The questions at the "Dallas Transgender Advocates Conversation With Bishp Robinson" were unrestricted and free flowing. Bishop Robinson with disarming candor explored many topics in depth.
The reactions I saw in our diverse transgender panel was amazing and maybe one of the most gratifying payoffs of the entire experience. Some of our panel members advocacy has artificially split our community over it's response to our removal from ENDA and sadly lengthened the span of time between contacts. It was an amazing sight as once cordial yet distant advocates were rejoined in this room by Bishop Robinson's desire for communication.
After all other questions had been asked only one remained......
What of the "Half Loaf of Bread". Sticking in everyones craw, what is the moral and spiritual justification for leaving us behind, humans who were previously fully committed allies, unprotected in home and workplace in the sights of rapist, murderers and the predatory blood thirsty jackals focus on the family and Westboro baptist church?
All panel members present had previous agonized over Bishop Robinson's response to the Dallas Voice's earlier inquiries which resulted in the half loaf response and soul searched for a way to understand Bishop Robinson's answer.
None accomplished this. Not one of us desired to be anything but beneficial to Bishop Robinson, but when our very survival is being jeopardized by rich party goers the Transgender T once again stands up, proud and brave, a tribute to Rita, Angie and countless other gender diverse dead.
Vanessa, our political expert would ask, and ask she did. Followed up by Lisa Scheps. How do we accept being left behind. How can we be docile to the gay and lesbian community as we are mowed down in the streets?
Our conversation ended without closure as we watched the taillight's of the mercedes and BMW's fade ......
....as one hotel worker I had talked to said "oh ya, you're the street people".
By Kelli Busey
Proud Transgender Woman
November 24, 2008
Great post! We did get a bit of an answer at the end when we continued pressing -- especially when I asked how we move this forward without being marginalized. He admitted his own feet needed to be held to the fire just as much as HRC or others, and that we should not allow ourselves to be silenced and keep pushing.
"Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will." So please keep demanding -- while recognizing the humanity of opponents as much as possible.
Yes, it can be hard. Infuriating people, those who consign others to the back of the bus ...
This is so sad to read in one way but helpful in another. I think we tend to idolize our heroes, like the woman at my church a few weeks
ago who spoke about Barack Obama as if he were Jesus Christ. I find
it helpful to be reminded that even those who've shown great courage
in some respects are still human and will *always* be found imperfect in other ways. Gene Robinson has things he still needs to learn. I think he is capable of learning, which is where hope comes in.
Hope comes in also in not forgetting that while the GLBT big names and initialed agencies may have sent gender-creative people to the back of the bus, there are TBLG people who are with you back there. While it was uncomfortable, it was also a helpful learning experience to be a bisexual woman at the Boston Transgender Day of Remembrance service and listen to gay folks be dissed by the MC. The anger was justified, I thought, so I did my best to open my ears and receive it with compassion. But we ARE here -- individuals without famous names -- sisters, brothers, lovers, partners, parents, children of the gender creative. We both want to support you in love and also learn from your learning, explore in smaller ways our own gender creativeness as we are inspired by your generous models.
Thanks for that, Kelli. It sounds like you all had a good, wide ranging conversation that opened some doors and left others, perhaps, somewhat ajar?!
The ENDA thing is really, really hard. I'm glad to hear that +Gene encouraged us all to keep pushing
and holding others feet, including his own, to the fire.
Speaking of blog posts, I put one up yesterday on Boston's Trans Day of Remembrance at www.transepiscopal.blogspot.com
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