Originally appeared in
Transgender Tapestry #113, Winter 2007.
by Denise Leclair
1960 Virginia Prince publishes the first issue of "Transvestia."
1961 Frank Kameny and Jack Nichols found the Mattachine
Society of Washington to pursue gay rights.
1964 July 2: President Johnson signs the 1964 Civil
Rights Act into law. The act prohibits discrimination on
the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, but
does not cover sexual orientation. Sex is added to the bill at
the last minute to "poison" it, but it passes nonetheless.
Courts later rule that sex does not include transsexuals.
1965 (approx.) Virginia Prince is arrested for distributing
"Transvestia" through the US Mail, starts public education
effort in response. April 17: The Mattachine Society holds first
LGBT public protest, picketing outside the White House.
1966 August: Compton Cafeteria Riots in San Francisco:
"Queens" (transgender) fight back against police harassment;
this clash leads to police reform in San Francisco.
1969 May 14: Stonewall Rebellion in New York: "Queens"
fight back against police harassment; this clash is widely considered
to be the birth of the "Gay Rights" movement.
1973 American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality
as a psychiatric disorder in the DSM, widely considered to be
the turning point for Gay rights. Transsexuality is added to the
1974 May 14: Representatives Bella Abzug and Ed Koch introduce
the first "Gay Rights" bill (H.R. 14752) on the 5th
anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. The Bill would add "sexual
orientation" to the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights Act. "Queens"
(transgender) are not covered by proposed legislation.
1996 The first bill bearing the title of the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), is introduced in the Senate
and almost passes, failing by one vote. Gender Identity (Transgender)
is not included. The anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is
1999 The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force drops its
endorsement of ENDA, because the legislation does not include
2004 August 3: Matt Foreman of NGLTF publishes article,
"ENDA as We've Known It Must Die." Late August: HRC
Board of Directors finally votes to only support trans-inclusive
2007 April 24: ENDA (H.R. 2015) is introduced in House
of Representatives, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity are
May 3: Hate Crimes Bill (LLEEA) passes in House of Representatives,
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity are included.
May 11: The Washington Blade's Peter Rosenstein reports
that Gender Identity might be stripped out of the Hate Crimes
bill in the Senate, and HRC is debating support of non-inclusive
version despite their 2004 resolution.
May 14 - 18: NCTE, NTAC, & GPAC hold Lobby Days
in Washington DC.
May 17: Blogger Marti Abernathy cites lobbying reports
that Gender Identity will be removed from ENDA in the Senate.
September 17: Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Executive Director,
Joe Solomonese, giving an address at the Southern Comfort Conference
states HRC will oppose any legislation that does not include protections
for Transgender people.
September 27: Barney Frank Introduces 2 more versions of
ENDA: HR 3685 (Sexual Orientation only) & HR 3686 (Gender
Identity only). HRC does not oppose the non-inclusive bill, but
issues a misleading press release implying that it does. Hate
Crimes Bill (LLEEA) passes in Senate.
September 28: Leaders from IFGE, NCTE, NGLTF, GLAD, NCLR
and a rapidly growing coalition of organizations sign onto a letter
requesting HRC oppose the non-inclusive ENDA. Many of them are
attending the Out & Equal Conference in DC, and immediately
start organizing a cohesive strategy.
October 3: Donna Rose, the only transgender person on HRC's
Board of Directors, resigns effective as of October 8th.
October 7: NTAC organizes a protest outside the HRC banquet
in Washington DC.
October 16: Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) announces an amendment
to H.R. 3685 that would restore gender identity protections to
October 18: Non-Inclusive ENDA (3685) passed by Markup
Committee. Several Democrats vote against it, protesting the lack
of protections for Gender Identity.
November 7: The Baldwin amendment is introduced and then
withdrawn. HR 3685 passed 235 to 184, 14 not voting. 35 Republicans
vote for the bill, 7 Democrats voted against bill because Gender
Identity was removed. Now: ENDA has not been introduced in the
current Senate in any form as we go to press.