A Conversation on LQBTQIA+ and Gender Identity in Conflict Resolution

By Melanie Rowen

For this Pride month, I had the opportunity to converse in a video with CUC’s Kayla Hellal about my own background as a queer person and attorney in the LGBTQ+ movement. I feel strongly that all of us need to look inward to investigate our relationship to gender, and in our conversation I mostly talked about that part of my own lens on the world. But conversations and actions towards inclusion of LGBTQ+ people really need to center the leadership of and solutions offered by the most marginalized queer communities, especially Black and Indigenous trans women, disabled folks, youth and elders and sex workers. 

Here are just a few ways to learn about some of the work being done by queer and trans communities right now:

The Trans Agenda for Liberation is the product of a collaborative process by BIPOC-led trans organizations around the United States of America. As the document explains, “Trans justice is migrant justice, disability justice, racial justice, environmental justice, reproductive justice, economic justice and gender justice. An agenda for trans liberation is a blueprint for liberation for all.” It also asks us to consider, “What would it mean for our communities to have the tools to respond to violence in our homes through healing and collective accountability? What if we had the resources to take care of each other, including our youth & elders?”

Trans youth are facing a historic number of state legislative bills targeting their access to health care and sports—part of the racialized policy push across the USA that also includes voter suppression and heightened policing. Trans youth have been organizing to protect themselves alongside trans adults, with little outside support. This story featuring Jazz Jennings, a young trans woman who has been covered extensively in the national media since she came out at age six, provides helpful context on the current wave of anti-trans legislation.

The No Justice, No Pride campaign is reminding institutions such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that public statements about inclusion during Pride month stand in sharp contrast to the pattern of abuse and denial of medical care in immigration detention for queer, HIV+ and trans people fleeing violence. The #EndTransDetention campaign is demanding that President Biden and the Department of Homeland Security stop the detention of trans people, as well as anyone living with HIV or other critical medical conditions.

Imara Jones is bringing us better LGBTQ+ storytelling in media.

Raquel Willis has compiled this list of Black, trans-led organizations and initiatives.