House Passes Employment Non-Discrimination Act 235-184

House passes ENDA 235-184. 35 Republicans joined the Democrats.

Above, Barney Frank’s remarks on ENDA — on the left, his comments at the beginning of debate, at right his tearful comments at the end, after a motion was made to send the bill back to committee, in order to kill it. The motion to recommit was made on the basis of marriage: “Motion to recommit “to modify, limit, restrict, or in any way overturn any State or Federal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, including the use of this Act as a legal predicate in litigation on the issue of marriage.”

The motion to recommit failed 222-198.

Tammy Baldwin withdrew her amendment adding transgender protections at the end of debate. Baldwin released a statement following the vote.

Here are a few clips of the debate this afternoon:

Below, Representative John Lewis speaks in favor of the bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement in support of the bill.

Below, Representative Barbara Lee speaks in support of the Baldwin amendment that would add protections for transgender people. Representative Kathy Castor speaks in favor of the bill.

Jeremy at Good As You has a whole line-up of audio recordings of the debate that went on this afternoon.

Comments

  1. says

    I know Log Cabin gets a lot of criticism. But had those 35 Republicans voted “no” the bill would have failed. I’m glad they are in Washington convincing whatever Republicans are willing to listen to support basic issues of fairness and equality.

  2. VI Agara says

    Fight the fight. Soon we win. The next generation will spit on bush and the republican haters in less than 10 years despite what happens to EDNA today. There is hope.

  3. RB says

    Apparently, many of you are NOT as familiar with John Lewis as I, he is my congressman. He is not a “true statesman”, but rather an oportunist. I am sure that no one here heard his remarks while speaking at a church in College Park, GA some years back. He spoke about “sodomites” and the need to repent. He spoke of “sinners”, etc. Apparently he has jumped on the bandwaggon!

  4. lia says

    Well, I agree with you there, but actions speak louder than words — and as long as he is using his congressional votes to further our cause, I don’t know if it’s fair to blame him for what he once said… but I know what you mean.

  5. tjc says

    LIA, why do you say it’s a Pyrrhic victory? A victory “at devastating cost to the victor” — I’m not sure what cost your thinking of. Care to elaborate? I’m curious.

  6. Kamasutra Jones says

    GREAT point, bamjaya! Thanks for that…

    Can I, as the lone gay conservative on this blog commentary, point out that 35 of those awful, horrible, evil, nasty Republicans voted for this bill. May that be the end of gross generalizations against those who don’t follow the liberal gay party line.

    Yeah, right. Donkeys will fly soon, too.

    Anyway, I think every one of us (no matter our party affiliation) owe a debt of gratitude to the following Representatives: Biggert, Bono, Campbell (CA), Castle, Davis (Tom), Dent, Diaz-Balart (both sisters), Dreier, English (PA), Flake, Fossella, Frelingshuysen, Gerlach, Gilchrest, Hobson, Kirk, Knollenberg, Kuhl (NY), LoBiondo, McCotter, McCrery, McHugh, Miller (MI), Pratts, Pryce, Porter (OH), Ramstad, Reichert, Ros-Lehtinen, Ryan (WI), Saxton, Shays, Tiberi, and Walden (OR).

  7. Paul says

    We owe our main debt to Barney Frank, despite the fact that he couldn’t wave a magic wand and immediately end discimination and misunderstanding about trangendered people. He is a genius, and has been working tirelessly for a bill that will inevitably be derailed by Bush the Bastard.

    He’s clearly on the brink of exhaustion, but he still cares enough to fight. We should all follow his lead.

  8. RB says

    “as the lone gay conservative on this blog commentary”, Kamasutra Jones, it appears that you have missed the biggest elephant in the room! I have been posting for some time now as a gay repub and missed your support over the last year.

    However, I have stated many times that all of us, EVERY LGBT PERSON IN AMERICA HAS TO VOTE, regardless of party! We MUST get involved and we must vote. I know that we are amongst the minority here, but you are not alone.

  9. says

    It’s interesting to see that 35 Republicans voted for it. Included in that list are more liberal Republicans like Mary Bono and Dave Reichert (in an increasingly liberal district where he almost lost his seat last year to an inexperienced Democratic challenger). The most interesting entry on that list is probably David Dreier, everybody’s favorite Congressional closet case.

    It’s also disappointing to see that 25 Democrats voted against it, including conservative freshman Heath Schuler who in many ways is a populist Republican in Democratic clothes.

  10. Lia says

    TJC: My comments reflect the division in the political gay community. Sure, we got this thing passed, but at what cost? I stood in a room in September and listened as Solmonese promised that HRC would not support a bill leaving behind the transgender folk. A lot of people are angry about that lie, reiterated by HRC in early October. Given that this vote can only be symbolic for the moment (thanks to a certain promise of a veto), it’s worth assessing, independent of which side of this issue one is on, how badly the credibility of HRC and the movement as a whole has been fractured by a vote that, for at least until a Democrat is President, will not impact anyone’s right to work. Fallout is all but assured.

  11. Brandon h says

    (/sarcasm begin)
    Fuck you very much Trans people, you have only fought and died for all of us. Obviously that isn’t enough for those with power to give a shit about you.

    Trans people, who needs em’.

