March 19, 2009

Welcoming the "T" to the White House

Mara Keisling is the Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, also happens to be a transwoman herself. She was recently invited to the White House to attend a signing ceremony and blogged about it at The Bilerico Project.

At NCTE, we do not pretend that our having been invited to send me to a mostly ceremonial, albeit significant, moment is akin to Perkins being the first woman in the cabinet. I was not, to say the least, in the high seats. But, imagine, this week a transperson was invited as a transperson to the White House. And bigger, more significant firsts have already happened this year. A transgender man, Diego Sanchez, was the first openly out transperson to become a staffer on Capitol Hill, standing on the shoulders of at least one other transperson who worked for a Senator in a district office. And this year a transgender person, Shannon Minter, argued for the second time before the California Supreme Court and was named Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer magazine, standing on the shoulders of numerous trans lawyers who had mentored him. And this year, other firsts have happened and will continue to happen, and in years hence, these firsts will stand as foundations on which new, taller firsts will stand.

In the mean time, of course, trans people around the country and the world continue to face horrible disrespect, discrimination and violence, and I know my invitation to the White House this week is only one tiny step toward lessening those years from now.

I know more of us will be invited again soon, and next time hopefully to witness the signing of a Hate Crimes law or ENDA or maybe the much needed Executive Order protecting transgender federal employees.

Click here to rest the rest of the post at The Bilerico Project.

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