Yesterday, the New York Times reported that the Trump Administration is considering redefining sex to be only “either male or female, unchangeable, and determined by the genitals that a person is born with.” If carried out, the proposal in the leaked memo from the Department of Health and Human Services will continue the efforts already underway to deny transgender, gender non-conforming (TGNC) and intersex people necessary medical care, access to safety, basic protections and ultimately, their humanity. This is violence.
The Administration is hoping to remove our hard-won protections and rights by fostering a climate of violence in which TGNC people’s live are devalued in this country. At AVP, we see daily the toll of this kind of state violence. We’ve been sounding the alarm about the current crisis of violence that last year took the lives of at least 27 TGNC victims of homicide and at least 22 lives this year. We cannot afford to take even one step backward. Our TGNC community members and family members’ lives are depending on us now.
With this despicable attempt to erase millions of people who identify as transgender, gender non-conforming or non-binary, and those who are intersex, the administration has underestimated our community’s rage, defiance and the power of our organizing for and with each other. We will not stand silently by while this Administration continues to try to dehumanize any of us.
This is not a wait and see moment. This is a moment for each of us to commit to working to calling out and stopping transphobia in all of the places it lives. We must all find ways to show up and engage in this fight at this moment.
As a Black cisgender lesbian, I know I can and must do even more now, to stand up as my community is under attack. To the cisgender members of our AVP family, I am inviting you to join me in standing with and for TGNC people right now and into the future. In the coming days and weeks, we will be outlining specific ways you can take action as allies, so watch this space.
And to our TGNC family, we see you and we are here for you. You can always reach out to AVP’s confidential 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141 or drop into our office.
Together we can make a difference.
Until we are all safe and free,