    (/sarcasm end)

    I’d have rather gone without the ENDA than without our trans brethren included. It’s really unfair and selfish the way the law currently is.

  12. Cathy says

    yes who does need those of us who are Trans I guess not the folks whom when I relized I was trans claimed to be my friend.So now its back in the shadows after all the GLB doesnt seem to care they have there rights now and I wish you well with them.

    Cathy formaly once upon a time male.

  13. Darren says

    Well, those in power do not relinquish power willingly. It’s always a fight. I’m not going to defend the exclusion of the trans community, in fact, it just proves how much more work has to be done.

    But, I will say that all of us, myself included, certainly do not help matters much by being such peaceful sheep about things.

    The bus strike in Alabama really started a whole lot of changes in America for the 60s civil rights movement, and we need to do the same.

    Stop catering to those who would deny us equal rights. Stop doing their hair, decorating their houses, and helping plan their weddings or whatever industry you are in. A national gay strike. A pink out. Heh. Now THAT would be an interesting day.

    An impractical one for sure.. (i’m a realist too) but damn.. it would make the news..

    wonder if Anderson Cooper would show up for work that day.. heh

  14. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED says

    We lost the battle for the real ENDA. Whether or not Bush keeps his veto promise and whatever the outcome of the wheeling and dealing by the clowns in Congress, this much is clear; we desperately need civil rights protections with real teeth to defend ourselves from bigots on the job, in housing, healthcare and marriage rights.

    According to Lambda Legal if these protections don’t include gender identity they won’t have the legal weight to win in the courts and commissions. Those bodies are overwhelmingly biased on the side of employers, businesses and bigots. Going up against them without the necessary tools is a wasted effort. Then Democrat version of ENDA won’t fly in the courts or the commissions. It’s toothless. It’s an empty, cruel hoax.

    And it gets worse. The Democrats refused to accept an amendment by Baldwin to restore the stripped out provisions of the real ENDA and she withdrew it. But the Democrats did accept and vote for Republican amendments that recodified the bigotry of the original DOMA: “… nothing in this Act may be construed to modify, limit, restrict, or in any way overturn any State or Federal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, including the use of this Act as a legal predicate in litigation on the issue of marriage.”

    The vote was as lopsided and bipartisan as the original DOMA vote in ’96: the key difference is that the Democrats control House this time. Barney Frank, true to form voted with the majority to add the DOMA clause to ENDA. So did Baldwin. It passed passed by a vote of 402 for and 25 against.

    Fifty odd years after the passage of the various Civil Rights Acts that ‘outlawed’ racist discrimination, bigotry and bias still produce widespread poverty, housing and job discrimination and why lethal racist travesties like Katrina are the norm, not the exception.

    When the Democrats made their closed door decision to strip ENDA and substitute their bigot/boss friendly version their only concern was their grubby quest for money from bosses, bigots and lobbyists. We were not part of the equation and they threw all of us, not just transsexuals under the bus. No one will ever forget that, in spite of the spin doctors, apologists and quislings. Nor will we forget that they traded us, once again, as they did with DOMA and DADT, for money and to pander to bigots.

    WITH DEMOCRATS LIKE THESE, WHO NEEDS REPUBLICANS?

    What was true when the first American Revolution birthed our nation is true today; listen to what Sam Adams had to say on the subject of politicians who’d sell out for a few dollars or a few votes:

    ”IF ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace.

    We seek not your counsel, nor your arms.

    Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” Samuel Adams, Boston, 1777

    In 1820, discussing the future of the Union and slavery, Thomas Jefferson said “”… this momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror.”

    The treachery of the Democrats is our fire bell.

    It’s a clear warning, we have no choice but to move on and build a political voice independent of the Republicans and Democrats. It’s time to defiantly step out of the last closet, dependence on our enemies in the Democratic and Republican parties.

    Our battle for equality is compulsory. Once we stop spinning our wheels in the cage the Democrats and Republicans have set aside for us and create our own political identity, cultivate friends and allies and begin to fight in our own name then we’ll have every prospect of winning. We can do that in the union led US Labor Party.

    If we lose who knows what kind of final solution Pat Robertson and Rupert Murdoch will impose.

  15. Jonathon says

    The hysterics I read here in these comments are astounding.

    I understand how disappointed the TG community must be over their exclusion from the ENDA. I, too, am disappointed that our Congress (not just the two parties, but the institution that is supposedly dedicated to representing the people) would have any problems whatsoever in passing legislation that protected citizens from discrimination based upon who they are.

    However, the passage of this legislation in the House cannot be seen as anything other than a victory in the long fight for equality for gays and lesbians – as well as for the TG community. At long last our issues are being discussed in Congress. Legislators are having to deal with issues important to us. The gay-inclusive ENDA is progress, but it is not the end game. There is still more work to be done.

    So I call upon my friends in the TG community to not lose hope and to not allow this temporary setback to derail their efforts for equality nor to turn their backs on the gay and lesbian community. Rep. Frank and others have committed to continuing the fight, and you should expect that the majority of the gay and lesbian community will continue to support your inclusion in the ENDA.

    Nothing changes overnight. We are only a generation or so away from Stonewall. Look at what has been accomplished in that time. Gays and lesbians are no longer hidden in the closet, and so are the transgendered. Our issues and our existence is talked about in all corners. We are fixtures in Western culture, and that place has been hard-won.

