Friday, March 31st, 2023

GLBTQI Taliban: as evil as the religious fanatics of Islam and Christianity

Billy Glover

October 10, 2007.

Did anyone hear Barney Frank speaking via C-SPAN on the floor of Congress yesterday defending his support for a bill to help get equal rights to homosexual citizens?

Who are the ones fighting the bill? Homosexuals and trans people, all “gays” who make lots of money and get lots of celebrity and benefits from doing what is popular. Appearing to be “pure” makes them look and feel good — despite the obvious fact that in America not many “perfect” bills get through Congress, much less get signed by the President.

Who are these “experts” who want only a bill that is pure, including every possible person? It is as if they are saying that if one of their brothers or sisters has a chance to get some benefit, and they don’t; they will try to prevent that brother or sister from getting the benefit. And who made them the politically correct cops to decide what everyone should believe? They have also spent most of their efforts trying to force us to use only terms “they” approve of. As if they are experts on not only homosexuality but also on politically or religiously correct beliefs, which makes them like the Islamic Taliban that destroys the statutes of other religions. As did Christians also.

I was there when Virginia Prince, in the ’60s, told Don Slater and the others at the Hollywood Bowl concert we were enjoying, that Transvestia should not be listed in a homosexual guide, as they were not homosexual. They did not work for homosexual issues. Now they are eager to use the clout gotten for the homosexual movement by the pioneers of the community, a brave few, and without putting much effort into the political and educational work, they want the benefits without the work. What is that old saying? “They have not paid their dues.”

If homosexual Americans and our allies do not have enough common sense to ignore these fanatics, we deserve to suffer longer under discrimination. As it is, very few homosexuals have ever given any time, energy, and money to help their cause, so it makes little difference to them anyway. They, like those early people in America who did nothing to support the efforts to free us from England, will benefit without paying their dues. And in many cases the few who do seek to help will support “celebrity” gays who do little but talk lots, usually nonsense, but manage to get on the TV talk shows and have movie stars come to their benefits. As is the case here when they work to stop our progress. They deserve to be exposed as the traitors they are. And let the trans people fight their battle. We will help, as we could with the bisexuals, who also have done little for the homosexual cause. But as the civil rights fights of women, blacks, hispanics, atheists, etc. are not the same, who has the time, energy, and money to work for all of them?

The answer is that most people do nothing for any of them.


About The Author


  1. Anonymous

    I’m just going to assume here, but as old as you are you should more than well remember that it was transgender people and drag queens that skyrocketed your little “homosexuals only” movement to national attention in 1969.

  2. Bet Power

    Give me a break!!  It’s a fact that drag queens and transpeople started “Gay Pride” at Stonewall and that lesbians and gays have been trying to exclude transpeople from the rainbow movement ever since.
    You want an ENDA that excludes transpeople and thus, once again, uplifts lesbians and gays on the backs of transpeople. Well, we have had enough!  Transpeople are now so well organized locally, regionally, and nationally and have made such strong in-roads with all the major, national lesbian and gay organizations (PFLAG, NGLTF, etc. etc.) that there is no turning us back.
    Your attitude is parallel to when women suffragists fought for the legal right to vote and white women were offered passage of the right to vote, at first, if they agreed to leave black women out of the legislation. They did the right moral thing … and REFUSED!  They knew it was wrong to advance some women while leaving other women behind. Do you really thing that if black women were left out of the right to vote bill that, later on at some distant date, white women would help black women get their own suffrage??
    Furthermore, with Bush in power, there will be NO SORT OF ENDA passed at all during his term. He will veto any ENDA, whether it includes just sexual orientation or both sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.  So, why not do the thre RIGHT MORAL THING and insist on an ENDA that uplifts US ALL … lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders?!!  NO QUEER LEFT BEHIND!
    Bet Power
    Sexual Minorities Archives  (which collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public since 1974 the literature, history, and art of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders … and yes, I am proudly transgendered)
    Northampton, Massachusetts

