As many of you longtime TransGriot readers know, I have been preaching about the need to build, grow and sustain the political power of trans people and lost count about the number of TransGriot posts I have written over the ten years of this blog’s operation concerning this subject.
There is no reason why we can’t get trans people like us elected to public office at the local, state and federal levels. We need to be sitting at the nice conference tables in various LGBT orgs making the policy decisions that our blood, sweat equity and tears have paid for.
We are tired of being the mules and tragic figures for this movement, and with our community being the ones attacked to roll back everyone’s human rights, we can’t wait for our allies to do the right thing and give us the support we have wanted and needed since Stonewall.
And with the conservative movement going on a post-Obergefell political temper tantrum and attacking trans people for their own nefarious political gains, it needs to happen immediately. .
It also needs to happen to take our trans human rights movement to the next level.
A major step in building that political power I envisioned is happening today with the launch of the Trans United Fund. It’s a 501(c)4 political advocacy group that is committed to building the political power of trans* people and our allies to advocate for trans equality.
“The transgender community is no stranger to adversity but what we face today is a new challenge, a coordinated, national and vicious attack from the far right at municipal, school district and legislative levels. Trans United Fund will fill a crucial gap in our movement, creating a space for transgender people and our allies,” said Hayden Mora, a founding member of the Trans United Fund. “We can not only fight these vicious political attacks that cater to fear and division, we must build a proactive politics to address other issues that impact our community – from HIV to homelessness to immigration and the horrific epidemic of violence,” continued Mora.
“We need candidates to understand that being supportive of trans equality begins with supporting non- discrimination but also must proactively address the issues that impact the most vulnerable in our community. I’m exhausted and profoundly saddened every day I hear about another young trans person that has taken their life because the bullying and discrimination was too much, another trans woman of color murdered senselessly and the myriad other forms of discrimination we face. Education is crucial but so is action, there is simply too much at stake,” concluded Mora.
“I’m part of Trans United because trans people need a strong political voice to support the activism, legal, policy and direct service work already happening. I fight every day to address the consequences of inhuman immigration policies, the disproportionate impact of HIV on our community, violence and disenfranchisement particularly of the most vulnerable in our community – young people, black and brown people- particularly women- and immigrants. We save lives every day but we can’t reach everyone with direct services. We need to move from being primarily reactive to ore proactive, going to the root of institutionalized transphobia. And that requires a stronger political voice,“ added Bamby Salcedo, Executive Director of the Trans Latin@ Coalition .
And how will Trans United Fund build the political power we need? Trans United Fund will accomplish this mission by engaging trans people and our allies in the political process at the federal and state level, building the political leadership and capacity of trans people and allies, and endorsing candidates with a platform and proven track record that reflects a meaningful commitment to fight for human rights for our community.
Trans United Fund is also putting together the first ever trans focused Presidential Candidate Questionnaire. It will be distributed to all potential candidates as part of the 2016 election cycle, in addition to a legislative scorecard program. Trans United Fund is also looking at key races in the 2016 election cycle in which its efforts and resources can be strategically targeted for maximum effect
A petition has also been draftedin order to demonstrate to our haters that we have far more people who love, support and stand with us than you trans oppressors.
Candidates seeking the support of Trans United Fund must go above and beyond support for basic issues of LGBTQ equality, such as supporting inclusive non-discrimination measures. Candidates must demonstrate a strong and proactive commitment to tackling issues like HIV/AIDS, immigration reform, violence, unemployment, and healthcare disparities, which all disproportionately impact trans people.
“Trans United Fund’s launch is the next example of sophistication within this movement,” said Robert Raben, political consultant and former assistant attorney general under President Bill Clinton. “As long as we have a privately raised finance system, participating in it is crucial to achieve the progress we need. Few in the nation have faced the challenges transgender Americans face; kudos that despite the discrimination, they are still willing to engage in the political process to make this country stronger,” concluded Raben.
If you wish to earn the votes of transgender Americans, they must be earned, and just like any other group, when we give you our precious votes, we expect action on the issue concerns of our community
For more information concerning the Trans United Fund, in addition to clicking on this link to go to the petition, you can also access the organization’s Twitter feed at @transunitedfund and Facebook page at Trans United Fund. You can also follow the hashtags #TransUnited #TransUnidxs .