The Human Rights Campaign Does Not Fight For Queer People
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Politics and Activism

The Human Rights Campaign Does Not Fight For Queer People

How HRC only advocates for white, cis gay men.

The Human Rights Campaign Does Not Fight For Queer People
The Chelko Foundation

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is the largest and probably the most recognizable LGBTQ organization in the U.S. Because of this, a lot of people on the Left assume that the HRC does good work when it comes to queer issues.

But actually, HRC's advocacy is nothing to admire. That is because HRC is not an organization that fights for queer liberation. Instead of fighting to resist fundamentally oppressive structures, they fight to assimilate into the mainstream. As a consequence of this, the only group of queer people HRC fights for are white, cis gay men.

We can see this very clearly in their advocacy. For the past few years, HRC's main focus has been fighting for marriage equality. This prioritization of marriage equality, an issue that directly affected white, cis gay men, meant that issues facing more marginalized queer folks were ignored.

For instance, last year was the most violent year in recent history for trans women of color, black trans women especially. But it seemed like HRC didn't care about that nearly as much as they did about marriage equality. I'm certainly in favor of marriage equality as I do think despite marriage's problematic history, people deserve the right to at least choose if they wish to get married or not. But black trans women's lives matter much more than marriage equality. Fighting for marriage equality while ignoring the widespread violence faced by black trans women is immensely problematic.

HRC has also very explicitly excluded anyone who was not a cis, white man in the past.

For instance, HRC has long promised to include trans people in their struggle for "equality" but have consistently thrown us under the bus when it was politically convenient. In 2004, the HRC promised the trans community that it would only support a fully inclusive ENDA. That turned out to be a complete lie. Just three years later, House Democrats scrapped the fully inclusive ENDA in favor of a bill that only provided protection to LGB people. The only major LGBT organization to back that move was HRC.

More recently, in 2013, HRC held a rally for marriage equality in Washington D.C. At the rally, the audience was told to not wave their trans flags, as "marriage equality wasn't a trans issue." At the very same rally, HRC invited Jerssay Arredondo from United We Dream to speak. Arredondo planned to speak about his personal struggle as a queer undocumented person. But right before he could speak, a member of HRC told him not to talk about being undocumented (as that would be too controversial) and to solely focus on his sexual orientation.

HRC's own internal structure reflects their priorities. An internal report released just last year called HRC, "a white man's club." The report was utterly damning. Among its many findings they found that leadership of HRC was "homogeneous" in that it was entirely cis, white, and male.

The report also found that there was no push for diversity. People of color felt that they were being sidelined and reported having to constantly deal with racist microaggressions. Women reported rampant misogyny in the office with many female employees reporting incredibly sexist behavior from their superiors. Trans people reported being tokenized and constant misgendering. Several trans people even reported that they did not even feel safe coming out at HRC.

HRC is truly the embodiment of everything wrong with the mainstream "LGBTQ" movement. They only advocate for cis, white, gay men so that they are able to assimilate into mainstream society. Everyone else is simply ignored and forgotten.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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