It has been a while since I’ve written content for this platform. I maintain two other blogs that deal with two different subject matters and it takes time to maintain them both. Initially, I did not know what content to place on GBB…until today.
Some would say that I am a happily married man living one form of the average gay man’s dream. My husband and I share hopes, wishes, and dreams and we are continually working to make them become a reality. We have no desire to join the “gay bar” scene, but I often wonder what it looks like now.
It’s not the same now as it was then
When I came out in 1979, I remember dancing until two o’clock in the morning and then going to an after-hours club and dancing until four. Afterwards, my friends and I would go out to breakfast at any one of the all-night diners that peppered the “gayborhood.” In the early eighties, we did not seem to be bothered with responsibilities outside of providing a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food on the table. I was too busy trying to find the perfect man only to find that he did not exist. It was not until much later that I found the man that was as close to perfect as you could find.
We have just emerged from one challenging period and I see ourselves going into another. And while we can continue to go to clubs and dance until dawn, the rest of the world will continue to keep turning and politicians will continue to make decisions that will impact our lives.
The question is what are we going to do now? As a community, it is our responsibility to take in our own and watch out for one another. When I say this, I automatically think of the Trans Community. Trans People are more likely to be the victims of violent assault than lesbian and gay men. One of the things that I think about is that we as a community ignore the plight of our Trans brothers and sisters. We forget that it was not that long ago that gay men and women were the victims of assault, robbery and murder.
1. Transgender people face frequent experiences of discrimination, violence, social and economic marginalization, and abuse across the lifespan. International efforts to track the murder of transgender people suggest that a transgender person is murdered at least once every three days. However, in the United States there is no formal data collection effort that can be used to describe the nature, frequency, or extent of transgender homicides.
Transgender People are three times more likely to be victims of attacks than gay men and women in our community
Trans is not the same as drag
2. The transgender community is not the same as drag queens. Trans people do not identify as the sex that they were born with. The problem comes with people that are offended with the choice that they made to be a man or a woman…and yet they seem to still have features that may be associated with the sex that they were initially born with. Oftentimes, once they have been identified the reaction can be visceral. And yet, I wonder what gives the right for someone to attack someone because they are personally offended by the choice that someone else made to identify as a member of the sex opposite what they were born when that choice has nothing to do with them?. And yet, we have the Equality Act that would help protect our community from any further acts of violence.2. On a federal level, the Equality Act would fill in the gaps of anti-discrimination protections not just for LGBTQ+ people, but also for people of color and women, according to a recent report by the Movement Advancement Project. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have previously pledged to address the epidemic of violence against trans women of color, with a promise to pass the Equality Act within the first 100 days of the presidency.
The Equality Act
Passed House (02/25/2021)
This bill prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. Specifically, the bill defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.
The bill expands the definition of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide (1) exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; (2) goods, services, or programs; and (3) transportation services.
The bill allows the Department of Justice to intervene in equal protection actions in federal court on account of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The bill prohibits an individual from being denied access to a shared facility, including a restroom, a locker room, and a dressing room, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.
It’s time we start paying attention to our community
We do not talk enough about the trans community. My hope is to create a conversation around a topic that is too important in part to the survival of our community. We need to understand that simply because we are not the victims of the hate crimes that is disproportionately impacting the trans community, does not mean that it does not impact our community.
The people dying in our streets while we dance the night away is still part of our community. They deserve better from us.
Otherwise, they will continue to die in our streets while we dance the night away.
~ J.L. Whitehead