Noting that he is leaving his job and therefore able to talk candidly about some of his experiences, outgoing National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman told Michelangelo Signorile on his radio show Wednesday that he felt Representative Barney Frank was “squeamish” on transgender issues.
Said Foreman: “Of the many things I’ve loved about being in the Task Force, is that, you know, we’re a progressive organization, and we’re proud of it, and that we have a history of speaking the truth and seeing the world in a bigger way than just a ‘gay-specific,’ ‘me-first-all-the-time’ attitude that affects so much of our movement. I think what really happened [ on ENDA] is [Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s] people said ‘Look, Congress has a terrible reputation right now, they’re not delivering for any progressive causes… What do we have to do to deliver to our progressive allies?’ That means labor and health and environment and gays. And, so, I mean, I don’t know this for a fact, but I would bet my life that this is what happened: They went to Barney Frank and said ‘What do we need to pass ENDA?’ Representative Frank, who has always been pretty squeamish on the trans issue, and I guess I can say these things because I am leaving my job…you know, said ‘Look the best way to pass ENDA, and the easiest way is to — let’s take out gender identity,’ and I don’t think the Speaker’s people thought this through–didn’t think it through–and then they said ‘OK, let’s do it’.”
Frank called the remarks “absurd” and has scheduled an appearance on Signorile’s Sirius show today at 3:30 to respond.
PageOneQ has audio clips of Foreman’s appearance.