AND YOU CAN SIT BY AND WATCH OR YOU CAN REALIZE THAT YOUR FREEDOM IS TIED UP WITH OURS.
Trans activist Mara Glubka transcribed these important and brilliant words that were posted on Twitter 2 days ago by ACLU attorney Chase Strangio:
"In 2016 I began lobbying against anti-trans bills in state legislatures. At the time we were fighting back against the proliferation of the anti-trans bathroom bill and the false and weaponized narrative that trans people posed a threat to women and children in bathrooms.
In the years that followed, those pushing these bills (and ballot initiatives) admitted that the "safety" narrative fueling the bills in public discourse was entirely fabricated (which... of course it was). They shifted to focusing on privacy.
By shifting from "safety" to "privacy" the rhetoric fueling anti-trans bills placed the "problem" squarely on the body and existence of trans people. It was not something we *did* but just who we are and how we look that was the problem.
After Bostock and Biden's election, the escalation of attacks was swift. It began with the discourse around sports and quickly moved to healthcare. Fueled by global movements combating "gender ideology" (read: marshaling in fascism), this rhetoric took hold even more.
What started as "we just have concerns about competitive advantages in sports" quickly morphed into "aren't there really too many trans people and shouldn't we cut off the pathway from trans adolescence to trans adulthood".
From the pages of the New York Times to the legislative hearings across the country to kitchen table conversations - trans people became the endless fixation of those looking for a place for their fear about a changing world of increasing possibility.
Since at least 2016, I and many others have been raising the alarms about where this was all heading. It was never about bathrooms or sports or even healthcare. It is about what we represent - possibility outside of binaries, outside of notions of fixedness and essentialism.
If structures of power are dependent on us believing in the limits of what is possible - trans people represent an inherent threat to power.
We represent a freedom and possibility that is always a threat to the status quo.
I have been deep in this work for a long time but I will confess that I am surprised and horrified at where we find ourselves now in 2023. The sheer volume of bills and the prioritization of them. The coverage fixation at the Times and elsewhere.
Our society has accepted as legitimate our loss of healthcare, our frequent victimization, our death. As many as 14 States could ban healthcare for trans adolescents by mid-year. Almost half the country bands trans girls from sports.
If there is a "debate" about us among those in power - we are not a part of it. We are a spectacle for your consumption. That said we cannot be made on trans. There is no policy imperative that can change the fact of our existence. We are here as we always have been.
Governors Noem, Abbott, DeSantis, Cox, Hutchinson, Ivey. You may think you can sign off on our demise but we will rise stronger. To everyone who thinks we are worthy of concern but not agency, of your skepticism but not your respect, you write us off at your own peril.
None of this starts or ends with us.
Two governors have signed off on taking away our healthcare this session and it is not yet mid-February.
More of this is coming.
And you can sit by and watch or you can realize your freedom is tied up with ours."