Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What Are Y'all Gonna Do New York Trans Community?

This is a guest post from the ever fabulous Monica of TransGriot

In the wake of the failure of GENDA to pass and become the law of New York state for the fourth time, there has been some justified anger and venting about the lack of support from the GL community on this issue.

But the bottom line is that we trans people also have the ultimate responsibility of looking out for our damned selves just like the New York GL peeps did on the same sex marriage bill and pass the civil rights laws we need.  

 We also need to look in the mirror and do a post mortem about why this crap keeps happening and fix the fracking problem.

The heavy lifting on this post mortem is going to be a job for the New York trans community to sort out, but I will happily point out some things that did and didn't happen that will hopefully be a starting point for your internal conversations.

And I would hope that after four consecutive times of GENDA being passed out of the Assembly only to see it die in the New York Senate, you'd be motivated enough to get your shyt together so it doesn't happen again.

First questions:

Where were the local leaders, orgs such as NYTRO, NYAGRA, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and others that advocate for trans rights and transpeople?  

Why didn't you New York based trans advocates ask your trans family in other states for help in getting the word out that GENDA was percolating through the NY legislature?

Hello, we have trans bloggers whose blogs are read by influential people.   Just as I and others did in my home state when we needed help to kill the anti-trans SB 723, when I and others helped get the word out about HB 235's lack of public accommodations language in Maryland, and the unjust LD 1046 bill in Maine for a few examples, I and the Transosphere would have been more than happy to trumpet the cause of GENDA in order to help our New York trans brothers and sisters get it passed. 

If you know the NY Senate is the problem, why didn't you use the moral high ground we have when it comes to trans rights issues to whack your opponents with it?

What are the issues that are preventing you from coming together to work on the big picture goal of trans rights coverage in New York State?


The road to GENDA passage in 2012 could go one of two ways.   It could be tougher since it will happen in an election year and elements of the GL community will probably be sipping appletinis and making wedding plans, or without the distraction of the Same Sex Marriage Noise Machine we can get the attention we need to finally pass GENDA out of the Senate and get it to Gov. Cuomo's desk for his signature 

So what are y'all gonna do New York trans community?   Is this going to be the moment y'all pull together and get tough minded enough to do starting now what y'all have to do to make GENDA law, or will you continue to stay in your various corners and point fingers at each other?

And as residents of the state where Sylvia Rivera spent her life up to and including her deathbed working for trans rights, it's past time for y'all to start channeling her fighting spirit and kick azz tough minded determination to pass the civil rights coverage that our community needs.   What would have been her 60th birthday is approaching on July 2, and her legacy demands nothing less.

What I and the rest of Trans Nation wants to see and what I and the rest of the Transosphere would love to write about is y'all dancing in the streets in front of the Stonewall Inn finally celebrating the passage of GENDA . 

Discuss amongst yourselves, and let the rest of Trans Nation know what your answer is so we can plan accordingly.