When GLBT Nonprofits Lose Their Bearings

Photo by Gustavo Frazao/Bigstock.com
Photo by Gustavo Frazao/Bigstock.com

Photo by Gustavo Frazao/Bigstock.com

Tax-deductible nonprofit organizations can invade the pocketbooks and psyches of potential donors, cravenly preying on their fears. When the same-sex marriage movement became a brilliant success, GLBT nonprofit organizations were sucker-punched with a stark existential reality: the biggest battle had been won. So now what?

One would have thought they would recognize that there was still no federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act to stand firmly against job discrimination so that queer individuals could ward off homophobic work practices, solidify job security for same-sex married couples, and strengthen the financial health of GLBT communities. Not to mention that it would have likely met with rural/small town support more so than marriage equality did. Moreover, since 2007 the ENDA was expanded to include gender identity protections. An ideal starting point to introduce the concept of transgenderism.

It took decades for the masses to think reasonably about male homosexuality, lesbianism, and bisexuality. But transgenderism is totally different from sexual orientation. Not only is the general public uneducated in trans concepts, but the trans movement itself has yet to create a concerted, coherent, and patient campaign. To begin with, transgender is a different thing to different people, within trans communities and beyond them. Too often activists resort to scolding and shaming when a pronoun is innocently misspoken or a question or glance is presumed to be a microaggression. Not good PR, folks.

President Obama didn’t even support same-sex marriage until just over five years ago. But he sure got religion about transgenderism in the past year! One of his 2016 executive orders is a questionably crafted item regarding trans toilet facility usage. It was apparent immediately that the ramifications of this had not been thought through. Worse still, GLBT nonprofits, in typical form, rather than inform the GLBT community on how to discuss this incendiary issue, sounded the alarm, triggering GLBT fears, as they cried out for and reeled in money.

After all, nonprofits need to profit inexorably in order to survive and the GLBT community is stereotyped as having deep pockets. This has led to what may be among the most cynical moves in nonprofit history: telling lies about transgender suicides that could not be proved and doing so when the nation seems to be in social upheaval. Such efforts can insidiously plant the ideation and the idealization of suicide in vulnerable minds. This also hurls us back into a darker age when queerness was equated with mental instability.

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