Shirley Tan Advocate Magazine’s Activist of the YEAR!

symposium sf 1109 2Congratulations to Shirley and Jay and the boys and mamy as well for being named ADVOCATE MAGAZINE’s  Activist of 2009.   This is well deserved.  However they may have been used in a way that could result in resentment from the community rather than the applause they deserve:

Here are the comments from Immigration Equality’s site after IE makes the announcement:

1. Quoting the Announcement by IE on their website:

Congratulations are in order for Shirley Tan (pictured here with her family), who has been chosen as one of The Advocate’s “People of the Year” for 2009.   Shirley, who testified before the Senate in June and was also recently featured in People Magazine, was chosen by Advocate editors as their 2009 Activist.  “There are two types of activists,” the magazine writes, “. . . those who revel in the spotlight, and those who would rather slink away from it when the speech is over. Speaking with Shirley Tan, who catapulted into national discourse following an early-morning arrest last January by Immigration and Customs Enforecement agents in her Pacifica, Calif., home, you get the sense that she’d prefer going back to relative anonymity.”  But, the magazine notes, Shirley “is visible, but not eagerly.”    “I’m certainly not used to this,” she told The Advocate. “I’m just an ordinary housewife, living my own life, doing everything for my kids and my family. But this is what I have to do now. It’s not only for our family, but the 36,000 binational couples who are relying on UAFA.”

 Indeed, Tan has become a passionate and effective advocate for binational families. In addition to her testimony before the Senate, she has also met with White House officials and spoken out widely in the media about the need to pass immigration reform that will help families like hers.  All of us at Immigration Equality applaud – and thank – Shirley and her family for their extraordinary work. We are proud to be standing with them to end our country’s discriminatory immigration laws.

 To read the full write-up about Shirley, pick up a copy of the December/January issue of The Advocate, on newsstands now. ”

HERE are the first seven comments including my own – number 7….

  • 1. Check this out on Wall Street Journal:
    If they are the key players for the immigration overhaul, we might be screwed, especially with Rep. Luis Gutierrez’s bill because he is a co sponsor of UAFA, but under his bill, he did not include us in his bill. On the other hand, Chuck Schumer is also a big supporter of UAFA, but whether he will include us in the bill remains unknown. Unless we can gain momentum for UAFA, let’s keep fighting for the inclusion of bi national couples in the bigger immigration bill. If we don’t do anything, we will be ignored and defeated again!! Comment by Chung Cheng Fang — November 14, 2009 @ 11:08 pm
  • 2. I am so sincerely happy for this family. At the same time, disappointed that all of us are not being afforded the same opportunity with extended stays for our partners, etc. We all deserve the same attention and “exceptions” – Again, I truly, am happy for you! Tom Comment by Very happy For the Tan Family But Disappointed For the Rest Of Us — November 15, 2009 @ 4:32 am
  • 3.We don’t yet know if Gutierrez has included us. His bill hasn’t been introduced yet. The House version of the CIR will be introduced in December. Or perhaps I missed something. Comment by nola — November 15, 2009 @ 10:02 am
  • 4. There is a lot of talk about moving Immingration reform to the top of priorities for Obama…ARE YOU ON IT IE? We need to be in there getting our rights! Comment by Brian — November 15, 2009 @ 12:30 pm
  • 5. re – the talk about moving immigration reform to the top of priorities – where is this information coming from or is it hearsay? Comment by Where Is This Talk Comming From — November 15, 2009 @ 3:51 pm
  • 6. It would really piss me off if any immigration bill didn’t include UAFA. I think I would leave and never come back to this country again. It would be disgusting if 12 million illegal immigrants get in front of someone that has been in the usa legally, and has been in a relationship with an American citizen for almost 4 years. Comment by Gerry D — November 15, 2009 @ 11:15 pm
  • 7. MY COMMENTS :- This week I testified together with Shirley Tan at a symposium with the Immigration Commission in San Francisco. Nancy Pelosi sent a staffer as did Zoe Lofgren. The symposium had a group of panelists including Professors at Law schools etc.  NCLR was invited and did not show up. IE had no rep there either.  There were no panelists to speak for UAFA- yes at a symposium that was looking for advice on Immigration Reform, which will report to Mayor Newsom and the Sf BOS. My testimony will be published on my BLOG at  Caught in IE’s strategy I did promote UAFA as a component of CIR and asked the commission to work on behalf of its locals to ensure that UAFA is included in CIR. Afterwards a  key Immigration Organization insider in D.C. who was on the panel suggested that IE had made a big mistake – that we should have pushed for UAFA as a stand alone. This is something I have been writing about since June 4th, 2009. I brought Shirley and Jay to IE and worked as the lead advocate and strategist on Shirley Tan’s Private Bill. I promised Julie Kruse of IE that Shirley would advocate for UAFA, as she had given me her word in exchange for my pro bono work.  Indeed instead IE used Shirley to promote UAFA as a component of CIR.  A strategy I would only have pursued AFTER exhausting all opportunities to get UAFA moving on its own. Shirley and Jay have innocently followed their lead.   A mere few made this decision on behalf of all binationals.  The grassroots have had no control over this as only IE has an effective lobby with the HILL and no other LGBT organization seems to show much interest in UAFA. IE left Shirley with no choice but to advocate for CIR.  I just want to be clear- that if UAFA is not in CIR – Shirley was used by IE for their own strategy and should not be blamed.   If UAFA is in CIR, it may be very bad for us because then we can  no longer promote it as a stand alone and we will be at the mercy of the bigger Immigration Lobby, including the faith based groups who are anti LGBT.  If we are NOT included it could be very bad because then UAFA may be perceived as DOA…. Basically we are screwed either way. HOWEVER maybe it is best left out and we can be sneaked in -in committee – we have our necks in a very tight noose right now, the noose of IE strategy and the components that were not thought through.  I hope that this will have all LGBT and friends call reps tomorrow to sign on to UAFA NOW, regardless of CIR!!!

 I am documenting this note in the hope that you will remember that Shirl and Jay are innocent bystanders who got caught up in a situation and have been inadvertent activists. If anything goes wrong it will not be for lack of trying on their behalf to help others. It would have been much easier for them to remain silent.

Thanks for the visit and the support……

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3 Comments on “Shirley Tan Advocate Magazine’s Activist of the YEAR!”

  1. Dor November 15, 2009 at 9:45 PM #

    I admire you and the work that you do.


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