Human Rights Campaign owns up to transgender flag blunder

transgender flagTHE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — An internet firestorm created last week by the HRC when they asked  a transgender activist to remove a trans pride flag during a marriage equality event in front of the U.S. Supreme Court has resulted in an official apology from the HRC.

This apology, however, is by no means a tidy end to the trans community’s beef with the HRC over their tradition of treating trans people as second-class citizens amongst our LGB  brothers and sisters — gains made by the HRC on behalf of LGBT people didn’t always include trans people.

This most recent incident however, may serve as a wake-up call for the HRC. A number of trans advocates are now calling for the HRC to engage in direct dialogue with the trans community and find a way forward.

The following is the official apology from the HRC’s Fred Sainz:

“In the midst of a tremendously historic week for our community, two unfortunate incidents at the United for Marriage event at the Supreme Court last week have caused pain in the community. In one case, a trans activist was asked to remove the trans pride flag from behind the podium, and in another, a queer undocumented speaker was asked to remove reference to his immigration status in his remarks.

HRC joined in a coalition statement on Friday apologizing for these incidents and the individuals involved have personally offered their apologies to those affected. But to be perfectly clear, HRC regrets the incidents and offers our apologies to those who were hurt by our actions. We failed to live up to the high standard to which we hold ourselves accountable and we will strive to do better in the future. Through both our legislative and programmatic work, HRC remains committed to making transgender equality a reality.”

Human Rights Campaign Statement on March 27 Events | Human Rights Campaign.

transgender flag

(Photo: wiki commons)

(Photo: wiki commons)

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Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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21 replies

  1. Again the HRC shows that Transgender is not supported by the HRC. We are still humans and some of us like me are lesbians who happen to be born trans.

  2. Not being familiar HRC-speak, in sounded like an apology in words if not in spirit. We ought to be grateful for little mercies – we really ought to be. Heart-felt thanks to those who are working hard to ensure trans* are offered a level playing field: we all know we’ll get there in the end but why must there be so much pain on the journey?

  3. A little too late for an apology from the HRC >< This does not fix the pain and anguish from the Trans community.

  4. how can the “human” rights campaign decide who is or who isn’t deserving of equal rights? totally not cool.
    I am straight and I support everyone’s right to be themself and be happy, as long as they are not harming others.
    lexie, keep up the good work,

  5. Like Sarah, I am transgender and pansexual too. Mainstream organisations like HRC in United States and it’s Canadian counterpart EGALE Canada has have been johnny and joanie come lately to issue of trans rights.

    However, by working with both mainstream and radical queer organisations societal change does occur. Toby’s Law protects trans in the province of Ontario passed in June of 2012 . Recently federally C-279 passed even with support of some Conservative Member of Parliament.

    End of rant

    Yours in sisterly solidarity, Dollysometimes

  6. They’ve screwed up before regarding Trans* and Bi* issues and have apologized again and again. I’ll start believing it when I see some actual change.

    • sadly even after an apology these people at HRC do not realize by excluding trans people from their fight for equality that really they show the world that not even our own community (LGBT) do not see us as humans. i mean its in their name the HUMAN rights campaign, if they don’t include us in thier fight for equality and ask us to remove our pride flags from the stage they are telling the world that trans people are not humans. Its unfortunate that these people do not see us as humans or worthy for the right of equality. But that is why i have a firm stance that the Transgendered community as a whole needs to break off from the LGBT community and fight for ourselves. Being tran is not a sexual preference it is a gender identity issue.

  7. “Through both our legislative and programmatic work, HRC remains committed to making transgender equality a reality.”

    I’ll believe it when I see it. And so far I haven’t seen it.

