Trans women have historically been at the root of the women’s movement, whether recognized or not. From black and brown transwomen leading riots from Compton Cafeteria to Stonewall, it has been trans women who’ve put ourselves on the line for the liberation of all women, trans and not.
It is absolutely necessary that we uplift these victories and continue to show the power and resiliency that exists within our community in order to empower young trans girls and women. We need to be sure that generations after us know our histories, know where our power is, know what they are capable of.
Yet, it’s also important that we uplift the existences of those who we have lost their lives.
Six black trans women, alongside a seventh indigenous trans woman, have lost their lives in the first 60 days of 2017 as a result of hate violence, both rooted in racist and transphobic hate. This comes after what has been called one of the deadliest years for trans women based on 2016 stats. What’s worse, we know that those numbers most likely do not even reflect the true violence against trans girls and women because our identities are overlooked during the investigation and reporting of violent crimes against black and brown trans women.
Today, on International Women’s Day, women around the globe are recognizing our collective accomplishments throughout history. Locally in the United States, women have organized a general strike to show our country what it feels like to live ‘A Day Without A Woman’. As young trans women we need to insert ourselves into spaces that have historically benefited from our organizing and power, but have not always highlighted our contribution.
Today, we must reflect on what we’ve learned from powerhouses like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Miss Major, and we must raise our voices. We must hold cis women accountable. We must love ourselves so much that we will not settle to be silenced any longer, especially on a day that is meant to celebrate our very beings.
How many potential victories does our community miss out on when we continue to lose more lives each day?
On this day, remember that our foremothers were the ones to lead the revolution. It was the femmes before us who believed that we were strong enough to continue the work. So do that.
Organize, march to your own drum. Insert yourself in spaces, protect your hearts, and throw bricks!