Cross posted at Body Impolitic
Unless you’ve been actively ignoring such things, you’ve probably gathered that the progressive left is more than a little disappointed with President Obama. The Gay left is especially disappointed. On the whole, I’m not. Perhaps that is a result of lower expectations, but I think it also has to do with the difference in how I value what the president actually has managed to accomplish.
I agree with the criticisms that this administration has been too quick to compromise with assholes and I agree that such compromises have cost more than they have gained. Bart Stupak should have been told in no uncertain terms that the DNC would fund anybody but him in his next primary challenge. DADT discharges should have been stopped by executive order on day one. The Justice Department should have declined to defend DOMA. All of these things are true, but as a trans person, I’ve been helped more in the past year and a half by Barack Obama than I have been by decades of “help” from mainstream Gay and Lesbian organizations.
I can now get a passport without genital surgery. If I were a resident of another state, that would be my only access to legal ID that correctly reflected my gender. To paraphrase our Vice President, that’s a big fucking deal! That’s potentially life saving for many people who would otherwise be forced to out themselves in less than safe circumstances.
The Obama administration has a policy against federal employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity. It wasn’t really a campaign promise. It didn’t get lots of news coverage. It wasn’t a fight, just a policy change. It wasn’t an inclusive ENDA, but I blame Barney Frank for that failure far more than I blame the President. He wouldn’t have lost one vote, even mine, for not doing it. He did it anyway because he thought it was right. No other president has even said the word “transgender” in public. That’s a big fucking deal!
Obama has even appointed openly trans people to positions of power. He even took some shit for it and stood his ground.
I can agree with almost all of the criticisms of the President. I loathe his economic policy and his national security policy. I think he mistakenly treats the teabag wing like people who should be tiptoed around rather than people who should be called out on their shit. The list goes on. On the other hand, when I see him snarkily being called “our fierce advocate” by mainstream gay blogs, I have to grit my teeth a little.
The resentment that “LGBT” politicos have for the administration is not unfounded, but I can’t help but notice who is ignored when they tally up what has been done.