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More Than 450 Feminist Leaders Call Out Transphobia, TERFS With GLAAD

Sarah Paulson, Janelle Monae, Ali Krieger, Mj Rodriguez in quad.

“Trans women and girls have been an integral part of the fight for gender liberation,” a new open letter put out by GLAAD today reads. “We uphold that truth and denounce the ongoing anti-transgender rhetoric and efforts we witness in various industries.”

In honor of Trans Day of Visibility today, and the last day of Women’s History Month, GLAAD has brought together over 190 signatories, including cis and trans celebs, athletes, activists, journalists, social justice organizations, companies and other public figures to sign an open letter of support to all trans women and girls.

“We acknowledge with clarity and strength that transgender women are women and that transgender girls are girls,” the letter reads. “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.”

After addressing the wave of anti-trans bills and sports and healthcare bans, the letter moves onto addressing TERFs.

“These bigoted efforts are also aided by a contingent of self-identified feminists, who have been promoting damaging and violent ideas about trans people for years in the United States and internationally,” the letter reads. 

“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,” it continues.

Signatories include actors like Alison Brie, America Ferrera, Beanie Feldstein, Brie Larson, Cara Delevingne, Cynthia Erivo, Halle Berry, Ilana Glazer, Jenny Slate, Julianne Moore, Lena Dunham, Lena Waithe, Regina King, Nathasha Lyonne, Sarah Paulson, Gabrielle Union, Tatiana Maslany, and Uzo Aduba. Cultural figures including Anna Wintour, Bella Hadid, Chelsea Clinton, Cheryl Dunye, Gloria Steinem, Lilly Singh, Melissa Etheridge, Megan Rapinoe, Janelle Monae, Selena Gomez, and Tegan and Sara, signed as well. They’re joined by trans women who are in the spotlight, including Raquel Willis, Amiyah Scott, Geena Rocero, Laverne Cox, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Mj Rodriguez, Munroe Bergdorf, Sarah McBride, and Trace Lysette.

These individuals are joined by organizations like Black and Pink, Inc. Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, GLAAD, GLSEN, Go Magazine!, For the Gworls, Outsports, PFLAG National, Planned Parenthood, Pride Media (of which Out is a part), the LGBTQ Victory Fund, Lesbians Who Tech and Allies, The Okra Project, The Women’s March, The Trans Lifeline, Universal Music Group, The Trevor Project, and The transgender Law Center.

Now, more than ever this kind of solidarity is needed. At least 44 trans people were killed violently last year, and this year, over 80 anti-trans bills have been proposed in the United States. Even as trans visibility rises, so do attacks against us. The more allies who are willing to stand up and be accomplices to trans women, the better we can face those attacks and win.

As the letter says, “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. Our feminism must be unapologetically expansive so that we can leave the door open for future generations.”

RELATED: 19 Powerful Portraits from the National Trans Visibility March

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