The F Word: Remembering Transgender Victims of Violence
November 27, 2009
Gay Mafia Wars: ENDA and the Politics of Personal Destruction
December 10, 2009

The White Gay Mafia Wants Marriage, Not ENDA

gaymafia

I read the post by Adam Bink, “Misdirected Anger Over ENDA” and I have to say I’m pretty damn appalled. His first contention:

“I reject blame placed upon people who choose to focus on an issue and pound on it. In the first place is prioritization. By my own estimate, probably 80% of my posts and online organizing in the past three months have related to marriage equality. I focused on marriage in the Corzine race, Maine, New York State, DC, California, and New Jersey. I did this in part because of prioritization. At least 4/6 of those fights, in my view, were a more urgent priority than ENDA. Maine and Corzine happened on Nov 3rd and there is no way to change that. A deal was cut to have a vote in NYS before the end of the year. NJ needs to happen lest we get screwed the next several years by Christie. That’s not mine or anyone else’s fault, that’s the nature of the beast and the timeline of elections, and that is part of the reason I chose to focus on them over ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) .”

This is very shocking to me. I can’t think of a more classist/heterosexist answer if I wrote it myself with that intent. Boiled down to its core, it says “ENDA doesn’t effect me, so I don’t care.” As a person that’s advocated on the behalf of gays and lesbians to marry, I find this almost as shocking as John Aravosis trying to get transgender people punted out of ENDA in 2007. There is no one piece of legislation that effects more LGBT people than ENDA. Both DADT and gay marriage are important from a fairness perspective. If you can’t find a place to live or a job because of your sexuality or gender identity, how important would either be? This may not be to important to a white gay man with political science degree from the University of Rochester and an Masters in political management from the George Washington University, but for your average queer (especially a gender variant one), this legislation is VITAL. Having a place to live and work is a pretty basic, core, life sustaining need.

He also said:

“I chose ME as my priority just as Jill is entitled to choose ENDA as hers. Yet it’s my fault, in part, that a markup got postponed because I asked people to focus on equally- perhaps more important and urgent- fights? By Jill’s logic, I suppose I’m entitled to write a post blaming Jill for helping lose NYS because she “sucked all the oxygen out of the room” at The Bilerico Project around ENDA. I suppose it’s also my fault we don’t have the votes on DOMA, DADT hasn’t advanced and children are still starving in Africa because I’ve been asking folks to help with other issues.”

If this were an apples to apples comparison, Bink might have a point. But Bilerico gets a LOT less traffic than OpenLeft (the Alexa Traffic rank of Bilerico is 110,291th, while OpenLeft.com is 42,250th), and there are plenty of people on Bilerico posting about about gay marriage. She wasn’t blaming Bink alone, but ALL gay media.

He went on to say:

“ENDA is not the only important fight in the world. I would also direct attention to Chris’ piece last night on how to build your own netroots organization. If you are upset by the perpetual suckitude of marriage activists like me for, you know, working on marriage too much, go build your own effort, and I am more than happy to help where I can.”

I hope he never again ID’s himself as an LGBT activist, since this pretty much lays out that he wants marriage and doesn’t care about anything else. If that isn’t a giant “go fuck yourself, get your own rights”, I don’t know what is.

He ends with:

“So I find this kind of circular firing blame game unhelpful. I have limited time to write and mobilize, and a right to prioritize issues. We all do. ENDA is far from over, and blaming activists like me for a House committee markup postponement is misdirected. Better would be to channel the losses over marriage into “hey folks, we just got screwed on marriage in multiple places and we’re about to get screwed on ENDA- let’s make sure we don’t” activism. And to build your own efforts through methods like Chris’ recommendations, reach out, and stop saying your priorities are more important than others’.”

If he finds this kind of “circular firing blame game” unhelpful, maybe he should put down his gun. This is one of the most naked statements of the white gay elitism I’ve ever seen. Bink can’t seem to find the time to criticize the ENDA postponement, but has no problem finding time to criticize Wiess.

This kind of attitude is why I’ve pulled back from activism. Bink’s attitude isn’t one that is uncommon in the upper crust of the LGBt leadership. Until transgender people realize that groups like the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the National Center for Transgender Equality are funded by wealthy gays and lesbians whose agenda is focused mainly on gay marriage, we will continue to told to shut the fuck up, and go to the back of the bus.

18 Comments

  1. Sabrina Star says:

    “Love Makes a Family throws up their arms and said “We Won!” Closes their doors and walks away.”

    MassEquality spent all their time this year fretting over the Maine marriage vote and gave no time at all to the Massachusetts gender identity rights bill that languished in committee AGAIN. Yes, the Maine vote was important and losing it was discouraging, but there was work to do here in Massachusetts which they dropped, after promising they would help the trans community after winning once and for all the marriage fight here in Mass.

