Today, GLAAD released an open letter signed by over 465 feminist leaders in advocacy, business, entertainment, media, politics, and social justice standing in solidarity with transgender women and girls in honor of Women’s History Month and Transgender Day of Visibility, which takes place today. The letter, organized by GLAAD and Raquel Willis, comes in response to the ongoing hateful and discriminatory rhetoric and attacks facing trans people, especially trans women, and represents a clear and loud statement of solidarity between cisgender women, trans women, and feminist allies.
To read the full letter and an updating list of signatories, click here. The list of signatories as of March 31, 2021 can also be found below. GLAAD is welcoming other women and non-binary people to support the letter by signing on here.
Notable signatories of the letter include Gloria Steinem, Regina King, Halle Berry, Selena Gomez, Chelsea Clinton, Gabrielle Union, Bella Hadid, Janelle Monáe, Anna Wintour, Patricia Arquette, Laverne Cox, Julianne Moore, Megan Rapinoe, Brie Larson, Cynthia Erivo, Wanda Sykes, Judith Light, Amy Schumer, Kathryn Hahn, Eva Longoria, Cara Delevingne, Senator Sarah McBride, NY Attorney General Letitia James, Alicia Garza, Mayim Bialik, Lena Waithe, Sarah Paulson, Alison Brie, Alyssa Milano, Lilly Singh, Ilana Glazer, America Ferrera, Mj Rodriguez, Kat Graham, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Geena Rocero, Miss Peppermint, Tegan & Sara, Beanie Feldstein, Barbara Smith, Melissa Etheridge, Ashlyn Harris & Ali Krieger, Lena Dunham, Trace Lysette, Amiyah Scott, Tatiana Maslany, Tess Holliday, Alyson Stoner, Ariadne Getty, Sarah Kate Ellis, Jennifer Finney Boylan, Lindsay Peoples-Wagner, Andrea Jenkins, Alana Mayo, Charlotte Clymer, Blair Imani, Daniella Carter, and many others. Leaders from national women’s organizations including Time’s Up, Me Too Movement, Women’s March, Planned Parenthood, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, Ms. Foundation, 3% Movement, National Women’s Law Center, and others are among signatories. Leaders from national LGBTQ organizations including GLAAD, The Trevor Project, LGBTQ Task Force, GLSEN, PFLAG National, LGBTQ Victory Fund, LGBTQ Victory Institute, Athlete Ally, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Transgender Law Center, Lesbians Who Tech, and others are also among signatories.
Signatories of the letter are speaking up as, with, and for transgender and nonbinary people to raise awareness about the ongoing anti-transgender violence, legislation, misinformation, and rhetoric targeting trans women and girls. The letter reads, in part: “It is time for the long history of assaults (legislative, physical, social, and verbal) against trans women and girls to end. For far too long, lawmakers have worked to strip trans women of their civil liberties—in 2021, once again, we’ve seen a wave of bigoted governmental policies and legislation. Many of these laws target the rights of girls to play school sports or criminalize doctors for treating trans youth and their families. The women’s movement has seen doctors targeted before for providing us with necessary medical care and services, and we refuse to let youth endure that now.”
The letter continues: “We all must fight against the unnecessary and unethical barriers placed on trans women and girls by lawmakers and those who co-opt the feminist label in the name of division and hatred. Our feminism must be unapologetically expansive so that we can leave the door open for future generations.”
So far in 2021, state and federal lawmakers have introduced dozens of state bills to restrict the rights of trans women, people, and youth, most notably in terms of education, healthcare, and sports. On Monday, the Arkansas Senate passed a bill banning access to healthcare for trans youth. If the bill is signed into law by Governor Asa Hutchinson, it will be the first of its kind in the United States. Governor Hutchinson recently signed SB354 into law, banning trans kids from playing sports, despite recognition from lawmakers that there has been no instance of trans participation being an issue in their state, similar to dozens of other states around the country proposing bans. Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee have also all passed laws banning trans youth from playing sports.
Further, at least eleven murders of mostly Black and Latinx transgender people have been reported in these first months of 2021, continuing a trend of violence that made last year the deadliest on record.
The open letter released today notes that women athletes at both the professional and college levels have previously spoken out in support of trans inclusion in sports. Earlier this month, GLAAD and Athlete Ally, in partnership with runners Aliya Schenck and Alana Boja from Washington University in St. Louis, released a letter from over 545 NCAA student athletes calling for the NCAA to uphold its nondiscrimination policy and publicly refuse to host championships in states with bans against trans athletes.