Pride event or any other LGBT inclusive meeting or function, observe how folks are dressed. You will see Lesbians wearing men's suit and tie outfits. You will see Gay men wearing makeup and sometimes-high heel pumps. This is gender expression. The cisgender community does not accept this form of expression. It rocks their boat and scares them for many reasons.
But just go to any shopping mall and the cisgender and observe. Cis women in work boots, jeans and flannel. Cis men wearing pink shirts and long hair.
Racy, huh? All gender expression!
So if any LGBT organization or individual states they are fully inclusive, ask them how, when, where and why - Prove it to us with their actions and not their words.
Transgender advocacy through education is very, very important. It is the most important tool our Transgender community is using. Do not assume all Lesbian, Bisexual and Gay folks understand Gender Identity and Gender Expression. Many do not and it is our job to educate them before we even think about educating the cisgender community.
Never forget “EELL” = EQUALITY THROUGH EDUCATION, LEGISLATION (more educations) and LITIGATION (lots more education!)
Talk Stresses 'T' in LGBT Movement
By ALICE E. M. UNDERWOOD, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER
Published: Monday, April 26, 2010
In concert with the second annual Gay Rights as Human Rights Conference’s theme of “building coalitions, changing culture,” featured speaker Shannon P. Minter discussed “Do Transsexuals Dream of Gay Rights? The Struggle for an Inclusive Queer Movement.”
Minter’s Friday speech was the fifth annual Papadopoulos lecture, coordinated by QSA in memory of Nicholas Papadopoulos ’77, who died of complications due to AIDS in 1994.
Minter, the legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said some people object to the term ‘LGBT community’ because disparate individuals in a range of groups should not be considered a community.
“We need to talk about the LGBT community as an aspiration, something we choose to create and build,” he said. “And building a community requires constant attention and work.”
He added that until very recently, LGB groups were reluctant to include the ‘T’ in their advocacy, suggesting that because gay people have had to fight so hard for their own humanity, it is difficult for them to embrace a group that tends to be even more vulnerable and marginalized than they are. In order to be included, he said, transgender people had to adopt an alternate way to address the issues.
“Transgender activists started arguing that gay and lesbian people are not discriminated against just because of their sexual conduct, but because they are seen as violating the rules of gender,” he said, adding that this notion of common resistance to gender stereotypes and the gender binary played a major role in uniting the movement. However, he cautioned against using this as the dominant framework.
“It’s served a purpose, but we’re in danger of losing sights of transgender in the midst of the discussion of gender nonconformity,” he said, noting that he spoke more out of concern than cynicism. “If I don’t say transgender issues are at the very center of gay identity, why should they care?”
Chair of the Transgender Task Force Eva B. Rosenberg ’10 said the talk inspired her to think more closely about TTF’s organizing premise.
“Do we consider gender nonconformity the principle that unites our community?” she asked rhetorically. “It’s important to organize in a way that represents and meets the needs of people under the trans umbrella and think about community in the most inclusive way possible without losing our sense of focus.”
The focus of TTF, she said, was less to be a part of the mainstream queer community and more dedicated to advocacy and education.
The rights conference, organized by Harvard Kennedy School lecturer Timothy P. McCarthy ’93, marked the finale of the University-wide week celebrating Gaypril, a month dedicated to LGBT pride and awareness.
—Staff writer Alice E.M. Underwood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Posted by De Sube at 4/26/2010 08:41:00 AM