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Why the trans community and allies must mobilize this election year

LGBTQ people allies mobilize vote election year

On Trans Day of Visibility, we celebrate the strides made and confront the challenges ahead, emphasizing the critical importance of the upcoming election for the trans community's rights and dignity.

As we mark Trans Day of Visibility, I pause to reflect on our remarkable progress as a community. While we are painfully reminded daily of the critical work ahead to advance trans rights, we have also made enormous strides thanks to the bravery of so many fearless advocates who have put everything on the line to fight for our dignity, safety, and collective power.

Members of the trans community now hold positions of power. We have more trans people coming out who live happy lives. We have fought for our rights repeatedly and counting more wins than ever. But with progress comes backlash. Each passing day seems to bring news of another anti-trans law or another tragedy of violence against a trans person. These moments of tragedy and triumph are a stark reminder that we have so much on the line, especially as we approach a critical election year.

LGBTQ people allies mobilize vote election yearShutterstock

As the November 2024 election nears, the idea of another Trump administration that fails to recognize our humanity on multiple fronts has many of us feeling apprehensive, myself included. Trump and Republicans are not just aiming to turn back the clock on our rights. Still, they are determined to undo all of the remarkable progress made by the Biden administration and Democrats.

Trump wants to reinstate the ban on all trans people from serving in the military, further increasing the recruitment crisis the military is facing, and punish doctors who provide evidence-based gender-affirming health care that endangers the lives of all trans-Americans. In addition to rolling back discrimination practices, Trump has also pledged to appoint more extreme MAGA loyalist judges to repeal all trans protection policies across all levels of government, undermining our bodily autonomy and invading our private personal lives.

That’s a stark contrast to President Biden. Democrats and President Biden look to the future with a vision of ensuring the rights of all Americans.

LGBTQ people allies mobilize vote election yearShutterstock

The Biden-Harris administration’s policies have made an enormous difference for trans communities across the nation – advocating for crucial measures such as allowing trans people to serve in the armed forces, outlawing gender-based discrimination for access to healthcare, housing, and employment, and providing legal protection for trans students, among other strides. In this term alone, Democrats have made a material difference in the lives of trans people nationwide, and for that, I am thankful.

We need more progress, which means four more years of the Biden-Harris administration.

As the Texas-born granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, a military veteran, and a queer trans woman, I feel deeply the stakes of the upcoming election. I know that the choice is abundantly clear for my family. I plan to support and cast votes for President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Democratic candidates up and down the ballot.

The trans community and allies must mobilize to turn people out this upcoming election. The difference between Democrats and Republicans is a matter of life and death for our community. We already face enough barriers to our existence now, and defeat is not an option.

LGBTQ people allies mobilize vote election yearShutterstock

On this Trans Day of Visibility, I urge the trans community and allies to register to vote, ensuring our visibility at the ballot box this November.

The trans community has shown the world the power of visibility. It is time to say loudly and clearly that our rights will not be taken quietly. We will remain united for our community and show what happens when trans rights are attacked. We stand up and FIGHT BACK!

Josie Caballero is a proud trans woman and Director of the U.S. Transgender Survey and Special Projects for the National Center for Transgender Equality. She is a Navy veteran who worked as a nuclear reactor operator on the USS Ronald Regan.

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Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, equalpride.

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Josie Caballero