From President Donald Trump’s rollbacks of inclusive health care to his transgender military ban, the transgender community has been the target of violence and discrimination in the past year.
And at a time when the rights of these individuals are being threatened on a daily basis, the Berkeley community as a whole must stand up. Everyone is capable of perpetuating transphobia, and therefore, everyone must combat the culture that marginalizes transgender, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people.
All the pieces in this opinion section were written by transgender individuals and allies who are working to promote inclusivity. And this is only the beginning of the conversation to prioritize trans issues. We all have a responsibility to transform our communities into inclusive spaces for all individuals.
These are just six of the 20 transgender individuals who were killed in the last year — that we know of. For years, transgender individuals have faced severely high rates of violence, discrimination and hostility in all areas of life. If our community truly believes in creating a safe world for transgender people, transphobia must be called out and addressed in all spaces — big or small.
— The Editorial Board,
The Daily Californian
As a transmasculine person, bathrooms are one of the most uncomfortable places for me because my identity is not entirely male nor entirely female. When I face the question of entering the men’s or women’s bathroom, there’s no obvious answer. I feel frustrated when people say, “just use the bathroom that most aligns with your gender identity,” because there is no binary cisgender space I can safely occupy. It doesn’t matter to me if I am in the right bathroom because the strangers around me are the final judgment of my choice.
— Mack Davey,
Junior at UC Berkeley
Imagine having to hide a piece of yourself from those closest to you because you fear they won’t understand. Or even worse, that the piece may result in homelessness, violence and isolation. This is the unimaginable choice and emotional toll many transgender and gender-nonconforming, or TGNC, people face when discovering their gender identities.
— Leo Cuevas Ramos,
Somos Familia Leadership Council member
The Trump administration’s recent and ongoing actions to do away with protections for and legal recognition of people who do not identify with their medically assigned gender at birth, or who know their gender as nonbinary, are unacceptable and inhumane.
— Paola Bacchetta, Mel Chen, Minoo Moallem, Laura Nelson, Leslie Salzinger, Eric Stanley, Trinh Minh-ha,
Gender and Women Studies faculty members at UC Berkeley
Especially at this time of rising violence against trans and nonbinary people, it is imperative that communities of faith act as safe and welcoming spaces for these vulnerable folk who are also made in the image of God.
— Reverend Reverend Molly Baskette,
Senior minister at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley United Church of Christ
Starting at a young age, our work in schools across the country has found that open discussions and a focus on gender inclusivity lead students to a much deeper understanding of the complexity of gender. As a primary socializing agent, schools have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to be inclusive of all students, including transgender and other gender-diverse students.
— Joel Baum,
Senior director of professional development at Gender Spectrum