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Transgendered Won’t Stop ENDA (Letter to Editor, Southern Voice, 1999)

Transgendered Won’t Stop ENDA (Letter to Editor, Southern Voice, 1999)

©1999, 2013 by Dallas Denny

Source: Dallas Denny. (1999, 5 August). Transgendered won’t stop ENDA (Letter to the Editor). Southern Voice, p. 15.

The image appears on the Faith in Public Life website.





Transgendered Won’t Stop ENDA (PDF)


To the Editor:

In his column (“The new transgender look– selfishness and self-sabotage,” July 15), Michael Alvear makes it sound as if transgendered activists have a unified position on the Employment Nondiscrimination Act. That’s far from true. A few transgendered activists have vowed to fight ENDA if it doesn’t include protection for transgendered persons. The rest of us support ENDA, even if it doesn’t include us.

There’s apprehension in the gay and lesbian community that hate crime and anti-discrimination ordinances and laws won’t pass or will have great difficulty passing if they include language to protect gender identity and presentation. So far, this fear has not been borne out. Four states (California, Minnesota, Missouri and Vermont) and nearly 20 cities protect transgendered persons on the basis of hate crimes or employment discrimination, either as part of a general lesbian and gay measure or specifically for transgendered persons. Getting these laws and ordinances passed has not caused the firestorm pessimists have predicted.

While a few trans activists are actively opposed to a non-inclusive ENDA, the rest of us are merely working toward our own inclusion. We did become offended a few years ago when the Human Rights Campaign actively campaigned to remove the transgender language our lobbyists had managed to get included, and we are incensed at HRC’s attempts to placate us with many little kindnesses while working behind our backs to keep us out of ENDA. But we will not fight an ENDA without us or attack those who support it.

I would prefer a measure which does not extract a price in conformity. I believe we can achieve an ENDA that protects all of us. I’ll reluctantly support an ENDA that doesn’t protect me and perhaps Mr. Alvear, but pardon me if I am not very enthusiastic about it.