Earlier this semester we organized a Rally for Trans and Queer Justice in response to the violence that many in the trans and queer communities are experiencing. It was inspired by rallies calling for justice following the aftermath of ongoing events at Ferguson and the tragic death of Eric Gardner. As I read articles about the rallies and participated in some of the rallies here in Athens, I became aware that the lives of trans and queer people were not receiving attention despite the many alarming (but overlooked) reports involving trans women of color being murdered in the United States. I do not want to undermine the #blacklivesmatter movement or the conversations connected to how the black community is treated and mistreated by systems of oppression that permeate all levels of society; however, I do not want these conversations to overshadow the lives lost due to violence in all its forms targeted towards trans and queer communities. In our chanting and call for justice we must also include #translivesmatter … it is not about replacing or undermining or getting caught up in who is more oppressed, but coming together to ensure that #ALLlivesmatter in our rallying and ranting and writing.
Below is the reflection I shared at the rally.
Saludos a todas y todos…My name is delfin and I am trans and queer person of color. On behalf of the center and all involved in making today happen, thank your for your presence!
Today, we rally, rant, rave, and chant NOT ONE MORE! Today, we rally, rant, rave, and chant to break the silence.
As trans people our lives, voices, bodies, and experiences have been forgotten, neglected, and silenced. Today we roar…NOT ONE MORE!
Queer and Trans people are victims and survivors of all forms of violence. We have experienced and we are surviving…
- Violence such as living in Ohio, one of 29 states where we can be fired for being and/or being perceived as LGBT
- Violence such as having to navigate a campus segregated by gender, where our pronouns and names are misused and abused … a campus and community where finding a safe restroom to use is an everyday challenge
- Violence such as suicide…40-50% of suicides are attempted and/or completed by LGB youth with rates being higher for trans youth
- The violence of conversion therapy and reparative therapy
- The violence that erases the lives and experiences of Asexuals due to misunderstandings of romantic and emotional attraction
- Violence reflected in that trans women are at higher risk of sexual assault than cisgender women…the rates being much higher for trans women of color
- The violence of having to be diagnosed with a disorder in order to live into and be who we are
- The violence of our lives, bodies, experiences, and voices being silenced, erased, and pushed to the side
In December, 17 year old Leelah Alcorn completed suicide. In her note she challenged us to fix society…It is in her honor and in the honor of many many many more that we gather today to fix society and to fix society now!
Just this month, 3 black trans women were murdered: Ms Edwards, Lamia Beard, and Ty Underwood. In Colorado a queer identified youth, Jessie, was the victim of homicide perpetrated by the police force. In our own state of Ohio, 4 trans women of color have been murdered…these are story the stories that we’ve heard through the media…there are many more that go unreported and untold.
Research shows that 67% of victims of anti-LGBT violence are trans women of color…research shows that 30 to possible 70% of homeless youth identify as LGBT. Many of the names read at Trans Day of Remembrance last November were of Latina women.
Where is our national outcry? Where are the occupies and the national organizing? Where are the programs ensuring that those silenced are not forgotten? We here today, we are breaking this silence…We roar NOT ONE MORE!
Yes we want equality, yes we want legal protections, yes we want healthcare…more importantly, we want the simple yet radical act of being recognized and affirmed as people. We want to know at our core that our lives, bodies, voices, and experiences are affirmed…we want to know that we matter.
Today, people will share their stories of struggle and resilience. We have folks who have volunteered to share and we also welcome for folks gathered here to share.
Today, tomorrow, and every day, we will break the silence…we will rally, rant, rave, and chant until the violence stops!
Not one more murder…Not one more suicide…Not one more silencing…Not one more, period!
¡Muchas gracias! ¡Viva la revolucion!
Some chants shared at the rally shared here for your use at other rallies…
The People United Will Never Be Defeated
Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Transphobia’s Got To Go
This is What Democracy looks Like
Trans lives taken – shut it down! Not one more life – shut it down! The whole damn system – shut it down!
We’re here, we’re trans, we’re fabulous, don’t fuck with us
When trans people are under attack, what do we do, stand up, fight back
Whose streets? Our streets! Trans rights now
delfin bautista is a member of the CTA National Board of Directors; delfin is also a member of Dignity’s Young Adult Caucus and is co-chair for Dignity’s Trans Caucus. delfin currently serves as the Director of the LGBT Center at Ohio University. delfin “preaches” on their own blog “Mi Lucha, Mi Pulpito” and is a contributor to the Young Adult Catholic Blog and to Believe Out Loud.