As many of us know, this has been a particularly difficult week for trans and non-binary Vermonters with the rise of an anti-trans group directing hate towards us and trying to deny the validity of our existences. These kinds of messages make it easier for people to excuse or justify the harm they cause trans and non-binary folks, either by pretending they know better about our identities than we do or through active physical, verbal, and emotional violence. This is nothing new for those of us in the trans community and we are tired. We have been fighting this for centuries, with trans folx of color leading the charge.
Personally, I find myself feeling even more unsafe in public spaces presenting the ways that I would like to after this week, and I know that I am not alone in this feeling. It has been incredibly exhausting and emotionally draining to have to constantly explain to people who do not understand or want more education around these issues without doing their own research first. As the Trans Program Coordinator, I am here to support and advocate for ALL trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and intersex people in this community and want any of you reading this to know that I have got your back.
However, this work and this fight will never truly be over if we can’t change the systems and culture that allow hate to flourish. We cannot do this alone. It takes allies, from in the LGBTQ+ community and outside of it, to help us move forward with this goal. We need you to show up already ready to keep the fight going with us. With that in mind, I feel it is important to provide some resources for people who are looking to show up for and support trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and intersex folks.
Take some time to educate yourself:
- Read the only ‘Trans Agenda’ that we’re aware of: Trans Agenda for Liberation, which was put together by the amazing trans and non-binary folx of color at the Transgender Law Center.
- Watch this video on the importance of pronouns and the different ways they affect folks.
- Learn about the impact that using the wrong pronouns for people can have (collected from the words of trans folks by the Pride Center).
- Practice using pronouns you are not familiar with using this online tool.
Action you can take:
- Stand up against anti-trans messaging, and whole our community members accountable! Check out these talking points on how to combat misinformation about trans people and identities.
- Help support trans programming by joining the Transpire committee at the Pride Center! We meet on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month from 6-7pm at the Center. Contact Gustavo@pridecentervt.org for more information
- Join and support activism put on by the trans community. Contact Gustavo@pridecentervt.org to get informed.
- Pride Center of Vermont is in the process of starting a group for trans allies to disrupt anti-trans rhetoric and heal division that fractures our communities. If you are interested in being involved, please email Mike@pridecentervt.org.
Other resources for supporting trans people:
- National Center for Transgender Equality:
- Individual trans people in need in your community.
- Trans Lifeline, a donor-funded organization that is available for trans folks in crisis
- Transgender Law Center
- Sylvia Rivera Law Project
- Trans Women of Color Collective
- Point of Pride, which helps provide financial support and gender affirming resources to trans folks in need
- Pride Center of Vermont’s Trans Program
-Gustavo Mercado Muñiz (they/them, ele)