The Sound of Silence: The HRC National Dinner Protest
September 25, 2008
TransResistance No More?
October 30, 2008

The Irresistible Temptation:Exploiting Our Dead

Last year I wrote Photo Ops, Donations, And The Selling of Our Dead, when the Human Rights Campaign tried to hijack the Washington D.C. Transgender Day of Remembrance. To refresh your memory, the founder of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, Gwen Smith, said of the day:

"The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgendered people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence."

Last year I wrote Photo Ops, Donations, And The Selling of Our Dead, when the Human Rights Campaign tried to hijack the Washington D.C. Transgender Day of Remembrance.

To refresh your memory, the founder of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, Gwen Smith, said of the day:

“The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgendered people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.”

Apparently that scope isn’t wide enough for the folks in Orlando, Florida. They’ve set out to expand the day to Transgender Day  Of Remembrance and Inspiration. Part of that “inspiration” is to fundraise for the Orlando Youth Alliance.  I’m sure it’s an oversight, but the Orlando Youth Alliance’s website asks:

  • Are you curious about your sexuality?
  • Are you having problems dealing with the issues of your sexuality?

and states that:

Almost every GLBTQ youth has questions about their sexuality at some point in their life.

and their donation page, a goal of their fundraising efforts is to help build a:

24 hr safe house for those who have been kicked out of their homes due to their
sexuality.

Transgender children generally are kicked out of their homes for their gender presentation, not their sexuality.

Another ironic aspect is that one of the sponsors is Tri-ess.  Tri-ess describes itself as:

an educational, social and support group for heterosexual crossdressers, their partners, the spouses of married crossdressers and their families.

One only needs to look as far as their email list descriptions to get an idea of how transsexuals are viewed within Tri-ess:

Those of you with strong, militant transsexual attachments, please move on. This list is not for you. For the purposes of this list, those with “militant transsexual attachments” are defined as those who actively promote transsexualism.

Most of the people on the TDOR list are transsexuals (or people living full time in their chosen gender), not crossdressers.

The Day of Remembrance isn’t a day for inspiration or fundraising. It’s a solemn day that should be revered as such. It’s not a day to sell our dead for money or motivation.

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  • Katherine V London

    Hello.

    I understand this is a year old article. However, I came across this as a link from another article. Anyway.

    I am a member of the Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA). As well I am a 17 year old transgender person. I attended the Trans Day of Remembrance last year. We raised money but that was not our sole reason of being there. I actually attended independently to go there, and many friends of mine were helping to raise money. I had also helped the group to do fund raisers. We have used the money for good purposes.

    I thought I should clear this up, considering you make us sound like loan sharks, and money beggars, but justify it by pointing at the terminology on the website.

    As well, yes it is true that many, “LGBTQ” organizations and groups seem to talk about homosexual issues and say LGBTQ, simply to sound inclusive. If you found it incorrect, then perhaps you should have respectably sent the head facilitator of OYA an E-mail and told him politely that the terminology offends you, and give him ideas for a more respectable and inclusive statement.

    Now HRC, they threw us under the bus, so while they say they are doing things to help the Transgender community, that is fine, but I do not completely trust the organization.

    Katherine V London.

  • Polar

    They’ve hijacked the Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio TDORS, to be held 11-20. Both have accepted HRC blood money for sponsorship. In fact, a T person was stupid enough to sit on their steering committee.

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  • Marti Abernathey

    [quote comment=””][quote comment=””]Most of the people aren’t on the TDOR list are transsexuals (or people living full time in their chosen gender), not crossdressers.[/quote]

    Most people aren’t on the list? I’m having trouble with that sentence.

    Do you mean, most people on that list are not transsexual?

    Also… What do you suppose they mean by “militant transsexual attachments”? I don’t know many trans people who’d wish transsexualism upon their worst enemy.[/quote]

    It was a typo, thanks for mentioning it. I fixed it.

    I was one one of those people… so I know that fear. My ex told me that if I was a transsexual or bisexual, our marriage was over. It’s the last thing I wanted to be. A lot of people are scared of the truth that lies inside them.

  • [quote comment=””]Most of the people aren’t on the TDOR list are transsexuals (or people living full time in their chosen gender), not crossdressers.[/quote]

    Most people aren’t on the list? I’m having trouble with that sentence.

    Do you mean, most people on that list are not transsexual?

    Also… What do you suppose they mean by “militant transsexual attachments”? I don’t know many trans people who’d wish transsexualism upon their worst enemy.

  • Amen, I am absolutely appalled that many organizations use the DOR to try to sap as much cash as possible for their coffers, even though they are not trans-friendly. Of course, we should all call the bluff of organizations that claim to raise money to help support the LGBT population when they completely neglect or sell out the T.

    To HRC, we are merely stuck to the LGBT community as a marriage of convenience. Not all organizations are like this, but some are. Best to study these organizations and make sure that the money we give is going to help advance equal rights for all.