Be a true ally — speak up.
Today is the Transgender Day of Visibility. 2018 was one of the most violent years for transgender people worldwide (here’s the HRC report for 2018). And after the events of the CSW panel “Gender Equality and Gender Ideology: Protecting Women and Girls” which we reported on (via Twitter) it is painfully clear that more than ever before we as allies must be vocal in our support and love for our Trans siblings and families.
The attempts by people to invalidate trans existence is increasing. The event held by the Holy See and the Heritage Foundation took place at the United Nations in New York City. It was broadcast on UN Live for all to hear and see. The language used at the event, the erasure of trans people at the event and the blatant misinformation on the conflation of violence against women and the (incorrect) link to trans people all served to further transphobic hate.
The response to the event written by Olena Semenova and her partner
Michelle Emson was not only necessary but served to remind us of the simple yet powerful fact that what we fight for is true bodily autonomy:
“We are fighting for our freedom to be ourselves, we are fighting for bodily autonomy and we will never give up. Women are much more than genitalia and the ability to be a mother. And women have a right for themselves to decide who they are.”
I have said many times privately to friends and family members that the best way to support me as a woman of color is to be vocal about the oppression that I experience. There are many times I want to be vocal but I can’t — I am tired, I am overworked, I feel defeated, I have been sent death threats and I constantly question my own voice.
Trans people — experience so much of this and more. If you haven’t listened to Miss Major’s call for allies to be more visible — listen to it now:
The fight for our collective freedom includes everyone — including Trans people. For those people who replied on the Women’s March Global Twitter post on the CSW thread and responded with comments like, “…most women can’t see their rights being eroded in favor of trans rights.”
My response to the above is the following: Fighting for the rights of one marginalised community does not mean less of a fight for the rights of women or other oppressed communities.
At Women’s March Global we know that the liberation of the most marginalised will mean the liberation of us all. The narrative that trans rights means less rights for women is incorrect and comes from a scarcity mindset. Furthermore it fails to address the key point — trans rights are human rights.
If your definition of liberation and human rights doesn’t include trans people then who does it include?
Collective liberation means ALL of us. Not some of us.
To my trans family — I love you. I see you. I support you.