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Obama appoints trans woman to Department of Commerce

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  1. Mihangel apYrs 4 Jan 2010, 9:15pm

    DOMA, DADT: gesture politics don’t wash well

  2. “DOMA, DADT: gesture politics don’t wash well”-Mihangel apYrs

    Somebody had to be the first woman, person of colour, gay, lesbian, bi sexual and disabled person elevated to a position of power. They where all undoubtedly a political gesture that opened the doors for others to follow.

    But maybe you just want the world to be run by white heterosexual males Mihangel apYrs.

  3. Obama has done next to nothing for the gay community of substance. This is but one more example. What a disappointment… He’s not fooling America’s gay community anymore.

  4. OrtharRrith 5 Jan 2010, 1:45am

    Sorry, but what’s wrong with her being appointed by President Obama?

  5. How has Obama disappointed the gay community by advancing the rights of trans people Thomas?

    Many trans people are also gay, lesbian and bi in their sexual identities also. Or are you of the opinion ever appointment must goto gay men Thomas!

    Don’t be so self absorbed and congratulate Amanda Simpson for being the first trans person into a national politically appointed post. Obama has appointed gays and lesbians in other posts of far more importance I have not seen trans people bitching about them.

    Its about time the G realised the world does not revolve around them.

  6. Mihangel apYrs 5 Jan 2010, 8:29am

    no Abri I DON’T, I’ve seen how they’ve forked it up.

    I have absolutely nothing against this appointment, I celebrate it as much as one should celebrate something that should be unexceptional.

    My beef is that 1 year in (and 1 year to go until campaigning starts) he hasn’t done anything for the majority of LG Americans wher it would help them most. So soldiers get kicked out after serving in deadly places, people can’t bury their dead, etc, etc.

    It’s not a case of campaigning on just one front, there’s a whole raft of things that need changing/improving in the US and the UK (among nearly everywhere) in sexual politics. While this is wonderful for the individual and the community, it is just 1 person out of 30?million+

  7. “Its (sic) about time the G realised the world does not revolve around them.” – oh, that’s ugly, Asbo1957. Why the anti-gay prejudice and the accusation that “they” think the world revolves around “them”?

  8. Abi, there is nothing wrong with this appointment; however, in terms of real, substantive change there has been next to nothing done. This is a token appointment which still does not address gays not receiving full rights under the US Constitution. Obama is a dissapontment. Why are u so ignorant of the issues and full of hatred?

  9. OrtharRrith 5 Jan 2010, 2:15pm

    I fail to see how this can be viewed as a token appointment. Yes it’s the first appoiontment of anyone who is openly gay, lesbian, Bi or transsexual; but that doesn’t mean it’s the last, or that it was done simply to throw the community a small bone.
    This could prove to be the first of many such appointments – someone has to be first after all.
    It is also entirely possible that Obama decided that Amanda Simpson is the best person for the job, regardless of her gender identity or sexual orientation, and her happening to be Trans is secondary – that’s how I’d prefure to get any job.

  10. Simon Murphy 5 Jan 2010, 5:17pm

    Good for Amanda Simpson and hopefully she will be successful in her new role.

    While I don’t think her appointment was an empty gesture to appease the LGBT population; it is worth remembering that Obama has STILL failed to honour his pre-election promises to the LGBT population to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell or the Defence of Marriage Act.

    Hateful as George Bush at least he told no lies to the LGBT population.

    If Obama has not honoured his promises to the LGBT population in time for the next election then he should not take their votes for granted.

    Why should and LGBT person vote for a hypocrite and a liar?

  11. theotherone 5 Jan 2010, 11:08pm

    angelica:perhaps abi was a little angry and had perhaps misread another poster?

    To be honest I think her anger has some justification. There is a tendency amongst some Gay Men to see the whole of Queer Rights as Gay Rights or (more exactly) THEIR RIGHTS.

