By Adrien Lawyer, Executive Director and Co-Founder
Transgender Resource Center
The month of June is an exciting and interesting time for us. Companies and organizations don rainbows, and now the pink and blue transgender flag, for a variety of reasons. Some genuinely support us and what we do, some are engaged in performance politics, and others simply seek our dollars.
But, what happens when the parades come to an end July 1? What does it mean to support the transgender community year-round?
It means understanding that trans people are people. We identify as nonbinary, women, men, intersex, and gender nonconforming. We are minimum wage workers, students, single parents, immigrants, and veterans. We are Black, Brown, Indigenous, Asian, and white. We are bisexual, straight, lesbian, and asexual. We live with disabilities, mental health challenges, and addiction. We are targeted and harassed by police. We are unhoused and routinely dehoused.
So, what does it actually mean to support the transgender community year-round?
It means supporting, passing, and enacting policies that ensure safe and affordable housing, living wages and universal basic income, healthcare that is free, accessible, and supportive of each individual’s lived experiences, and affordable education rooted in uncomfortable and necessary truths about this country’s collective histories. It means disarming and defunding the police.
It means ensuring veterans have the mental, emotional, and physical healthcare and support they need. It means understanding that transgender people live in all the countries of the world, and any harm we do abroad as a nation harms another transgender community.
It means bodily autonomy for all women. And, it most certainly means ensuring trans girls can play sports without fear, punishment, or shame.
We cherish the flags and we are humbled by the increased support in June. It’s important for us, and especially trans kids, to see the support; and, organizations like the Transgender Resource Center are possible because of people’s generosity.
But, we don’t want to have to be around forever. Transgender people, in all of our many identities and experiences, need more than parades and campaign promises–we need real, material change in our lives. The Democratic Party presents itself as a vehicle for that kind of change–we need it to live up to its promise.