I‘m going to say something here that is bound to get me in trouble. I believe that not only do trans people of all types need to band together in a unified “transgender” movement, despite our individual differences. I also believe we have an important place in the larger LGBT movement. Not only that, but I believe we must find ways to support and band with larger movements for social justice and freedom all around the world.
If we want trans rights now, we need to speak out with the strikers in Wisconsin. If we demand our basic freedom, we need to support the free peoples of Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Yemen and Bahrain. If we want to end oppression of trans people, we must work to end oppression wherever it may be found. We should concern ourselves with the plight of the poor and the powerless on the streets of New York; in the mountains of Appalachia; and in the fields of Afghanistan.
If you are saying to yourself right now, “But why should I concern myself with all of these other problems? I have my own problems.” Then you have answered your own question. This is the very attitude we, as transpeople are up against. Most folks don’t hate us, they just don’t see why they should be bothered to help. They have their own problems. And everything they hear and read and watch encourages this individual focus.
If we have learned anything from the recent actions in the Middle East and Africa, it is that change will only ever happen when the people band together. When we set aside individual concerns and turn out in numbers to demand freedom for all our Brothers and Sisters. We saw it in Egypt when bands of Christians stood and protected their Muslim allies as they prayed. We are seeing it in Wisconsin in the crowds that flood the Capital to say no to an unjust policy that will do nothing but hurt their neighbors. We see it anywhere people help each other out, simply because there is need.
We must remember that the fight for trans rights is the fight for human rights. We can either stand together and march towards victory or stand apart and suffer under the fists of oppression.
The time is now. Together we may succeed.