The SF LGBT Center Supports the Transgender Community

The past few weeks have been difficult for many of us. For most of us.

It seems as though, every day, there is a new attack on human rights and human lives. The Jewish community, immigrants, people of color, voters, and transgender people - the attacks are merciless. From physical violence and murder to the threat of stripping rights and human dignities, it’s a sad, confusing, enraging, and dangerous time.

As you may know, recently, the Trump administration suggested trying to write transgender people out of existence by attempting to establish that a person’s sex “male or female” be determined by the genitals that a person is born with.

“Transgender people are frightened,” says Sarah Warbelow, the legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, in this New York Times article. “At every step where the administration has had the choice, they’ve opted to turn their back on transgender people.”

Jason Rafferty, a pediatrician and the lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement on transgender youth, “fears that with this new definition, medical research on transgender issues would be rolled back,” as stated in this The Atlantic article.

In light of these recent attacks on our community, the SF LGBT Center staff members wanted to share their words of support for the transgender community.

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“This is a tumultuous time for our nation and our community. To our trans community members please know that we are with you, we know that those of us who are cisgender must commit and recommit to be the strongest, fiercest allies possible. We know that we must volunteer, donate and take action like never before, because an injustice to you or any part of our community can never be tolerated. Trans and gender expansive people have risked their lives for our collective liberation since the beginning of our movement. These individuals, many of them black, brown, poor in income but rich in passion, were brave enough to rise up at Compton’s Cafeteria here in San Francisco, three years prior to Stonewall.

Our movement would be nowhere without those braves souls. We work on their shoulders so that we, and future generations of LGBTQ+ people, can thrive and live out our dreams. We will never forget those contributions and we will always be grounded in that spirit.

Today, 40+ years after the dawn of our movement, as you are so blatantly attacked and your history and your present is attempted to be erased, we’re here to say to the world NO WAY. We are with you, and we will do everything in our power and strength to call out this injustice and face this adversity, together.  Community has always gotten us through challenges we’ve faced, it’s never been more important.”

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"The deepest and ugliest foundations of our country have been surfaced, and the most vulnerable are being targeted more than they ever have. If there is one thing that I know, it's that the people we serve are some of the strongest, and most resilient people I know. I get to see first hand what beauty and strength trans, Black, and immigrant community members are capable of. May we protect each other and hold each other more tightly than ever and may each of us that have the privilege of being safe through these attacks use our privilege to protect and lift up those that need it most. To all of my trans family: we love you. You have a home here. Please seek your community and know that you aren't alone."

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“Just in the past week I’ve seen so much fear and hurt coming from my community in response to this news. Not because it’s necessarily the worst attack on trans rights we’ve seen under this administration – it’s a memo, not an executive order, and while it lays the groundwork for future attacks it by itself does relatively little – but because it is indicative of the beliefs of the administration and makes real in a way we had hoped to ignore, the fact that they really and truly wish that we did not exist.

There’s a popular transphobic attack line that goes, “gender dysphoria is in the DSM, therefore it’s a mental illness, therefore all trans people are Mentally Ill,” which fundamentally misunderstands the point of the DSM as just a bunch of descriptions of circumstances that could affect your mental health and also includes things like depression, low income and exposure to violence, or erectile dysfunction. But gender dysphoria does contribute to mental health – in the simplest terms it’s basically a curable depression – and that’s why gender affirmation is so important. Because the treatment to this depression is having our experienced gender be validated. Trans people make up between 0.3-0.7% of the national population, and as much as 2.5% of the population of SF, as one of the smallest and most marginalized communities under the LGBTQQIA umbrella we still often have difficulty finding communities of other trans people, especially trans PoC.

We can’t go form a separatist nation somewhere (believe me, we’ve considered it!), but the US is rapidly becoming unlivable for us. Take care of your trans friends, because the longer this administration goes on, the more scared we get.”

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“The Trump Administration’s despicable attempt to erase trans and gender nonconforming people is a callous act aimed at attacking our community—but we are stronger than that. We know that trans and GNC community members are not only valuable, beautiful, and resilient, but have also been paving the way for decades, demanding respect and recognition for our entire LGBTQ+ community. The SF LGBT Center is here for our TGNC community members—providing everything from employment services to housing counseling to youth programs. As long as there are those who seek to tear us down, the Center will be here providing support and welcoming with open arms every community member who walks through our doors.”

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“I 100% stand by the Trans community, not just during times like this, but everyday. However, it is especially crucial, during times like these, that allies step up and not stay silent. If you choose to be silent you're choosing to be complicit in violence towards trans people. Check your racist, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic (etc. etc.) family, friends, acquaintances, etc. even if it's uncomfortable. And, most importantly sending lots of love to our trans brother and sisters.”

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"I think the Trans/GNC Community needs to hear supportive and affirming words from LGBT community organizations on the regular!"

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Transgender people have been facing discrimination and injustice for years, and that is why the SF LGBT Center, and its programs and services supporting trans youth and trans adults, is so important, especially at this time.  Let’s lean on each other, as a community, and vow to fight for each other. Now is the time to stand up, speak up, volunteer, donate, and of course, vote.

Attend the November 3 Bay Area Transgender Visibility Celebration and Get Out the Vote Rally! Saturday, November 3, in front of Oakland City Hall (1 FRANK H. OGAWA PLAZA – TAKE BART to OAKLAND 12th STREET STATION) Noon-3pm. 

From the organizer: “This celebration will include groups such as health care providers, parent groups, religious organizations, youth groups, LGBT centers, law centers, adult support groups, college organizations, employee resource groups, legislators, and advocacy groups like Out & Equal ... and more. There will also be featured speakers!”

If you need support, please call the Center at 415-865-5555, visit the welcome desk at the Center, or email info@sfcenter.org. Our Information & Referral resources are available online as well at http://www.sfcenter.org/resources.

And, the Center is open as a polling location.

Vote like your rights depend on it.



(Image: Ted Eytan/Flickr

Contact Person: 
Judi Baker