Monday, January 27, 2020

Today’s One Of Those Mornings

When nothing in the news is earth shattering, so…

This morning the Department of Motor Vehicles added an “X” to the gender option and it was massive news.

One thing I have learned over the decade of activism is to bring about a change in a law or policy it takes many people and usually it is a broad approach not just one organizations, or a few people. The change can have many people working without knowledge of the other people working on the same issue.

Sometimes one person is talking to their legislator, while another person is talking to their legislator unbeknown about the other persons work. At the same time a legislator might gone to a political party national meeting and heard what other states were doing on the topic and wanted to do the same here in Connecticut. Or it could have been news media article that lit the idea.

Just look at the Republicans with the bans trans athletes and healthcare for trans minors, those sound like they came about from a Republican strategy session.

Take a look at marriage equality, there was a lead organization, “Love Makes a Family” but there were dozens and dozens of other organizations and individuals who worked toward passing the law. There were dozens of non-profits who organized their bases, there were couples who brought the law suits, there were individuals who wrote letters-to-the-editors, there were individuals who told their stories, there were religious people that backed the bills, and there were business who lobbied for the bill. It took them all to pass the legislation.

A lot of times a constituent suggests legislation to their legislator and the legislator introduces a bill and it dies in committee because the bill has no backing. While other times people or organizations see the proposed bill and helps to pass the bill. To paraphrase an old proverb, It takes a community to pass a bill.

The New Haven Register had an article about the new DMV policy and it the Commissioner said,
“We want to be sure that we’re fair for everyone, to respect people’s gender identity.” said DMV Deputy Commissioner Tony Guerrera.
Guerrera said the move had been spearheaded within the department by himself and DMV Commissioner Sibongile Magubane. He said it was one of their “top 5” agenda items as soon as they were appointed.

“This was an initiative of myself and the commissioner right when the governor got elected,” Guerrera said.
Meanwhile, there were also a number of intersex people and trans people who worked on getting the “X” gender marker, there was a bill introduced last session, and it was also on the agenda of a couple of legislators.

There is no “I” but a “We”

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