Why the T in LGBT is here to stay

A great response to the Aravosis article I posted on earlier this week (see below) was just put up at Salon. Susan Stryker writes a witty, angry and totally on point response to Aravosis’ small-minded arguments about gender identity inclusion in the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA). Her best point? That simply having protection against discrimination for sexual preference or sexuality only protects those in the community who are straight-acting.

This full version of ENDA, rather than the nearly introduced one that stripped away previously agreed-upon protections against gender-based discrimination and would protect only sexual orientation, is the one that is of potential benefit to all Americans, and not just to a narrow demographic slice of straight-looking, straight-acting gays and lesbians. It doesn’t really even do that much good for this group, as Lambda Legal points out, because of a loophole big enough to drive a truck through.

Aravosis, not being one to mince words when it comes to mincing meat, wants to know what he, as a gay man, has “in common with a man who wants to cut off his penis, surgically construct a vagina, and become a woman.” The answer is “gender.” The last time I checked my dictionary, homosexuality had something to with people of one gender tending to fall in love with people of the same gender. The meaning of homosexuality thus depends on the definition of gender. However much Aravosis might wish to cut the trannies away from the rest of his herd, thereby preserving a place free of gender trouble for just plain gay guys such as himself, that operation isn’t conceptually possible. Gender and sexuality are like two lines intersecting on a graph, and trying to make them parallel undoes the very notion of homo-, hetero- or bisexuality.

You rock Susan. Read the whole article here.


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