Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, gave a powerful, almost shocking keynote speech at the Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta this week. In the speech, he apologized for the organization’s past mistreatment of transgender people.
Griffin also announced HRC’s renewed commitment to trans equality, including a fully inclusive antidiscrimination bill, tackling antitrans violence, pushing for equal bathroom and public accommodations access, and opposing the “womyn-born-womyn” policy at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.
The link above includes the full speech, but here’s an excerpt:
So I am here today, at Southern Comfort, to deliver a message. I deliver it on behalf of HRC, and I say it here in the hopes that it will eventually be heard by everyone who is willing to hear it.
HRC has done wrong by the transgender community in the past, and I am here to formally apologize.
I am sorry for the times when we stood apart when we should have been standing together.
Even more than that, I am sorry for the times you have been underrepresented or unrepresented by this organization.
What happens to trans people is absolutely central to the LGBT struggle. And as the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, HRC has a responsibility to do that struggle justice, or else we are failing at our fundamental mission.
I came here today in the hopes that we can begin a new chapter together. But I also came here to tell you the truth. We’re an organization that is evolving. We may make mistakes. We may stumble. But what we do promise is to work with you sincerely, diligently, with a grand sense of urgency, listening and learning every step of the way.
And I also want to be clear that I’m not asking you to be the ones to take the first leap of faith. That’s our job. My mom taught me that respect isn’t given, it’s earned.
Read the whole thing. Holy crap.
Hey guys! I wanted to take a moment to post about this protest that is happening TOMORROW in the Bay Area in California. This is something that is impacting many of my friends, peers, and people who I’ve photographed. Please come out if you’re available and in the area!
Facebook has recently been cracking down on drag queens, locking us out of our profiles until we change our names to our “real names.” But Facebook is picking a fight with the wrong crowd: we know REALNESS isn’t the name we were given at birth, it’s the name we kiki with online and off! We invite EVERYONE to join us in a massive protest of this tired policy — everyone has a right to control their identity online!
!!! PROTEST !!!
Tuesday, September 16
9:30am*: meet at the Castro Safeway to get on the bus or carpool!
… or join us at 11am at the Facebook HQ: 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA
** PLEASE COME IN DRAG! **
(Even if it’s your first time!)
Categories include: Tech Executive Realness, Social Media Starlet, etc etc etc.
** CARPOOL **
If you have a car (or car share!), please bring it so we can shuttle as many people as we can! We’ll start with the bus, but are hoping to bring a HUGE turnout!
Of course, drag queens aren’t the only ones affected by this — we’re just the ones with the big mouths! This issue affects a lot of marginalized, creative, and professional communities, including transgender people, bullied youth, activists, LGBTQ people who aren’t out everywhere, survivors of domestic violence and stalking, migrants, sex workers, artists who work under pseudonyms, and various professionals who work in sensitive professions (eg. mental health, criminal justice, etc.) who may want to interact with friends without being found by clients. Facebook claims that its “real name” policy helps protect people from bullying, but this is a form of targeting our communities that can actually make us much less safe. Facebook is today’s public forum and they can’t exclude us — who are they to say we or anyone else isn’t “real”?!
Stay tuned here for more details!
If you want to help out, email email@example.com!
*Yes queen, it’s early but, like, REAL IMPORTANT! xo.
Mount holyoke, America’s first all women’s college, has LITERALLY just announced that they’re accepting transwomen now this is HUGE
buzzfeedlgbt reports on this amazing app:
Speech Pathologist Kathe Perez has been working with trans clients for years. She recalls one patient’s insightful remark: “It’s that when I talk, it really isn’t a reflection of my soul – it isn’t a reflection of who I am.”
Perez has now developed Eva, the first phone app designed to help transgender users change the pitch and tone of their voice to reflect their identity.
Eva (Exceptional Voice App) is an entire suite of voice training mobile app products for both trans men and women. The app guides users through various lessons and breathing exercises.
The app’s website states it will take at least 6 to 12 months to effectively alter one’s voice. This video clip features an example “before and after” segment, having a user sample her “original” and “altered” voice:
As one user of the app put it: “Voice can be a real liability. There are definitely large parts of this country, even this state, where it’s dangerous to be trans. It can be a matter of life or death.”
At just $4.99, this app is a far more affordable option for users than visiting a vocal coach or speech pathologist. What a great resource!
Stardust (2007), dir. Matthew Vaughn"So what’s the problem?"
"It’s my reputation."
"No, no. Don’t be silly. Nonsense."
"It’s all right, Captain. We always knew you were a whoopsie."