Dear Allegheny County,
Please go read this account of how an incident of transphobia manifested itself as homophobia, almost as an incident of public accommodation. http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/10382/national-car-rental-employee-to-trans-woman-customer-screwedup-man-faggot (h/t to Pam's House Blend for a well-done exclusive story)
I read this and think of those of you, friend and foe, who think that stripping the County anti-discrimination ordinance of protections based on “gender identity” and “gender expression” might be necessary as a means to get some sort of protection in place.
I respectfully disagree. As Autumn points out, there is no fine line of discernment when it comes to hatin' on the LGBTQ community. Thus, any attempt to pretty up the bill by excluding protections for those who are most vulnerable is self-defeating and somewhat self-loathing. Would lesbians accept an ordinance that only protected gay men only? Would gay men accept a bill that solely protected bisexual men and women in relationships with opposite gendered individuals? No.
The employee of this car rental company used the term “faggot” as a general slur against our community –LGBT and Q. He wasn't addressing a gay identified man. He was bashing someone in our community. It is 2009 and we should not accept subterfuge as an acceptable means of dealing with discrimination. Trans men and trans women living in Allegheny County should not be slipped into a protected class through the back door.
It is 2009 and Allegheny County is in 14th place, at best. Let's not make a deplorable situation worse by tacitly feeding into some sort of hierarchy of acceptable queerness.
When it comes to discrimination, we are all faggots.