In response to “Advocates march on D. C., divided on Obama,” Oct. 16-22, 2009:
I am a transsexual woman. I have been in Washington, D.C., and Harrisburg several times lobbying for LGBT-inclusive legislature and attending organizational activities. I stayed home in Philadelphia to participate in the local Outfest activities and did not participate in the National Equality March in D.C. Sunday Oct. 11.
But I know that several-thousand people who identify as trans did attend the march and rallied along with their families and friends. And I know of several of the speakers who presented at the rally who identify as trans.
Yet, not once were the participation of those who are trans or gender-variant mentioned in this article.
We who are trans were made invisible by this article, like we just weren’t there. Well, that is an insult to the trans community. Imagine this article being published if it left out mention of gays or lesbians? But it is appropriate to publish when leaving out mention of transgender?
We demand inclusion from this society and the LGB community. We demand respect from this society and the LGB community. We demand respect from PGN. We ask no more.
Susan Collins Jenkintown
In response to “Legal group moves to Mazzoni Center,” Oct. 23-29, 2009:
This is a terrible move on the part of Equality Advocates. The legal department has made huge contributions to equality for LGBT Pennsylvanians, both through successful impact litigation and through desperately needed direct legal services. The legislative and education program has achieved virtually nothing since the Philadelphia [domestic partnership] ordinance. If the religious right wanted to slow down progress for LGBT Pennsylvanians, they couldn’t have come up with a better plan.
From their Web sites, it does not look like Fenway or Howard Brown provide substantive legal services, and certainly not to the extent that EAP has. Jen Colletta, why don’t you do some more research on this?
— Lost my support
What a terrible move for both Mazzoni Center and Equality Advocates, and a big loss for the community. Mazzoni is a health-services group and legal services is way out of their league. If they were so interested in legal services, why didn’t they start doing it before Equality Advocates was around in the first place? They’ve been around for a couple decades, after all. As they “learn” how to provide legal services, it will be at the expense of the people that need these services the most. There aren’t that many places that provide direct legal services and if Equality Advocates no longer wanted to provide services (to black, trans, youth, etc.), they should have reached out to a legal organization to transfer the program to (AIDS Law Project or ACLU or Women’s Law Project, etc.). I don’t see how Mazzoni will do this better. When have they kept a program that isn’t bankrolled by the health department (i.e., our tax dollars)?
— Worst Idea Ever