Karen Quimby, a regional field director for HRC, tearfully explained to San Antonio Gender Association (SAGA) she was only enforcing "message control" when she hounded a young trans flag waver to tears demanding he take our flag out of camera view.
According to the witnesses she returned three times finally bring reinforcements to tell the the young man 'marriage equality isn't a trans issue'. Quimby said she couldn't remember if she had said that (message control again?) but according to QSanantonio she said she 'might' have said something to that affect.
Quimby told SAGA she didn't know what a trans flag looked like when she confronted Brian. This is extremely hard for me to believe. Quimby, a senior staffer her employment is listed on the same page as the HRC president where she..."develop(s) field organizing plans and implementing strategies to elect fair-minded candidates and to pass pro-equality federal, state and local laws "with HRC since 2010.
Brian posted this introduction and video on his facebook wall.
"This moment right catches the feeling of what happen last week in Washington DC. C.d did what I couldn't after, I had been threaten by a videographer that she was gonna burn the Trans* Flag, I had it off and wondered how we were going this ...situation...this is what started our mission of holding HRC accountable for their actions. This WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN...not while Autumn GetEqual Leaf, Sally Jo, Liberty Manos, Tom GetEqual Morgan, Melissa Kleckner, Jerame Davis, John M. Becker, Scott Stuart Gaffney and myself continue to make sure ALL of use are EQUAL!"
The complete HRC message was that there are no undocumented queer or trans people in the marriage equality movement, only all American red white and blue flag wavers.
Some at the SAGA meeting noted much of the conversation then focused the near total lack transgender employed by HRC.
I was at the Philadelphia LGBT media convo and had the pleasure of hearing Allyson Robinson speak about her time at HRC. She spent much of her time lamenting about how some had said she was a token to HRC. She then went on to explain passionately she believed she had a positive influence as the lone trans employee during those years.
I would not venture to speak for Donna Rose, the only other recent trans employee, who's tenure was so unceremoniously discontinued after Joe Solmonese's snub post ENDA. It was traumatizing for many including myself. We believed in HRC until that moment not because of what they were but because we believed and loved Donna.
So does HRC discriminate against transgender people in employment or is it that no self respecting trans person would allow themselves to be yet another HRC pawn? In my heart I know somewhere there's a high profile trans person who would jump willy nilly into the opportunistic HRC spotlight.
But that's not going to help transgender people. We need meaningful employment in the rank and file. Maybe Quimby's job?
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Mara in person after all these years and I got to tell you, she impressed me. I included this clip from the Philly LGBTmedia convo because Mara's narrative was a harbinger of the events that followed. When we compartmentalize our community's needs we stratify our advocacy monetarily inevitably delineating urgency, alienating those who are not part of the "message". Again.