We write to you in grief and rage. The past few weeks have seen devastating assaults on the most oppressed members of trans communities. Three more young Black trans women were murdered: Claire Legato, Michelle “Tamika” Washington and Muhlaysia Booker, with Booker being killed just weeks after surviving a brutal attack that was filmed and shared online.
Yet the Trump administration continues their attempts to legalize transphobia. Last Wednesday, the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed a new rule that, if made final, would permit homeless shelters to refuse access to trans individuals based on the shelter’s religious beliefs. The proposed rule would also allow shelters to force trans women and femmes to share quarters with men.* And Friday, the Trump Administration proposed a rule sanctioning discrimination by healthcare providers and insurers and rolling back the Health Care Rights Law. The rule, which is not yet final, threatens trans people’s access to all forms of healthcare.**
These cruel and inhumane attacks target the most vulnerable members of trans communities—trans people of color. They come at a time when more than a third of transgender Americans face mistreatment or denial of services when seeking healthcare, and trans people of color continue to experience epidemic rates of homelessness, poverty and violence.***
The Trump administration is trying to erase trans communities from healthcare, schools, housing, employment, bathrooms — from life. These proposed changes are an attempt to write trans, nonbinary and intersex people out of civil rights law, blocking our access to basic needs and exposing us to more deadly violence.
In this time of struggle, we offer this art created made by Amir Khadar, a young Black trans femme artist, in collaboration with Forward Together and TGI Justice Project. Amir states: “As TGNC people there are very few systems that successfully defend us from acts violence, so we have to make our own…These three Sisters/Non-conformers/Goddexxes are standing as one joined by hair and hands as they face a storm. They are armed and ready to keep each other safe by any means…”
At times like these, when they try to erase us from laws and policies, art and culture are especially critical to our resistance. Here are two things you can do as acts of resistance:
- Share this art. May the art be balm for your spirit and fire for our resistance.
- Support our trans people of color-led sibling organizations, like TGI Justice Project, Familia Trans Queer Liberation Movement, BreakOUT!, SNaPCo, Transgender Law Center, Gender Justice LA, LaGender Inc., API Equality, Trans Queer Pueblo, and more.
They can never take away our power to imagine each other into the world. There is no way to erase the beauty and power of trans resistance.
We see you, we celebrate you and we will fight for you.
Artist in Residence