    On this occasion I think she misunderstood the post she responded to but her anger comes from a real place.

  12. Mihangel apYrs 5 Jan 2010, 11:23pm


    gay men tend to see the gay rights thing as theirs because it was they who did a lot of the fighting for them. I can remember the decriminalisation in 1967 and felt a bit safer, something no lesbian had to experience.

    CHE, GLF were male dominated, not because women were meant to be excluded, but because many of them made common cause with feminists. So many gay men of a certain age (45+) see a lot of the advances we’ve achieved to have been down to them, including a lot of the leg work for trans rights.

    Since the “queer” rights agenda has splintered we still tend to be the mouthy ones working in committees and within (patriarchal) structures for changes that benefit everybody, but with a gay male perspective.

    It may not be right, and younger “queer” people haven’t got the same baggage, but that’s how things are, despite our best efforts

  13. theotherone 5 Jan 2010, 11:28pm

    to an extent I agree with you mihangel but the problem is that this position has become so intrenched that allot of Gay Men will not allow other groups to be represented and sneer if they try to get representation.

    The other thing we have to remember is that the only reason Gender Variant people where not involved in the movement is because they where forcibly removed from it to allow a greater legitimacy and a certain Heterosexual approval.

  14. Mihangel apYrs 6 Jan 2010, 8:38am

    theotherone: I think that a lot of the STRUCTURES in place still reflect the male-oriented way of doing things, and there are a lot of men (gay or otherwise) of an age where they feel comfortable in them.

    Your point about forceable removal of gender variant people: I can’t say I ever saw that, but there are two salient points:
    a) gv people are an even smaller minority than lgb people
    b) the got lumped into the lgb lobby for convenience and because it was “abnormal sex”, when it is clear that many of the imperatives and aims were different (apart from the desire for equality and recognition). I can honestly say that I hadn’t knowingly met a trans person until about 10 years ago, despite being active in a small way during the previous 25: so in the early days we didn’t understand all the issues.

    If a) and b) obtain, then the LGB demands (and usually gay male because of the preponderence of gay men involved in “leading” the movement) would outweigh numerically those of gv people.

    It wasn’t, and isn’t right, but we tried, and many of us are still trying to make the right difference.

  15. theotherone 6 Jan 2010, 1:11pm

    perhaps you do not know the history of the Queer Rights movement?

    National Queer Rights groups existed in the US a year before Stonewall and where set us by Gender Variant people who then used this expertise to help other Queer Groups organise on a national level.

    Gender Variant people where involved in the Stonewall riots and a Gender Variant person took New York City to court to force a change in the Licensing Laws to al-low Gay Bars to exist as legal entities independent of organised crime. The same person largely bank rolled the first Pride march and was due to speak at Pride the year Bette Middler turned up only to be told they where not welcome as it upset to manny people.

    None of this appears in the official His Story of Gay Rights.

    Let us not also forget the violence done to Gender Variant people by Gatz who not only wrote them out of the Gay Rights movement but out of His Story too and the violence of The Transexual Empire.

    You’ve not met a single Gender Variant person in you Activist life? I’m not surprised as we where forced out of the movement and are not allowed back in.

    No one tried and no one tries now.

    Queer Rights are forcibly transformed into Gay Rights.

  16. theotherone 6 Jan 2010, 1:12pm

    oops: that should say ‘set up’ not ‘set us’

  17. Mihangel apYrs 6 Jan 2010, 4:01pm

    I admit to lack of knowledge of what happened in the States, the UK is where I am based. I also stated that it was pnly ten years ago that I knowingly met a trans person, but as you say gv people do keep their heads down.

