LOS ANGELES: A Change.org petition, that appeared on the site on November 4th, requests the HRC, GLAAD and other LGBT-focused human rights groups to drop the “T” from the “LGBT” initialism. They claim the Trans community doesn’t relate to the LGB community, who’s basis is on sexual orientation, not sexual identity like the Trans community. The petition reads:
“We are a group of gay/bisexual men and women who have come to the conclusion that the transgender community needs to be disassociated from the larger LGB community; in essence, we ask that organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Lambda Legal and media outlets such as The Advocate, Out, Huff Post Gay Voices, etc., stop representing the transgender community as we feel their ideology is not only completely different from that promoted by the LGB community (LGB is about sexual orientation, trans is about gender identity), but is ultimately regressive and actually hostile to the goals of women and gay men.
There are several areas in which the ideology of the trans community is at odds with or actively hostile to that of women and gay men; among the most important are:
The vilification and harassment of women and gay/lesbian individuals who openly express disagreement with the trans ideology; a simple disagreement over an issue can result in responses that range from insults (“transphobic bigot”) to threats of physical harm (often, in the case of women, rape) and even death; the harassment by the transgender community of prominent individuals ranging from iconic gay rights activist/drag queen RuPaul and legendary feminist Germaine Greer has been particularly loathsome.
• The infringement of the rights of individuals, particularly women, to perform normal everyday activities in traditional safe spaces based on sex; this is most pernicious in the case of men claiming to be transgender demanding access to bathrooms, locker rooms, women’s shelters and other such spaces reserved for women.
• The appropriation and re-writing of gay and lesbian history and culture, most notably attempting to re-cast the majority gay white men who participated in the Stonewall riots as transgender, specifically casting as “transgender” men who adopted feminine attire but still identified as men (they called themselves transvestites, which is not the same as the modern transgender identity); particularly frustrating was the fact that media outlets such as The Advocate, Out and Huff Post Gay Voices, who should have been the first to point out the fallacy of this notion, actually went along with the lie.
• Most troubling, by persuading parents and health professionals to diagnose children as young as four as transgender, despite considerable research that shows that more than 90 percent of children who express “gender dysphoria” at a young age grow out of it by adolescence and, in most cases, grow up to be well-adjusted gay men and women; ideologically, it runs counter to traditional LGB and feminist philosophy – whereas feminists and gay men/women advocate for expanding and re-defining gender concepts, the trans movement is regressive, insisting upon re-asserting and codifying classic gender concepts of what is masculine and what is feminine.
Please note that we are not advocating intolerance or prejudice against the transgender community: we recognize and respect the right of adults to determine their own path in life, including transitioning to the opposite gender if they so wish. However, that cannot occur by infringing upon the rights of women, gay men and children.
At the very least, a discussion must be opened up to these issues, which for too long are being suppressed and censored – they are genuine concerns that need to be aired. In the end, we feel that the transgender ideology is not compatible with the rights of women, gay men and children and ask that the organizations and media outlets mentioned above disassociate themselves from the transgender movement and return to representing their base support of gay men and lesbians.”
“My advice to trans people is to just get your name and gender changed on all documentation and try to live stealth because this is scary.”
When asked what she believes something like this could do to the community if even a few publications were to consider dropping the T, she responded:
“If the petition goes through I think it will start war and us trans people will stick closer and do something about it.”
Referencing the tragic pro-lgbt defeat in Houston last week denying protections to LGBT individuals citywide, trans actress and star of 'Myrna' (now featured on Amazon Studios), Marlo Bernier questions the integrity of the assumption of guilt. Why are we so concerned with bathrooms and why do we assume that every trans individual that walks into a bathroom is interested in anything other than doing exactly what they intended to do in the restroom in the first place.
Marlo responded to the authors of the petiton stating, “If you (and I wish above all things that I would have been afforded the opportunity to address you by name and title) had stated that you wanted to discuss the removal of the “T” from the LGBT anagram, because the “T” is representative of one’s dealing with their (gender) identity, or the beginnings of one coming to terms with their gender (expression/presentation) as opposed to the terms Lesbian, Gay and Bi-Sexual being how one may identify their sexual preference and attraction, that would be one thing. However you went so very far afield with your proclamations and accusations based in-part on shoddy science..."
Marlo followed up with, "My hope and please, I am asking you to “hear” the intention with which I mean this, that perhaps the possibility exists where people from all sides of this issue could come to the table in an open public forum to talk, not to shout, or name call, but simply to talk..."
With over 13,000 signatures, both the HRC and GLADD have issued responses to the petition that read:
HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN:
Nov 6, 2015 — This is unequivocally wrong. The hate that killed Matthew Shepard killed Zella Ziona. The bullies at school aren't just harassing the gay kids, they're harassing the transgender kids. The parents who could provide loving homes for the 400,000 children in foster care aren't only lesbian parents, or gay parents, they're bisexual parents and transgender parents. This idea that we are somehow separate and apart is patently untrue. We are one movement, stronger in our unity. We are one community, period. And the Human Rights Campaign will not be done working until equality reaches every single one of us. - Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin
Nov 6, 2015 — GLAAD stands firmly with the transgender community and unequivocally rejects the outrageous and destructive idea that the ‘T’ be removed from LGBT. For decades, transgender people have worked alongside lesbian, gay, and bisexual people to advance equality for everyone, often leading the way in the movement for full equality and acceptance. Many trans people are also lesbian, gay, and bisexual -- they are an inextricable and invaluable part of the LGB community. At a time when anti-LGBT activists continue to attack the basic rights and protections essential to all of our lives, we must stand together, rather than succumb to the ruin of divisiveness. - GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis
With Lambda Legal and media outlets such as The Advocate, Out, Huff Post Gay Voices yet to respond, it seems there is mounting opposition to the petition and its requests, further encouraging support for the Trans community in light of this odd and misplaced request.
Do you believe this is a valid request or an attempt to divide and conquer what the LGBT community continues to fight for?