‘We must protect our trans comrades’

The following remarks were presented at the Nov. 19, 2021, Trans Day of Remembrance event held by SAGE — Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders — at their New York City headquarters. One year later, to the day, an anti-LGBTQ+ bigot massacred five and injured 18 patrons of the Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

My dearest comrades in struggle, 

As you all know, we have made significant progress in many ways. However, what has become a danger to our community is the increasing prospective anti-trans legislation on the agenda in 17 states, much of it fueled by the bigotry of reactionary politicians and the comments of some so-called “comedians” in the media on Netflix and others.

Oh, sure, we hear them whining about First Amendment rights.

Historically, we know, first are the jokes which lead to a climate of violence, which has caused the murder of countless trans people, especially trans people of color. We must protect our trans comrades from these racist, transphobic attacks.

Which leads me to this question, does the free speech of fascistic elements have priority over the very right of any oppressed community or people’s right to exist?

We must respond to these attacks on our community with a variety of options. Whether it be writing letters, rallies, demonstrations or even the possibility of civil disobedience, we must do all that we must do in the spirit of all those who sacrificed everything for our freedom.

Renée Imperato

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Renée Imperato

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