    It’s also the case that gv people don’t always see themselves as being in the same battle as LGB people. However, activists MUST put history behind us otherwise we are divided and we are thus more vulnerable to those who would extirpate us

  18. Ms Elaine Knight 6 Jan 2010, 4:09pm

    Hoo ray ,atlast society has finally come to accept that trans people are not from another planet ,its about time that we started to be treated as respecterble human beings.It would be so nice to see many more in high power status

  19. theotherone 6 Jan 2010, 4:16pm

    but my point is that it is not that we see ourselves as not involved in the same battles but that we have been (often forcibly) excluded from the Gay community.

    You respond that we Trannies keep our heads down? We dont, we just get ignored.

    I’d love to put the past behind us but to do this we need the Gay Community to acknowledge it’s sins against our community otherwise we will not become involved again, will not have our energies used only to find ourselves left high and dry again.

    Sylvia Rivera (sp?) commented on this. She said that she was always asked to help with Gay Rights and was always told that the concerns of people like herself would be addressed. They never did and when she died the Queer Press refused to publish an Obit.

    To allow us to have access to the Community The Community must acknowledge the sins of the past and appoligise for them.

    To quote Diamanda Galas:

    ‘and now the Infidel is told
    to forgive and to forget
    to understand:

    advance into a paradise of Dead Memories,
    of Living Death, the Old Folk’s Home
    of catatonia
    of madness
    and dispair’

  20. Bruce Chris 6 Jan 2010, 7:24pm

    It is true that Obama made some promises about ending DADT and DOMA, but many seem to forget that his No.1 legislative priority is and has been Health Care Reform(HCR). This has been on the national agenda for almost 100 years. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that it has even made it to the floor of the House.

    The health care industry stands to lose about 1 BILLION dollars. Naturally, they will fight tooth and nail to try to keep that money. Getting meaningful HCR that’s not riddled with loopholes requires a LOT of loyal Democrats, and a LOT of HEAVY LIFTING.

    After HCR is passed and signed, then I will begin to hold his feet to the fire.

    In the mean time, I think that the best way to support human rights is to call your senators and representitives, and demand an abortion neutral HCR.

  21. Mihangel apYrs 7 Jan 2010, 8:24am

    if you wait for an apology you will wait a long time.

    Individuals rarely apologise (too embarrassing), groups rarely apologise (fear of litigation, all principals moved on..).

    You either remember, move on, and don’t get allow the situation to arise again, or you remember, but allow it to stop you doing something to your advantage. That also goes for groups.

    What we mustn’t do is quash any enthusiasm that the younger cohort following us feel. They are the future since they will have to live in the world as it will become.

    But I am sorry that the animosity festers yet

  22. theotherone 7 Jan 2010, 12:08pm

    the problem is that there’s a long standing tradition I have experienced myself whereby TransPeople are used and then dumped by Gay Rights groups.

  23. Mihangel apYrs 7 Jan 2010, 5:44pm

    and I know that the lgbt groups I have been involved with (mainly TU based) have actively sought to support trans people, and to try to represent their needs and aspirations even when no trans person is willing to make themselves known to us.

    I know it can be a thankless task, but unless you keep at it, it may not be done as you want it: if you can, just keep plugging away for your own self respect – don’t let them grind you down or shaft you, you can make a difference

  24. theotherone 7 Jan 2010, 7:50pm

    alas I found i had more impact outside of Gay Rights groups and instead focused on Feminist and political ones.

    I even know of one Gay group that has set about trying to close down a Trans Support Group.

    I’m afraid I’m utterly disillusioned these days.

  25. Mihangel apYrs 8 Jan 2010, 10:16am

    theothereone – just carry on the fight where you feel it will do most good. And please don’t look at all lgb groups as the same: the ones I deal with are trans-supporting.

  26. theotherone 8 Jan 2010, 7:40pm

    but you describe them as ‘LG’ and ‘LGB’ – where’s the T? If they’re so supportive then why don’t you include Transpeople in your description of these groups?

  27. Let’s see, how can we use this story to prove that Americans are the most hateful, ignorant and homophobic people on earth? Hmmmm. Let me think. I’m sure we can come up with something!

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