National Conference for Media Reform was Beyond Pronouns: Creating Real Stories About Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People. I have struggled with the "style" issues in writing about transgender folk and this workshop was helpful in that respect as well as in how transpeople are demonized, endangered and exoticized by media coverage. More importantly for me, a middle-aged lesbian identified with an earlier generation of feminism, womanism and a GLBT movement that was the radical edge of social change, I finally came to understand why I need to ally myself with trans and gender non-conforming folk.
Let's face it, the GLB movement isn't what it used to be. Let me say I love my non-matrimonial spousal equivalent partner for life. You might think this is a lot to say when, because I live in Massachusetts, I could get married, call her my spouse or (heaven forbid) my wife. Marriage isn't a victory to me. Military service anathema -- I'm more of a don't serve kind of girl. Groups like Queers for Economic Justice have well developed critique of these supposedly progressive organizing efforts within the gay community. Now don't get me wrong. There are many GLB organizations doing cutting edge work on homelessness, anti-violence, and economic justice. But note that I leave the Q & T off. For many of these more established groups Q & T (and frequently youth) are an afterthought. Organizations like The Audre Lorde Project, Queers for Economic Justice, TransPeopleSpeak.org, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition So it seems like the radical edge has shifted. GLB has mainstreamed so that you can be gay, married, Republican and advocate for the conservative assault on women's health.
All movements have their moment. Now it's time to let the transgendered and gender non-conforming folk help lead us along their radical edge of social change.