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Trans Activists Criticize NAACP

Trans Activists Criticize NAACP

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The NAACP is hosting its first town hall discussion on LGBT issues Monday in Los Angeles, but transgender activists say the B and the T are missing from the meeting's panel.

Out CNN anchor Don Lemon hosts the discussion -- part of the NAACP's 102nd convention -- with lesbian star Wanda Sykes, civil rights leader Julian Bond, Spelman College professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Noah's Arc actor Darryl Stephens, and writer and activist Kenyon Farrow making up the panel.

"Not sure how the bi portion of our community feels about it, but I can say with certainty that the trans part of the rainbow community is not happy about the erasure of African descended trans people from this historic panel," writes Monica Roberts in the TransGriot blog. "NAACP, if your goal is to have a serious discussion of the issues that face African American LGBT people, then you can't erase the people who are taking the brunt of the casualties and discrimination."

Writing on the Trans Forming Media blog, activist Ashley Love echoes Roberts's statements:

"It's a shame they have NO transsexual or transgender people on the panel. So why don't they just be honest and call it the 'LG' Town Hall. How many times do transsexual or bisexual people get shut out of these events?"

Love also commented that transgender women of color are often targeted in hate violence, so it's imperative their issues be addressed.

Loraine Hutchins, an author and activist who specializes in bisexual issues, released a statement on the issue. "The bisexual community is indeed also very concerned and saddened to once again find itself merely a formality in a title rather than a valued and included part of the community," Hutchins said. "This is the right moment for the national civil rights coalitions to honor the bi and trans leaders of color who have been in their midst, unrecognized, for ever."

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.