As a jock, I still watch the game from the sidelines. This weekend has been particularly interesting because, once again, the gay and lesbian caucus tried to get itself inserted into the numbers game for the next Presidential election. But here's something to note about this effort, it has been tried since 1998. OK note the sarcasm here...What a win!
Taken from a 1998 press release from the DNC Gay and Lesbian Caucus:
"The DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee voted unanimously in favor of an amendment to the sections of the 1996 delegate selection rules governing outreach and inclusion of groups traditionally active but underrepresented in the Democratic Party. The amendment, submitted by California DNC member Garry Shay, requires state parties to develop and submit to the DNC outreach plans for delegate selection that include those " historically underrepresented" in the Democratic Party because of "race/ethnicity, age, sexual orientation or disability ." The new rules also require state parties to give "priority of consideration" to these underrepresented groups in a state's delegate selection process " in order to assist in the achievement of full participation by these groups."
You can view the whole release at http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_0062.htm
There have been numerous conversations going on behind the scenes about this change. If you read the Washington Blade article, you will see concerns about "opening the floodgates" for other constituency groups to be represented in the affirmative action. Oh no, the party of inclusion having to be more inclusive? And the even more troubling comment about finding gay African Americans so they can "two-fers." Holy shit, folks, that's pretty racist. But then if you notice all the folks commenting in the Blade article are white. As are all the heads of the national lgbt organizations except for the Black Justice Coalition.
But hey, wait a second, there is a black lesbian on the DNC. But you wouldn't know it if you didn't have the inside scoop. Why? Because she is closeted. Can't have the Presidential campaign manager be a lesbian or you might lose. Oh wait, we did lose.
So this bone that was thrown to the gay and lesbian caucus seems a little weak. To look at it on the surface seems nice. After all, we are all friends, get along nice, blah, blah, blah. But if you knew like I know how state parties operate, this isn't any good. There are no teeth in this new resolution. All bark and no bite.
Parties are supposed to be inclusive but what if they aren't? Then what happens? Doesn't say. As Donald Hitchcock says in the Blade article there are no requirements to set specific goals. And to further the problems, what about my transgender brothers and sisters? Where are they left. (Slap my head) Of course, they are just left behind.
There have been many behind the scenes conversations about this. It is apparent the Doctor is not on duty and really doesn't care about this core issue of inclusion and representation. There are key staff at the DNC who are hiding behind the religious mantle to dismantle all things that heave been built up for gay and lesbian inclusion at the DNC. I know Garry Shay and Brian Bond work hard to represent the community. But, but, but if all our representatives look the same, how do the African Americans perceive the gay and lesbian community except as white guys with privilege?
I am an unemployed Latina Lesbian living in San Jose, California. I have two privileges, my car and my house. I broke the law in Mass. to marry my spouse. I care deeply about the Democratic Party of John F. Kennedy, the way my immigrant grandfather did. But I am not represented now at the DNC and I wonder if I ever will be again.