    We must all remain steadfast in the fight for the equality of all people and for the right to be who and what we are without fear of discrimination or retribution by others. The fight goes on.

  16. Jonathon says

    “I’d have rather gone without the ENDA than without our trans brethren included. It’s really unfair and selfish the way the law currently is.”

    Brandon H, in a perfect world you’d be right. But I think that some progress is better than no progress at all. If we reject legislation until each and every detail of our agenda is met we will never get anything that we want.

    American history is clear on this matter. Social change happens in stages, not in one big swoop. It is maddening, I know, but it is just how it is for us.

    Celebrate the accomplishments we have made yet never lose sight of the goals we have. It takes time, and I am as impatient as anyone in wanting full equality NOW, but I am not willing to throw away protections for gays and lesbians – something that we’ve fought for for years and years – because the final legislation isn’t totally to my liking.

    In politics one must make compromises. The greater good is served by supporting this bill, and with more time and more effort we will win inclusion of the transgendered in the future.

  17. Matt says

    First, this victory means nothing until it’s signed into law which it won’t be.

    Second, John Lewis is no statesman. I’m from GA and now live in his district. He is a gays friend at pride as he has been seen there but as soon as he stands in front of a pulpit somewhere he is a Black Phelps. I have more respect for someone who consistantly hates us than him.

    Third, Congrats to those Republicans and Democrats who voted yes on this bill. But shame on those (I think it was 8) who didn’t vote on this bill at all.

  18. Jonathon says

    “Can I, as the lone gay conservative on this blog commentary, point out that 35 of those awful, horrible, evil, nasty Republicans voted for this bill. May that be the end of gross generalizations against those who don’t follow the liberal gay party line.”

    Oh, Kamasutra Jones. What a paradox you are. Republicans and “conservatives” have shown themselves, time and time again, to be nothing other than “awful, horrible, evil [and] nasty.” And may I add “bigoted” to that list? Have the past 15 years of GOP dominance taught you nothing? Which party has introduced legislation to ban gay marriage? Which party is standing in the way of repealing DADT? Which party is dead set on passing a constitutional amendment to make you and me de jure second class citizens?

    You can criticize the “liberal gay party line” all that you like. But it is exacly those people, those liberals and Democrats, who have fought for you and have paved the way for equality for gays, lesbians and the transgendered.

    You have a right to be a “conservative”. You have a right to be a Republican if you so choose. But don’t come here and criticize the only people who have ever done a damn thing to make your life better and to make it harder for society to put you down.

    If you seriously think for one minute that a Republican is going to stand up for you then you will indeed be waiting for a very, very long time.

    And let me remind you: only 35 Republicans crossed the line to vote with the Democrats. That is 35 out of about 229. That is only 15% of the Republican representatives in the House. THAT is how much support your party has for you. If THAT doesn’t tell you who your friends are in Congress, I don’t know what will.

  19. Bobby says

    I just don’t get being a “gay republican”. How you can support a party that wants to make us second class citizens? Why not just be “independent” instead of aligning yourself with people who think we should stay in the closet and never be able to marry the people we love.

    Are you so desperate for approval that you have to sleep with th enemy?

  20. Brandon says

    I guess I have a few points. One, as for the comments about John Lewis being a homophobe, I’ve heard John Lewis speak out about gay rights for years. Two, Bill, given the fact that Jefferson owned slaves and fathered a child with one of those he enslaved, he may not be the best person to quote on issues regarding slavery. Three, again Bill, I understand your concern, but I think the hyperbole is a bit much. You acknowledge that having civil rights laws hasn’t prevented racism. You’re right. But, having those laws does provide redress and does make employers think a bit more carefully. At a minimum, it helps ensure that those being mistreated may at least get some cash on the way out. The question for me is, are we better with a partial ENDA or no ENDA? And when most Gays & Lesbians have no anti-discrimination protections at all, I think I pick a watered down ENDA. As someone that actually had to hire lawyers to prove workplace discrimination AND WON, I must tell you that having these laws is important! I am also fortunate that I have worked in jurisdictions that have had gay anti-discrimination laws. I also live in a state with anti-gay discrimination laws. I want as many people as possible to have the advantage of those protections and for that to happen a bill has to be passed. This isn’t about wanting to throw transgendered people under the bus. This is about making sure that as many other folks as possible have the means to fight as I fought. Lastly, while I respect Lambda Legal, the actual bill passed by the House bars discrimination on the basis of “actual or perceived sexual orientation.” Perceived sexual orientation, to my mind, seems like it would protect an “effeminate” gay man or a “masculine” lesbian from workplace discrimination. Ultimately, the issue is one for courts to decide. There’s no way Lambda Legal can know what will happen. I think this is more posturing on the part of the gay civil rights firmament to have a more inclusive ENDA. (And, I say this an attorney.) So while I applaud those efforts, politics is the art of the POSSIBLE.

  21. Jason says

    “Apparently, many of you are NOT as familiar with John Lewis as I, he is my congressman. He is not a “true statesman”, but rather an oportunist. I am sure that no one here heard his remarks while speaking at a church in College Park, GA some years back. He spoke about “sodomites” and the need to repent. He spoke of “sinners”, etc. Apparently he has jumped on the bandwaggon!”
    ______________________________________________

    Ugh! RB, go sit on a screwdriver and rotate, jackass. You’re a fucking Repub! Part of a party that has said, and more importantly, done WAY worse than these alleged comments made by Mr. Lewis. Maybe he does feel that way but he certainly doesn’t bring it work with him unlike the true bigots you adore.

