We invite our Trans and Gender Non-Conforming people of color communities, and our allies, to march with us in the
1st Annual Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice
in New York City on June 24th, 2005.
Visibility of Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People:
Communities of color have histories that are rich with multiple gender identities, experiences, and expressions, but today the two-gender system is enforced against us everywhere: in health care, immigration, bathrooms, clothing, shelters, prisons, schools, government forms, job applications, and identity documents.
? Gender policing has always been part of America‚s bloody history. State-sanctioned gender policing targets Trans and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) people first by dehumanizing our identities. It denies our basic right to gender self-determination, and considers our bodies to be property of the state.
? Gender policing isolates TGNC people from our communities, many of which have been socialized with these oppressive definitions of gender. As a result, we all too often fall victim to verbal and physical violence. This transphobic violence is justified using medical theories and religious beliefs, and is perpetuated in order to preserve America‚s heterosexist values. Gender policing and violence denies our existence and is used to maintain control over us and keep our communities divided.
Our Struggles and the Broader Community:
The specific issues that TGNC people of color face mirror those faced by broader communities of color in NYC: police brutality and harassment; racist and xenophobic immigration policies; lack of access to living wage employment, adequate affordable housing, quality education, and basic healthcare; and; the impacts of US imperialism and the so-called US „war on terrorism‰ being waged against people at home and abroad. These issues are compounded for TGNC people of color by the fact that homophobia and transphobic is so pervasive in society. As a result, our community is disproportionately represented in homeless shelters, in foster care agencies, in jails and prisons.
? On April 2002, the city of New York passed a non-discrimination law that included gender identity as a protected category under the city‚s human rights law, yet it took the Bloomberg administration two years to create and release an inadequate set of guidelines to define what this meant. Meanwhile, TGNC people continue to experience high levels of violence and harassment everywhere we go.
? Across the country, people of color communities face high levels of unemployment for example, the it is widely known that in 2005 the unemployment rate for Black men in NYC is now at 50%. We can only deduce that the percentage of unemployment for TGNC people of color is likely to be much higher since there is hardly any New York State employment data for our community. Due to the lack of employment opportunities, many of us are forced to accept work that is criminalized by the government, stigmatized by society and offers very little safety.
? The anti-immigrant REAL ID act not only blatantly violates the rights of immigrants, but also has a direct impact in the lives of all TGNC people. This is especially relevant for people of color, who since 9/11 have experienced rising levels of policing and scrutiny from state agencies such as the Department of Motor Vehicles and Social Security. TGNC people are portrayed as frauds and potential so-called Œterrorists‰ then targeted or denied rights.
? The police, as agents of the government, have brutalized and murdered multitudes of people in our communities over the past few years. Many of them are people of trans experience, who have had no recourse because the violence perpetuated against them was, and still is, state-sanctioned.
As Trans and Gender Non-Conforming people of color, we see that our struggle today is directly linked to many struggles here and around the world. We view the June 24th, Trans Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice, as a day to stand in solidarity with all peoples and movements fighting against oppression and inequality. We also view this action as following the legacy of our Trans People of Color warriors, such as Sylvia Rivera, and others who with extreme determination fought not only for the rights of all trans and gender-nonconforming people, but also were on the frontlines for the liberation of all oppressed peoples. In this spirit, we as Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Peoples of Color call on all social justice activists from communities of color, lesbian, gay, bi and trans movements, immigrant rights organizations, youth and student groups, trade unions and workers organizations, religious communities and HIV/ AIDS and social service agencies to endorse this call to action and to build contingents to march in solidarity together on June 24th. With this march we commemorate the lives of those that came before us, and honor the courage of our all communities that continue to struggle and fight for liberation and self-determination everyday.
The First Annual Trans Day of Action for Social and
Friday, June 24th, 2005
5:30 - gather at Jackson Sq., the intersection of 8th
Av., Greenwich Av, and Horatio St.
6:30 - march to Union Square
7:30 - rally at Union Square
To Endorse: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718.596.0342, ext 18
Yours In Struggle --TransJustice, a project of The Audre Lorde Project