Trans people are not a minority, we have become minoritized. There are actually many trans people who cannot express themselves today because of rejection & violence. How then can you look at us — we who had to compromise safety for authenticity — & call us a minority? We just don’t know. Trans politics then is about fighting for the unknown, for the people who one day might.

While the memo especially affects trans & intersex people, this is not just a “trans issue.” We all— regardless of our identity —deserve the right to determine who we are. We all deserve to be trusted for our own experiences, not other people’s assumptions. This gives more power to the doctors & the state to dictate your identity. 
Even if you accept the gender & sex you were assigned at birth, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have been consulted in that decision. You deserve the right to come into your womanhood, manhood, non binary existence on your own terms. We deserve autonomy of our own bodies. Resisting this memo is about fighting for self-determination.

Pigeonholing this as just a “minority issue” underplays what’s going on. This is a historic pattern where trans issues get sidelined because we are seen as insignificant — at a distance, always apart. Trans & intersex people will be particularly devastated by this memo, but I also reject a solidarity that does the work of stabilizing sex & gender categories as fixed (which is antithetical to intersex & gender non-conforming lives). We are not just fighting for “trans rights,” we are fighting for the recognition that gender & sex are fluid. At the end of the day all of us have the potential to change our genders. Life circumstances can shift the way that we understand ourselves & that should be celebrated, not condemned.

To our non-trans allies: Are you only supporting us from a distance, or would you embrace your transness if it gifted your life? Do you recognize how we are intertwined with your own liberation? Until you recognize your own stakes in this we will never get free. Why do you fear the very things that have the potential to set you free?

support the author