We are amidst a striking reactionary backlash targeting 2 Spirit, trans, and non-binary people, drag performers, and broader 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
With a rise of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric across the globe matched with legislative violence such as Uganda’s Anti-Homophobia Bill and a host of other bills targeting gender-affirming healthcare in the U.S., 2SLGBTQ+ lives are at risk. We must unite in solidarity with global LGBTQ+ communities as they fight back for their safety and futures.
The movement for 2SLGBTQ+ liberation is centered on the fact that we have a right to self-expression and bodily autonomy. Against staggering odds and at incredible risk, we have always fought against the erasure of our lives, the silencing of our voices, and the criminalization of our love, identity, expression and very existence. To see anti-2SLGBTQ+ extremists put a new spin on the ignorant vulgar tropes and dehumanizing language that has been used against us for decades is not surprising. To see them gain traction in unprecedented ways is a crystal-clear reminder that we must act now.
In our city and country, and across the world, 2SLGBTQ+ people are showing up on the front lines of movements, actively fighting for our rights, safety, and well-being to be safeguarded. We honour all those who are doing this difficult but important work every day.
Make no mistake: this growth in anti-2SLGBTQ+ radicalism is not something that came out of thin air. It is a coordinated effort across many fringe – and not so fringe – groups that are intently focused on denying the reality that trans people exist, putting us back in the closet, and making sure that women, racialized communities, and other marginalized groups are halted in the pursuit of justice and equity.
So much of their rhetoric hides behind the illusion that they are just trying to “protect children”. 2SLGBTQ+ people know what it takes to protect children. We know what it feels like to grow up in families where being our true, authentic selves means being disowned. We know what it means to be in a classroom and the sense of panic sets in when the teacher divides the group into boys and girls. As parents, we know the sharp hotness and intake of breath and sense of dread that takes over when we are in public with our families and someone makes a hateful comment. We fear for our safety, and the safety of our children, our lovers, our siblings, our chosen family every day. No one deserves to have to live with that crippling fear.