So it looks like ENDA may come to a vote early next week – according to Harry Reid.
The bill is unlikely to gain much traction in the Republican controlled House, but could provide Democrats with another opportunity to paint the GOP as out of step with most Americans by obstructing a bill aimed at ending workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
This made me cry. Wish I’d been there.
Thursday night I’d gone to see my new favorite band Those Darlins, who did a cover of White Light/White Heat – which is one of my favorite Velvet tunes – and I actually went & thanked them for it afterwards, specifically mentioning that it always does a NYC kid’s heart good to hear Lou. Such weird amazing timing: rock & roll magic.
Every once in a while when I’m doing Trans 101 I have this split second where I’m saying something standard that all of a sudden rings in my ears as blatantly false. Tonight it was this whole “preferred pronoun” business, which strikes me as kind of goofy.
It’s an accurate pronoun. Not preferred. Preference is like whether you like chocolate or vanilla ice cream. We don’t use it often to talk about queer sexual orientations anymore, so why use it for pronouns?
Lou Reed wrote a song about undergoing electroshock therapy because his parents thought he was gay. It was called “Kill Your Sons.”
He wrote “Candy Says” about Candy Darling, one of the Warhol Factory’s out trans women. (There were quite a few trans women involved in Warhol’s stuff, including – Ms. Darling, Holly Woodlawn, Jackie Curtis & Jayne County.)
He wrote “Walk on the Wild Side” which inspired a ton of trans people to say “Wait, what? That’s possible?” when it came to gender transformation.
Then of course there’s “Venus in Furs”, too, which is a whole other thing altogether, but certainly of interest to a certain subset of y’all.
Thanks for everything.
At issue is whether domestic partnerships create a legal status that is “substantially similar” to marriage and therefore violate the state’s 2006 constitutional ban on gay marriage.
Gov. Jim Doyle signed the state’s domestic partnership registry into law as part of the 2009-2011 biennial budget. Domestic partnerships grant same-sex couples limited benefits, including visitation rights in hospitals and the right to inherit each other’s assets.
Julaine Appling, the executive director of Wisconsin Family Action, a socially conservative organization that opposes homosexuality, unsuccessfully petitioned the Supreme Court to take jurisdiction in an original action in 2009. The domestic partner registry has since been ruled constitutional by Dane County Judge Daniel Moeser, with that decision upheld by a state appeals court.
The appeals court ruled that, when considering eligibility requirements, formation requirements, rights, obligations, and termination requirements, “the ‘legal status’ of a domestic partnership is not ‘substantially similar’ to the ‘legal status’ of marriage.”
The idea is this: domestic partner benefits offer a few basic rights to same sex couples which come nowhere near what marriage bestows, but these wingnuts have taken the case to court in order to prove that even something as simple as hospital visitation “mimics” marriage which is expressly forbidden by the state’s super-DOMA.
Of course the problem is that Wisconsin has a super DOMA in the first place, and it can’t be challenged, even, until 2015.
Honestly, the whole fracas is embarrassing, especially now that it’s obvious which way the wind is blowing, but these conservative wingnuts are digging their heels in deeper now that it’s apparent they are losing the war (even if/when they win the battles).
Honestly, it’s like living in the Dark Ages, but cheers to my friends Kathy & Ann who are willing to stand up for their rights.
Call me old school, but I still prefer Trans Am. BUT, check it out! Straight dude comes out as straight! No, as a trans inclusive straight guy.
I’ve had enough of this shaming. It’s created a disgusting culture of trans-attracted men using trans women for sex but never forming a committed relationship with them. Most trans-attracted men are only trans-attracted at night. Then, during the day, they run back to their heteronormative relationships with cis-women of whom they are not ashamed. Even men who are in committed relationships with trans women will often tell those women that they could never introduce them to their friends or family. Imagine a woman who has been to hell and back trying to transition into who she really is only to be told by her lover that he is ashamed to be with her.
I’ve had enough of this shaming, too, so may there be legions right behind him.
So here’s a bunch of interesting reading on that old horse of whether gay and trans politics are bedfellows, allied, or not – a series of pieces in the NYT (the NYT!) from people like Susan Stryker and Laverne Cox and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (who is, by the by, currently on tour).
From Susan Stryker:
Remember that in 1969, rebellion and resistance by the queens and hair fairies of Christopher Street transformed a police raid at the Stonewall Inn into a defiant act of “gay liberation.” Twenty years later, “queer” politics included transgender as another version of what it called “antiheteronormativity.” The ’90s version of “queer” morphed into the L.G.B.T. community of recent years — an abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — and for transfolk, it was politically invaluable to be part of that coalition. It still is.
From John Corvino:
But sometimes the answer is no: It does not always make sense to try to align sexual orientation and gender identity in one coalition. Each group has distinctive needs and challenges. By jumbling them all together into one alphabet soup — L.G.B.T.Q.I.T.S.L.F.A.A.*, anyone? — we run the risk of covering or erasing people’s experiences, especially those who are already most marginalized.
*In case you were wondering, it stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, two-spirit, leather-fetish, asexual and allies.” Even I had to ask about some of the letters.
& From Mattilda:
The gay movement would like us to think that gay marriage will give everyone housing and health care; that openly gay soldiers pressing buttons in Nevada to obliterate Somali villages means homophobia is on the wane; that strengthening the criminal legal system through hate crime legislation will bring murdered queers back to life. This is what we lose when we think of identity as an endpoint – just add “gay” (or even less acceptable terms like “queer” or “trans”) to any oppressive institution, and suddenly you have the new civil rights struggle. Gay marriage, gays in the military, gay members of Congress, gay priests, gay cops — what’s next?
So while a lot of my readers may be very familiar with all of these arguments, it’s a good introduction to the idea – and to the ideas of category & alliance – for newbies.