It’s pretty obvious that trans people need our help these days, so I suggest we update our acronym to TLGBQ as a show of support.
When I was in college in the early 90’s, I was still a few years away from coming out as gay, but I did notice when the campus’ main gay organization changed its name from the GLA (Gay & Lesbian Association) to the LGBC (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Coalition). They felt like the group was becoming too exclusive, and they wanted to make lesbians and bisexuals feel more welcome.
It was the right idea, but looking back now, it’s glaring that even in the reshuffling, the letter “T” didn’t find its way in there at the time. It’s only recently that T has become a permanent fixture of LGBTQ. I won’t go into the debate about whether transgender rights should be considered part of gay rights. As far as I’m concerned, it’s settled. They should be, and they are, and if you disagree, you can go form your own movement, because there’s no room for transphobia in mine.
Let’s remember who fought back at Stonewall. Some of the most prominent protesters were transgender women like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. The L’s, G’s and B’s of that period in history, in most cases, were happy to blend in or live in the shadows or the closet. Trans people, on the other hand, refused to or couldn’t fit in, and at some point, they’d had it with being abused and marginalized. As far as I’m concerned, we’re lucky they let us join their movement.
And what have us cisgender LGBQ’s done to thank them and show them our support? Well, at some point, we tacked a “T” onto our acronym and started including them in our nondiscrimination laws.
It’s not enough.
Especially today, when trans rights are under attack, we need to do everything we can to let transgender people know we have their backs and we’re going to fight for them the way they’ve always fought for us.
It’s disgusting that Donald Trump has taken away protections for trans students. There’s no question what this shameful move will do to trans kids across the country:
It will kill them.
It will drive more trans students toward suicide suicide and embolden bullies to attack them even more than they already do. We’ve seen how the anti-Semitism in Trump’s administration has led to a rise in anti-Semitic harassment (which Trump refuses to adequately condemn).
The same goes for Muslims and immigrants, who this administration has come after as well. There’s no doubt that an increase in transphobic attacks is on the horizon.
And then which group is next?
Would any of us be surprised if it’s the rest of the LGBTQ community?
Still, it’s clear which members of our community they’ve chosen to attack first, who they consider the most vulnerable and the easiest to defeat. Let’s not give them any impression that trans rights are in any way an afterthought to our movement. Let’s put our trans allies right up front.
Sure, the people who already make fun of our cumbersome acronym will have a field day.
They’ll do all the publicity for us, and we can focus on calling our representatives to support TLGBQ rights and fighting the government in court.
Start using it now.
Do it to thank the trans community for giving birth to the movement.
Do it because they need our support.
Do it to show the bullies in our government that if they want to come for trans rights, they’re going to have to go through all of us, and we’re going to stand together and fight like Hell.