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It’s Time To Stop Calling Things ‘The Civil Rights Issue Of Our Time’

At a visit to a Florida field office, Vice President Joe Biden stated that transgender discrimination is “the civil rights issue of our time.” The incident occurred after Linda Carragher Bourne of Sarasota caught the eye of Biden due to, apparently, her beautiful eyes. Bourne later told reporters that her daughter was Miss Trans New England and asked Biden if he would help out on that front.

Bourne told reporters “A lot of my friends are being killed, and they don’t have the civil rights yet. These guys are gonna make it happen.”

Biden is a long time LGBT ally.

On a personal level, I feel uncomfortable with singling out a specific group’s rights as being “the civil rights issue of our time” or “the greatest civil rights issue of our time.” The reality is that discrimination knows no bounds. What we should be doing is not singling out a specific group to try and eliminate the discrimination directed towards them, but should be focusing on eliminating the discrimination felt by all people everywhere.

The US Declaration of Independence states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”. The idea of equality is woven into the founding of the United States even if the initial creation of the nation was flawed because not every person in the nation was treated equal.

Discrimination, prejudice, hate crimes…all of this is a great civil rights issue, and let us face it, until all people are treated equal in the United States, then there is no ‘greatest’ or ‘most important’ civil rights issue other than to make sure that all Americans and all people are treated with dignity, respect, and equality. We must fight to prevent backwards slides in the rights of Women, all racial minorities, and all religious minorities as well as the poor, who are having their right to vote undermined. We must fight for equality for LGBT people as well.

The Right does not hide the fact that they are anti-everything. The Family Research Council is as racist as it is anti-religious, anti-woman and anti-gay. The same holds true for the National Organization for Marriage and the American Family Association. Look at their tactics, their reactions to President Barack Obama, and their ability to drive a wedge between Blacks and Gays.

The Left is scattershot. They are all over the place, and rather than fighting for a unified cause of equality for all, they are busy fighting for equality for this minority over here or that minority over there.

The battle is to make all equal because fighting to make one equal ends of causing imbalance.

Yes, I want equality for trans people, but I’d also like to make sure everyone else has equality too.



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4 Responses to It’s Time To Stop Calling Things ‘The Civil Rights Issue Of Our Time’

  1. KaraC

    December 25, 2012 at 4:15 am

    All the best, Allison and Bridgette. Hope you have a great Christmas and New Year.

  2. KaraC

    November 18, 2012 at 3:07 am

    I agree about the importance of equality for all, and feel slighty uncomfortable being “singled out”, though I acknowledge that Biden’s motives are good. One thing I would say is that in terms of public understanding. As a trans lesbian, I do feel that trans people are about 20 years behind gay and lesbian people. We still get a lot of “you’re a guy in a dress”, “you’re delusional”, and for some strange reason I’ve actually seen several comments on trans related stories saying “if you thought you were a dog should we treat you as a dog”. Erm, no. Also, the murder of trans people has been increasing at an astonishing rate over the past few years. The figures I recall are that 2010 saw a 44% increase, and 2012 was up 22% over 2011. That said, I think that civil rights such as marriage equality and anti-discrimination protection are something that we need to stand united on and fight for on behalf of the whole LGBT community.

    • Allison

      December 23, 2012 at 11:05 am

      You say you are a trans lesbian; I take this to mean you are genetically male, but identify as female, yet are attracted primarily, if not exlusively, to women. If this is so, we have something important, yet widely misunderstood, in common. I am still in the closet,but fully intend to begin living the life I was meant to live as soon as I have the resources. Only one person has ever figured out what I am, and she was not even my friend until afterwards.
      Welcome, sister!

    • Bridgette P. LaVictoire

      December 23, 2012 at 11:16 am

      Just to answer both Kara and Allison :)

      We’re all in the same boat. I just don’t identify as trans, but then again, I’ve never had a time when I identified as male. I’ve always been female.

      However, my objection is just to the phrase. We have to educate people about the differences in human beings, and make it so that we are all respected.

      Take care, and Allison, please, keep safe. It’s a dangerous world out there for us.