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Our Fight Is Not Over

Saving Transgender and Gender Diverse Lives

As a transmasculine and genderqueer person, I’ve noticed a staggering increase in acceptance of my communities. This of course depends on your location, but widely people have started accepting pronouns and using gender-neutral language. This small win for our community has blinded society to the fact that transphobia is still hitting our communities hard. In what ways do we still see transphobia? In murder, legislation and hatred for being who we are.

Between 2018-2021, 1,667 transgender and gender diverse people died worldwide, a majority from violence. Every year since 2018 has become the new “deadliest year” on record for transgender and gender diverse people in the United States. In 2018 the number was 37 and last year that number increased 105% to 76 deaths. In the first 59 days of this year 61 deaths have occurred across the globe, 49 of those from violence.

In the United States, there are currently 129 anti-transgender bills across 33 states. This doesn’t include direct orders like that of Governer Greg Abbot who on February 22, 2022, informed Texas Family and Protective Services that gender confirmation measures for transgender youth are considered child abuse. These bills primarily target transgender and gender diverse youth and aim to keep them out of sports, obligating school officials to out them to their parents or consider supportive parents as child abusers.

How are these bills going to affect our trans youth? The Trevor Project’s 2021 LGBTQ+ Mental Health Survey states that over 50% of transgender and non-binary youth considered suicide in 2021. In line with the horrendous legislation we’re seeing, 94% of survey respondents said that the recent political atmosphere has affected their mental health. The survey also found that for those who had their pronouns respected suicide rates dropped by half. Lower rates of suicide attempts were also seen in those who had the ability to change their name and/or gender marker on legal documents. This means halting or reversing these appalling bills could literally save lives.

We greatly appreciate all our allies and those who have openly accepted our communities. However, our strides made with pronoun and name change usage does not mean we are safe and free. Our communities, especially our youth, are under attack. We need to fight back and make our voices heard. Over 400 deaths, mostly due to violence, per year is unacceptable. Our existence is not a political question. Trans Rights Are Human Rights

Join a transgender and gender diverse coalition working to socially and politically organize around transgender and gender diverse rights. Email callumcintron@rethinkingcommunity.com

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