Right after the recession hit the media in a big way, the company for whom I was working shrunk the design department with which I was working. Taking the opportunity to pursue something about which I was passionate, I decided to try out my hand at canvassing, and one of our clients was the HRC. This was right around the time of Prop 8, and the issue at hand was marriage equality. Not for Prop 8, but the issue as a larger whole.
One day while out at the University of Chicago campus, one of my fellow canvassers was accosted by some activists, demanding to know why the HRC would demand money for LGBT causes considering they were abandoning the T in that group? While my coworker sputtered, flabbergasted, I watched on, having known this, but realizing I could not continue with this work, for this particular organization. I did not go back the next day.
I am torn about today.
My Facebook feed (moreso than my Twitter feed) is awash in red equal signs, the branding that the HRC uses going under a color switch in order for people to signal their support of marriage equality as it is being heard in the Supreme Court. I do support marriage equality. I do not support the HRC. When I mentioned this on Twitter, an exchange occurred whereby Courtney Stanton brought up this article explaining the issues the trans community has with the HRC (and with much of what happens in the gay and lesbian movement overall). I won’t rehash the article because it is worth your full attention and a full reading.
I also find it hard to argue for the HRC’s branding in this issue considering they were against the ruling taking place in the first place. To my cynical mind, this reads as a way to pursue more brand awareness, thereby increasing their ability to fundraise in the future. I see no reason not to be cynical with the HRC. This could very well be their gamble to make the best of what they consider a bad situation, but it one where I find using their branding rather counterintuitive for promoting queer issues overall.
What people do with this information is up to them, and I am not trying to create a ‘queerer-than-thou’ hierarchy, but feel people should be informed.