In terms of civil rights protection, nothing's more important than the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). At the minimum, people should be able to go to work without fear of being fired for being gay, something that's completely legal in more states than not. Recently, in a controversial move that would help the bill pass, Representative Barney Frank split ENDA into two: ENDA and GENDA, a bill that was the same, except it protected transgendered people. The reasoning was simple: when transgendered rights were included in ENDA, it wasn't going to get through the house. Makes sense, right?
Well, apparently not. Let's not forget that the gay rights movement is splintered and vicious toward its own. No one wants one subgroup to advance unless everyone else gets the same rights and privileges. That sounds nice in principal, but it's only served to be a weight that's dragging everyone down with it.
Would it have been fair to transgendered folks if they weren't included in the ENDA that had a chance to pass right now? Absolutely not, but it's even more unfair that transgendered advocates have forced a trans-free ENDA to be shelved for now, too. There are people losing their jobs for being gay every day and we had a chance to do something about that. Now that chance is gone, because ENDA didn't solve every problem in one fell swoop (as if that ever happens).
Unfortunately this country has a much longer way to go in terms of understanding "t" than they do "glb." Now, instead of reaching some kind of success so we can concentrate on giving that education and helping transgendered people reach the same achievements, a lot of people cried foul and the entire thing is essentially scratched - to many glbt-cheering audiences, as that link indicates. Are the cheer leaders noble and courageous, or just frogs in water slowly being brought to a boil, shaking their pompoms?
This infighting has got to stop. We need to start working for general progress, instead of tearing each other down. If we keep fighting the same fights over and over again, we're never going to get to even more difficult turf, such as transgendered rights. No one should expect perfect results, perfect laws or perfect proposals. It's just not going to happen and we need to get used to it. The sooner we do, the sooner we can start plugging away to turn the imperfect to better, then to where it should be, but that's not going to happen if people can't accept taking these steps one at a time, at least when we have no other choice.