Speech by Virginia Martin, the Program Coordinator of the Women’s Center & LGBT Center, at the Trans* Day of Remembrance 2012:
“Trans liberation and feminism have had a rocky past. As someone who identifies as a cis-gender, queer feminist, I feel obligated to acknowledge that feminists have not always embraced trans and gender variant people and there are still essential feminists today who feel that trans identities are invalid or harmful to the social justice movement. Those of us standing here know that that is a dangerous line of thinking, but it is important to talk about openly so we can move past these previous injustices and learn how to be the best allies we can be.
“I know that I can not speak for all feminists nor queer cis gender women, but I would still like offer an apology. An apology for minimizing, denying, and exploiting trans identities for political purposes. An apology for excluding trans and gender variant folks from festivals and queer affirming spaces. And most importantly, an apology for not fighting harder. Trans people are harassed, denied medical care and legal recognition, assaulted and killed – often by the very people who are supposed to be protecting them – and the queer movement has done very little to stop these horrific events from taking place.
“Trans liberation is essential to all our liberation, and all of us, especially queer people, should be fighting on behalf of our trans community.
“I am honored that I was asked to speak here tonight. I am continually amazed by the strength, creativity and resiliency of trans and gender variant people both here at Ohio University and in the world at large. Someone said to me recently “most cis people suck.” And I have to agree – most cis people do suck. We have a long road of education, confronting internal biases, and advocacy ahead of us, but hopefully, day by day, we can begin to suck a little less.”