NCTE Lobby Days: Where’s Waldo, HRC, or Barney Frank?
Equality Through Intimidation? The Houston HRC Dinner Protest
April 13, 2008
Judy Shepard: Back Up HRC On Press “Misinformation” About Leaving Transgender Behind!
April 22, 2008

NCTE Lobby Days: Where’s Waldo, HRC, or Barney Frank?

Last October Representative Barney Frank said:

“It’s partly because some of the people who are now lately to this fight weren’t there helping us through the lobbying. “

and then said:

I have been pleading with people in the gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgender communities to lobby for us. Instead, they want to strategize, many of them. Some, no. Some have done a very good job. But many of them weren’t there.

Hearing those words, I assumed that the lobby day events would get extra special attention (especially to gaining access). But since the event I’ve heard from numerous lobbyists that their access was no different than in years past. If the education that has been done in the past (the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition
has lobbied Congress since 1995, the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition since 1999, and the National Center for Transgender Equality since 2005
) wasn’t good enough for Representative Frank and he wants us to be in the bill after doing the right kind of education, a little help in the access department from his office might help. And I’d think the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) would be helping out Mara Keisling, since they’re using her image on the transgender section of their website!

Transgender advocacy groups are doing the work that needs to be done. The words of those that oppose gender identity inclusion in ENDA ring hollow when they don’t expend ANY political capital or influence to see that the the educational/lobbying work is effective.

(As a post-script to this post, I’d just like to say how frustrating it is to find people still arguing that gender identity protections in ENDA only protect transgender people. The definition in the language of the inclusive ENDA bill (HR 2015) is as follows:

GENDER IDENTITY- The term `gender identity’ means the gender-related identity, appearance, or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of an individual, with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.

This definition would cover anyone who is gender variant.)

Marti Abernathey
Marti Abernathey
Marti Abernathey is the founder of the Transadvocate and the previous managing editor. Abernathey has worn many different hats, including that of podcaster, activist, and radiologic technologist. She's been a part of various internet radio ventures such as TSR Live!, The T-Party, and The Radical Trannies, TransFM, and Sodium Pentathol Sunday. As an advocate she's previously been involved with the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Rock Indiana Campaign for Equality, and the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition. She's taken vital roles as a grass roots community organizer in The Indianapolis Tax Day Protest (2003), The Indy Pride HRC Protest (2004), Transgender Day of Remembrance (2004), Indiana's Witch Hunt (2005), and the Rally At The Statehouse (the largest ever GLBT protest in Indiana - 3/2005). In 2008 she was a delegate from Indiana to the Democratic National Convention and a member of Barack Obama's LGBT Steering and Policy Committee.