  22. Jason says

    And how the fuck would that make him an opportunist?!? Yeah, because being a black Democrat in the South is such a SHINING opportunity to support gay rights. Go leap of a bridge.

  23. shane says

    It brings a tear to my eye to see ENDA go even this far.

    Joe Lewis is hardly a statesman. He was my Congressman before I moved and I can assure you he very much is an opportunist – his position on an issue is whatever he needs to stay on the bandwagon. And let’s not forget that he has said some of the stupidest shit ever in recorded history as a congressman.

    Both sides will fvck us with no lube – don’t be a dumbass and think they actually care.

  24. rudy says

    Jason, you are a foul mouthed bigot. Your inability to articulate a cogent argument in response to a differing opinion respectfully stated by a long-time commenter reveals your loathsome prejudices. Fortunately for the rest of us, RB is a gentleman who engages in constructive dialogue. Those of us who are frequent commenters encourage a healthy debate. We learn from each other and have owned up to mistakes in judgment. More speech is always better than less speech; however, your sophomoric name-calling will be dismissed by most of us as not worth considering. Rhetorically stamping your feet by issuing ad personam attacks only devalues your “opinion” by making you appear naive, at best, and childish.

  25. Derrick from Philly says

    As far as John Lewis is concerned: there are many Democrats that don’t like gay people, but they do as the party leadership instructs them to do. Over the years, as I heard Jesse Jackson or Ed Rendell (Gov. of PA ) speak out for gay civil rights, I knew they’d rather loose one eye than to have a gay son–well, I’m exaggerating, but you get my drift.

    As far as ENDA, well, there are hetero bigots and there homo bigots (we should’ve known that since 1969). ONce you become part of the establishment, you have to the luxury of being prejudiced and bigoted…we’s accepted now, y’all.

    As I said earlier, if ENDA withstands a Bush Veto transfolk should use ENDA anyway–claiming that their sexual orientation is the reason they’re be harassed, not being hired, being fired, being discriminated against on the job. Let your lawyer/union representative make your physical appearance a side issue. You are GAY, and that’s why you’re discriminated against–never mind the fact that you appear (through dress/physical alterations/ make-up) transgendered.

    Use the “mainstream” homos’ law the same way they intend to.

  26. Leland Frances says

    While there are unlikely to be enough votes to override a certain Bush veto, those who don’t understand both the emotional and tactical significance of a symbolic victory are thinking awfully small if they’re thinking at all. It took an actual and violent revolution to turn a group of British colonies into the independent United States but it might not have happened or as quickly as it did without a few men throwing some tea into Boston harbor. Technically, Rosa Park’s refusing to give up her seat on that Alabama bus only got her arrested, but it led to the integration of the entire bus system in Montgomery, and, eventually restaurants, movie theatres, schools, and businesses, and contributed mightily to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act [which however great in terms of race, no, did not gays, let alone Ts include].

    The 2003 Supreme Court legalization of “sodomy” was, in most places, only symbolic either because states had already changed their own laws or no longer enforced those still on the books. Even the iconic Stonewall Riots were, technically, nothing more than what New York media who covered them at all described them at the time: an extended hissy fit by the patrons of an illegal dive owned by the mafia. And their narrow focus contributed to the myth much-repeated in this debate, “She sat there with her legs crossed, the lashes of her mascara-coated eyes beating like the wings of a hummingbird. She was angry. She was so upset she hadn’t bothered to shave. A day old stubble was beginning to push through the pancake makeup. She was a he. A queen of Christopher Street.” – “New York Daily News.” National mainstream media ignored her and the non-transgender gays who far outnumbered her over those days but look at us now, Ma!

    But this historic week will not stop some from continuing to push their own agenda which has nothing to do with LGBT equality no matter how many tired rhetorical ribbons they wrap it in. Thar she blows! Like Moby Pencil Dick, Comrade Perdue, the Oldest Living Cocksucking Commie, predictably rises out of the depths of deception and deceit to spray the Dems with his cracked cliches and bovine bile. For only the 900th or so time in the last month. One has to admire how he maintains his stamina after each bout of verbal diarrhea. And has to wonder about the mental stability of someone not willing to take “Yes” for an answer. The first successful vote TOWARD federal gay job protection in American history and it’s bad?

    Missing this time is his usual vicious reference to “Quisling” Barney Frank. Could it be that even a worm like Perdue shrinks at the praise others have given Frank? Surely it wasn’t Barney’s moving response to the fascists’ effort to recommit. Robots don’t have feelings. But they can keep turning on people whom they were formerly praising, and so Tammy Baldwin is now added to Little Billy’s Enemies List. Anyone familiar with the infamous history of a certain photo of Stalin and his inner circle that had fewer and fewer faces every time it was reissued as more and more were painted out as they lost favor understands the way he’s been programmed. Fortunately for Frank, Baldwin, et al., Comrade Perdue can only publicly soil his pants in rage and has no power to exile them to the Gulag.

