On Wednesday, news broke that Trump’s administration rescinded federal guidelines specifically protecting bathroom access for transgender students. These guidelines, put in place by the Obama administration, allowed students who are transgender to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. The news was met with outcry by people already taking to the streets and even the White House to protest for transgender rights.
A note to my fellow cisgender women and men: If you were one of the more than two million people who participated in the Women’s March, you need to show up for trans rights.
If you are someone who considers themself a feminist, if you support human rights, if you actually believe all people were created equal, if you truly love thy neighbor: you need to show up for trans rights.
You need to do the work for and with your transgender family because they have shown up for you.
The Women's March was valuable for a lot of reasons. It was not without its flaws, and the criticisms of it are more than valid; but it also showed how powerful resistance can be, and that is no small thing.
But the resistance will not be successful unless it is intersectional. Trans rights affect women. They affect men. They affect people in between and outside the binary. They affect white people and people of color. They affect people who are Christian and Muslim and Jewish and atheist. They affect people who are poor, people who are disabled, and people who are LGB or Q. Because people who are transgender exist under all those categories, and more.
If your feminism doesn't extend to equality for trans people, it does not advocate for equality whatsoever. #protecttranskids— Sam Escobar 👻 (@myhairisblue) February 23, 2017
Unless you are a puppy (omg hi) or a sentient robot (omg congrats on your inevitable usurping of the human race), you also fall into one or more of the above mentioned categories, and probably a whole lot more I haven't mentioned, too.
If you showed up for the Women's March because women's rights are human rights, then you also need to show up now. We all need to show up now, because trans rights are human rights. As established, you are a human. And feminism means being an advocate and ally for equal rights for all.
The trans community needs allies. Show them they have at least two million.
Start By Listening
Rule number one of being a good ally: Listen first, then speak. And always, always speak up, not over. This video by Franchesca Ramsey on how to be a good ally is my go-to resource to keeping myself in check.
Follow transgender people and advocates on Twitter. Riley J. Dennis, Sarah McBride, Jackson Bird, Laverne Cox, and Janet Mock are a good starting list. Listen to the people most directly affected and amplify their voices.
The president's first act against trans people is specifically attacking kids. Wow. Cool move, bro.— Jackson Bird (@jackisnotabird) February 23, 2017
Do you know how your state stands on transgender rights? This infographic from Reuters shows which states have passed, proposed, and denied ‘bathroom bills’. Make sure your representatives are standing against Trump’s anti-transgender actions. Contact your congresspeople and make sure they know where their constituents stand.
Donate To Groups Advocating for Transgender Rights
Support organizations already doing great work to help the transgender community. A few to start with:
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- Trans Lifeline
- The Trevor Project, which specifically helps LGBTQ youth
Through donation, you’re helping provide resources like crisis hotline volunteers, advocacy for and education about transgender people, and political action groups for trans rights.
Call Out Transphobia
This is the part where you need to speak out. When you hear transphobic comments, when you learn about anti-trans legislation, when you see people attacking or ignoring the transgender community, you need to do and say something. This video from MTV’s Decoded gives you eight comebacks for transphobic comments, so you have a few in your back pocket if you need them.
Let’s get to work.
All tweets have been included with the permission of their users.