Carnival of Bent Attractions: May(-ish) Edition
May 10, 2007
Transgender Lobby Week
May 14, 2007

The Ghost of Chris Crain: Gayjacking the Hate Crimes Bill

When Chris Crain left his position at Window Media, I thought the voice of “transjack” was dead. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Today the Washington Blade published an op-ed by a long time Democratic gay activist and Washington D.C. mayoral adviser, Peter Rosenstein. He writes:

“On the eve of the House taking up the Hate Crimes Prevention Act it appeared that passage was not assured in this form. Republicans thought they figured out a way to strip the bill of the term “gender identity” and just the possibility of this appeared to leave our national gay organizations in a tizzy.”

In a tizzy? If the Human Rights Campaign was in a “tizzy,” it would seem that there is some question of whether or not they would support a bill without transgender protections. Peter rightfully asks:

“Could all of our national organizations — HRC, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (although they seem to have disappeared from the national scene in the last few years) — that have been fighting for this bill for nearly 10 years actually say no to hate crimes protections for 30 million gays and lesbians in the nation, if we use the 10 percent figure, because transgender individuals were not in the bill? Will we see ENDA defeated for the same reason?”

gayjacking.jpg

Unlike the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (which HRC has already publicly stated it would only support a transinclusive version of), HRC hasn’t ever publicly stated whether or not they would support a hate crimes bill that is not trans-inclusive. I think it’s a very good question to ask… are we one community or not?

“I can’t imagine telling staunch supporters like Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid and others to vote against the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Bill, as the Senate has named it, or potentially ENDA, if they only have protections for 30 million gays and lesbians. Again, what have we been fighting for these last 10 years? Why have we been giving money to these organizations if not to make headway in gaining us rights and protections?”

Can YOU imagine any GLBT organization supporting a bill that doesn’t support the ENTIRE community?

  • Window Media conveys little diversity of opinion — just the same conventional wisdom that we can obtain more quickly and effectively from the mainstream media.

    That’s good insofar as mainstream audiences see that most GLBT people are mainstream too, but it’s bad insofar as alternative viewpoints (both liberal and conservative) don’t get aired. When conventional wisdom happens to be catastrophically wrong, as it was with Iraq, everyone suffers.

    As for Democratic activists, I agree they are not all the same. But Frank, Kennedy, and Rosenstein are obviously “incrementalists” (dividers). And I’d argue that Hillary Clinton is the worst incrementalist of them all, a regressive incrementalist, someone who believes in dumping the G from the LBT movement and turning our gay armed servicemembers into celibates. But that’s a different topic….

  • Window Media conveys little diversity of opinion — just the same conventional wisdom that we can obtain more quickly and effectively from the mainstream media.

    That’s good insofar as mainstream audiences see that most GLBT people are mainstream too, but it’s bad insofar as alternative viewpoints (both liberal and conservative) don’t get aired. When conventional wisdom happens to be catastrophically wrong, as it was with Iraq, everyone suffers.

    As for Democratic activists, I agree they are not all the same. But Frank, Kennedy, and Rosenstein are obviously “incrementalists” (dividers). And I’d argue that Hillary Clinton is the worst incrementalist of them all, a regressive incrementalist, someone who believes in dumping the G from the LBT movement and turning our gay armed servicemembers into celibates. But that’s a different topic….

  • “mm, where exactly did gay rights groups say they might support a T-less hate crimes bill?”

    I never mentioned any gay rights group…I mentioned a GLBT rights group.

    And where is the evidence that gay rights groups were really in a ‘tizzy’?”

    I’ve had this verified by multiple sources.

    And the fact that HRC continues to dodge the question of ONLY supporting a T inclusive bill, gives the impression that they ARE in a tizzy. When asked, they’d only need to say “We are ONE community, period.” They’ve not done so, although every other GBLT organization has. Hell, even NOW doesn’t support legislation that doesn’t include GI.

    “I’ve learned not to trust Democratic activists much more than Republican ones. Both types of activists seek to divide rather than unite, both seek to duck any blame for their own acts of betrayal.”

    I’d hesitate to say all “democratic activists” but I don’t automatically count anyone as an ally. Hell, a ton of Democrats here in the Indiana legilatature voted FOR the gay marriage ban amendment.