    But back like a flasher and his limp dick is Billy’s attempt, yet again, to sign us up for the “US Labor Party.” But, sad for him, it will take more than ruthless smears and lying attacks against Democrats, or even Republicans, to attract us to phantom organization, not to mention one that is so microscopic, so impotent that it hasn’t even updated its own Website in over a year.

    As for REAL labor groups, e.g., the AFL-CIO, International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America-UAW, and the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, for those who missed it, they were among those, along with the NAACP and the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, who wrote every member of Congress to vote for this bill which calls for job protection for the MILLIONS of gay men and women in 31 states, ignoring the “we must burn down the village in order to save it” demand for political suicide of Mad King Matt at the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. What kind of “leader” tells others to vote AGAINST his own? Particularly when Foreman works where he, himself, already has job protection. What’s that saying about a general never asking his troops to do something he’s not willing to do himself?

    His partner in slime, the screaming banshee behind ENDA Insane, Mara “I ALREADY Have Job Protection Fuck YOU Gays” Kiesling is probably spitting the same lie today she did yesterday and for weeks before, “They all know it is against the position of the vast majority of LGBT people to move ahead with this bill.” Someone please alert the National Education Association [who also signed the letter to Congress]—this must be NEW New Math: a few hundred rabid extremists = “the vast majority of LGBT people.” She may no longer be anatomically male but apparently the need to confuse an inch on a map with a mile is something that can’t be surgically removed.

    One must respect her desire for job protection SHE enjoys for Ts living elsewhere, while denouncing her dishonest, divisive, demonizing tactics. Maybe Foreman, having failed in his effort to bring down HRC [which I regret but for other reasons], will quickly add “Transgender” to the name of his group. The absence of a second T in NGLTF remains egg on his face he can’t wipe away as easily as he did his ringing defense not that long ago of leaving Ts out of New York States’ job protection bill.

    We must move forward in electing a Congress that will pass a bill that includes transgenders and a President who will sign it, even if that means stepping over the bitter bodies still blocking the door to common sense, civility, and honesty. He’s really only a poser not a player in all this, but, in short, decline when Comrade Perdue begs you do the Time Warp again.

  27. Derrick from Philly says

    I read every word of your comment, Leland. Damn.

    The issue of ENDA without the “T” is over.

    I still don’t know the difference between transgendered and gay, and I never ever will…and I dare any gay man to try to explain it to my 50 year old ex-makeup wearin’ ass.

  28. Jonathon says

    “I still don’t know the difference between transgendered and gay, and I never ever will…and I dare any gay man to try to explain it to my 50 year old ex-makeup wearin’ ass.”

    Derrick, that is easy.

    From Wikipedia:

    “Gender identity disorder, as identified by psychologists and physicians, is a condition in which a person has been birthed one gender, usually on the basis of their sex at birth (compare intersex disorders), but identifies as belonging to another gender, and feels significant discomfort or being unable to deal with this condition. It is a psychiatric classification and describes the problems related to transsexuality, transgender identity and more rarely transvestism. It is the diagnostic classification most commonly applied to transsexuals.”

    The core symptom of gender identity disorders is gender dysphoria, literally being uncomfortable with one’s assigned gender.”

    This means that transgendered people believe that their birth gender and their real gender are out of synch. They may or may not have same-sex attractions. Some MTF transsexuals have a “heterosexual” attraction to women. I have known several MTF transsexuals who are essentially “lesbians” because they pursue relationships with women. I don’t know any FTM transsexuals so I cannot speak from experience for them, but I would assume that it is similar.

    Now, contrast that with homosexuality.

    A homosexual is a person who has a natural attraction to member’s of their own sex and not to members of the opposite sex. Homosexuals don’t have gender identity disorder and don’t seek to become the opposite gender.

    Maybe you are confused about transvestism vs. transgender. There are gay men (and many, many straight men) who like to dress up in women’s clothing and makeup. They are still male, consider themselves male and their sexual orientation is for the same-sex. They don’t have gender identity disorder, they don’t want to become women. They just play “dress up” and explore their feminine side that way.

    I have done “drag” on more than one occasion. It was lots of fun! I enjoyed playing a character, being someone other than who I am, and the freedom that comes with being in disguise. But I never wanted to become a woman. I was just a gay boy dressed up in makeup and a dress, having a good time.

    THAT is the difference. Make sense now?

  29. Derrick from PHilly says

    Jonathon: I don’t accept Wikipedia’s definition of transgender. The way I understood it, the term “transgender” came into use because a term was needed to describe ALL people who break gender role norms to the point of being very noticeable.

    Where I work, we have a young woman who dresses in men’s clothes, wears a boy’s haircut, men’s athletic shoes, and men’s eye-glasses. She considers herself a gay woman–not a transsexual. Now, I always felt that transgender was a term to cover gay people like her, BUT they had no intention of having (or seriously investigating having a sex change).
    They simply do their homosexuality, But using heterosexual gender role behavior opposite to what they are assigned.

    Some gay men say, “well, I don’t know people like that.” Who gives a Brokeback fuck who you know! How did so many gay men (black, white, Latino, whatever) get so damn arrogant?

    There was a time, Jonathon, when the only representations of the gay world that were known were the gender rebels. “Traditonally” masculine homosexual men and “traditionally” feminine homosexual women could hide in the closet, and most did. Those who were “OPENLY gay” are now being told, “you’re not gay”. And that makes me furious.