  8. To the HRC,
    Remember who was fighting for freedom at the Castro Cafe Riot and at Stonewall. It sure as hell wasn’t those in the male gay community. They were to busy staying safe hiding in their closets. IT WAS MEMBERS OF THE TRANSGENDER AND OF THE LESBIAN COMMUNITIES. They paved the way for the struggle to make LGBT Rights a reality. Yet the gay activists that followed kept the focus on the G in LGBT. Trans-People were left behind. The fight for Transgender Rights is the last great civil rights struggle that lies before America. It must be fought and won NOW.
    I’m sick of going to the funerals of my TG friends who were either murdered by bigots; or those who unable to endure such bigotry, ended their own lives; and those who, unable to get a job due to society’s prejudice, became sexworkers and as such they contracted and died of AIDS.
    Again I state that the fight for Transgender Rights is the last great civil rights struggle that lies before America. It must be fought and won NOW.

    • I am gay and I find it sad and disgusting at same time how they try to exclude T … we all are one community who were united when the majority heterosexuals opposed us

  9. Thanks for all the comments! 🙂

  10. I was watching all the coverage about Gay Marriage and saw Lance Black talk about Harvey Milk. How he said

    “Burst down those closet doors once and for all, and stand
    up and start to fight”.

    Then I started to think about our community. I know we just want to transition and go on with our lives. And that is a valid desire!! But the problem is the most of society does not want us to be able to do that!!

    What Harvey said was

    “Coming out is the most political thing you can do”.

    It is time for our community to stand up and come out of the closet!! We need to let people see that we are their family, friends, fellow workers, churchgoers, etc… For that is how we are going to break the stereotypes that are most peoples ideas of who we are!!

    Harvey said

    “It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes
    no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to
    remove repressions”.


    “all young people, regardless of gender identity or sexual
    orientation , deserve a safe and supportive environment in
    which to achieve their full potential.”

    So with or without the HRC we must work to win our rights!!

  11. I first noticed the so-called “Human Rights” Campaign when I read the news stories in November ’07 (two months before my own little gender epiphany) of how it collaborated with Barney Frank to discard transpeople from the ENDA bill he introduced in the House. I thought, “What the fuck? What’s so equal about THAT?” It stuck with me after I had my own little bout of gender self-discovery.

    I wrote a post about the “HR”C a couple weeks ago when so many well-meaning people, in a rush to show support marriage equality on Facebook, posted the equal-sign logo, not knowing the inequality that lurks beneath the surface. In the process, I was led to Monica Roberts’ TransGriot blog post from the time of the ENDA fiasco, citing the “HR”C’s long-standing animosity toward transpeople. Let’s just say it was a huge teaching moment. Many of my friends took down the logo and found other, more suitable images to use instead.

    Every one of our stories and truths are our own. Mine is that, in the five years since I came out to myself, I’ve been treated much, MUCH better by people in the everyday, non-trans world than by many transpeople, and by any so-called LGB — and especially T — organization. (So-called “liberal” San Francisco was the worst.) Anything the “HR”C does from here on in is suspect. It’s bullshit. It’s damage control. It’s a corporation with no purpose except to raise more money for itself to perpetuate its jobs and its status in Washington. I don’t want the “HR”C’s help. I want it to disappear.

    I feel I’ve done more to foster understanding and human rights simply by living out in the day-to-day world and winning over hearts and minds one person or group at a time. This is my fight. I’ll go it alone. Why waste the energy courting “HR”C?

    • Even if they’re doing “damage control” at least they’re acknowledging their past blunders. We don’t have to fully embrace them until they do something extraordinary for trans people, and then, only maybe. Thanks for your comments.

  12. It took a long time, but they finally made companies offer at least one insurance plan that covered TS procedures in 2013 to get 10 points, though individuals have to report if companies with HRC CEI 100 ratings don’t follow through.

  13. There is a history of the LGB portion of LGBT throwing the T – trans community under the bus wheels so they get what they want. Transpeople get sacrificed and it shows that it is not a matter where we are regarded as second class citizens but as second class human beings.


  1. USA - Human Rights Campaign owns up to transgender flag blunder

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