    “Rosenstein admits that Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy are dividers, not uniters. And then Rosenstein concludes by positioning himself as a divider.”

    “I wish to clarify my comment: It was Frank, Kennedy and Rosenstein who sought to throw the T population overboard. Peter wasn’t “rightfully” challenging the GLBT groups, he was passing the buck for his own cowardice.”

    Very interesting. I’d love to hear more about that.

    “I am thankful that the Blade published his op-ed. He was not speaking on behalf of the newspaper, he was simply reminding us why the Democrats have trouble winning elections: They stab their allies in the back whenever it suits them.”

    I find that a bit hard to believe that he didn’t speak on behalf of the paper. That column was written by Peter Rosenstein, but it very well could have been written by Chris Crain himself. Also, I’d note, that Peter is a regular contributor to the Blade. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that Chris still owns part of Window Media, either.

  • “mm, where exactly did gay rights groups say they might support a T-less hate crimes bill?”

    I never mentioned any gay rights group…I mentioned a GLBT rights group.

    And where is the evidence that gay rights groups were really in a ‘tizzy’?”

    I’ve had this verified by multiple sources.

    And the fact that HRC continues to dodge the question of ONLY supporting a T inclusive bill, gives the impression that they ARE in a tizzy. When asked, they’d only need to say “We are ONE community, period.” They’ve not done so, although every other GBLT organization has. Hell, even NOW doesn’t support legislation that doesn’t include GI.

    “I’ve learned not to trust Democratic activists much more than Republican ones. Both types of activists seek to divide rather than unite, both seek to duck any blame for their own acts of betrayal.”

    I’d hesitate to say all “democratic activists” but I don’t automatically count anyone as an ally. Hell, a ton of Democrats here in the Indiana legilatature voted FOR the gay marriage ban amendment.

    “Rosenstein admits that Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy are dividers, not uniters. And then Rosenstein concludes by positioning himself as a divider.”

    “I wish to clarify my comment: It was Frank, Kennedy and Rosenstein who sought to throw the T population overboard. Peter wasn’t “rightfully” challenging the GLBT groups, he was passing the buck for his own cowardice.”

    Very interesting. I’d love to hear more about that.

    “I am thankful that the Blade published his op-ed. He was not speaking on behalf of the newspaper, he was simply reminding us why the Democrats have trouble winning elections: They stab their allies in the back whenever it suits them.”

    I find that a bit hard to believe that he didn’t speak on behalf of the paper. That column was written by Peter Rosenstein, but it very well could have been written by Chris Crain himself. Also, I’d note, that Peter is a regular contributor to the Blade. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that Chris still owns part of Window Media, either.

  • I wish to clarify my comment: It was Frank, Kennedy and Rosenstein who sought to throw the T population overboard. Peter wasn’t “rightfully” challenging the GLBT groups, he was passing the buck for his own cowardice.

  • I wish to clarify my comment: It was Frank, Kennedy and Rosenstein who sought to throw the T population overboard. Peter wasn’t “rightfully” challenging the GLBT groups, he was passing the buck for his own cowardice.

  • Hmm, where exactly did gay rights groups say they might support a T-less hate crimes bill?

    And where is the evidence that gay rights groups were really in a “tizzy”?

    I’ve learned not to trust Democratic activists much more than Republican ones. Both types of activists seek to divide rather than unite, both seek to duck any blame for their own acts of betrayal.

    Rosenstein admits that Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy are dividers, not uniters. And then Rosenstein concludes by positioning himself as a divider.

    I am thankful that the Blade published his op-ed. He was not speaking on behalf of the newspaper, he was simply reminding us why the Democrats have trouble winning elections: They stab their allies in the back whenever it suits them.

  • Hmm, where exactly did gay rights groups say they might support a T-less hate crimes bill?

    And where is the evidence that gay rights groups were really in a “tizzy”?

    I’ve learned not to trust Democratic activists much more than Republican ones. Both types of activists seek to divide rather than unite, both seek to duck any blame for their own acts of betrayal.

    Rosenstein admits that Barney Frank and Ted Kennedy are dividers, not uniters. And then Rosenstein concludes by positioning himself as a divider.

