I meant to rant about this weeks ago, but forgot until a timely Barbelith thread on queer/trans coalitional politics reminded me. Recently I received email spam announcing the launch of a ‘landmark transgender equality campaign’, a joint project of the US-based lobby group the Human Rights Campaign, and the US-based National Centre for Transgender Equality. Here’s an excerpt from the accompanying article:
“The more Americans know and understand each other, the more united we are as a nation,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Our new education campaign underscores that employees, many of whom provide vital national security positions, are being denied the opportunity to do their jobs purely because of who they are. Most Americans want a federal law to end discrimination. But no law exists. We’re working on Capitol Hill and across the country to build support for that law, a law we unequivocally support.”
And some more:
“I’m so proud to be a part of this campaign,” said Diane Schroer, a 25-year Army Special Forces officer who was offered but then denied a counter-terrorism job when she told her future employers she was transgender. Schroer’s story is featured in the Nov. 3 Roll Call ad. “I had the same skills in counter-terrorism the day they denied me the job that I did the day they offered it. When it comes to keeping Americans safe, discrimination can’t be a part of the equation.”
Lookee. Queer and transpeople want to protect national security, too! Why let Dubya, Donald and Wolfie have all the fun?
It doesn’t surprise me, but watch the queer and trans lobby groups relinquish left politics to pitch their campaigns in the rhetoric of terrorised nationalism. The Human Rights Campaign, by the way, is one of the most assimilationist queer advocacy orgs in the US. Until recently, they were responsible for selling out gender-variant peoples’ interests by removing gender identity from workplace anti-discrimination bills, just so that ‘gay and lesbian’ focused laws can get up. They’ve only just realised that this is no longer a popular move, and they’re now publicising how ‘trans-friendly’ they are.
Talk about using the rhetorical tools of fascism and far-right-wing panic to shore up a claim for rights! I’m sorry, but I would never support an anti-discrimination claim for someone who’s been prevented from working in counter-terrorism.