The Oscars, the deadly grouches and hope with Hillary

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Anohni photo by Inez and VinoodhIt’s Oscar time, and did you know that the very first transgender performer to be nominated for an Academy Award boycotted the event?

 

“They are going to try to convince us that they have our best interests at heart by waving flags for identity politics and fake moral issues,” said Anohni, the “Manta Ray” singer, in an essay.

In an essay for Pitchfork, the Best Original Song nominee says she wasn’t asked to perform her song during the show and would not attend this year’s ceremony.

Anohni was nominated for best original song for her collaboration with J.Ralph on “Manta Ray,” which appears in the documentary Racing Extinction. The apparent problem is that although other nominated songs were scheduled to be performed, Oscar producers omitted a performance of “Manta Ray” and David Lang’s song “Simple Song #3” due to “time constraints.”

Lady Gaga, Sam Smith and The Weeknd performed their nominated songs from The Hunting Ground, Spectre and Fifty Shades of Grey, respectively, while Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, not nominated in any category, gave a special performance at this year’s ceremony.

Transgender discrimination? Time constraints? Hmmmm! You decide!

Meanwhile, across the country a widespread movement to bully and endanger transgender youth has caught fire. Once isolated to a few fly-over red states, the war against transgender people in general and the most at risk youth in particular has been endorsed by the Republican National Party! The Republican Party is now the official party of “The Potty Police”! So much for being the “party of small government”! Perhaps more accurately it should be known as the party of “small-minded government”?

The GOP resolution clearly rejects the legitimacy of transgender identities and calls for policies that refuse trans people access to bathrooms that match their gender identities. It also demands that the Department of Education rescind its interpretation of Title IX “that wrongly includes facility use issues by transgender students.”

Words and actions, actions and words and what do we hear from our billionaire or other well-heeled trans Republicans? The sound of silence!

War has been declared and we are fighting back politically. What began as a basic Facebook page, articulating the transgender inclusive statements and actions of Hillary Clinton, gathered steam when technically able and talented volunteers led by Sarah McBride and Lisa Mottet helped organize a steering committee and relaunched Trans United for Hillary as a web page and Facebook page with links for fundraising and action. Empowerment!

We have started off with positive publicity in the Beltway. Clearly, however, this is a true national coast-to-coast effort with a growing list of trans activists that include: Angelica Ross (Ill.), Ames Simmons (Ga.), Barbra Casbar Siperstein (N.J.), Blossom Brown (Miss.), Daria Lohman (Ariz.), Daye Pope (Pa.), Geena Rocero (N.Y.), Jacquelyn Ryan (Mass.), Jay Brown (Md.), Kellan Baker (D.C.), Kimi Cole (Nev.), Lisa Mottet (D.C.), Lou Weaver (Texas), Mara Keisling (D.C.), Marisa Richmond (Tenn.), Meghan Stabler (Texas), Melissa Sklarz (N.Y.), Paula Schoenhower (Okla.), Rhodes Perry (Ore.), Sarah McBride (Del.), and Zackary Drucker (Calif.), The list is growing.

The new website articulates Secretary Clinton’s history of actually doing, and her vision of equality. No myths, no slurs. Just the facts and a vision!

Barbara Casbar SipersteinFollow Barbra Siperstein on Twitterwww.twitter.com/babscs