One of the things I have been observing as a a long time advocate for trans human rights is the LGBT Hate industry and their ongoing war as part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to roll back and eviscerate human rights in the US for gay, bi and lesbian people.
As the trans part of that rainbow political coalition, we now have not only made rapid human right progress since that first trans federal lobby day in 1994, we have had unprecedented societal visibility in order to drive home the twin messages that trans people are part of the diverse mosaic of humanity and that trans rights are human rights.
That progress and societal visibility has drawn the backlash that visionary leaders in Trans World have long warned was coming as we urged our people to prepare for its arrival.
We have been fighting a multi front war since Stonewall in which we are battling right-wing Bible thumping faux Christian oppressors, the Republican Party and the conservative movement, the TERF’s, right wing media and frenemies in the LG ranks who repeatedly threw us under the legislative bus to get sexual orientation only legislation passed. They are what I call the Axis of Trans Oppression.
We trans folks are unfortunately paying in blood for the failure of LG orgs to recognize that if the rights of transgender people weren’t secure, their own rights aren’t secure either. The HERO repeal in Houston and the passage of HB 2 in North Carolina have emphatically driven that point home.
As the Rev. Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. also pointed out, we are in an inescapable web of mutuality, and if this fact hasn’t burned itself into your brains yet, trans people are part of that web of mutuality.
We trans people are also paying for the long time neglect and failure of funders to see the wisdom of fiscally seeding regional and national trans groups like NTAC and others. While we tried our best at the time as trans leaders to make that happen, the growth and maturation of national trans rights orgs should have occurred while we trans peeps were flying under the political radars of our right wing oppressors in the 90’s-early 2K’s.
We also needed to have our best and brightest activists advocates and thinkers in the late 90’s early 2K’s getting paid to spend 8-10 plus hour days gaining real world experience doing the hard solid thinking and work to advance trans human rights. We needed to be able to do the full time job of educating the public about trans people instead of having to do it part time or without pay.
But that’s coulda, woulda, shoulda Monday morning quarterbacking. We have to deal with the 2K16 consequences and reality of things that should have happened not happening.
We are fighting transphobic bigots in the LGBT hate industry who are sitting in nice plush offices, have decades of experience in opprssing people, now training their tactics, media platforms and money on a community they perceive as easy political pickings with little risk of retribution from our side.
They gleefully plot our evisceration as elements pf the LG community say ‘we’re on our own’ to face this onslaught of oppression as they plan their weddings and enjoy the fruits of full equality they gained in many cases with our help and at our expense.
Trans people are under attack by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, and unfortunately the LG orgs that have honored their ‘we’ll come back for you’ promises have been ineffective in combating it for several reasons.
They are just as clueless in the issues that impact trans lives because of at times willful ignorance, their own long time discriminatory practices rooted in rainbow anti-trans bigotry and internal LGBT racial animus. .
Because of the failure to hire talented trans leaders and organizers in their organizations, they not only don’t have trained trans people in place in their organizations to help lead and formulate the strategies necessary to defeat the Axis of Trans Oppression anti-trans talking points and tactics, they don’t have a development pipeline in place to properly train the next generation of trans leaders and grow the movement.
This combined with a lack of muscular trans organizations that will strike fear in their oppressive hearts also doesn’t help us .It also doesn’t help us that we don’t have (yet) elected trans politicians at the large city, state, judicial and congressional level
With over 100 anti trans legislative measures popping up like kudzu across the South and elsewhere in this country backed up by right wing media gleefully spouting anti-trans hate speech, we need those trans led efforts to beat back the oppression being aimed at us like yesterday.
While that’s the reality of what we trans Americans are facing, it doesn’t mean that we need to just give up, throw up our hands and submit to whatever the Axis of Trans Oppression has in store for us. We need to fight ’em until we can’t. We come from trans folks who rose up in protest of anti-trans discrimination and oppression at Cooper’s Donuts in 1959, Dewey’s Lunch Counter in 1965, Compton’s Cafeteria in 1966, and the Stonewall Inn in 1969 and leaders like Sylvia Rivera who ferociously fought to her dying day for our human rights.
We need to role model Sylvia, Marsha and our other trans human rights warriors of yesterday and today. We have a proud history and legacy to live up to of fighting anti-trans oppression no matter where it comes from, and it’s a fight we must win despite the long odds.
The trans kids growing up now are depending on their trans elders and our allies to handle our trans human rights business, and we can’t afford to let them or our elders down.
We`are on the correct side of history while our opposition isn’t. The Axis of Trans Oppression is part of the same conservative movement who were on the losing side when it came to breaking away from Great Britain to found this nation, abolishing slavery, women’s suffrage, women’s rights, the African-American Civil Rights Movement, and gay rights. They will lose when it cones to trans rights, and I have confidence I will live to see our inevitable victory.
So let me ask the question I posed earlier. The Axis of Trans Oppression is attacking our community. What are we gonna do to repel their attacks? Stand up and fight back.