Chicago DSA stands unequivocally in support of the trans community’s right to exist and thrive amid a recent uptick of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, policies, and violence across the country. While much of the focus has been on transphobia in southern states, Chicago recently saw the loss of two Black trans women, Elise Malary and Tatiana Labelle. A trans comrade from DSA’s Metro D.C. chapter was recently harassed and filmed while riding the Metro. Media figures and “TERFs” (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) who often consider themselves liberal have become hyper-fixated on issues related to trans children, trans women in public bathrooms, and trans women in sports. Transphobia is not just confined to red states or even the right wing—it’s right here at our doorstep.
Our trans siblings often bear the brunt of working class repression. Trans people experience higher rates of poverty as well as unemployment and workplace discrimination. In a country with an already deeply corrupt and impossible-to-navigate privatized healthcare system, trans people face significant financial, social, and structural barriers to healthcare while having specific healthcare needs, including high rates of mental health issues and suicidal ideation—especially among LGBTQ+ youth—as a result of society’s commonplace villainization.
Recent attacks on LGBTQ+ rights and abortion rights are both immediate dangers and also foreshadowing bigger fights to come; this kind of hateful rhetoric is historically a feature of rising fascism and used to limit the horizon of political discourse. Anti-queer panic has been a staple of the right-wing in America for decades, from anti-LGBTQ+ laws to homophobia being intrinsic to the government’s non-response to public health issues (most infamously in the HIV/AIDS crisis).
Many trans, nonbinary, and LGBTQ+ comrades call Chicago DSA their political home and carry the work of our socialist project. We stand in solidarity with these comrades as we fight for a world where all of our needs are met—and that means all of our trans siblings’ needs being met, as with all groups pushed to the margins. An injury to one is an injury to all, and these hateful attacks are deliberate divisions of the working class that distract attention from the ruling class’ refusal to address the needs of ordinary working people.