    I am thankful that the Blade published his op-ed. He was not speaking on behalf of the newspaper, he was simply reminding us why the Democrats have trouble winning elections: They stab their allies in the back whenever it suits them.

  • Every queen

    Hi! For what it’s worth, I, too, have been a “strong critic” of Chris Crain. As you know, he is no longer Editor of Window Media, and thus,
    “has to take whatever he can get” on his private blog (in terms of feedback, whereas while he was editor of the Blade, he could personally select which letters would get published and which wouldn’t). I posted on that blog, and in response, this is what he had to say —

    “Perhaps if you hadn’t been such a “strong critic” of me, “Every queen,” you would have noticed that I have always argued in favor of hate crime laws and never raised objections to inclusion of gender identity as a protected category.

    I have only raised that issue with regard to workplace discrimination measures, and even then not because I oppose trans-inclusion but because I felt it seriously hampered the chance of getting such a bill passed.”

    I’d advise you to take that with a grain of salt, of course. Crain seems to finally have learned the art of backpeddling a la the Bush administration. You can find the permalink where I posted that comment here

    And FYI, the e-mail address I listed isn’t a valid one. If you’re interested I can tell you where that inside joke came from.

  • Every queen

    Hi! For what it’s worth, I, too, have been a “strong critic” of Chris Crain. As you know, he is no longer Editor of Window Media, and thus,
    “has to take whatever he can get” on his private blog (in terms of feedback, whereas while he was editor of the Blade, he could personally select which letters would get published and which wouldn’t). I posted on that blog, and in response, this is what he had to say —

    “Perhaps if you hadn’t been such a “strong critic” of me, “Every queen,” you would have noticed that I have always argued in favor of hate crime laws and never raised objections to inclusion of gender identity as a protected category.

    I have only raised that issue with regard to workplace discrimination measures, and even then not because I oppose trans-inclusion but because I felt it seriously hampered the chance of getting such a bill passed.”

    I’d advise you to take that with a grain of salt, of course. Crain seems to finally have learned the art of backpeddling a la the Bush administration. You can find the permalink where I posted that comment here

    And FYI, the e-mail address I listed isn’t a valid one. If you’re interested I can tell you where that inside joke came from.

  • Christine S.

    It never ceases to amaze me that groups that know and understand discrimination, violence and abuse can condone such activity as long as it doesn’t affect them. I’m convinced that none of this has anything to do with human rights, morality and compassion. Instead, it’s all about politics, and garnering benefit at the government trough.

    Jews sell Armenians down the river because they need Turkey as a partner. Gays sell transgendered people out because it’s easier to get their bill passed. Religious whites sell their Baptist black brothers out because of skin color. Nothing changes.

  • Christine S.

    It never ceases to amaze me that groups that know and understand discrimination, violence and abuse can condone such activity as long as it doesn’t affect them. I’m convinced that none of this has anything to do with human rights, morality and compassion. Instead, it’s all about politics, and garnering benefit at the government trough.

    Jews sell Armenians down the river because they need Turkey as a partner. Gays sell transgendered people out because it’s easier to get their bill passed. Religious whites sell their Baptist black brothers out because of skin color. Nothing changes.

  • Pingback: The T Isn't Silent, But HRC Is : Transadvocate()

  • Trans-jetsam-ers should be the term for these gay only apologists. They want to jetison everyone over the side of the ship that isn’t gay or lesbian.

    The last piece of sexual orientation anti-discrimination legislation that was passed into law without gender identity included was in New York in 2002. Every bill that’s passed since New York’s sexual orientation only bill has included transgender protections. That attitude should be reflected in the national legislation — inclusive legislation vice intentionally exclusive legislation.

    Stupid. The Trans-jetsam-ers are just stupid idiots.

  • Trans-jetsam-ers should be the term for these gay only apologists. They want to jetison everyone over the side of the ship that isn’t gay or lesbian.

    The last piece of sexual orientation anti-discrimination legislation that was passed into law without gender identity included was in New York in 2002. Every bill that’s passed since New York’s sexual orientation only bill has included transgender protections. That attitude should be reflected in the national legislation — inclusive legislation vice intentionally exclusive legislation.

    Stupid. The Trans-jetsam-ers are just stupid idiots.