  3. Billy Glover

    I have been working with the oldest organization still existing for sexual rights.  Don’t tell me that I don’t want trans people to have rights.  And if you are correct, it is news to me, that trans people are now well organized, etc., then they can and should fight their own battles as homosexuals did.  Drag queens are NOT trans people. I clearly pointed out that there are various civil rights groups working, women, blacks, atheists, etc.  No human can be working in all causes, it is impossible, only some one trying to be some kind of power weeker can do it.  And no successfully.  You choose your battles, you can’t fight for all issues.  By concentrating on our ONE issue, we have been extremely successful, with little support and often opposition not only from rightwinger bigots, but from closet queens and even from trans people, who can’t benefit anyway since they are still in the closet—I can send you newsletters saying this from current groups, who can’t even get their members to attend meetings if they are gay centers!!!  They sure can’t come out at work, or even to their spouses.  Get real, don’t live in a bubble as Bush does.

  4. Bill Kelley, Chicago

    Another piece of mythical history is that “drag queens and transpeople started ‘Gay Pride’ at Stonewall.”

    First, the gay pride concept, if not the slogan, pre-existed Stonewall; the “Gay Is Good” slogan was actually coined and officially approved in my presence (and Billy Glover’s, I think) at an annual gay rights convention in Chicago only a couple of months after Stonewall, and it derived from years of activism nationally, not just from Stonewall.

    Second, Stonewall didn’t start the gay rights movement; it had existed in a noticeably organized form for nearly 20 years by the time of Stonewall.

    Third, drag queens and transpeople weren’t the only people in those large crowds at the time of Stonewall. Those crowds, and the customers of the Stonewall Inn, included many, many gay men (and a certain number of lesbians) in addition to drag queens and transsexuals.

    Stonewall, though important as an actual event as well as a symbol, has been exaggerated and mythologized to the exclusion of a more insightful history of the gay movement. The transgender role at Stonewall has likewise been exaggerated and mythologized.

  5. Bet Power

    Yes, but the rebellion at Stonewall started annual “Gay Pride” marches, the cornerstone of public queer visibility and the movement.
    Indeed, the first person who threw a coin at the police at Stonewall was a transwoman. And don’t forget the kick lines of drag queens outside the Stonewall, protesting in their own unique way. Sylvia Rivera and other transpeople were giants of that era.
    Why would you wish to exclude a portion of our community from history, if not because you are selfish and greedy for only your own “gay” standing and a measure power in the world.
    Furthermore, I am old enough to remember why queers were hassled by mafia and police-controlled bars like Stonewall. While living in Chicago during the Stonewall period, police busted queers for not wearing at least two items of gender-normative clothing. Stone butches were reduced to wearing a feminine anklet stocking — or quickly reversing their pants so that the zipper appeared in the back rather than the front.
    Again, queer oppression most likely targets a person’s gender expression FIRST, before inquiring about who someone sleeps with.
    There is so much overlap between gays and lesbians and gender expression/identity and the trans community, that it is foolish to attempt to separate the issue of sexual orientation from gender expression in the workplace.
    United we stand, divided some gays and lesbians are still gonna fall (from gender expression discrimination in the workplace).

  6. Bill Kelley, Chicago

    Thanks. Yes, annual gay marches did start in commemoration of Stonewall, but queer visibility in the near-40 years since has resulted from a great deal more than just the marches–which many people don’t agree present the right kind of visibility. (I’ve been in every Chicago march or parade including the very first one, and I see them as part of our visibility continuum.)

    As for who attacked the police at Stonewall first: The Sylvia Rivera story is just one of several.

    I don’t wish to exclude anyone from history, whether the person is a part of  “our community” or not. I would just like more balanced, correct, and less propagandistic history. Of course people who are now described as transgender have been a significant part of gay and lesbian life and movements from time immemorial–though there have been many other “transgender” people who’ve gone to great (and fruitless) lengths NOT to be associated with lesbians or gay males. That doesn’t mean there aren’t significant differences in substance between transgender claims for justice and gay or lesbian claims for justice. The current question is whether it’s strategically or on principle wise to treat them as identical and demand that they proceed at the same pace or not at all.

