As a compassionate member of our shared society, I must bring an unsettling reality to your attention. A reality that many in our society have overlooked is the escalating discrimination and aggression toward the transgender community.
Transgender individuals are some of our society’s most resilient people, persevering amidst a tumultuous wave of prejudice and hate. Despite this, they find the strength to build a network of care, leaning on chosen families and friends for support. Yet, the world around them is shrinking, the walls are closing in, and time is running out.
The trans community is fighting a battle on many fronts – against virulent hate speech, against the disregard for their identity, against malicious intent cloaked under the guise of free speech. It is a battle against a world that increasingly seems to be turning against them. We cannot stay silent. Our silence is an act of complicity, and it must be broken.
Consider the recent actions against GLSEN, an LGBTQ+ advocacy organization whose mission is to create safe, inclusive learning environments for K-12 students. GLSEN’s commitment to racial justice, disability justice, and gender justice has attracted hostility from right-wing extremists, leading to threats and misinformation campaigns against its staff and mission.
Additionally, numerous anti-LGBTQ+ groups, identified as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center, are witnessing a surge in their revenue as states nationwide debate anti-LGBTQ+ bills. While this isn’t a reflection of broad societal views, as most Americans support LGBTQ+ rights, it showcases the dangerous influence of a virulent minority, particularly white evangelical Protestants.
Moreover, a recent report by GLAAD underscores the high rate of harassment and hate facing LGBTQ+ users on social media. All the leading platforms – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter – are reportedly unsafe for LGBTQ+ users. About 64% of LGBTQ+ social media users have experienced online harassment or hate speech.
As Janet Mock, a trans activist, author, and producer, once said, “Our experiences are different, but our oppressions are the same.” The overwhelming barrage of hate, discrimination, and violence toward the transgender community reflects a deeper societal issue we cannot ignore.
It’s time we heeded the wisdom of our transgender brethren like Laverne Cox, who stated, “It is revolutionary for any trans person to choose to be seen and visible in a world that tells us we should not exist.” We must stand alongside our trans siblings and support their revolutionary existence.
Being an ally is not about speaking for the transgender community but standing alongside them, amplifying their voices, and advocating for their rights. Allies can use their privilege to challenge discriminatory behaviour, support transgender individuals in their struggles, and educate themselves and others about transgender issues. Allies can vote against hate and engage in conversations that humanize, rather than demonize, transgender individuals.
In the words of trans rights activist Marsha P. Johnson, “No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.” Let us work towards that liberation by standing with our transgender siblings. It’s time we acknowledged the crisis and rallied against the forces threatening to silence the voices of the transgender community.
Your voice matters. Let it be heard.
As Audre Lorde once brilliantly stated, “Your silence will not protect you.” Our collective silence on transgender issues enables the violence and discrimination faced by this community. This silence allows those who spew hate and bigotry to gain traction and sow discord within our society. As allies, it is incumbent upon all of us to break this silence and stand alongside our transgender siblings.
Visibility matters. Representation matters. Recognizing and validating the identities and experiences of transgender individuals is the first step toward creating a truly inclusive and diverse society. By challenging bias, advocating for inclusive policies, and amplifying the voices of transgender people, we can help to shift the narrative and push for positive change.
But allyship isn’t a one-time act; it’s a journey. It’s about continually educating ourselves about the struggles of the transgender community, using our platforms to amplify their voices, and standing by them in their fight for equality. It means moving beyond performative gestures and towards tangible actions contributing to systemic change.
Remember, this is not just a transgender issue. This is a human rights issue. This is about the dignity and respect everyone deserves, regardless of gender identity. This is about the kind of society we want to live in and the kind of society we want future generations to inherit.
As allies, we have a crucial role to play. We can provide a counterweight to the harmful narratives propagated by anti-LGBTQ+ groups. We can support organizations like GLSEN, who work tirelessly to create safe, inclusive learning environments for students. We can resist the onslaught of online harassment and hate speech that disproportionately targets the LGBTQ+ community on social media.
To quote Harvey Milk, “All young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment to achieve their full potential.” Let’s do our part in making this vision a reality for all.
In closing, I urge you to stand with the transgender community, not as saviours but as comrades, in their fight for respect, dignity, and equality. Their fight is our fight. Their resilience is our strength. Let’s step forward in allyship and work towards a society where every person can live authentically and fearlessly.
“The only queer people are those who don’t love anybody.” —Rita Mae Brown
Let’s choose love, acceptance, and understanding over prejudice and hate. Together, we can make a difference.
Disclaimer: As a registered clinical counsellor and registered psychotherapist (qualifying), I'm sharing insights on my blog for informational purposes, not professional advice or treatment. My writing aims to inspire you to consult your own healthcare or mental health provider. Remember, your decisions based on the blog content are solely your responsibility. Please explore other resources if this understanding doesn't align with your expectations. Thank you.