Trans* issues are inherently feminist issues. Yet somehow, this is a controversial statement. It bewilders me to think that other feminists disagree. When people are calling Caitlyn Jenner a man, refusing to include trans* individuals in popular media, or beating and killing trans women of color: how can we as feminists stand by and do nothing? How can we separate our trans* friends and families from our movement?
Is it not gender violence when the victim goes against society’s standards for what it means to be a man or a woman? Trans* issues lie at the very heart of feminism because they truly demonstrate what it means to be gendered in our society. They show us just how much hatred and stigma society has to offer to people who disregard the petty rules of gender.
Trans* people dare to be different. They dare to stand up to the assumptions that have flooded our minds since birth. They are the living proof that what we are born as should not define us. Should not limit us in who we are and what we can do.
Trans* issues are feminist issues people are continuously bullying trans* people and our governments refuse to help, when cis LGB people question the validity of trans* identities, and because our society has decided that they are ‘sick’ and need treatment. Because 41% of trans* people have attempted suicide and that number only rises when taking into account of things such as bullying, physical harassment or sexual harassment. 90% of trans* people say they have experienced workplace discrimination.
Sound familiar? Remember when feminism fought for government protection for women or how women were treated as sick when they acted outside of societies expectations? Or how feminism still fights for workplace equality? Trans* issues and feminist issues are not only the same in form but same from their source. They stem from people holding onto bigoted views and deem others as ‘lesser’. They stem from patriarchy.
Trans* issues are feminist issues because there are still so many feminists who deny that trans* women are women. Who mock and jeer at them as ‘men trying to infiltrate women culture’. Feminism has sadly contributed - and still does contribute - to the culture of abuse and discrimination of trans* communities. That needs to change.
Let me repeat again – trans* issues are feminist issues. Too often are people left out of the feminist movement and its time to start recognizing that feminism is for all of us. Feminism can help everybody and we need to actively shape it to include everyone.