“what didn’t you do to bury me but you forgot i was a seed”
— Dinos Christianopoulos, 1978
Yesterday, the New York Times reported that “the Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a governmentwide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law.” If such a definition were adopted, as the NYT’s headline suggests, “‘transgender’ could be defined out of existence.”
There is no doubt that this policy could cause incredible harm to transgender, genderqueer, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people across the country. We can, and must, do everything in our power to resist the Administration’s attack on the rights and protections of trans people. (For a list of actions you can take right now to prevent this odious attack from happening, see the list below this letter).
But, let us be clear:
Our Unitarian Universalist faith is uncompromising in its understanding of the sacredness of all people–no exceptions. No matter how harmful bigoted policies and government practices may be, they cannot define who is a human being. No policy can strip any person of the inherent worth and dignity–the un-negotiable Belovedness–with which every single person is endowed from the moment we are born to the moment we draw our last breath. No policy can strip human beings of the inborn agency to define ourselves, express ourselves, and know ourselves as sacred creations worthy of love and community. Every single one of us–including and especially trans people–deserves not just to survive, but to thrive and flourish.
In the coming days, there will be calls to action, and I hope we will all take turns showing up to defend ourselves and our communities against the undeniable consequences of policies like these. And, as we do, may we all be reminded that we are indeed all Beloved, all worthy of love, all sacred creations of a Love that knows us and holds us and will never let us go.
In faith and struggle,
Rev. Ashley Horan, Executive Director
What We Can Do Now
The following are some ways we can care for transgender, non-binary, genderqueer and gender non-conforming people in the wake of the leaked memo from the Trump administration.
- If you are a trans/nb/gq/gnc person, reach out for support and affirmation and shared grieving. Take care of yourself in ways that remind you of your belovedness. Organize and resist if it gives you energy; hole up and turn off the news and the notifications if that’s what you need. Your survival and your well-being are essential to all of us. Reach out to the Trans Lifeline (hotline: 877-565-8860) or other resources if you are struggling.
- Donate to organizations run by and for trans people. Some suggestions include the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition (this is a fabulous local organization providing life-giving, life-saving services to the trans community in MN!), BreakOUT, TGI Justice Project (TGIJP), Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP), Audre Lorde Project, Casa Ruby LGBT Community Center, FIERCE!, TransLatin@ Coalition, Trans Lifeline, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Southerners On New Ground, and the Transgender Law Center.
- Work hard to ensure that all politicians we elect this November 6 will fight for trans rights. Check out OutFront Minnesota’s list of endorsed candidates here. Get out and doorknock, text, or phonebank for pro-trans candidates until the election.
- Educate yourselves about the ways in which transphobia intersects with and is powerfully upheld by white supremacy. Trans people, specifically trans women of color (including living teachers here in Minnesota like CeCe McDonald and Andrea Jenkins), have always been the foremost teachers and prophets about intersecting systems of oppression, and have also served as the models who have fiercely resisted, rioted, and reimagined what collective liberation can look like.