Wednesday, August 12, 2015

#HERO Interrupted - HOUSTON UNITES

Here is your update on what is happening with the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance #HERO:

- City Council voted Wednesday 8/5 not to repeal the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, which will put the issue before voters on the November ballot. This was a two step process, 1. to vote on an actual repeal or affirmation and 2. the ballot language.

- On Friday 8/7 Andy Taylor an attorney for a group of Houston pastors that oppose #HERO announced a legal challenge to the wording of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance repeal vote on the November ballot claiming that Mayor Parker and City Council members used used misleading language and double-negative language on the ballot wording.


- Today Wednesday 8/12 local supporters of #HERO held a press conference at the Hilton Americas to announce a coalition called Houston Unites:

 "DISCRIMINATION HAS NO PLACE IN HOUSTON

Houston Unites Against Discrimination is the coalition working to elevate the diversity of voices supporting HERO. No Houstonian should be discriminated against based on race, age, military status, sexual orientation or gender identity. That's a core value Houstonians share, and that's why HERO's passage a year ago was supported by more than 80 current and former elected officials, community and non-profit organizations, major corporations, and more than 70 local faith leaders.In the most diverse city in America, we believe that everyone should be treated fairly, no matter who they are. That's a core value Houstonians share."



I will reiterate what I stated in my post #ITLQBM - The Erasure of Black Queer Lives in Media:

"One of my biggest issues about HERO is the media coverage, where they only show specs of minorities and has been very Whitewash and Cisgender in nature. We don't see very many Trans persons, let alone Trans People of Color in recent and overall news coverage. The lack of Persons of Color being represented in this fight to protect an ordinance that is supposed to protect ALL Houstonians is a fatal flaw. We witnessed Council Member Boykins say that the LGBT community is not involved in issues pertaining to the Black community. That was a statement of erasure, erasure that I have always talked about at length. It is a big problem to be a Black man out here fighting for rights of groups that are representative of one's intersections, only to be told by both sides that "you do great work," and then be erased in the same breath. It is not a serious surprise to me that this is happening, because it always has and I for one am tired of it!

This issue has taken on national attention and with national attention comes national media coverage of various forms. One of the biggest issues that I see is that when Black and Brown people are shown at length and often, it is usually the opposition and that feeds into the idea that the Black community is inherently homophobic. The funny thing is that this isn't the first time that I had to address the issue." I would add that it does not look good to be trying to get Beyonce Knowles - Carter to do a #HERO campaign when Black people, MYSELF included that run in the circles or are proximate to those who create the messaging about #HERO are not doing a great job of reaching out to much of the proximate and at large Black community or other minorities for that matter.


We should not be reaching out to Black role models if we are not 100% inclusive of the opinions and thoughts of people who ACTUALLY reside in the Black community. This is not to say that this is not a great idea, but it seems like local talent and activists have not been reached out to. The people that we in the Black community see on a regular basis on the grass roots level. Monica Roberts, Dee Dee Watters, Myself, and a host of others who have reach that our White counterparts just do not have. I simply fear a White washing of the message to get this much needed ordnance some support from the Black vote and front facing with Beyonce is so damn problematic. More posts and updates to come.