Where were you?
As a white trans man, I have seen firsthand how there is an imbalance of power and privilege within the confines of our own community. Too often do I see, specifically, white trans men leverage their power and privilege for their own benefit, instead of using it to empower, support, and protect those among us who don't have any.
On Saturday, September 28, the first-ever National Trans Visibility March was held in Washington DC.
The march, which was organized by our transgender siblings of color drew an estimated 3,000 – 4,000 people. But where were you?
Where were you when we said the names of the trans women of color who have been murdered this year?
Where were you as we marched down Pennsylvania Avenue chanting "stop killing our girls" at the top of our lungs?
Where were you as we took each other hand in hand, and wiped tears from the faces of our sisters and brothers?
You are the ones who start businesses in the name of being transgender.
Your clothing companies, and your magazines, and your fitness Instagram pages citing that trans visibility is important. But where were you when it came time to be visible TOGETHER with our brothers and sisters who may not have had a chance to be visible until the march?
You are the first ones to attend events like the Philly Trans Health Conference, posing for pictures and marketing your overpriced items that most of our brothers and sisters can't even afford. But when it came time to stand in solidarity with our community, at the first-ever National March for Trans Visibility, equality, and rights, you weren't there.
I am beyond disappointed.
I am beyond angry.
I am beyond tired.
Tired of you watching you leverage your power and privilege only for personal gain, rather than watching you use it to empower, support, love, and protect our transgender brothers and sisters who are most deeply marginalized. You say that you are an "advocate" but your actions show otherwise. You call yourself an "ally" for everyone in our community, but your actions show otherwise.
The next time a transgender woman of color is murdered, where will you be?
The next time we march on the streets of DC, where will you be?
The next time a fellow brother or sister messages you for advice, or encouragement, or help, but they can't afford to purchase a $30 T-shirt where will you be?
Stop using your status as a transgender man to get you social media followers, and product sales. Start using it for our community. Start using it to stand against the forces that align against our most oppressed sisters and brothers. Until you do, don't call yourself an advocate or an ally. Until you do, you are part of the problem.