The inaugural edition of The Trans 100 list provides an opportunity to meet a diversity of individuals working to make society a welcoming place for people of all gender identities and expressions. Organizers hope that the list will change the narrative around trans people and highlight the “serious, difficult work that is too often overlooked, too often ignored, neither sexy nor glittery nor fun enough to warrant people seeing it.”
Co-Director Toni D’orsay writes, “I am a strong proponent of empowerment, of providing recognition to others, and of creating tools and systems that enable us, as a community, to come together and celebrate the infnite variety and spectacle of what it means to be a trans person.”
From Forging the Future, the keynote essay by Monika Mhz:
15 years ago being trans in America felt so different to me. While I can hardly fathom that its been that long, it has still been a relatively short time in the context of social justice and civil rights. It’s not at the threats to our economic, social, and living freedom are absent or mitigated now — especially against trans women of color or with disabilities. No, those experiences are lived daily. It’s not that historical oppression and marginalization is a thing of the past, or that police brutality, rape, gendered violence, and hate crimes are gone — even from my own life. Those experiences are the reason why men and women just like myself have begun inviting the world into our lives and hoping to create change in our lives and in the most marginalized lives among us.
What is different, in 2013, is that we are on the precipice of great changes in our movement, great changes that finally are beginning to uplift our voices more than ever before. This change that we’ve seen in the last three years is no accident, this change is created by each and every one of us who have found the bravery to call out and be counted as part of the trans caucus. To call out and say, “yes I am trans” has begun as a rallying cry and has made it harder and harder to ignore us categorically as a class…
I live for a future where we use our fantastic might, spirit, and love of life to create our own change. I live for a future where we don’t suffocate in our own oppression and we rise up above the clouds to claim a spot along with all our brothers and sisters in the land of freedom and plenty. The future is positive, affirmative, and love. And only we can do this ourselves. We cannot wait for the rest of society to hand us the key to our social justice. We must forge the key ourselves with love — forged in our states, and cities, neighborhoods, and homes. We must advocate for ourselves affirmatively — not through making a negative case against those who do it incorrectly — and bring about our positive vision for a nation with liberty and justice for all.
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