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Letter sent on Sep 9, 2015

We The T!

Matter & Gender 2.0 are launching a month-long conversation about everything transgender.

Dear Readers,

Hi! I’m Meredith Talusan, a transgender writer and advocate. I work at Buzzfeed, and a few months ago I started a publication on Medium called Gender 2.0, where all transgender people can speak freely about our lives.

Too often, our stories are told by journalists who are not trans — folks who have no idea what deadnaming is, who talk about trans women being “born a boy,” who don’t understand how it feels to be denied basic human rights because of their gender. This is an enormous problem.

That’s why I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve joined up with Matter and a bunch of trans folk to bring you We The T!, a month-long conversation about everything trans. I’m proud to say that we’ve included trans people in every stage of the editorial process — from the conception to the writing, editing, and art direction. (I hear the Matter staff has learned a thing or two, as well.)

First things first — in order to navigate the next month of tricky pronouns* and voices from across the gender spectrum, you will absolutely, positively need THIS glossary. It’s basically a trans primer for cis people. (And if you don’t know what “cis” means, you should open this immediately!)

Next, check out our eye-opening visual dialogue about the complications of self-presentation: What I Wanted To Wear (follow the tag: WIWTW). Inspired by poet and activist Alok Vaid-Menon’s experience of street harassment, we’ll shed light on the ways we censor how we dress in order to survive. Whether or not you’re trans, we hope you’ll join our conversation about what we express and repress when we put on clothes.

Throughout the next few weeks, we’ll go deep with actor, speaker, and advocate Cherno Biko as she moderates a discussion about being black, trans, and visible in a world of erasure. You’ll read searing accounts from the likes of Stonewall veteran Miss Major, agender writer Tyler Ford, sex-worker advocate Tela Love, and trans advocate Tiq Milan.

To participate in these conversations as they unfold, follow the transgender tag and Gender 2.0, and hit the response button below any post. So join us as we tell the world — We the T!

Meredith Talusan

*We know pronouns can be tricky, so we’ve made it easy: every contributor is including their pronouns below their posts (mine are they/their or her/hers, in order of comfort).