Friday, April 27, 2007

Equal or not equal?

Thank you to the Congressional types who introduced ENDA this week. One of my favorite Congressmen, Barney Frank is leading the charge to get us equal protection at the federal level. This bill is also trans inclusive which a huge step forward for the whole community.

Back in my other life in New Mexico, we were able to get a state bill passed like this - a non-discrimination bill that was trans inclusive. Leading up to that legislative session there were many painful, rancorous conversations about trans inclusion. I was very sad to witness the chingasos which activists, alleged progressive people were only too willing to throw our trans brothers and sisters under the bus. I still hear and see it.

I would say in public that I wanted us to all get to the finish line together. To me, why would I treat someone the way I have been treated? Why continue that system of oppression, that hierarchy of discrimination when we could do something different? How does one say I want equality but just for me, leave the others behind?

Now I am as pragmatic as the next person. I know how to count votes, lobby, pressure and give money when needed. But, but, but I need to be able to look myself in the mirror and know I did the right thing for everyone, not just some.

This same argument runs through the thread of immigration. Immigrants are somehow less than human, they are "illegal." Those coming here without papers are criminals, trying to destroy the country. Yes because everyone wants to leave their family and live in crowded conditions and not see their children for months and years. All this so they can work in crappy jobs with low respect and be treated badly by segments of the population.

Wanting the best for our families is not solely and American concern. It is universal as should be our humanity. So whether it is a person from another country, a person who has changed their gender over the course of their lifetime, someone in a wheel chair or whatever makes the next person different, there is always a chance to treat them well.

Unless it's me then you can treat me REALLY well.

1 comment:

Virginia said...

I was there when Gloria and her partner took her stand in NM for the inclusion of all. In my mind they are true heroes (heroines? I just hate this gender stuff).

Gloria- your comparison to the immigration issue is right-on.

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