    It’s also true that there’s a lot of overlap among transgender varieties and gay or lesbian varieties–exemplified by the clothing quirks that supposedly reassured police that lesbians were following the law. (I was in Chicago, too, in that period.) That’s why, in an ideal world, there’d be no discrimination against anyone because of “gender identity,” gender nonconformity, or sexual orientation–but sometimes an ideal world has to be brought about in achievable steps rather than currently impractical dreams. Besides, there can be little question but that legal prohibition of sexual-orientation discrimination will immediately help many people whose claims could also be considered as transgender ones.

  7. Billy Glover

    Thanks for your thoughts.  I agree with them.  I think and write as someone who has worked, paid and unpaid, since 1960, in the civil/equal rights movement for homosexuals.  While we also helped others, we knew that with our limited time, energy and money we had to aim our work at our small area of civil rights.  We got little support from trans or bi or any other group of people, and, frankly, little from most homosexuals, and in fact got as much hate mail from closet queens as from anti-gay bigots.  We got complaints if we did articles that dealt with female issues, or if we had ads that looked “queeny” or if we were too serious or not serious enough, etc.
    But only a person with some agenda would deny that we have been successful-the fact that most of us have died is irrelevant, just as it is irrelevant that the founders of this nation have been dead for years. We live on what they started.  If we lose it, it is our fault.
    No one in the movement opposes trans people having rights.  But as they from the start have said and demonstrated, they are NOT homosexual.  Very few people can have time to spend on 2 or 3 different causes.  While we believe that black Americans still don’t have their equal rights, we don’t work in that cause-although Bayard Rustin and others tried to.
    If some group has a chance to gain rights, we celebrate that, we don’t try to stop such things since we are not included.  But the fact is that the people who hate us hate blacks, atheists, and usually women.
    The example that shouts at us is that some homosexuals have spoken out supporting the Jean 6.  Today they have cause to feel betrayed again by the “justice” system, since one is back in jail on a flimsy excuse, an old supposed drug charge, how queer that is suddenly shows up,obviously by a bigoted judge.  But black civil rights leaders know this “history” as do we, since that is the way minorities have been mistreated by majority white heteros for hundreds of years.  The question is, do black hetero preachers even want out support, since they hate us.
    I welcome anyone who has the ability to work in lots of causes.  But I see few homosexuals even working for their own cause.  If they can march for the Jean 6, why can’t they give a little effort for their own civil rights?  If someone attacks HRC or others for not being 100% working for trans issues, I ask what groups they are supporting that are, and what trans groups are working for homosexual causes.
    The sad fact is that from what I see, trans people today are where homosexuals were 40 years ago.  I read their newsletters which cry that they can’t find a place to meet as they can’t be seen in drag.  They can’t go to a gay center, as they makes them appear to be gay.  So what good would employment rights do them???They aren’t even out to their spouses and would never be willing to risk being out to the employer or co-workers.  And the editors of publications ask for more support and ideas and they get little from members, who only complain that they have to have meetings somewhere where no one knows their names!
    But the issue of what groups or causes one supports is difficult to deal with.  As we know, some homosexuals in PETA picket gay rodeo events.  Some “Christina” gays oppose atheists in their parade.  I don’t hear much opposition from bears in our community to drag queens, but I do hear lots of complaints from many people, about dykes on bikes and drag queens dominating our parades/pride events.  I want to know ho much work these groups do, other than show up for the parade, hoping to lead it.  And many people ask why naked men need to lead our parades, nudism is not a gay issue.
    So let’s hear it for diversity.  Unless we want to be hypocrites.  And as we know too often our main opposition comes from our “friends.”  That is a sad comment.

  8. Bet Power

    Yes, drag queens do also fall within the trans community as their gender expression, and sometimes even gender identity, differs from male biology = masculine.

    What you fail to realize is that an ENDA that leaves out protections for gender identity and gender expression will also hurt lesbians and gays, many of whom are effeminate males or masculine females. Most employers FIRE PEOPLE based on their appearance, if it is not gender normative, which can be SEEN long before anyone inquires about an employee’s sexual orientation.
    Not only transpeople will benefit from an all-inclusive ENDA.

