Last night the Human Rights Campaign Fund (HRC) held a fundraising dinner in San Francisco. Many local activists consider HRC a Washington Beltway outfit that rakes in liberal LGBT donations, but which betrayed part of its constituency last fall. HRC agreed then to exclude from proposed employment discrimination legislation (known as ENDA) protections for people whose gender presentation is not conventional. That is, HRC adopted the stance that it is fine to be gay -- but just don't be too queer. And certainly don't expect legal protection if you are transgender or gender-transgressive.
For more on the controversy, see this article by San Francisco Pride at Work, an LGBT labor organization.
Greatly to the credit of most San Francisco LGBT activists and even the city's progressive political establishment, civil rights for only some of the community does not win a lot of local friends. And so the HRC dinner was greeted with a boycott and, outside the hotel, a "Left Out Party: A Genderful Gala." The HRC's original keynote speaker, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villagraigosa, withdrew on learning of the protest.
My friend Catherine Cusic, a 63 year old lesbian activist who is currently a vice-president of the Harvey Milk Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club, figured that some people attending the dinner might not know what the controversy was about. So she bought a ticket and attended the dinner. She describes what happened to her:
Still in some shock from her treatment, Cusic is exploring whether private security guards can be charged with assault.