I transitioned many years ago, and have been very fortunate and blessed to have had this relative luxury. Although historically harder to access trans medical and surgical care in the USA than other countries, like Canada, or various European or South American countries; we have been lucky to have the ACA correct disparities in trans healthcare, which lead to mandates in 17 states demanding that trans people be treated like people, and have access to the healthcare we need.
What the Trump Administration is proposing is a total regression of any and all milestones in transgender equality. It will result in further marginalization of trans people in the USA. It will make our day to day lives harder to live, by making it illegal to have documentation that is congruent with our appearance and identity, like driver’s licenses, passports, or birth certificates. It would make it impossible to have insurance covered transgender healthcare. It would make our lived experience be one of constant suffering and pain.
As the saying goes, we are souls having a human experience. We are just like cisgender/nontransgender people. We don’t deserve to be destroyed by our government, capriciously and viciously.
So I am here to ask your help. My friend Seth Marlow compiled this list of ways that you, nontrans/cis transgender allies can help. And if you’ve never thought of yourself as a trans ally before, this gives you the blueprint to becoming one. We need you, all of you. It’s absolutely dire.
“Hi cis (non trans) allies. I see a lot of you wanting to offer support to trans people right now. It can be hard to know what to do these days, and this latest thing feels especially difficult to respond to. Here is a list of actionable things you can do to support trans people broadly and lift up individual trans people:
1. Vote straight blue ticket next month even if you have to hold your nose to do it.
2. Donate to organizations fighting for the civil and human rights of trans people and those providing mental health services. I’d recommend Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, Transgender Law Center, the good ol’ ACLU, Trans Lifeline, National Center for Transgender Equality, and RAD Remedy.
3. Educate yourself about WHY immutable sex assignment based on natal genitals is a flawed idea, WHY it’s bad for trans people, and be able and willing to articulate it to others. “Biological sex” is a dangerous rhetorical fiction and I need you to be able to explain that to other people and then do so at every opportunity. Start with your kids.
4. Reach out to the trans people in your life. Think of what tangible act of comfort you can provide. Make a meal. Walk the dog. Take your friend for a walk, a cup of coffee, to a movie. Do some laundry or wash someone’s dishes. Take someone flowers. I don’t know how to explain to y’all the depth of grief, fearfulness, and alienation that’s flowing among trans Americans right now but it is raw and exhausting and heartbreaking. Your trans friend needs your outrage but also needs some moments of comfort and escape. You can help.
5. Also remember that trans people are among the most economically marginalized in the US, especially so for people of color. If you are feeling led to open your wallet in response to this moment, remember that you can probably find a way to donate directly to a person by way of grocery and gas gift cards, etc. Smaller local organizations that serve trans youth and adults can also use donations like this. A lot of people are feeling an increased sense of urgency around documentation changes—which can be costly—and medical care, including mental health care. If appropriate you might ask your trans friends if they know of any opportunities to lighten this burden.
Think it through before you make an optimistic statement of support and/ or assertion that your friend will not be erased/ you won’t stand for this/ etc. What does this mean practically? How can you prevent your friends’ erasure as powerful systems move to deny trans people’s known gender? How do you know that trans people needn’t worry about this? Optimism is a necessary force but these feel like bleak and ominous times to many trans people, who probably understand this better than you do. Think about whether your assurances are founded before you offer them.
Remember not to put your own feelings about this on trans people. We have enough going on right now and can’t manage your emotions about this. Voice your stuff about this to people less impacted by it.
Thanks, friends. Share as you are led; no attribution necessary.”
Please help us, we can’t do this without you.
And if you’ve never met a trans person before, my name is Logan, and consider me your trans friend.
I hate to be like this, but if you read this diary, recommend it please.
The broader audience we can reach with these real world steps to support trans Americans, the we will see adopted and executed by caring allies. Please help us spread this message.