The shop that’s fixing my car tells me that it’ll be Friday before they even get the parts, so I guess that’s the end of my idea of a trip to Philly, for this week at least.
I guess it’s really not such a bad thing, to have someÂ real downtime imposed on me, whether I like it or not. I’m finally getting back into the swing of writing a lot, and that’s of course a good thing. Of course, most of what I’m writing about at the momentÂ is personal stuff, but that’s ok I guess. It has to come out sooner or later.
It keeps getting weirder and weirder…Writing, for me at least, contains a very strongÂ grounding in terms of being considered productive, that is, in certain ways you can look at a page of print and see exactly how much you have accomplished, but success on other levels in writing can only be measured by absorbing the meaning of the words and judging their worth. An 800-word essay will always be 800 words, but the essay itself can be brilliant or it can be crap, and one measure has absolutely nothing to do with the other.
And so, I write, not so much to fill the time as to document my thoughts, to say things I think are worth saying, or at least, worth thinking about.
I try to do the same thing on my radio show. The way I figure it, if I’m lucky enough that at least a few people are regularly tuning in to hear what I have to say, then it’s incumbent upon me to try to present the most thought-provoking and interesting show I can. To that end, I’ve been making a special point to invite not only guests who’s positions I and probably most my listeners fully agree with, but also those who hold views in opposition or at least not directly in concert with popular community opinion. WhenÂ I wasÂ finally able to get Hilary Rosen scheduled (and the Barney Frank interview hadn’t been denied yet), I decided that it was a great opportunity to try add a bit of balance to the show. Dana Beyer, and even to an extent Donna Rose, both take less antagonistic stances toward HRC than most of us do, even though both have problems with their advocacy of ENDA and of transgender rights in general. They’re far from the onlyÂ transpeople who have done so publicly however, and there are some who take an even more conciliatory view.
One such well-known transperson is Nancy Nangeroni. Nancy and I have gone toe-to-toe on HRC and ENDA both publicly and privately in the past, most recently in the comments section of one of my articles published at the Bilerico Project. She’s someone I respect greatly for the many years of work she’sÂ given our community, as well as being a groundbreaker in transgender-relevant media, someone who in many ways blazed the path IÂ walk today in terms of my media work, yet she’s also someone I’ve had cause to disagree with on many occasions on issues like this. Simply put, Nancy and I have very different ideas of what is the right way to advocate our issues in the public arena, and I think we reflect the twin poles of thinking around this right now.
I, of course, reflect the “Let’s take it to them!” position: Let’s get out there with our protest signs, letters and visits to Congress, media, etc. Let’sÂ show them exactly who we are and that we can no longer be ignored or pushed aside. I also advocate doing something about the Human Rights Campaign. We can’t trust them to play fair, so they define themselves not as an ally but rather as an obstacle, and they must be dealt in that light. In other words, while our agendas may coincide from time to time, they are clearly not the same. There has to be an alternative, one that doesn’t carry the kind of baggage in this community and in Congress HRC does.
I also advocate being proactive in our media, calling out those who deserve it clearly and regularly, for good and for ill. That may not be too popular with the politicians, but if there’s anything we’ve learned it’s that staying silent doesn’t helpÂ our causeÂ at all, it only provides cover for others who seek toÂ gain rights for those like themselves at our expense. I believe these issues need to be discussed in the media regularly because it’s only by making sure people know what’s going on that we can hope something will change for the better.
Nancy takes a somewhat different, less aggressive view than my own. I’m not going to try to go into a detailed analysis of her position because she’s really the only person qualified to do that. Suffice it to say that she apparently places more on the negative impact of some public writings (like my own) on the politicians than the positive impact they may have on our own community, and she seems to advocate a lighter touch in dealing with HRC and the politicians in general than I do. Weight
I’ve invited Nancy on the show to get into these issues with us, and I’m pleased to announce that she’s accepted my offer. She’ll be on the May 29th episode. This is another show I’ll be looking forward to. Be sure not to miss it…I have feeling these next few weeks on the show are gonna be kinda interesting!