Recently, a memo for the federal Health and Human Services (HHS) Department was leaked, sharing HHS’s plan to define sex as male or female, and only recognize people in these categories based on their sex assignment at birth. This is yet another attempt by the federal administration to harm trans and gender non-conforming communities by rolling back policies designed to protect us against discrimination. While our community is an already vulnerable and heavily marginalized group, particularly around accessing care, our freedom to self-determine our own gender identities and expressions is at stake. It is important to note that this memo is not yet law. We have an opportunity now to mobilize and demand that government not attempt to erase the lives and experiences of TGNC people.
Here’s a few things you can do:
* Read “Hell No to the Memo: 7 Action Items to Protect Trans and GNC People” by Out Magazine, which calls for donations to trans-led orgs and bailout funds, getting out the vote, and cis people organizing themselves to be better allies
* Check out “Practical POC Tips for Fighting the Trump Administration’s Latest Assault on Trans People” by Colorlines, which advocates for de-centering whiteness in this conversation, promoting the narratives of trans people of color, and prioritizing community care
* Donate to ALP to support organizing led by and for trans and gender non-conforming people of color. Our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support that we’ve already received!
* Join the thousands of folks who have organized in opposition to this memo by attending a local rally or community event and sharing your voice. Attend ALP’s Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 19th to be in community and collectively grieve and uplift those we’ve lost too soon.
* Check out and share this infographic on Being an Effective Trans Ally by 519 Space for Change
* Follow the hashtag #wewontbeerased to keep up to date on the latest news and actions
White/cis supremacy thrives on our people being too confused, too afraid, too unaware of our rights to fight back. Oppressors know that we are most powerful when we are together in community. This newest memo is just the latest in a series of escalating fear-mongering tactics designed to scare us and divide us. How many of us have turned on the news in the last year and a half and witnessed our elected and appointed officials threatening us, our loved ones, and our allies? That is by design. During these dark periods, we must keep each other informed of our actual rights, stop the spread of misinformation, strategize together, and organize to push back. This means voting, participating in movement, running for office, empowering organizations and individuals doing the work, and letting our voices be heard in public dialogue.
We also must always remember that the law was never made to keep black and brown bodies, trans and GNC bodies, immigrant bodies, and so many others healthy and safe. It is up to us to define healthcare, our own gender, and our own bodily needs and autonomy for ourselves and do the work to create spaces where we can truly be free. The system cannot do that for us - we must and we can.
In love and struggle,