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When Trans Rights Are Under Attack, We Stand Up & Fight Back

A protestor waves a Pride flag over their head in Kansas City, MO, shouting "Protect Trans Lives."--Photo by Kimmy Igla

Transgender people have always existed despite all obstacles manufactured by oppressive structures of patriarchal white supremacy. In recent weeks, anti-LGBT bigotry has run rampant across 47 states through 474 bills introduced; Kansas introducing 13 bills, and Missouri 48, according to the ACLU tracker linked below.

Every attack throughout history on the dignity and liberty of trans folks has culminated to this: Shamelessly hateful and maliciously ignorant rhetoric being amplified in our government, flooded with harmful disinformation. Activists and supporters organized rallies to raise awareness of the attacks being strategically orchestrated in our legislative offices. Missouri in particular being the only state to attempt banning gender affirming care for adults as well as children.

Kimmy Igla outside Missouri Representative Emanuel Cleaver II’s office in Washington DC,
representing Alliance for Nuclear Accountability.
Photo by Luisa Olarte

My name is Kimmy, I’m a white cisgender queer woman, and I’ve joined the board of PeaceWorks as co-chair of communications this last spring. I’m looking forward to engaging other young people in the fight against nuclear impact in our country–in particular the targeted harm done to BIPOC communities, millions of our tax dollars going toward the Department of Energy’s mismanagement of nuclear waste and weapons production on every level– I have a lot to learn from advocates that have been fighting for a livable world over the decades, and I see a bright collaborative future ahead.

PeaceWorks KC throughout its existence has supported the collaboration of organizers to create the world we deserve, and works to heal the negative impacts of American imperialism and colonialism through education, advocacy and community partnerships. However, I noticed PeaceWorks had no published stance on LGBT issues. Being a supporter of human rights on the sidelines isn’t enough, especially as cisgender people. And just like we voice our dissent against war mongers overseas, we need to be using our voice against these elected officials waging an unconstitutional war on trans and queer Americans in our own state. 

Transgender people, specifically trans women of color have been bearing the weight of this fight for far too long. It’s time we stand united, in solidarity for our siblings whose rights are being threatened. 

I’ve been researching, reading through the historical context of the fight for trans rights, listening to podcasts from trans folks as well as allies, and attending rallies organized by ACLU, PROMO, KC Transformations, PFLAG, City of Fountains Sisters, and more. I’ve had heart-opening conversations, learned a lot by listening and got a glimpse into the boots-on-the-ground organizing in our MO state capitol building.

I will be sharing what I’ve seen in KCMO & Jefferson City in a multi-part series that covers the origins of disinformation surrounding trans individuals, the outright maliciousness of the bills being introduced (plus what we can do about it,) and also how we can best support our trans siblings, including mutual aid resources for the most marginalized communities.

ACLU offers the useful resource to track anti-LGBT bills by state where you can read the details of each bill, and also offers specific ways you can speak out against the oppressive legislation being introduced across the country, no matter where you are a constituent. 

You can click on each of the 47 included states to learn more. I encourage you to utilize this as a resource to stay informed and up to date.

I would like to hear from you: what about this topic resonates with you? Are you in touch with your local trans community? Has all the news surrounding these bills been disheartening to you? Perhaps confusing? I’d like to know where our PWKC community is on this journey.

This is a safe space to ask questions, I’m here and happy to have this conversation with you. Please reach out to me, sending an email to PeaceWorksKC@gmail.com with any questions or comments. I will be personally responding to you, and your patience is appreciated.

More installments including video content coming soon. For now, here are some phenomenal Missouri organizations that are tirelessly working to protect trans rights. Please support them monetarily, or otherwise– any way you can.

Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG) based out of Saint Louis, MO is a mutual aid center offering support groups, a catalog of resources and a memorial garden, which serves to honor lives lost and celebrate those thriving.
https://www.stlmetrotrans.org

Transformations is a grassroots organization formed by and for trans women of color, creating space for necessary conversations, and offering programs that specifically empower black and brown trans youth and femmes of color. These groups have been systematically marginalized; it’s important that we are vocal about our support for their existence and thriving. Beyond using your voice, please consider donating to their fundraiser during this crucial time.
https://transformationskc.org/

PROMO has been organizing for equal rights in Missouri for queer folks since the 80s. Partnering with ACLU they have been battling anti-trans legislation in court and fighting for the rights of trans kids to grow up, and be themselves.
https://promoonline.org/

Over 700 supporters gathered in front of the Missouri capitol building to stand in support of trans Missourians,
and to voice their dissent against anti-trans legislation.
Photo by Kimmy Igla

“Every single trans kid deserves to grow up. Every single Trans adult deserves to grow old. Every single trans elder deserves to be celebrated, and that is what they’re afraid of in there. When they fight for radical erasure, we fight back with radical existence; with radical community.”
–Ben Greene, Educator & Activist, speaking on the steps of the Missouri capitol.
https://www.bgtranstalks.com/

“I’d really encourage all allies: find out who your friends are who do not know about this is happening. We need more allies. Are we gonna keep expecting trans people and trans youth to fight these battles?”

-Michaela Joy Kraemer, Interim Executive Director of Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG)


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