Sunday, June 28, 2015

The War Hasn't Ended!!



The very first March on Washington in 1979 was known as "National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights" the 1987 March used the same name.

The 1993 march was "March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation."

Our community was growing at a rapid rate, and our national vision was doing the best it could to keep up.

In 1992, I was elected to the National Steering Committee as a regional delegate for the 1993 March on Washington.   I travelled the country to national meetings to help shape what the 1993 March on Washington would become.  It was at one of these meetings in 1992 that I first heard the word "Transgender" we were in the middle of the planning process.  Everything was in place, with logo design, march demands, and logistics, and including the word "Bi" instead of Bisexual, so we didn't "sexualize" the event.  We had the endorsement of the NAACP, which was the first time we had a direct connection with the LGB(T) movement and the civil rights movement.

We were approached at a meeting by members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to include the T in the LGB portion of the march's name. With committee members from all over the country including small towns, the word Transgender was new to many of us.  I had just started doing drag, and I was being told that I was "Transgender"  I stood at that meeting and said "hell no I'm not!!  I'm not Trans anything; I am a guy that wears makeup and a dress!!   How dare you push a label on me!"  Everyone has a different journey, a different sense of who they are.  How do these nuns tell me who I am or how I identify!!

It was decided not to change the name of the march but what we did do was change our list of demands to include Transgender people, so that we could meet the needs and desires of our community.  The community spoke, and we listened.  This was a great accomplishment considering some of these meetings would have 45-minute discussions on what food to serve at the next meeting.


So PLEASE know, we haven't forgotten you, we haven't left your side or dropped out of line behind you in your lead.  So for those of you that feel like "the bus has left without you" or that no one cares about the greater picture than "gay marriage".  All I can say is that I am sorry you feel that way. I don't recall anyone saying "OK let us pack up the "activism box" we're all done now" Some of us know that there is still discrimination in many states in the country. You can still be fired from your job or evicted from your home because of your sexual orientation or gender identity. Schools may expel your child, parental rights are still being challenged.

Transgender women are being murdered for no reason other than being who they are.


Yes, we achieved marriage equality, which is just one battle in the war that we are still fighting.

I began fighting for equal rights for the LGBT community in 1991, so please forgive me if I take a little time to celebrate a win.  I promise I will be back to work fighting for our entire LGBTQ community right away.

I've also included the list of demands from the 1993 March on Washington for those that weren't around yet or don't remember what we were fighting for back in 1993.



Platform of the 1993 March on Washington for
Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation
Action Statement Preamble to the Platform

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender movement recognizes that our quest for social justice fundamentally links us to the struggles against racism and sexism, class bias, economic injustice and religious intolerance. We must realize if one of us is oppressed we all are oppressed. The diversity of our movement requires and compels us to stand in opposition to all forms of oppression that diminish the quality of life for all people. We will be vigilant in our determination to rid our movement and our society of all forms
of oppression and exploitation, so that all of us can develop to our full human potential without regard to race, religion, sexual orientation, identification, identity, gender and gender expression, ability, age or class.

THE MARCH DEMANDS

1. We demand passage of a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender civil rights bill and an end to discrimination by state and federal governments including the military; repeal of all sodomy laws and other laws that criminalize private sexual expression between consenting adults.

2. We demand massive increase in funding for AIDS education, research,and patient care; universal access to health care including alternative therapies; and an end to sexism in medical research and health care.

3. We demand legislation to prevent discrimination against Lesbians,
Gays, Bisexuals and Transgendered people in the areas of family diversity, custody, adoption and foster care and that the definition of family includes the full diversity of all family structures.

4. We demand full and equal inclusion of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgendered people in the educational system, and inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender studies in multicultural curricula.

5. We demand the right to reproductive freedom and choice, to control
our own bodies, and an end to sexist discrimination.

6. We demand an end to racial and ethnic discrimination in all forms.

7. We demand an end to discrimination and violent oppression based on
actual or perceived sexual orientation, identification, race, religion, identity, sex and gender expression, disability, age, class, AIDS/HIV infection.

Platform Demands and Related Items

  1. We demand passage of a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender civil rights bill and an end to discrimination by state and federal governments including the military; repeal of all sodomy laws and others laws that criminalize private sexual expression between consenting adults.

