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Center on Halsted transgender liaison leaving over HRC donation

Chicago, IL — Center on Halsted's volunteer transgender liaison June LaTrobe has resigned after the Center accepted a donation from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) for a Transgender Day of Remembrance event.

"I can not be a part of putting money above principle," LaTrobe said in a Nov. 14 letter to the Center.

HRC made a $250 donation to a portion of the Center's annual Transgender Day of Remembrance event that features performances by Broadway Youth Center youth. The event is scheduled for Nov. 18.

Some transgender advocates feel HRC excludes transgender communities. In 2007, HRC backed a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that did not include trans protections. HRC has since changed its position on ENDA. 

"HRC has had enormous challenges working with the trans community over the past several years," Brian Richardson, a spokesperson for Center on Halsted told the Windy City Times. "That said, we hope to work with their new leadership on fighting for both the trans community and the broader LGBTQ community."

LaTrobe had volunteered with the Center for over 5 years. 

Earlier this month, The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) announced LaTrobe would Chair the newly created Transgender Rights Project Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will guide the work of the project and aid in authoring the strategic plan for TCRA. 

On the Web:
June LaTrobe leaving the Center over HRC sponsorship
(Windy City Times)
One thing is for certain, I don't believe in the practice of vilifying those who are "trying" to help. I say "trying" in quotes, because, can the HRC do better? Yes they can, but as a community we need to meet them more than half way. As a transgender community we need to put the RIGHT leaders in place, who have the ability to not only understand the issues at hand, but be able to create programming that will turn transgender men and women into our own Heroes. To take on what is necessary to empower individuals in our community who will in turn empower the community as a whole. I believe in the depths of my heart that I was meant to do this work. I share life experiences that many minority transgender women experience, and I have lived determined to Win out over my circumstances, and truly believe that I am winning in my life, no matter what the scoreboard says. That is the spirit the community needs. It will be up to no one, but ourselves to take responsibility for our community and partner up with those who truly understand the movement. We're headed in the right direction, we're just not there yet.
Posted by MissRoss on Fri, 11/16/2012 7:57 PM
I have to agree with Miss Ross, I too was very upset with HRC's stance in 2007 after I stood in support of them withing our community but in the years since they have been folks within HRC that have truly sought to repair the damage caused by that stance and have made some great changes within HRC. We will never attain the acceptance and inclusion much less equality if we separate ourselves from those that are trying to reach out a hand in support. There are times to, and I must say once again, forget our differences and combine with those that are our allies and work once again together for our common good. Since 2007 there has been changes at HRC as there has been changes in our own community.
Posted by Michelle-M341 on Sat, 11/17/2012 8:50 AM
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