Over 465 Feminist Leaders Sign GLAAD's and Raquel Willis' Open Letter to Support Transgender Women and Girls on Transgender Day of Visibility

Tonja Renée Stidhum
·3 min read
Raquel Willis, left, Regina King, Halle Berry, Gabrielle Union, Janelle Monáe, Laverne Cox, Cynthia Erivo and Lena Waithe.
Raquel Willis, left, Regina King, Halle Berry, Gabrielle Union, Janelle Monáe, Laverne Cox, Cynthia Erivo and Lena Waithe.

It is March 31, which means we’re here to celebrate and honor International Transgender Day of Visibility. The annual event is to celebrate “the accomplishments of transgender and gender nonconforming people while raising awareness of the work that still needs to be done to achieve trans justice.”

GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, has partnered up with writer-activist and 2020 The Root 100 honoree Raquel Willis to organize an open letter to “ to raise awareness about the ongoing anti-transgender violence, legislation, misinformation, and rhetoric targeting trans women and girls” in a display of solidarity in honor of Women’s History Month and Transgender Day of Visibility. At the time of this blog’s posting, the letter has been signed by over 465 feminist leaders in advocacy, business, entertainment, media, politics and social justice...and still counting!

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“We all must fight against the unnecessary and unethical barriers placed on trans women and girls by lawmakers and those who co-opt the feminist label in the name of division and hatred. Our feminism must be unapologetically expansive so that we can leave the door open for future generations,” the letter reads.

Regina King, Halle Berry, Gabrielle Union, Janelle Monáe, Laverne Cox, Cynthia Erivo, Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, Lena Waithe, New York Attorney General Letitia James, MJ Rodriguez, Amiyah Scott and Tiffany Boone were among the notable Black women who signed the letter—just to name a few! Because again, we’re talking over 465 names! It’s a beautiful thing to see.

At least 11 transgender people (most of whom were Black and Latinx) have been murdered so far in 2021 according to NBC News and the further political discrimination of the trans community was recently in the news when the state of Arkansas decided to pass a bill banning gender-affirming care for trans youth.

“It is time for the long history of assaults (legislative, physical, social, and verbal) against trans women and girls to end,” the letter continues. “For far too long, lawmakers have worked to strip trans women of their civil liberties—in 2021, once again, we’ve seen a wave of bigoted governmental policies and legislation. Many of these laws target the rights of girls to play school sports or criminalize doctors for treating trans youth and their families. The women’s movement has seen doctors targeted before for providing us with necessary medical care and services, and we refuse to let youth endure that now.”

Message! We’re sure we’ll see even more of this type of support during this year’s GLAAD Media Awards, which will take place on April 8.

To read the full letter, head to glaad.org. Plus, this moment is interactive! So if you’d like to join the signatories in supporting transgender women and girls, you can sign the letter here.