Race within the Trans Community: Conversation + Resources
This post is for people of all races and backgrounds, as systemic oppression and white supremacy impacts every single one of us– whether you experience racial oppression or racial privilege.
While trans folks all share the reality of being marginalized because of their gender & identity, racism still plays a role in dynamics- white supremacy impacts every single one of us. So it is important to have conversations and bring awareness to the fact that one marginalized identity does not absolve a person from holding power or privilege and causing harm to others.
Ways Racism Can Show Up in the Trans Community
Racism can appear in a range of ways, from the socialized structure and society at large to person-to-person dynamics stemming from a lack of awareness of the power associated with whiteness or intentional discrimination.
The following examples outline some of the ways this can show up in the trans community:
All white leadership in the Trans community.
Events and offerings that do not center People of the Global Majority as decision-makers, speakers, performers, and presenters.
The ability of white trans folks having an easier time finding culturally competent doctors than Black trans folks.
Similarly, BIPOC folks facing more barriers to essential medications, testing, and healthcare, in general.
Overt racism and exclusion of Trans BIPOC folks.
A lack of awareness demonstrated by white trans activists and advocates of the complexities of how white supremacy is impacting their peers of color.
Dear white readers,
I invite you to sit with the examples I’ve outlined. Consider how you feel when you read each sentence. How does your body react to each sentence? Consider your breath, blood, and any areas of tension, and get curious about your reaction. We tend to avoid things that feel uncomfortable out of a natural survival instinct, but invite you to explore any feelings of discomfort you may have noticed as you read. Reflect on the ways you’ve experienced, taken part in, and been complicit in situations like these.
To my readers who are Black, Indigenous, People of Color,
I also invite you to pause and notice what’s come up in your body. Take time to tend to your nervous system as needed.
This grounding practice is a tool for you to use as you move through this. Additionally, if you are QTBIPOC, check out the list of resources below.
We Need Accomplices, Not Allies
There is work to be done by the white folks in the trans community. That work is both internal and external, and it requires action. Trans People of the Global Majority do not need white trans people telling them how sorry they are that things aren’t equitable; they need white trans people showing up for racial justice just as much as trans liberation. If you are unsure where to start, check out the resources listed below, find an accountability partner, and get started.
Resources for BIPOC Trans Folks
Black Trans Liberation aims to end homelessness within the trans population by providing access and resources from community partners that empower and celebrate the TGNC community.
Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC) was created to cultivate economic opportunities and affirming spaces for trans people of color and their families.
The Black Embodiment Initiative is a unique space for Black people to explore what is possible in our lives and relationships when we are more embodied.
Resources for White Trans Folks
Why We Need to Talk about Racialized Trauma and Healing is an article I wrote that is helpful for folks of all races.
I offer a range of Diversity and Inclusion trainings for folks and organizations who are ready to move from ally to accomplice. Check them out and inquire here!
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (and all of his other books, too!)
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Keep Showing Up
The Birth Neoterist is a space for talking about justice, healing, and liberation, and we will keep showing up and advocating for the trans community of the Global Majority.
Feel free to share other resources related to unlearning whiteness and racial healing in the comments below. Additionally, if you have any related efforts you’d like to share with the community, please link them below.
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