Last night, a progressive ally was asking me about NCTE’s role in working for a transgender-inclusive ENDA this year and why LGBT organizations were so involved in this when this is “our” issue. I think her concern was that allies not speak for transgender people, rather than letting us speak for ourselves.
It is easy to get swept up in the publicity and fervor about why we should have a trans-inclusive bill and all of the politicking about trans people, but it’s important to remember that inclusive means that it will address both sexual orientation AND gender identity. The passage of an inclusive hate crimes bill and an inclusive ENDA also mark major victories for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.
ENDA is a major priority in all of the work NCTE is doing this year. We’ll continue to do everything we can as we work with folks across the country to educate our lawmakers about why transgender people need protection against job discrimination. And our lesbian, gay and bisexual allies are giving that same message, which is so important. As trans people, we also need to be committed to protections for all the folks whose jobs are at risk because of their sexual orientation. Discrimination is wrong, period.
Okay, off of my soap box and back to work.