    No homosexual man on this planet has the authority to tell a feminine male in drag at a Pride event that “she” is not gay. The transfolk decide whether they want to be considered “gay”–not the other way around. Why? Because transfolk invented “gay”–the idea/concept that being homosexual was NOT just about one’s sex life, but about their identity, the group they belong to–separate from the straight majority. Without gender-bending homosexuals–much of what is considered “gay culture” wouldn’t exist.

    ENDA is not an issue for me anymore (maybe it never was). Gay men’s bigotry and MISOGYNY is. And gay men’s dislike (and im many cases, hatred) for feminine males is a form of misogyny–and Lord knows, sometimes it’s coming from homos who aint all that “rugged” themselves.

    “Before Stonewall” should be REQUIRED viewing for every homo before they can claim the title of “GAY”.

  30. MCnNYC says

    I am ashamed that my Congressman Jerry NAdler has voted against CIVIL RIGHTS protection based on SEXUAL ORIENTATION.

    he states “it fails to uphold the American values of fairness and equality.”
    Do you think it is fair and equal for hospitals and universities to discriminate against their employees based on sexual orientation?
    I do not think that the law protecting race or sex carved out such and exception.
    Will you work now to make this inclusive?
    And how about our Armed Forces?
    I did not read any objection in his statement on this exclusion.
    And yet the Congress makes the rules for the Armed Forces.
    I guess he believes that a gay, lesbian, bi or transgedered citizen can be discriminated in this employ.
    No he chose to play politics with civil rights.

    It seems he also discriminates against children. All children must have health insurance.

    He does not support Health Care for ALL Children because you voted for the current SCHIP bill. Oh and that bill also excludes children whose parents do not have the right paperwork. I guess they are out of luck….

    Oh and do you think that Rep. John Lewis voted for a bill that fails to uphold the American values of fairness and equality.”

  31. lyssa says

    MCNYC: Yeah, I’ll bet they do. To see how emptyheaded that makes them, see below:

    REASONBASED: Probably. Sadly, I would’ve taken one for the team IF 1) I hadn’t been lied to about inclusion from day 1, and 2) we had a Prez who wouldn’t make the Congressional vote absolutely meaningless.

    It’s not that I was stabbed in the back, it’s that I was stabbed in the back for nothing.

  32. RB says

    Jason, have you ever lived in John Lewis’ district? Have you ever had to contact his office and speak with him, as one of his constituents? I would venture a guess that you have not!

    Oportunism has nothing to do with being a dem or repub. It has everything to do with pandering to the will of those that are currently standing in your face! John Lewis does this well. And do not take my word for it, read Shane’s post behind yours. He apparently agrees with my take on Lewis.

    And it is always a pleasure to hear from you Rudy! Always a class act my friend. Thanks for the kind words!!!

    Take care

    RB

  33. Bill Perdue says

    The Democrats successfully torpedoed ENDA by passing their hopelessly ineffective version. They needed a hook to get our votes because their history on DOMA and DADT and other gaybashing laws look bad. (And it let Barney Frank make good on his threat to punish those who had the temerity to disagree with him.)

    Their backstabbing will backfire as the word gets out about the fake ENDA. The Democrat bogus version encourages discrimination by christian totalitarians. The Democrat bogus version encourages discrimination against transsexuals. The Democrat bogus version accepts and reiterates the bigoted premised of their federal DOMA. And worst of all the Democrat bogus versions promise to deliver legal relief is DOA. Millions of GLBT folk face unremitting discrimination d by bigoted bosses who increase their profits enormously by underpaying us and don’t mind sharing with their toadies in Congress.

    The bill is so watered down that today’s New York Times reports that “President Bush threatened to veto an earlier version of the bill, but a White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, said the administration would need to review recent changes before making a final decision.”

    The arrogance and stupidity of the Democrats is going to backfire on them. They’re patting themselves on the back thinking they’ve pulled the wool over our eyes. Their shills, brain curdled transphobic right-wingers all, are gloating and swaggering as if they’d actually won something. What senile fools. They’ve succeed only in isolating themselves. Only a tiny few are going to follow them as they march in lock step with the Republicans.

    The real activists and real organizations, which are overwhelmingly opposed to their rightward dance with the Republicans are now left with no choice but to begin organizing independently of the Democrats and Republicans. The fakes have dug themselves a cozy little grave and now they can lie in it. Good Riddance!

  34. Brandon says

    It’s interesting. I would have thought that the rights of trangendered people would be secured under previous civil rights bills dealing with sex. I say if one’s sex is irrelevant, as the law says it has to be in employment, then it must be whether that sex is inborn, emergent over time, or chosen. I can see why some people don’t see trangendered individuals as necessarily in the same predicament as gays and lesbians. But, like with the bisexuals, some are, some aren’t.

  35. Jason says

    “Jason, have you ever lived in John Lewis’ district? Have you ever had to contact his office and speak with him, as one of his constituents? I would venture a guess that you have not!

    Oportunism has nothing to do with being a dem or repub. It has everything to do with pandering to the will of those that are currently standing in your face! John Lewis does this well. And do not take my word for it, read Shane’s post behind yours. He apparently agrees with my take on Lewis.”
    ____________________________________________
    To start I’d like to apologize to RB for my earlier rant. I was feeling a bit “abrasive” today and took out my anger on you. Again, I do apologize.

