Achieving our goal of transgender equality requires activism at the local, state and national levels. While NCTE focuses on federal policies, we strongly support and encourage the vital work of grassroots activists. This list features ideas for action that you can take at a local level. Some will be challenging, some will be simple; all are effective ideas and we will include links, resources and thoughts to help you get started. Some are things you can do on your own, while others are ideas for local groups to work on.
We hope that you will take on projects that spark your interest and that meet a need in your community as we work together for equality for all people.
You can print out our free poster of 52 Things You Can Do for Transgender Equality and put it on your wall where other people can see it and get inspired to take action of their own. Or, click on an idea here to details and find resources on how to accomplish each of these things. Or dinner, coffee or afternoon tea. Networking strengthens our activism and reminds us why we are doing this work, plus you might make a new friend.
What about the transman who volunteered at that event you went to—what about saying thanks to him? How about that college student from the genderqueer organization—seems like an interesting person? You get the idea. So, make plans this week to take a trans person to lunch. Libraries are an important source of information. Access to public libraries is free and open to everyone in the United States.
Therefore, it is important to have accurate and trans affirming books available when people seek them out.
Think of the students writing research papers, the people wondering if they might be trans, and the doctors and therapists who want to learn a little more about their trans patients, just to name a few. All kinds of people go to libraries. Help the librarians in your community or at your school include books that are useful to our community by suggesting titles or donating books. Think of books that have been especially helpful or interesting to you. For ideas of good books, check out the Trans Academics website and click on Publications. To find a library near you and for information on how to support your library, go to the American Library Association website.
Contact your local library and ask how you can submit a title for consideration or make a donation to the library to purchase a particular book or journal. Racism is damaging to our grassroots movement and to us as individual people. Trans people come from very diverse backgrounds—we come from all cultures, races, classes and groups.
Racism continues to fracture our nation … and transgender communities. Taking a strong stand against anything that may divide and weaken our community is one way to strengthen our activism. Attending an anti-racism training, and then putting into practice what you learn, can be a vital step in building a strong movement. We cannot create a world in which all people are honored treated with equality while disrespect and inequities of racism continue.
A good diversity training will not make you feel guilty or powerless; rather, it will give you tools to work with others who are different from you and help you better understand the world in which we all live.
Look for an anti-racism group that has a proven track record of positive work in your area. If you want to set up diversity training for your community group, ask for references from non-profits, religious groups, other community organizations or employers about successful programs that they have done. Some excellent places to start are:. The National Coalition Building Institute for anti-racism trainings.
The Conference for Community and Justice for anti-racism trainings. YWCAspecifically focused for women; online resources as well as links to local groups for trainings. Southern Poverty Law Center with excellent resources for individuals, parents and teachers, including informative articles, such as how to respond to bigoted remarks.
Go to an anti-racism training. Some of the ways you can work for transgender equality are easy while others are more challenging.
Our government is one that is of the people, by the people and for the people. Trans people have a right to run for office and the right to be well represented by our elected officials. Elected officials have an opportunity to be a part of the decision making mechanisms of our country. Transgender people have successfully run for office.
For example, Michelle Bruce, who is open about being intersex and transgender, currently serves on the City Council in Riverdale, Georgia. Other trans people have held office as well.
Running for office can be an important statement and a worthwhile experience. If you are interested in running for office, or in supporting those who do, an important resource is the Victory Fundwhich has endorsed and supported transgender candidates. They have had at least one transgender participant at each of the trainings that they have held in the past two years and see this as a very positive that more trans people will be running for office in the coming years. If you are even considering running for office or supporting someone who is, make sure you check out the trainings.
After all, they do represent you. Why not invite the mayor, a legislator, city council member or other elected official to address a trans group, conference or gathering? You can ask them to speak at an already scheduled event or create a special town meeting for them to speak as well as hear concerns from the community. If the elected official you are inviting has been supportive of transgender causes, consider how you might say thank you.
For example, consider giving a certificate of appreciation or an award. If your local politicians have not been supportive, think of ways to help them change their positions.
Use the opportunity to educate them about the discrimination that trans people face and helping them learn accurate and positive information about their trans constituents. You want to inspire them to be courageous and open minded when dealing with our issues. Remember, too, that people rarely change their positions because of direct confrontation; education works much better.
To invite an elected official, fax or mail a letter to their office, requesting their presence. State clearly who you are, what group you represent, what are you are asking from them, and briefly why you think their presence will be important. Be clear about whether you have a firm date in mind for example, if you would like them to speak at an already scheduled conference or a Day of Remembrance observance or if you are flexible about when this might take place. Be clear, too, about what you are asking for example, would you like the person to give a 15 minute speech or sit down for an hour strategy session with community leaders?
Give plenty of lead time before you want to hold the event and remember that politicians have very busy schedules. Follow up with a phone call about a week after their offices receive the letter. Polite and persistent follow up is the most effective. Be sure to publicize your event widely, both within our community Story WY ts escort, if appropriate, to the media. Be as thorough as you can be in your set up, making sure that there are microphones, if needed, bottled water, and so on. Deate one person to meet your guest at the door and escort her or him to the front, and make sure that someone is prepared to introduce the elected official and to moderate questions, if needed.
Afterwards, send a thank you note to the politician and to any staff member who helped you with the arrangements. That will help you establish an on-going relationship with them. Mainstream representations of trans-people are on the increase. Sympathetic representations by Hilary Swank, Felicity Huffman and other non-trans-people draw praise from trans and non-trans groups alike. As sympathetic as some of these representations may be, they still cannot have the immediacy, resonance and clarity of vision as work by trans artists can.
Why ask Maury…or even Felicity what it is like to be trans when you can go the source?
Plan an art show of works by trans artists and help further transgender equality. You can inspire your local community and give visibility to trans artists by holding an art show.
Ask local artists if they will help you identify a venue to hold the event and plan it. Make sure that you think about how to keep the art work safe. Publicize it well and consider holding a special event for the opening of the show. You can include widely varying types of art, including paintings, drawings, photography, sculpture, prints, film, spoken word and more.
Ever feel frustrated when you just heard about a great event that happened last weekend? Wonder how newcomers could be better served in finding out about community happenings? Want to show community members, politicians, funders and others all of the things that are going on in your area?
Create a calendar of all the transgender related events happening in your local community. That makes it much easier for people to find all of the events that might interest or help them and builds a sense of unity among the different groups.
Having this kind of information readily available makes things more convenient for everyone and provides newcomers with an easy way to get involved and informed. There are a of software programs available that can help you build a calendar for either print or a web. ZIP: 82842