  2. Sabrina Star says:

    “Love Makes a Family throws up their arms and said “We Won!” Closes their doors and walks away.”

    MassEquality spent all their time this year fretting over the Maine marriage vote and gave no time at all to the Massachusetts gender identity rights bill that languished in committee AGAIN. Yes, the Maine vote was important and losing it was discouraging, but there was work to do here in Massachusetts which they dropped, after promising they would help the trans community after winning once and for all the marriage fight here in Mass.

  3. […] guess its not just institutional parasites, but individual parasitic mafiosi as well. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Gay Marriage in CaliforniaAnother New […]

  4. […] What the Institutional Political Parasites Want A worthwhile post from Marti at TransAdvocate: The White Gay Mafia Wants Marriage, Not ENDA […]

  5. Kat says:

    “This is very shocking to me. ”

    But hopefully not surprising.

    How many people (read: non-trans gays and lesbians) who are privileged with the ability to collect a paycheck for engaging in the same activity that we have to engage in on our own time and at our own expense have ever actually suffered any real non-military, employment discrimination (read: something that actually destroyed your ability to have a career in the field in which you obtained formal education and training – as opposed to meaning that you didn’t get the cush, 6-figure job at the top of your desire list but got your second or third choice which paid exactly the same)?

    I’d say the number hovers right around zero.

    They have no idea what life is like in the real world because they know that they don’t have to live in the real world – so they don’t have to care.

    And even those few who might care to some degree about employment discrimination in the abstract don’t give a damn about the reality of trans people’s experiences – case in point: an unjustifiably-prominent gay man’s blog that, since the story has come to light, has managed to avoid posting anything about the Zakerria Bellamy story, while including at least four items on marriage and one on the military. (My take on the situation regarding that blog: http://endablog.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/absence/ )

    When the members of today’s privileged, permanently-employed, professional acttivist elite say ‘discrimination’, they mean marriage.

    Their marriages.

    And our permanent unemployment – particularly when it comes to the prospects of real trans people with real life experiences (read: something more relevant than a resume that consists of a hitch in the military and then a stint as a preacher) ever being allowed to put their experiences, education and expertise to use in return for paychecks from these bloodsucking institutional political parasites.

  6. Kat says:

    “This is very shocking to me. ”

    But hopefully not surprising.

    How many people (read: non-trans gays and lesbians) who are privileged with the ability to collect a paycheck for engaging in the same activity that we have to engage in on our own time and at our own expense have ever actually suffered any real non-military, employment discrimination (read: something that actually destroyed your ability to have a career in the field in which you obtained formal education and training – as opposed to meaning that you didn’t get the cush, 6-figure job at the top of your desire list but got your second or third choice which paid exactly the same)?

    I’d say the number hovers right around zero.

    They have no idea what life is like in the real world because they know that they don’t have to live in the real world – so they don’t have to care.

    And even those few who might care to some degree about employment discrimination in the abstract don’t give a damn about the reality of trans people’s experiences – case in point: an unjustifiably-prominent gay man’s blog that, since the story has come to light, has managed to avoid posting anything about the Zakerria Bellamy story, while including at least four items on marriage and one on the military. (My take on the situation regarding that blog: http://endablog.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/absence/ )

    When the members of today’s privileged, permanently-employed, professional acttivist elite say ‘discrimination’, they mean marriage.

    Their marriages.

    And our permanent unemployment – particularly when it comes to the prospects of real trans people with real life experiences (read: something more relevant than a resume that consists of a hitch in the military and then a stint as a preacher) ever being allowed to put their experiences, education and expertise to use in return for paychecks from these bloodsucking institutional political parasites.

  7. Diana says:

    In NY state they planned fpr months for the GENDA rally, the governor mentions he is in favor of gay marriage. Then all of sudden all the GENDA planning goes out the window and it because a marriage rally.
    Here in CT same-sex marriage was ordered by the court and everyone said 2009 will be the year to pass the gender inclusive anti-discrimination bill…. Oh one thing first, we have to codify the court ruling. The debate in the Judiciary Committee on the marriage bill used up all the time and for the first time our bill never made it out of committee.
    Love Makes a Family, throws up their arms and said “We Won!” Closes their doors and walks away.

    • Emelye Waldherr says:

      And now, all of a sudden, ESPA is talking about GENDA again, but of course in relation to fund raising. This is the first mention since last summer.

      http://eqfed.org/espany/notice-description.tcl?newsletter_id=37174056

      The cynicism reflected in their hypocrisy is sickening. It’s obvious they could not care less about civil rights protections for gender variant New Yorkers, as shown in their blatant disregard for the issue in their single minded pursuit of the biggest-bang-for-the-buck issue of same sex marriage. I’ll be using my all too limited influence to advocate throwing ESPA off the donations bus from now on but really have no clue which organization to advocate for in their place. Either way, until I see some concrete changes in ESPA I’ll continue to link them with the HRC every chance I get.