    As for the rest, I’m an Atlantan, born and raised and you’re incorrect in your assumption that I’ve never spoken with Mr. Lewis. I have actually had a few meetings with him and his support for all civil rights has never, to me, come across as insincere. In fact, he’s one of the few reps from this state who I believe actually wants to help ALL of his constituents. YMMV.

    As for pandering, I really don’t understand what you mean. How is he pandering? By actually consistently supporting gay rights? By speaking out against the hateful bills pushed (and passed) by Repubs? By speaking out against DOMA? By being one of three reps from this state to actually support ENDA? I really am not clear on what you mean. IMO, it doesn’t matter what you do on your personal time. It’s quite unfair of you to penalize him for an alleged statement said on personal time (one that I could find no proof of, btw). What matters is his record, and on that, there aren’t many better than Mr. Lewis.

  36. says

    I think it is pointless at this time to stab each other over whether transpeople should have been included in the protections.

    Our priorities should be:

    1. Get this through the Senate
    2. Make it politically impossible for Bush to veto it (polls say that even 70% of Republicans support job protections for gays)
    3. Get to work on building the political support for trans protections.

  37. lyssa says

    4. Urge gay people to educate themselves on trans issues and actively and publically speak out against gay-on-trans hate speech (of which there is a lot).

    As far as 3 is concerned, I think that gay people have some bridges to rebuild.

  38. lyssa says

    LH: It’s rude to gloat.

    Oops…sorry. I read your stuff on Queerty, and realized you simply don’t care as long as you get yours. I won’t waste my breath on you

  39. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED says

    Of course we lost. The GLBT communities all lost. The Democrats want their thirty pieces of silver from the bigot bosses and did what they had to. We never had a chance in the House of Greed.

    But we also won. Now the 360 pro-ENDA groups and the tens of thousand of activists who support ENDA have gotten a wake up call.

    As the NLGTF said: “We are relieved this episode is behind us, and starting right now we are going to pick up where we were six weeks ago — namely, working to pass into law in 2009 the ENDA our entire community wants and deserves.”

    We’ll still be here long after you bunker down in you log cabin.

  40. lyssa says

    Bill,

    What saddens me is that, as a lesbian with a trans history, I feel the need to avoid the gay and lesbian community. I just can’t deal with the hate. Straight people (over 100!!!) took up for me at my school when gay people were threateing me, they comforted me when lesbians taunted me about my body. They fought the gay men who tried to keep me out of the proper restroom, and they were always there for me.
    Straight people at my school bought me clothes when I could not afford my own.
    They sheltered me when I had none.
    They called me their own when I was disowned by my G and L “friends”
    And they spoke out against G and L hatred of trans women like me.

    Maybe the LGB crowd could learn something from them. Then again, judging from the blog entries I’ve been reading, maybe they’re not ready to join the mainstream yet.

    Either way, they sh!t on one of their own

  41. Brandon says

    Lyssa, I empathize with your pain. I cannot know what it’s like to be you, but I do understand what it’s like to be discriminated against. It hurts. And as a human, I understand that. But please don’t think that because I think that it’s better to have some bill than no bill, that you think I don’t care about making sure that everyone has the right to live as they see fit. Deep down, you have to know that it’s not true that most gay people want to oppress transpeople. And as for avoiding the gay and lesbian community, most of the people that I know don’t care whether you’re trans or not. In my experience when you’re discriminated against, you “feel” like all the people in one group are against you. But, every white person isn’t a racist., every Muslim doesn’t hate Jews, etc. I know it hurts, but when you use gross rationalizations, you put yourself into a bit of a box and you’ll miss some of the wonderful people that will treat you as an individual. It’s easier to have a dichotomous world. G_d knows. I’ve certainly been at points where I was so angry at white people and so hurt by the prejudice that I was like: “I hate all white people.” But, I knew that wasn’t true. I guess all I’m asking you is take a minute– despite the pain– and think about what you’re saying. It may be easier to avoid gay people (as it would have been easier to avoid white people), but that’s ultimately not the answer. Please don’t give up hope yet. Take care.

  42. lyssa says

    Empathy requires that you put yourself in my shoes. You have stated that this is impossible.
    While you can gave abstract sympathy, empathy, by definition, is not possble.

    You confuse “some bill” = you get yours, I lose COMPLETELY with half a loaf for everybody. GET THIS, OK? I was fucked out of my rights by gay men who sold me down the river. You have no clue what it is like to deal with a 1 in 12 chance of being murdered by someone who thinks I don’t matter.
    Get this. You cannot understand. First, you are not a woman. Second you are not trans. Check your privilege, K?

    They gay community has told me repweatedly that I am third class. They just used Congress to back them up.

    You are an apologist, and are just as bad as any case hardened transphobe. In some ways you are worse. You are asking me to accept my third class status and like it.

    I don’t think so. You are worse than evil. You defend it. And try to tell me it’s OK, cuz this doesn’t hurt you.

    You cannot ask me to confuse rights for you and none for me as some for all. they are not equivalent. You cannot ask me to believe that we are less deserving than you. Where the fuck is your sense of chivalry? Your sense of decency?

