The Advocate ENDA poll FAIL

Just in time for Thanksgiving, The Advocate gave transgender and gender non-conforming folks a reminder of how we’ve been screwed over by the mainstream gay community. No, I’m not grateful.
The Advocate posted a poll on their website asking, “Would you support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act if gender identity protections were again taken out of the bill?” Here’s what the results of this (I’m assuming very unscientific) poll look like as of this morning:
Advocate Poll. Would You Support ENDA? Would you support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act if gender identity protections were again taken out of the bill? Some Yes responses, overwhelming support for No, and a few responses of Undecided. 1144 responses.
I suppose it’s nice to see the overwhelming answer of “No.” But the big problem here is that the question was asked at all. It’s my understanding that supporting a version of the Employement Non-Discrimination Act that excludes protections for trans folks is not even a consideration. Barney Frank has said we are “beyond” the removal of gender identity and expression from the ENDA. HRC was the only mainstream LGBT organization to support a trans-exclusionary bill last time around, and they came under a lot of fire not just from the trans community but the broader LGBT community. A non-inclusive ENDA seems like a terrible political idea at this point given the amount of opposition among advocates.
So why would The Advocate even ask this question? Simply publishing this poll legitimizes the consideration of throwing trans folks under the bus again. It’s genuinely scary to see the question raised, to see any credence given to the idea that ENDA without protections for trans folks could be politically viable and worth supporting.
The Advocate has demonstrated multiple times that they are a publication for those gay folks with the most power and privilege through, for example, their problematic track record on issues of gender identity and race. This poll cements the fact that this publication is not for me and does not represent me or my community.
As of this writing the poll is still up on The Advocate’s website and is still accepting written responses. More contact information can be found here. Let The Advocate know how you feel about them raising this divisive question and even suggesting that ENDA without gender identity and expression is worth considering.
h/t to Kellan Baker.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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