Few images are more iconically Yuletide than a Salvation Army Santa ringing their bell on the street, collecting money for the homeless during the holiday season. But reports of the organization's alleged anti-LGBTQ policies have us feeling pretty Grinchy. Fox News reported that Salvation Army workers “have been told to stop posting their opinions about gay marriage, abortion, or anything political on social media because it might reflect poorly on the organization.”
On November 20, the LGBTQ community observes Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR)—which was started in 1999 by trans activist Gwendolyn Smith—to mourn murdered trans people, particularly trans women of color who are killed at an alarmingly high rate.
The threatened action by the Trump administration is widely viewed as an effort by social conservatives to erase transgender identity in federal policy and even law. A potential showdown at the Supreme Court — with a newly solidified conservative majority — will determine whether the gains in transgender rights won in many lower federal courts will be sustained or reversed.
The trans and non-binary community is also facing an epidemic of lethal violence, the extent of which can only be estimated. According to a report out this week from the Human Rights Campaign, at least 128 transgender people, the vast majority trans women of color, have been murdered in the US over the past five years. 2017 was the deadliest year on record, with 29 murders documented. To date this year, 22 killings have been recorded.
The Audre Lorde Project is a nonprofit that focuses on community organizing in the New York City area. Through education and mobilization, they work for community wellness and progressive social and economic justice, including fighting against police brutality.
With December just around the corner, I have started to see those red Salvation Army donation buckets again. While in general, donating to the less fortunate is a lovely thing to do during the holiday season, I would personally avoid doing so with the Salvation Army.
Though the Salvation Army has denied the fact they hold anti-LGBTI stances, their actions definitely speak louder than words.
As the culmination of Transgender Awareness Week, transgender and non-binary New Yorkers and their allies will mark Transgender Day of Remembrance in events across the city on November 19 and 20.
IN THE wake of the Trump administration’s leaked memo outlining plans to roll back legal recognition of transgender people and undo years of hard-won civil rights, people across the U.S. took to the streets to express their outrage and their solidarity with the trans community.
Since the Trump plan was revealed, protesters have been gathering online ― often using the hashtag #WontBeErased ― and in person around the country. On Sunday night, several hundred people gathered in Washington Square Park in New York City.
But there is still a lot of work to be done to make sure the trans and gender nonconforming communities are protected. Here are some ways you can help.
In the Trump administration’s latest attack on the transgender community, the Department of Health and Human Services is seeking, under Title IX, to legally define gender as a biological condition determined by a person’s genitalia at birth, according to an October 21 New York Times report on a memo obtained by the paper. (Title IX is the law that prevents gender-based discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal funds.)
As noted by the Center for American Progress, the Obama administration made strides toward trans-affirming policies. A broad policy of nondiscrimination in federal programs allowed transgender people — who number somewhere between 1 million and 1.4 million in the United States — to not be discriminated against in places like schools and doctors’ offices. The Trump administration has undone advancements in schools, prisons, and homeless shelters.
The publication of the Times article sparked rallies, like the one in New York City on October 21. Whether or not you take to the streets, here are some actionable ways you can support the transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming community after this latest attack.
Chase Strangio of the ACLU has compiled a list of action items that anyone in support of trans and GNC people should acknowledge. From voting to raising awareness among cis friends and supporting trans journalists, this is an essential checklist for trans rights.