Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Divide and conquer

In this fight over the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, the Traditional Values Coalition and Concerned Women for America have made the transgender community the new boogeymen.

It would be funny if it wasn’t so damned insulting to hear Lou Sheldon and Matt Barber go on about "she-males" and "linebackers with five o’clock shadow dressed in drag" trying to get jobs at nurseries and churches.

Their hysterical ramblings can take on a more sinister purpose.

How long will we have to wait before an article is "conveniently placed" in a legitimate publication talking about divisions between gays and transgenders.

It could happen in the same manner that conversations on whether or not Senator Barrack Obama was "black enough" for African-American voters took place.

That was funny in itself because before it became an item of discussion for folks like Tucker Carlson, I had never heard anyone in my community ever voice such an opinion.

In the case of gays and transgenders, there wouldn’t be a need to manufacture a division or a conversation about a division.

There are some gays think that transgenders have no place in our community. I am ashamed to admit that a loooong time ago, I was one of those people.

I have since then changed my opinion, but so many others haven’t. And they don’t mind being vocal about their ignorance.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my gay people but many of us have a tendency to verbally shoot from the hip. And when you do that sort of thing, your mouth starts running before your brain can adequately process information.

And unfortunately in our community, we have too many folks willing to open their mouths before they think. They call it being "brutally honest."

It’s these gays that the Traditional Values Coalition and Concerned Women for America are counting on to take the bait.

So I am hoping that in our fight for ENDA we don’t allow ourselves to be taken in by divide and conquer tactics. There is no difference between the lie that gay men insert gerbils in our rectums and the lie that transgenders are just confused people who need help.

So let’s not go about creating those differences.