March 31, 2023
On today, International Transgender Day of Visibility, Race Forward, a national racial justice organization, calls on people across this world to stands against transphobia and all legislation that denies the humanity and dignity of transgender people.
Race Forward believes that the struggle for racial justice is intersectional. Historically rooted in and utilized as a tool of white supremacy, transphobia marginalizes and oppresses those who do not conform to models of humanity that the heteronormative, white supremacist status quo finds acceptable. None of us are free until we are all free.
There have been 490 anti-trans bills introduced across the country, of which 23 have passed, 44 have failed, and 423 are still active. Many of these bills will prevent or limit transgender people, and many trans youth, from accessing medically-necessary, life-giving, gender affirming care. Many of these laws also enforce misgendering within school and therapeutic environments, or legalize abduction of trans children from affirming parents. These bills will heighten the psychological toll and trauma among a population that already suffers from disproportionately high rates of depression and suicide.
Racial equity analysis shows that black transgender people will be disproportionately impacted by anti-trans policies due to the effects of structural racism. Recent analysis by the National LGBTQ Taskforce shows that “anti-transgender bias coupled with structural racism meant that transgender people of color experienced particularly devastating levels of discrimination,” with Black transgender persons faring worse.
We stand by and lift up again the recommendations from our 2018 statement on support for transgender people as they are still relevant at this moment. We aim to apply these to our work, as we envision a future where transgender people are able to live lives free of oppression:
- Be racially explicit about the impact of anti-transgender bills on transgender people of color.
- Fight against the notion that transgender justice is a wedge issue. Affirming the full humanity of transgender people, particularly transgender people of color, leads us to a more just world for everyone.
- Lift up the leadership of transgender people of color, who have been and remain at the forefront of transgender and racial justice movements at home and abroad.
- Cisgender allies must educate themselves and listen to stories by trans people, such as Imara Jones’s The Anti-Trans Hate Machine: A Plot Against Equality.
- Amplify this issue through your networks and support groups, particularly those that are led by and for transgender and queer people of color. Such groups include, but are not limited to: Trans Women of Color Collective, Trans Equity Consulting, BreakOUT!, Transitions Louisiana, Louisiana Trans Advocates, TransLatin@ Coalition, Trans Justice Funding Project, Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Audre Lorde Project, FIERCE, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Two Spirit Nation, Black Trans Advocacy, Southerners on New Ground (SONG), Black Alliance of Just Immigration, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, GSA Network, Trans Lifeline, Transgender Law Center.