Starting Trans Activism around Abuse in Your Community

Publication Date: 
2010
Resource Origin: 
Springtide Resources

Join the Movement! Starting Trans Activism around Intimate Partner Abuse in your local community!

Those of us who live in large cities usually have some access to local trans activism and services. However, for many people, especially those living in smaller cities and rural communities, there may be little or no trans activism and services. Below we'll talk a bit about strategies to starting up local trans activism, or trans activism specific to intimate partner abuse.

First thing's first: meet some trans folks!

  • If you don't know anyone in your area yet, try going to your local University or college and looking up their LGBT student group, if they have one.
  • If there are any services or community centres for lesbians and gays, they might be able to put you into contact with some trans folks.
  • Call a few shelter and services for abused women, and ask if they have any trans employees or clients, and especially if they have any support groups for LGBT people.
  • Try to find out if there are any trans sex worker strolls or bars in your area. Trans sex workers are awesome at community organizing!
  • If none of this helps, try the internet! Setting up a website or putting ads on craigslist might be ways to reach out to the community.

Once you've linked up with some trans folks, try and arrange a community meeting. Let everyone know to come to the local cafe and chat with people about what kind of changes they'd like to see in their community to help trans folks. This can be a great way to generate ideas for activism. If no one has any ideas, share some of your own. Maybe you could contact local shelters and offer to help them become trans inclusive. Or you could do a postering campaign to raise awareness of trans issues.

Some trans folks might not feel comfortable talking about intimate partner abuse, or might feel that it isn't relevant to their lives. Intimate partner abuse affects all of us! Trans people are especially targetted for abuse in our relationships, and that's not ok. Only be joining together and saying NO can we hope to stop violence directed against our community!

Try to organize a local Transgender Day of Remembrance in November. This event is dedicated to remembering those trans people who have been murdered due to transphobia. At the event, it can help to reframe the discussion from hate crimes to intimate partner abuse and violence against sex workers and trans people of colour, since most of the murdered trans folks are murdered by people they are dating, or because they are trans sex workers of colour. This kind of reframing can really open people's eyes to the effects of intimate partner abuse (and sex worker-phobia, and racism) on our community.

If you need help organizing a Trans Day of Remembrance, approach a local feminist organization, women's shelter, or LGBT centre or group. You'd be surprised how willing people often are to help organize these kinds of events.

From there, it's up to you! Think about issues that are important to yourself and people you know. And then educate yourself about issues that affect people you don't know. Use these ideas to take your activism in new and exciting directions!

Resource developed by Morgan Page for T-GUAVA.

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