November 9, 2016 — In response to the results of the 2016 U.S. election, Transgender Law Center executive director Kris Hayashi issued the following statement:
“Today, we are facing a devastating reality. A demagogue who has pledged to destroy our communities and campaigned on open and enthusiastic contempt for our lives – as transgender people, as people of color, as people of different faiths and abilities and citizenship status – has been elected to the highest office in our country.
It is a heavy moment. But it is a moment we can and must move through together. This election, while it is a shock that will reshape world politics, is not a complete aberration. It has only laid bare the power that white supremacy holds over this country and has held since its founding. It is a stark illustration of the racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, anti-Semitism, ableism, transphobia, and all of the other violent and oppressive fears embedded in our systems of power – systems that we have resisted and organized against for centuries.
As trans and gender nonconforming people we are resilient, we know how to fight for ourselves, our families, and our communities, and we know how to keep each other safe. Before all of our legal and policy wins, we took care of each other and we fought for our rights and for justice. This is not a moment to underestimate ourselves; this is a moment to remember our strength and lessons from our trans and gender nonconforming elders. We have been and must keep doing the difficult work of surviving and fighting for liberation.
Heavy as this moment is, we are not starting from scratch. We have transgender and gender nonconforming leaders doing this work in every state. And at Transgender Law Center, we have long been committed to building up the strength and capacity of our communities even as we fight for policy, legal, and culture shifts. That is why all of our programs and strategies prioritize developing robust leadership and strength across our communities and movements, rather than relying on the status quo. Now more than ever, this moment calls on all people who care about justice to find new ways to partner, work in coalition, and build across differences.
It is unthinkably cruel that we who have survived so much hatred and violence woke up this morning to a society further emboldened to target and demean us. But we are resilient. We are brilliant and beautiful and powerful. We have a legacy of fierce trans leaders whose work we build on. We will continue our work of fighting for liberation, and I believe that we will win.”