  8. Diana says:

    In NY state they planned fpr months for the GENDA rally, the governor mentions he is in favor of gay marriage. Then all of sudden all the GENDA planning goes out the window and it because a marriage rally.
    Here in CT same-sex marriage was ordered by the court and everyone said 2009 will be the year to pass the gender inclusive anti-discrimination bill…. Oh one thing first, we have to codify the court ruling. The debate in the Judiciary Committee on the marriage bill used up all the time and for the first time our bill never made it out of committee.
    Love Makes a Family, throws up their arms and said “We Won!” Closes their doors and walks away.

    • And now, all of a sudden, ESPA is talking about GENDA again, but of course in relation to fund raising. This is the first mention since last summer.

      http://eqfed.org/espany/notice-description.tcl?newsletter_id=37174056

      The cynicism reflected in their hypocrisy is sickening. It’s obvious they could not care less about civil rights protections for gender variant New Yorkers, as shown in their blatant disregard for the issue in their single minded pursuit of the biggest-bang-for-the-buck issue of same sex marriage. I’ll be using my all too limited influence to advocate throwing ESPA off the donations bus from now on but really have no clue which organization to advocate for in their place. Either way, until I see some concrete changes in ESPA I’ll continue to link them with the HRC every chance I get.

    • And now, all of a sudden, ESPA is talking about GENDA again, but of course in relation to fund raising. This is the first mention since last summer.

      http://eqfed.org/espany/notice-description.tcl?newsletter_id=37174056

      The cynicism reflected in their hypocrisy is sickening. It’s obvious they could not care less about civil rights protections for gender variant New Yorkers, as shown in their blatant disregard for the issue in their single minded pursuit of the biggest-bang-for-the-buck issue of same sex marriage. I’ll be using my all too limited influence to advocate throwing ESPA off the donations bus from now on but really have no clue which organization to advocate for in their place. Either way, until I see some concrete changes in ESPA I’ll continue to link them with the HRC every chance I get.

  9. Lisa C. Gilinger says:

    They are so busy trying to get married they probably couldn’t keep a job anyway. I am baffled by the idea that ENDA is a trans issue. How sophomoric, how short sighted, if sighted at all. I agree ENDA has more to do with everything and deserves a total focus from all sides of the spectrum. Marriage is a wonderful diversion and has a patina of equality to it. ENDA is what can make all the dreams of marriage more likely to come true, no guarantee. How you gonna stay married if you can’t make a living? Money breaks up couples up faster and more commonly than anything. Being discriminated against, judge for what others imagine you as versus your ability to produce, perform or contribute will not lead you to a stable relationship of any kind, not even marriage. Seems so simple, so rudimentary. LGBT activists, leaders? They can’t see this?

    What about the youth that see congress debate the merits of affording safeguards against employment persecution based on their sense of self? Are we supposed to tell the folks coming up behind us that they shouldn’t worry, at least they will be able to marry. That is if they can keep a lid on their expression of themselves that might in any way indicate anything other than hetero-normative experience. The message is clear; you are hardly worth the time and energy to discuss it.

    I gotta get back to work before I lose my job.

    • Kat says:

      “ENDA is what can make all the dreams of marriage more likely to come true, no guarantee. How you gonna stay married if you can’t make a living? Money breaks up couples up faster and more commonly than anything.”

      You just disqualified yourself from a place at the table.

      You made sense.

  10. Lisa C. Gilinger says:

    They are so busy trying to get married they probably couldn’t keep a job anyway. I am baffled by the idea that ENDA is a trans issue. How sophomoric, how short sighted, if sighted at all. I agree ENDA has more to do with everything and deserves a total focus from all sides of the spectrum. Marriage is a wonderful diversion and has a patina of equality to it. ENDA is what can make all the dreams of marriage more likely to come true, no guarantee. How you gonna stay married if you can’t make a living? Money breaks up couples up faster and more commonly than anything. Being discriminated against, judge for what others imagine you as versus your ability to produce, perform or contribute will not lead you to a stable relationship of any kind, not even marriage. Seems so simple, so rudimentary. LGBT activists, leaders? They can’t see this?

    What about the youth that see congress debate the merits of affording safeguards against employment persecution based on their sense of self? Are we supposed to tell the folks coming up behind us that they shouldn’t worry, at least they will be able to marry. That is if they can keep a lid on their expression of themselves that might in any way indicate anything other than hetero-normative experience. The message is clear; you are hardly worth the time and energy to discuss it.

    I gotta get back to work before I lose my job.

    • Kat says:

      “ENDA is what can make all the dreams of marriage more likely to come true, no guarantee. How you gonna stay married if you can’t make a living? Money breaks up couples up faster and more commonly than anything.”

      You just disqualified yourself from a place at the table.

      You made sense.

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