We are Ignite, a communist youth group, calling all revolutionary young people to participate in the annual Trans Day of Action on June 28th, 2pm at the Christopher Street Pier. We recognize that the struggles of transgender and gender non-conforming people deeply connect with the systems we want to dismantle: capitalism-imperialism, patriarchy, national oppression, and white supremacy.
Transgender people bear the most brutal exploitation and violence. They face oppression in the family, homelessness, police brutality, mass incarceration, unemployment, economic exploitation, lack of access to quality medical care, physical and sexual violence, and commodification on a daily basis. Last year, 40% of gay and lesbian workers faced discrimination on the job, whereas 90% of trans workers faced discrimination, with almost half of them facing extreme hardship, such as losing employment due to gender identity discrimination. Of all anti-queer homicides, 53% were trans women and 73% were people of color/oppressed nationality.
In the education system the capitalist institution breeds the same gender binary system. Even at the university level it is apparent that women and gender studies are constantly neglected by being threatened to be removed or the university keeps it at a program status blocking women and gender studies from becoming full fledged departments. People are generally uneducated on the role of gender in capitalist society and this in turn helps to further push the existence of transgender people on the fringe. In CUNY it is rare to find gender neutral bathrooms, courses about transgender people, or many organizations that are actively politicizing transgender issues on the campuses.
This brutal oppression originates from patriarchal notions of gender, which have its economic roots in the domination of surplus value by cis men, the oppression of women at the hands of those men, and the establishment of patrilineal family models. Cis, male, and heterosexual supremacists are determined to maintain the gender binary in all possible ways, which means using ideological and material methods to justify trans oppression. Thus, violent reaction to trans people goes hand in hand with the beliefs that trans people are not “natural,” that subverting gender and sexual norms are abhorrent, and that queer people as a whole are “abnormal.”
The overthrow of cis supremacy and trans oppression goes hand in hand with the abolishment of patriarchy, gender essentialism, heterosexism, national oppression, white supremacy, and capitalism-imperialism and the establishment of communism. We strive to live in a world free of the contradictions of class society, where people can determine their own gender identity, have access to quality health care if they choose hormonal replacement therapy and/or sexual reassignment surgery, where people will be respected whether among loved ones or strangers, where people can relate to each other in whatever relationship they determine. We aim to this new world which knows no exploitation, abuse, violence, or discrimination, a world whose equal citizens, as Engels imagined, “will care precious little what anybody today thinks they ought to do; they will make their own practice and their corresponding public opinion about the practice of each individual,” through the establishment of a socialist state and successive, ever deepening cultural revolutions. We know that all oppressed peoples, especially those seeking to smash cis supremacy, have a monumental role to play.
Ignite is committed to the idea that gender liberation is not simply beneficial to trans people and cis women—it is desirable and necessary for all. We call for you to march with us on June 28, 2013 for the Trans Day of Action. Trans people, all people, will be free!