Monday, October 22, 2007

A brief tour of the non-inclusive ENDA for Transpeople

The front bumper.

The radiator.

The oil pan.

The front axle.

The drive shaft.

The muffler.

The rear axle.

The exhaust pipe.

The rear bumper.

Thanks to all the folks in Congress who threw people like me under the bus. I wouldn't have seen these all these things without them!

Please support HR 2015 (the inclusive ENDA) instead of HR 3865 (the non-inclusive ENDA). Let's throw no one under the bus!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

An Open Letter to Barney Frank about ENDA

Dear Representative Barney Frank,

I've been following with great interest your moves on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). I have found some of your recent actions on this legislation distressing to me to say the least. While I am not in your congressional district (I am in the district of Representative John Hall of New York), since you are the leading proponent of this legislation I am directing this letter to you.

I am transgendered, and I am closeted. I am not including my real name in part because of the lack of protections that I have under the law. I am happily married, We have two wonderful children who both attend the same Ivy-league institution, and I am blessed with a job at a company that has stated publicly that it will not fire employees on the basis of being transgendered. Yet I still live day to day with the concern that people may discover my secret and use it against me. My wife knows and accepts that I am transgendered, but she also lives with this fear and how she might be perceived by others in the community.

When I heard that you had decided to propose a watered-down version of ENDA I was saddened by this. Imagine that you are like me - that you live a lifestyle based on who you are that differs from the societal norms, and that some people view as being a sin against God and humanity. Perhaps they might even want to physically hurt you because they disagree with who you are. Or people who you think are understanding think nothing of using descriptions of people like you as crude put-downs. Or...

Oh, wait. You do understand that.

So I ask you, Representative Frank - why do you think it is okay to turn your back on our plight? Why don't we deserve your support to protect our right to make a living? It is not as if we're asking you to solve all of the ills of society against transgendered people or to give us special rights. All we are asking is for the same level of respect that you are asking for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people.

Please, Representative Frank, do NOT support anything other than an all-inclusive ENDA. Please do everything in your power to keep a non-inclusive ENDA from reaching a vote. It's not just for us - it's for our families. Someday I hope to be able to leave the closet and be able to share who I am with the world, but without basic protections such as ENDA provides that day will be further off.

One little protection - the right to earn a living - that is all I am asking for your help with today.

Thank you for your time.

Valentina Simmons