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Celebs, Feminists Stand in Solidarity With Trans Women & Girls


Leaders in advocacy, business, entertainment, media, politics, and social justice have signed on to an open letter for Transgender Day of Visibility and Women's History Month.

Nearly 500 feminist leaders in advocacy, business, entertainment, media, politics, and social justice -- including Pride Media, the parent company of The Advocate -- have signed on to an open letter supporting transgender and nonbinary people.

The letter, spearheaded by GLAAD and trans activist Raquel Willis, former executive editor of Out magazine, was released today to coincide with Transgender Day of Visibility and the final day of Women's History Month. It comes at a time when the rights of trans people are under attack, with legislation in states across the nation seeking to keep trans females out of girls' and women's sports, deny gender-affirming health care to trans youth, or oppress trans and nonbinary people in other ways.

"Trans women and girls have been an integral part of the fight for gender liberation," the letter reads. "We uphold that truth and denounce the ongoing anti-transgender rhetoric and efforts we witness in various industries.

"We acknowledge with clarity and strength that transgender women are women and that transgender girls are girls. And we believe that honoring the diversity of women's experiences is a strength, not a detriment to the feminist cause. All of us deserve the same access, freedoms, and opportunities. We deserve equal access to education, employment, healthcare, housing, recreation, and public accommodations. And we must respect each person's right to bodily autonomy and self-determination."

The letter notes that many of those behind political attacks on trans people, particularly the trans-exclusionary sports bills, are claiming to support women and feminism. But these "self-identified feminists ... have been promoting damaging and violent ideas about trans people for years in the United States and internationally," the letter continues. "Their vitriol is, in fact, not feminist at all. True feminists do not wish to limit any woman's identity or freedom to fully be herself. Allowing transphobic rhetoric to go unchecked also strengthens the legislative efforts of anti-trans politicians -- who now cloak their bigotry in language about protecting or supporting women."

The document also points out the widespread violence against trans and nonbinary people, with 44 known to have been killed in the U.S. alone last year and most of the victims being Black or Latinx women.

It goes on to note that certain women have been excluded from the feminist movement for various reasons, but the movement's history has largely been one of expansion. It includes a quote from Black lesbian feminist writer Audre Lorde: "I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own."

"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," the letter concludes. "Our feminism must be unapologetically expansive so that we can leave the door open for future generations."

Signatories include leaders from the worlds of politics and activism, such as Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Chelsea Clinton, Annise Parker, Gloria Steinem, Cecile Richards, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Sarah Kate Ellis, and Joan Nestle; entertainment, such as Cheryl Dunye, Julianne Moore, Halle Berry, Rosie Perez, Melissa Etheridge, Lilly Singh, and Tegan and Sara; journalism and publishing, such as Pride Media CEO Diane Anderson-Minshall, Advocate Editor in Chief Tracy E. Gilchrist, and author and New York Times columnist Jennifer Finney Boylan; sports, such as Megan Rapinoe; and many other fields.

Organizations are also represented, including Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Black Futures Lab, Brave Space Alliance, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National LGBTQ Task Force, PFLAG National, Planned Parenthood, Transgender Law Center, the Trevor Project, and more.

Go here to see the full letter and list of signatories or add your signature.

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