    However, transpeople should NEVER be omitted from the rainbow. We were there fighting oppression from the start, at Compton’s Cafeteria and Stonewall. We deserve inclusion. What ever happened to UNITY AND DIVERSITY in our movement?

  9. Billy Glover

    You are right that drag queens have been around all the time. But facts are facts. I can tell you that not one drag qaueen ever did anyhthing to support ONE. And when HIC did picketing, and did a Motorcade through L.A. not one drag queen joined or supported us.  I know Morris Kight spent lots of time, energy and money bailing them out of jail.  But Isee little they did for him.  All take and no give.  Same for bisexuals.  Perhaps Bill and others can say drag queens worked for their groups or publications, but they didn’t for us, from ’50s to ’70s.  And by the ’80s we had done most of the work, and we did have support from allies, such as PFLAG, attorneys who were not gay, etc.  By the ’80s we had gay judges, attorneys, etc. 

  10. Ed White

    Hi, Billy,

    I take some exception with your comments, and hope you can see that you are making sweeping generalizations that are unhelpful, even hurtful. I’m not entirely convinced we should push a fundamentalist solidarity with regard to ENDA, but we should definitely use the opportunity as a teaching moment for the LGBT movement as well as the US.

    I am bi with a husband, a wife and a brand new child (born Oct 2, last week), and have been fighting the good fight since coming out in 1990: holding offices in Knoxville Pride & UT LGBT groups; publishing in local mag Aware, state-wide paper Query, internationally in RFD, and our local weekly Metro Pulse and mainstream daily the Knoxville News Sentinel; served as AIDS caregiver for 3.5 years, ran quilting bees for local Quilt exhibits, and perform dramatic monologues for Hope Center workshops twice a year for the past 6 years; served as an LGBT rep in NCCJ and now in the Univ of TN’s Commission on LGBT people, etc., etc., etc. I don’t correct people when they assume I’m gay because our issues are so entertwined it doesn’t really matter.

    I have known and fought for and alongside many trans-folk over the years and have to say I am very impressed not only with their savvy and hard work, but with their patience with disparagement such as yours from within the movement. The TN Transgender PAC has been around a while now, started by trans for trans, and they have been extremely effective in our state legislature. Maybe their organized history isn’t as old as the Mattachine, etc., but are we to now judge whether movements are deserving simply on their age?

    Trans issues belong in the queer orbit, no doubt about it. If it weren’t for objections from many black activists in particular, we would be using the broader umbrella term “Sexual Minorities” instead of our ever lenghtening queer alphabet in America, as the SM term is more precise and is used more internationally. “Minorities” has almost taken on a separate meaning from it’s etymological roots in this country, unfortunately, and needs to be restored; if any group is a minority, LGB’s are, and T’s even more so than probably anybody.

    Look at the lesbian kicked out of the restaurant in NY for not looking feminine enough in their women’s bathroom just recently. Gender Identitiy and expression are indelibly part of our issues. We are stuck with each other and need each other whether we like it or not.

    For an embattled minority not to recognize and support the fight of any other embattled minority – and to futher disparge them in lieu of support – is immature and itself undeserving. LGBT rights are HUMAN rights, and if we withdraw into our enclaves and not support other human minorities, including race but most especially our brethren sexual minority trans-folk, we are separating ourselves from the human community itself, and proving that it is we who don’t understand what we’re talking about.

    That said, my feelings on this ENDA battle are so mixed I can’t really land on either side of the issue. I know and believe in the power of solidarity. But I fear and loath fundamentalism, secular or religious, and that’s what the “all or nothing” side of the debate land.

    Still, I guess I lean towards compromise. No embattled group likes to hear “go slow,” but sometimes reality requires it. Look what happened with marriage: society thought it went too fast and put the brakes on, slowing it down. It’s frustrating for activists because, for the public this is a new issue they wanna think about more before okaying, while for us this battle has been in play for decades. It’s a matter of perspective.

