March 31 marks the final day of Women’s History Month and it is also Transgender Day of Visibility. To mark this occasion and further strengthen the voices of the trans community, GLAAD released an open letter signed by over 190 feminist leaders in advocacy, business, entertainment, media, politics, and social justice standing in solidarity with transgender women and girls.
The letter, organized by GLAAD and Raquel Willis, comes in response to the ongoing hateful and discriminatory rhetoric and attacks facing trans people, especially trans women, and is clearly a loud statement of solidarity between cisgender women, trans women, and feminist allies for everyone to hear.
“We all must fight against the unnecessary and unethical barriers placed on trans women and girls by lawmakers and those who co-opt the feminist label in the name of division and hatred,” reads the letter. “Our feminism must be unapologetically expansive so that we can leave the door open for future generations”
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Signatories for the letter include Gloria Steinem, Regina King, Selena Gomez, Chelsea Clinton, Halle Berry, Gabrielle Union, Janelle Monáe, Patricia Arquette, Laverne Cox, Cynthia Erivo, Senator Sarah McBride, Lena Waithe, Lilly Singh, Ilana Glazer, America Ferrera, Geena Rocero, Peppermint, Melissa Etheridge, Tatiana Maslany, Alana Mayo, Sarah Kate Ellis among many others. As of March 30, the open letter has garnered over 420 signatories.
The letter reads, in part continues: “It is time for the long history of assaults (legislative, physical, social, and verbal) against trans women and girls to end. For far too long, lawmakers have worked to strip trans women of their civil liberties—in 2021, once again, we’ve seen a wave of bigoted governmental policies and legislation. Many of these laws target the rights of girls to play school sports or criminalize doctors for treating trans youth and their families. The women’s movement has seen doctors targeted before for providing us with necessary medical care and services, and we refuse to let youth endure that now.”
“We all must fight against the unnecessary and unethical barriers placed on trans women and girls by lawmakers and those who co-opt the feminist label in the name of division and hatred. Our feminism must be unapologetically expansive so that we can leave the door open for future generations.”
In addition, leaders from national women’s organizations including Time’s Up, Me Too Movement, Women’s March, Planned Parenthood, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, Ms. Foundation, 3% Movement, National Women’s Law Center, and others are among signatories. Leaders from national LGBTQ organizations including GLAAD, The Trevor Project, LGBTQ Task Force, GLSEN, Athlete Ally, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lesbians Who Tech, and others also signed the letter.
The letter comes at a time when trans women — specifically trans women of color — have been murdered and little to nothing has been done about it. In 2020 alone, we lost Dustin Parker,Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, Yampi Méndez Arocho, Scott/ Scottlynn Devore, Monika Diamond, Lexi, Johanna Metzger, Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos, Layla Pelaez Sánchez, Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos, Penélope Díaz Ramírez, Nina Pop, Helle Jae O’Regan, Damion Terrell Campbell, Tony McDade, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah Milton, Jayne Thompson, Selena Reyes-Hernandez, Brian “Egypt” Powers, Brayla Stone, Merci Mack, Shaki Peters, Bree Black, Summer Taylor, Marilyn Cazares Dior H Ova, Queasha D Hardy, Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears, Lea Rayshon Daye, Kee Sam, Aerrion Burnett, Mia Green, Michelle Michellyn Ramos Vargas, Felycya Harris, Brooklyn Deshuna, Angel Unique, Skylar Heath, Yunieski Carey Herrera, Asia Jynae Foster, Chae’Meshia Simms, Kimberly Fial, Jaheim Pugh Jaheim Barbie, Courtney “Eshay” Key, Alexandria Winchester — and these are just the ones that have been reported.
2020 marked a deadly record year for murders of transgender people and the horrifying trend continues as at least 11 murders of transgender people have been reported in the first months of 2021. The 11 trans lives that were lost this year include Tyianna “Davarea” Alexander, Samuel Edmund Damián, Bianca “Muffin” Bankz, Dominique Jackson, Fifty Bandz, Alexus Kimmy Icon Braxton, Chyna Carrillo, Jeffrey “JJ” Bright, Jenna Franks, Diamond ‘Kyree’ Sanders and Rayanna Pardo.
As we enter April 2021, state and federal lawmakers have introduced dozens of state bills to restrict the rights of trans women, people, and youth, most notably in terms of education, healthcare, and sports. Just yesterday, Arkansas lawmakers approved a ban on gender-affirming healthcare for trans children while South Dakota issued an executive order to prohibit trans girls from playing on girls’ sports teams.
Trans Lives Matter.
Read the letter in full and the entire list of signatories here.