Dear HRC: Let’s talk about allyship

This week, leadership from the Human Rights Campaign announced a sweeping proposal to reshift the organization and allocate attention and funding toward work for transgender and non-binary communities. The plan outlined intentions to build economic power, leadership, legislative protections and public education to the benefit of our people.The announcement was paired with self-reflection from the organization recognizing its history of trans-exclusion in their movement building.

On November 16, 2018, the National Trans Youth Council published the TRUTH Nine-Point Platform which outlined a list of intersecting social justice issues we proclaimed to be central toward any fight for liberation. We took a bold move because we know the journey “toward justice for transgender people must be lead by transgender people.”

We invite our comrades, accomplices and allies to join us; this is the ninth and final point of our platform. We know that the fight for gender justice is generations in the making and every benchmark in this fight has been won by impacted communities and their supporters.

But allyship cannot look like this.  The initaives that fill HRC’s new strategy mirror the decades of work already in full-swing by national trans and nonbinary leaders. As a team of youth organizers, we encourage ourselves to work from a model of abundance in which there can never be too many resources. Yet, it is counterproductive for HRC to assume the front facing leadership role when community members have been laying the groundwork since before the organization’s inception.

What we need from the largest LGBT organization is not to do the work for us, but to support the work trans organizers are leading.

TRUTH, a collaborative project between GSA Network and Transgender Law Center, launched in 2014 to uplift the voices of transgender and gendernonconforming young people who were at the frontlines of trans liberation, and shift narratives about our lives and experiences. Now in its fourth year, TRUTH has more than 50 past and present members from over 25 states. TRUTH’s annual GSA Day 4 Gender Justice is November 16, 2019. Follow and support our work via ourtranstruth.org and on social media via @ourtranstruth.

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