    Even for racial equality in this country: forcinig the issue in the 1960’s, even though I think it was the right thing to do after 100 years of lip-service after emancipation, brought about the Southern Strategy that has brought us to where we are today with Bush.

    No legislation can truly change people without educating their hearts and minds, too; most often legislation simply drives bigotry underground. The education for trans-issues is only just getting up to speed in the national conscience, and can only be helped by the ENDA debate – so long as the story doesn’t devolve into the bickering amongst ourselves – no matter whether ENDA passes with or without trans protections. If we truly want to call ourselves activists and truly wish for greater acceptance as part of the human community, we should keep the focus on the issues in a more positive way, keep open minds towards all our consituents and to the human issues at the heart of the debate, and promote solidarity without feeling the need to be in lockstep.

    That’s my 2-cents. Feel free to pass them around.

    Ed White
    Knoxville, TN

  11. Billy Glover

    Thank you for this insightful email. I agree with most of your thinking. I admit that my personal experience with Mattachine, briefly, ONE and HIC has been that we had no trans support. That was hard to understand as we were the only organization and publication for a few years and had gotten mentioned in the scandal magazines and later Playboy, etc so people could have known about us.

    I agree that this issue , like Sen. Craig, should force all of us to think about sexuality. That will be a blessing. But the technical subject of sex is hard for even me to understand. I only use the obvious easy way and say, we all deserve our equal rights, no matter how we got to our sexuality or if we are a minority or not, etc.

  12. Bet Power

    Just today, a new story broke over CNN-TV about a lesbian who was in a NYC restaurant, Caliente, using the women’s restroom. Security guards threw her out of the women’s restaurant based on her appearance, telling her that she was a man. Even when she showed her drivers license with her gender marked “F,” they still forced her to pay for her meal before she was ready to leave and threw her out of the restaurant.
    This is a LESBIAN, folks!  Not a Transgender. She is now suing for substantial monetary compensation for this horrific act of discrimination against her … and is able to do so only because NYC has strong anti-discrimination protections in place for gender expression and gender identity.
    This LESBIAN will benefit from legal rights received by work done by and gains achieved by the TRANSGENDERED.
    This is a very fresh example of why lesbians and gays will lose out, too, if protections for gender expression and gender identity are excluded from ENDA.
    Wake up!  It is foolish to omit this important legal protection from national workplace/employment legislation. Foolish for all LGBTs. (Not to mention selfish and mean-spirited and “me first, fuck you.”)

  13. Bill Kelley, Chicago

    I saw the story on NBC’s “Today” show a couple of days ago. Obviously the motivated client and her lawyer are shopping the story around, and good for them. But it’s not the story you suggest. Yes, she’s a lesbian (though she didn’t explicitly say so on “Today” except to refer to being in the restaurant with her “girlfriend” after the pride parade). But her case is based on not looking like a woman, not on being a lesbian, and as long as that’s what the restaurant says was the reason for ejecting her, she would have protection under federal law (if it covered sex discrimination in access to public accommodations) as well as New York City law–on the principle of Price Waterhouse v. Watkins, which forbids discriminating against a woman in employment on the ground that she doesn’t act or look like a woman.

    It’s not that current federal law denies protection to lesbians. As long as their lesbian status isn’t viewed as the central element of their claim, courts will protect them from sex discrimination (including the type of discrimination I just mentioned) in the same way as they protect other women. The only time federal courts won’t extend Price Waterhouse-type protection to lesbians is when the courts view their lesbian status as the central element of their claim and thus view them as trying an end run around the fact that federal law omits sexual-orientation protection. Once sexual-orientation protection is written into federal law, this ground for judicial reluctance will be seriously undermined or eliminated. Of course, a need for protection of other, more fundamental “transgender” claims will continue to exist, but that’s a different question. It needs to be addressed on its own merits, but not by arguing incorrectly that sexual-orientation-only protection wouldn’t protect against sexual-orientation discrimination.

