After speaking with Christine Smith last week, I wanted to follow up on one of the items we'd discussed: The perception within the Trans community of having been repeatedly thrown under the bus by the LGBT activist group, the Human Rights Campaign. I sent a letter to HRC which included the following excerpt from our interview:
The HRC has long has a disconnect with the transgender community, and have often advanced efforts for gays and lesbians through betrayal of promises made to transgender people. Former HRC director Elizabeth Birch famously addressed transgender issues by saying: “trans inclusion will be a legislative priority over my dead body.” We have long been the bargaining chip they have discarded in order to gain concessions for themselves. My disdain for the organization is Brobdingnagian. You’ll have a difficult time finding many transgender people who support the HRC. They have been happy to take our money, but seem to have felt no actual responsibility to represent us. There is a saying in the trans community: “You can tell when the HRC bus has come to town by the transgender bodies left crushed beneath their wheels.” There is no trust between us to build upon right now. I can’t imagine that this will change anytime soon. I don’t know if it ever will.
I requested an opportunity to speak directly with one of their spokespeople, and also offered to publish a response, if they would like to provide one. Unfortunately (though not too surprisingly) they did not take up my offer of an interview, but (for what it's worth) did send me the following statement:
Thank you for contacting HRC to share your feedback.
It is important that we hear the feedback of our supporters so we can continue to improve the experience they have with the organization. While we regret that you feel this way, HRC will continue to work on issues important to the transgender community and serve everyone. More information about our work is available at www.hrc.org/transgender. Specifically, HRC is dedicating much time and energy to rally support in order to pass an all-inclusive Employment-Non Discrimination Act so that people of any gender identity can feel safe and supported when pursuing and working in a job
The HRC Foundation is doing important work at the non-political level for the transgender community. The Workplace Project, as part of its mission, works with companies to ensure that their employment policies and benefits create a safe and supportive environment for those of any sexual orientation and gender identity. The Family Project, through its work with healthcare facilities, is helping hospitals staff members to understand the unique concerns of LGBT individuals. To learn about the specific policies and procedures that these departments are pushing to help the transgender community, feel free to contact those staff members directly at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.