Passage of "The Civil Rights Amendment Act of 1991" (HR 1430 & S574).

Repeal of Department of Defense directive 1332.14.

Repeal of laws prohibiting sodomy, cross-gender expression (dress codes) or non-coercive sexual behavior between consenting adults.

Amendment of the Code of Federal Regulations to recognize same-sex
relationships.

Passage of the Equal Rights Amendment

Implementation of, funding for and enforcement of the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1991.

Passage and implementation of graduated age-of-consent laws.

  2. We demand massive increase in funding for AIDS education, research, and patient care; universal access to health care including alternative therapies; and an end to sexism in medical research and health care.

The provision of responsive, appropriate health care for people with
disabilities, deaf and hard of hearing people.

Revision of the Centers for Disease Control definition of AIDS to include infections particular to women.

Implementation of the recommendation-of the National AIDS Commission
immediately.

A massive increase in funding for AIDS education, research and care--money for AIDS, not for war.
This money should come from the defense budget, not existing social services.
An increase in funding and research to provide an independent study of HIV infection in women, People of Color, Bisexuals, Heterosexuals, children, and women to women transmission.

Access to anonymous testing for HIV.

No mandatory HIV testing.
A cure for AIDS.

The development and legalization of a national needle exchange program.

Free substance abuse treatment on demand.

The redefinition of sexual reassignment surgeries as medical, not cosmetic, treatment.

The provision of appropriate medical treatment for all transgendered people in prisons and hospitals.

An increase in funding and research for chronic illness, including breast ovarian, and other cancers particular to women.

The right of all people with chronic illness, including HIV/AIDS, to choices in medical treatment as well as the right to end such treatment.

  3. We demand legislation to prevent discrimination against Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgendered people in the areas of family diversity, custody, adoption and foster care and that the definition of family includes the full diversity of all family structures.

The recognition and legal protection of whole range of family structures.

An end to abuse and exploitation of and discrimination against youth.

An end to abuse and exploitation of and discrimination against older/old people.

Full implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the Health and Human Services Task Force on Youth Suicide.

Recognition of domestic partnerships.

Legalization of same sex marriages.

4. We demand full and equal inclusion of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgendered people in the educational system, and inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender studies in multicultural curricula.

Culturally inclusive Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies program; and information on abortion, AIDS/HIV, childcare and sexuality at all levels of education.

Establishment of campus offices and programs to address Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender students special needs.
The ban of all discriminatory ROTC programs and recruiters from learning institutions.

An end to discrimination at all levels of education.

   5. We demand the right to reproductive freedom and choice, to control our own bodies, and an end to sexist discrimination.

The right to control our bodies.

Unrestricted, safe and affordable alternative insemination.

An end to sterilization abuse.

That access to safe and affordable abortion and contraception be available to all people on demand, without restriction and regardless of age.

That access to unbiased and complete information about the full range of reproductive options be available to all people, regardless of age.

  6. We demand an end to racial and ethnic discrimination in all forms.

Support for non-racist policies and affirmative action.

An end to institutionalized racism.

Equal economic opportunity and an end to poverty.

Full reproductive rights, improvement of prenatal services, availability of alternative insemination for Lesbians and Bisexual women of color.

Repeal all 'English Only' laws and restore and enforce bilingual education.

Repeal all discriminatory immigration laws based on race and HIV status .

A commitment to ending racism, including internalized racism, sexism and all forms of religious and ethnic oppression in our communities and in this country.

An end to the genocide of all the indigenous peoples and their cultures

Restoration of the self-determination of all indigenous people of the world.

  7. We demand an end to discrimination and violent oppression based on actual or perceived sexual orientation/identification, race, religion,identity, sex and gender expression, disability, age, class, AIDS/HIV infection.

An end to anti-Semitism.

An end to sexist oppression.

An end to discrimination against people with disabilities, deaf and hard of hearing people.

An end to discrimination based on sexual orientation in all programs of the Boy Scouts of America.

An end to economic injustice in this country and internationally.

An end to discrimination against prisoners with HIV/AIDS.

An end to discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS, and those perceived as having HIV/AIDS.

An end to consideration of gender dysphoria as a psychiatric disorder.

An end to hate crimes including police brutality, rape and bashing.
An end to censorship.




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