    Had you apologized for the fay community’s hate and devaluing of trans women, I might have had a better reaction. Instead, you chose to defend it, and compounded the error by asking me to dismiss it.

    Go to Hell. And remenber, Karma’s a bitch.

  43. lyssa says

    One last thing. It is not easier to avoid the gay community, it is safer. You have absoluterly no concept at any level of the hate that we face.

    Zero. The fay community is my rightful home, even if too many gays don’t agree. Where the fuck do you think I came from? Mars?

    I avoid it because it’s SAFER. I deal with less hate around straights. Not that it’s wine and roses, but at least I’m less likely to be shit on and told to excuse it. Theirs is an honest hate. An unapologetic one. Unlike yours.

  44. GregV says

    Derrick from Philly said “As I said earlier, if ENDA withstands a Bush Veto transfolk should use ENDA anyway–claiming that their sexual orientation is the reason they’re be harassed, not being hired, being fired, being discriminated against on the job. Let your lawyer/union representative make your physical appearance a side issue. You are GAY, and that’s why you’re discriminated against–never mind the fact that you appear (through dress/physical alterations/ make-up) transgendered.“

    Derrick, they can`t just invent a reason they`re being discriminated against. It has to be real and backed by evidence. Using your suggestion, gays could, without Bush`s signing ENDA, just use the race card if they`re fired for being gay, saying it`s because I`m whatever color I am. Every case would be thrown out for lack of evidence.

    What if a gay man, who loves working with straight men but who`s bigoted against trangenders, fires a straight man because he found out he`s transitioning to female? is that straight man going to make up a story that it`s because I`m straight? (Since straights will be covered if ENDA passes.} How could he possibly defend that in court if it isn`t the real reason?

  45. Brandon says

    Lyssa, I’m truly sorry that you feel that way. For the record, I am a Buddhist. In fact, that’s reason why I wrote the post. I was trying, unfortunately and unsuccessfully, to try to get you to try to avoid dichotomous/us versus them thinking like “gay men . . . sold you down the river.” All gay men didn’t do this. Some gay men did. For the record, isn’t it a bit hypocritical to argue for individual liberty and then malign an entire group of people– some of whom clearly supported a trans inclusive ENDA. I mean isn’t Matt Forman, the head of the NGLTF, a gay, white man? If gay men sold you down the river, is Matt Forman responsible too?

    Part of what you learn as a Buddhist is to try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. The reason for this isn’t because you always agree with them, but it allows you to respond to situation in a way that’s more productive and hopefully generates good karma.

    I’m sure the Dali Lama is pretty pissed that the Chinese government meddles (to put it mildly) in Tibetan affairs. And, I’m sure he gets angry sometimes. But, if he demonizes them and gives into anger, he won’t be effective. If he doesn’t try to put himself in their heads (at least to understand them) he cannot be effective at arriving at a solution. How exactly do you have a dialogue with someone that you hate?

    My general point about ENDA was that I don’t believe that it was necessarily the intent of many of the people who supported an non-inclusive ENDA to hurt transpeople. I can understand where they are coming from. They wanted civil right protections.

    I can also understand how, if I were trans, I’d feel angry about a non-trans inclusive ENDA. As a trans-person, I’d want legal protections against discrimination.

    I’m not saying either position is correct or trying to make a value judgment. I am arguing for some level of understanding so that we’re not creating additional divisions among people.

    As for the personal invectives, sigh. . . . If I weren’t Buddhist, I’d be pretty upset that someone that doesn’t know me has basically called me “evil” and told me to “go to hell.” Additionally, she told me that I somehow “hate” transpeople.

    When, if I try to put myself in your position (however imperfectly), I can understand the anger and why you’ve chosen to direct some of that anger at me.

    For that, I have a few thoughts. First, I apologize if I’ve offended you. That was not and is not my intent. I was trying to build bridges. Sometimes the posts here are so polarizing when they don’t always have to be. The emotion in your post touched me and I guess I wanted to try to reach out. Second, hate breeds hate. Sending out the energy or karma of hate towards me (or anyone else for that matter) doesn’t help transpeople. In fact if I didn’t stop to think about it, I’d be thinking: someone I don’t even know told me to go to hell. Hmm. Do I really want to go to bat for trans folks? It would be as foolish of me to hold your very personal comments about me against all trans-people, as it is for you to blame all gay men for selling you down the river. (Again, I urge you to take a look at NGLTF’s statement regarding the passage of ENDA which stated that “a broad coalition of more than 360 national, statewide, and local LGBT organizations” supported a trans-inclusive ENDA. Aren’t some of those organizations run and supported by gay men?)

    And far more enlightened people like King, Gandhi, etc. know where hate for hate, an eye for an eye type of thinking leads us. I’m not going to take your anger and redirect it outward. The negative portion of your energy directed at me will end here.

    Third, I will simply remind you that it is not a good idea to direct negative energy at others; i.e., telling someone to go to hell. This really isn’t about my own ass– it’s about the negative energy/karma that may come back at you from such emotion. I try to avoid directing negativity at others precisely because I don’t want my own karma to get jacked.

    At the end of the day, you’ve certainly provided an example of how at least one trans-person feels about the version of ENDA
    that’s passed and some food for thought.

    I wish you well and peace.

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