Good and bad news
First, the good:
These folks will make you smile. They’re 70 years old and up, and singing rock n’ roll. The gentleman singing “Fix Me” by Coldplay, with the beat kept by his oxygen machine, was special.
Then, the bad:
> Phyllabuster: HRC goes petty: directs security to
> escort educators out
> The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) just got more
> petty and immature in
> responding to protests of its actions last fall that
> clearly divided a once
> united GLBT community.
> As we arrived at the site for the
> protest of the HRC fundraiser
> , April 12th afternoon (reposts below
> for those new to this
> saga), we were told by hotel security that HRC had
> changed its mind about our
> attempts to educate.
> We would be allowed to enter (without signs or
> banners, which we had
> never planned to bring inside). If we went
> directly to the event located on the
> second floor, we could hand out our lapel stickers
> that read, “GLBT & ENDA:
> United, Not Divided: I Support FULL Transgender
> Inclusion.” And we could
> engage in conversation and educate those people who
> wanted to listen and learn.
> So we walked around, outside the hotel for over
> an hour, carrying signs
> and visiting with each other. It was very
> The Police gave us NO trouble. There
> were two very minor
> incidents where officers got a bit testy, but when
> I called their OIC, those
> officers were told they were wrong and to stop
> being testy with us. The rest of
> the force were very polite to us.
> We joked amongst ourselves that we hardly
> warranted the riot barricades
> or the eight, horse-mounted officers or the other
> preparations and
> personnel. But the police felt it was better to be
> prepared than not.
> The hotel had a guard at each door and along
> several parts of the
> sidewalk. They had placed traffic cones
> It was surreal — all that effort for just
> little ole, inoffensive us.
> After we had watched a lot of folks enter for
> the HRC event and it
> approached the planned beginning, three of us
> entered the hotel, prepared to
> chat and educate for the hour before the
> dinner, using our stack of 3 x
> 2 lapel stickers to initiate conversation.
> We were met at the top of the escalator by an
> HRC official wearing a
> cream colored business skirt and coat. I asked if
> this was the HRC event area,
> and she said yes. So I offered someone a lapel
> sticker. I was immediately
> corrected, “No, not here, but here (she was
> indicating a place 18 inches away
> on the other side of a rope). Hotel security was
> poised nearby.
> So we walked along the rope to an opening and
> around to the other side
> of the rope. I then offered another lapel sticker.
> An HRC man with a pink
> tie, a pink vest and dyed blonde hair (clearly who
> would be discriminated
> against on the basis of “gender expression”) said,
> “No, not hear, but here
> (pointing us back to the initial place that we had
> just left).
> I pulled out my cell phone. Immediately, the
> HRC guy told the hotel
> security to escort us out of the hotel. An event
> photographer took a photo as
> the hotel security closed and asked us to leave.
> There was no hustle. The
> security was polite. But we had to leave at HRC’s
> direction and insistence!
> So we did our gig outside until 7 PM. The
> weather was beautiful.
> During this part of our gig when we had planned to
> be inside educating, some
> friends drove up and lowering their window, asked
> how it was going. I told them
> about being escorted out at the direction of HRC
> when I began to offer lapel
> stickers. Our friends took a stack of lapel
> stickers and said, “They won’t
> ask us to leave!”
> As our group was packed up and leaving, I got a
> phone call that HRC had
> finally agreed to allow us to come in now — after
> , when all the
> cocktail chatty and education time was finished and
> folks would be sitting down to
> eat and hear a program. Or we could come back at
> to offer folks our
> stickers as they left the event.
> After being jerked around by HRC for the past
> hour, we were not about to
> submit ourselves to another trick or lie. We left
> to refresh and reflect
> at the nearby eatery.
> NOTE: Protests against HRC are being planned for New
> Orleans and Phoenix. I
> will send info when I get it.
> Phyllis Randolph Frye
> a.k.a. THE PHYLLABUSTER
> _www.tglegal.com_ (http://www.nsflaw.us/)
> firstname.lastname@example.org_ (mailto:email@example.com)
So, we can, from Phyllis Frye’s account of the event, glean the following.
1. HRC had arranged for enough security to prevent Osama bin Laden, or the Phred Phelps Cult, from infiltrating their soiree. Probably far more security, between hotel security, HRC’s security people, and the Houston Police, than would be needed to squelch an IRA attack. Mounted officers? Really, now!
2. The transgender contingent was jerked around on purpose, and with intention of being thrown off the premises, by HRC’s people. It’s either a case of 3 different people with 3 different instructions (in which case, the HRC organizers were disorganized dumbasses, certainly a possibility), or they meant to jerk the protesters around. Which meant that the person who told Phyllis that they could “educate” inside was obviously a graduate of the “Joe Solmonese Never Tell Trannies The Truth” course.
3. The good part: there seem to have been no mishaps, no arrests, and nobody needing bail money. I feared for the protesters safety and liberty. These are people I’ve met and respect greatly, and an organization that deliberately can lie to 1000 T people is also possibly capable of other acts of violence against transpeople.
The transgender community needs to make it it’s mission, from here on out, to protest and educate at each and every HRC gala event, in each and every city in the US, with the goal of educating, embarrassing, and protesting HRC’s propensity to deliberately lie and subvert the T community, as well as making their attendees question the wisdom of donating money to an organization that lies like a Persian rug. A distraction? Possibly, but if HRC isn’t forced to stop their lying about, and subversion of, the T community, we will be prevented from accessing offices in DC, and will be locked out by Barney Frank, at HRC’s behest. It’s a dirty job, but it will have to be done, and we may have to get our hands dirty to do it. It’s engineering. You have to get your hands dirty, sometimes. Kudos to my friends and associates in Houston for showing the fortitude, wisdom, and good common sense that is endemic to Texans.
Reading: Still working on “John Adams”, by David McCullough
On the turntable: Laura Nyro, “Eli & The Thirteenth Confession”