On this Trans Day of Visibility, here’s what you can do to support trans people
Today is the International Transgender Day of Visibility — an annual event celebrating the beauty of trans life in a world that so often oppresses trans people.
When trans people (and especially trans children) are having their rights stripped away on a daily basis, it can become easy to focus on the negatives, to think of trans people solely as victims of an oppressive culture. But that’s not a full picture of transgender life:
Trans is the strength to define yourself.
Trans is the bravery to choose yourself in spite of the danger it may present.
Trans is the euphoria of living honestly and choosing happiness.
Trans is inherently joyful. There is no greater example of self-love than pursuing your own joy in the face of an unjust society.
Trans is beautiful.
Trans is brave.
Trans is free.
Unfortunately, trans visibility is also under attack. Though this day centers on the joy of visibility, we would be remiss (knowing that our network is allies to the trans community) in not speaking to the horrifying wave of legislation passing through this country and what each of us can do to combat it.
What can we do to help trans people?
These bills popping up across the country are ugly, regressive attempts at legal discrimination. For Republicans, this anti-trans wave of state-by-state legislation is the tip of the spear for a broader MAGA attack on LGBTQ+ people and personal freedoms as a whole. When they take aim at the most at-risk, when they target the smallest populations, they hope to leverage prejudice into power. They are building a legislative framework at the state level that targets the trans community while putting all of our freedoms at risk.
Let’s be clear about why this is happening. Trans people are not the target because transness is inherently wrong. Trans people are the target because MAGA Republicans see them as the next step in their strategy to divide our communities and systematically roll back our right to control our own bodies, define our own identity and live with dignity and respect. When the freedoms of one marginalized group are being eroded, none of us are safe, and right now, MAGA culture wars have taken clear aim at trans people.
But there are politicians fighting back:
On February 23, Nebraska State Senator Machaela Cavanaugh began filibustering every piece of legislation brought to the floor of the state legislature to prevent LB574 from passing — a discriminatory bill targeting transgender youth.
Sen. Cavanaugh has been joined by State Senator Megan Hunt in vowing to continue filibustering every bill for the remainder of the session to keep this anti-trans bill from becoming law. Sen. Hunt told the body, “this is a line you don’t cross with me. If you cross it today, you’re staying on the other side of it because you’ve done irreparable harm.” (Watch Sen. Hunt’s entire speech here.) These two senators have brought the legislature to a standstill, vowing that they will not allow rights to be taken away from one group of people for the sake of pushing through the rest of the legislative agenda.
The elected officials, activists, and community leaders standing up to these attacks all over the country are emboldening others to show up and urgently speak out. If you’re ready to join them, here are three ways to get started:
- Track these bills! Identify where these bills are popping up in your local area so that you can put pressure on your locally elected officials to reject these attacks. With so many bills popping up across the country, the sheer volume of legislation can feel overwhelming: Focus on your local officials. Make sure those officials hear your displeasure and that you will not go away until they stop the attacks on trans people. Push your local officials to be as strong as Sens. Cavanaugh and Hunt.
- If you are part of an Indivisible group taking on this legislation, talk to your organizer about what grants we have available to support this work or email email@example.com. We know that organizing campaigns against this kind of legislation takes time, planning, and resources. Our GROW Grants program can provide financial support for your grassroots lobbying efforts. With your turf organizer and fellow Indivisibles, plan out what supplies, communications tools, and general expenses you will need in order to effectively combat this harmful legislation at your state capitol. Then, research GROW Grant rules and apply for a grant to cover those costs. PLEASE NOTE: Every state has different lobbying laws and reporting requirements for legislative advocacy, so please familiarize yourself with your state’s lobbying rules and ensure you are/would be spending below the reporting threshold for a nonprofit advocacy group. GROW Grants cannot be used to fund partisan work on state or local elections. If you have questions on this, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Donate to organizations like the Equality Federation. The Equality Federation amplifies the power of state-based LGBTQ+ movements to work on issues like workplace fairness, HIV criminalization laws, and anti-transgender bills. With anti-trans bills being proposed all across the country, it is more important than ever to ensure LGBTQ+ advocacy groups have the resources they need to keep up the fight for trans rights.
On this day of visibility, let us honor our trans siblings by standing beside their courage in supporting their visibility. How we show up for our most marginalized members is an indication of strength, solidarity, and heart. We’re so glad to see you share that work with us.
P.S. There is incredible ongoing work happening with Indivisible groups across the country in support of trans people. Here are some highlights to give you ideas about what you and your fellow Indivisibles can do to help support trans joy and fight for trans rights moving forward.
Indivisible Lumpkin sent letters to their Georgia State Senator Kim Jackson in appreciation for her standing up against SB140 which blocked gender affirming care for minors.
Indivisible Little Rock & Central Arkansas (LRCA)
Indivisible LRCA fighting to stop SB43 criminalizing drag performance in Arkansas. Drag bans are inherently attacks on trans rights as trans existence can be purposefully misconstrued as performance by the sort of vague wording contained in some of these pieces of legislation.
Indivisible CRIA hosting a rally in support of trans kids in Iowa refusing to bow down to MAGA book bans.
Afton Indivisible co-organized the Hastings Rally for Trans Kids in Levee Park in Minnesota which brought hundreds of people out to show their support. Click on the picture for an article about the rally!