October 3, 2007
My statement in response to the recently announced Human Rights Campaign position on ENDA:
Community. Integrity. Leadership. Vision. These are the foundational pillars of Equality. These are the values that draw many of us into advocacy roles. Those tenets provide a clear roadmap when things like politics, expediency, agenda, and power cloud the picture as they so often do. They pave the way to the moral high-ground, and those who follow them with trust and patience will ultimately find their efforts rewarded.
My name is Donna Rose, and I am the first and only openly transgender member of the Board of Directors of the Human Rights Campaign. I am the national co-chair for Diversity. I am the co-chair appointee-elect for the Business Council. I have spoken at events around the country on behalf of the organization, and I am a respected advocate for the transgender community.
The time is here for leaders to lead, for those who say they stand for community to act forcefully and with purpose. Anything less is to forsake the pillars of Equality for the empty promise of something less. The word that we have for that in our language is “Courage”. It’s the kind of courage it takes for GLBT people to show up for work each and every day, living authentically, wondering if that will be their last day. I call on my brothers and sisters at the Human Rights Campaign, for Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Frank, and for equality-minded leaders everywhere to lead by example and to do the right thing.
In Solidarity for Equality,