  14. Billy Glover

    As I’ve said before, I heard from Don Slater over the years the discussion about this issue.  I can’t say I ever understood it, and find what you say below very interesting.  I understand the confusion.  But Don always said that he didn’t believe in hate crime laws, laws preventing employers from firing someone they didn’t like, even if form sexual reasons, etc.  But he said that in the issue of marriage the way to win the issue was saying it was a gender issue.  Something that is legal for two people of the opposite sex should not become illegal if it was two people of the same sex.  I do think the Supreme Court said something like that in both the CO and the TX cases.  It does seem that the issue of whether we are a “minority” or special class, neither of which Don was in favor of, complicates things.  We do not seek special rights or protection.  The only valid argument I see is that if you are going to have some minorities protected, such as women, or blacks, then you can’t object to including us.  But most people say well, what about old people, or children, or handicapped people—what is worse than stealing from a poor blind man working in a stand in a court building, as happened some here?  Or attacks on old people who may be more vulnerable.
    And now we have the stupid, bigoted judge once again proving what civil  liberty people have save said all these years, that you can’t let “the states” do it, as LA has again let a bigot judge put a young black man into jail on a charge only “found” when other issues let him out of jail.  No one has said he is innocent, only that no white boy would have been treated the same way.  And the black U S attorney is ignoring the issue.  The irony is that most of the cities in LA now have black mayors, Shreveport, baton Rouge, I think Monroe and obviously Nagin in New Orleans.  So why can’t attorneys and someone just get rid of this judge.  You know what they have done, spent money and time finding two black judges in Shreveport guilty of bribe taking.  Now are they the only judges taking bribes???

  15. C. Todd White

    Hey Billy, Bill, and Bet:

    I’m usually a quiet lurker to these threads, though I read (and archive) them with interest. But I feel a need to chime in on this one.

    I have been working with the transgendered community for several years now and have a paper published on transsexuals in World Englishes (Blackwell Publishers, Oxford U. Press). My transsexual consultant introduced in that paper, Sandi Meza, is a good friend and has been very active in helping us to manage and preserve our (HIC’s) archives. When many of the other activists stood by and watched as I sifted and sorted through hundreds of boxes, it was two transgendered friends and a straight woman who truly came to my aid and began to sort and organize our hundreds of files and thousands of books, which are now in the care of Oviatt Library, CSUN. I don’t know what I would have done with out the assistance of Kitt DiFatta and Sandi, the transgendered assistants, and Joan Rivard, the straight woman. (Of course Billy, John Richards, and Jim Schneider were helpful as well, but in different ways.)

    While homosexual men and lesbians are the most visible activists, the support of our transgendered and heterosexual allies has been crucial to the movement. For me, their participation marks the difference between the pre-gay movement (the period between WWII and Stonewall) and the more inclusive movement that came after. While the men and women of ONE, Incorporated spoke of inclusion, it was token inclusion they really sought, judging by their actions. The blacks, asians, women, and hispanics soon figured that out and took their marbles to their own games (or left the playground completely). Now we have an opportunity, through organizations like Lambda Legal, GLAAD, and HRC, to unify the movement as the founders envisioned but were unable to enact.

    I totally agree with the comment made below by Bet Power that we need to be inclusive of transgendered individuals in our push for ENDA. I also agree with him that the bill has no change of making it past Bush’s desk. But it is time for us to stop just waving rainbow flags but to think about what it means to be inclusive. Perhaps the metaphor of the rainbow bridge would be of use to us? (I was just in Niagara Falls last week and such were the thoughts in my head as I pondered what that bridge to/from Canada represented to me.) Every time we talk about who is/was/should be included and excluded–be it trans, bi, straight, Muslim, transvestites, etc,–I think the movement suffers. We cannot make this push, will not be able to secure the equal rights that we seek, without being as inclusive as possible and welcoming our allies, no matter where they hale from, what they look like, or how they worship the force of life and spirit.

    Bill and Bet, I have taken the liberty of posting your comments on this thread on Billy’s Blog. I hope you don’t mind, but if you do I will pull them. Please spread the word of the blog, as I think it could be a great forum for others to be included in this important, historic, and fascinating conversations.

    Cheers from upstate,


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