PRIDE 2020: Moving Toward Liberation
During this Pride month, we are called to remember that the 1969 riots at Stonewall Inn were a protest led by Transgender and Gender Diverse (TGD) Women and Femmes who said “enough is enough” to police brutality and systemic violence. We honor the role that Black and Brown TGD activists have played in fighting for LGBTQ+ rights and spaces to exist, out and proud, in community. People like Marsha P. Johnson, a Black Transgender Woman, and Sylvia Rivera, a Puerto Rican and Venezuelan Transgender Woman, who were known not only for their part in the Stonewall Inn protest against police brutality, but also for their generosity, love of community, and tireless activism for homeless transgender youth. We hold them with us, and countless others who have fought for generations against systems that have tried to erase the realities of our gender diversity and of our lives. We hold their resilience, their determination, and their strength. We remember that their work, often in the form of protests, has paved the way for us to live with Pride.
We say the names of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Tony McDade, a Black transman who was brutally killed by the police on May 27th. We grieve. We are outraged.
We join in solidarity with the community building, activism, organizing, and protests against white supremacist institutions and violence that have for too long led to the killing of members of Black communities. We join in solidarity with Black Transgender, Gender Nonbinary, and Gender Diverse members of our community who have been harmed by anti-Black, colonial, patriarchal, homophobic, and transphobic systems. These systems have not provided protection from acts of violence and have led to lives being taken.
We know we don’t always get it right. As a team, we are on a collective journey of understanding and addressing the ways that we are complicit with systemic oppression. We also acknowledge the disparate impact of this oppression on members of our team who identify as Queer & Trans Black, Indigenous, People of Color (QTBIPOC). We are actively evaluating our policies and procedures and holding ourselves accountable to continually improving access to quality and affirming care for our BIPOC Transgender and Gender Diverse students.
We are reaffirming our commitment to our BIPOC Transgender and Gender Diverse students in these ways:
Self Evaluation. Continued internal evaluation of the medical and mental health establishments under which we work. This includes keeping conscious the history of barriers to care that have been erected for QTBIPOC individuals, and the legacies of these barriers which exist today.
Collaboration. Creating increased opportunities for input and feedback from students and community partners so we can listen, learn, and collaborate in the creation of the care you need and deserve. This includes inviting QTBIPOC student representation on our UHS Transgender Care Team.
Advocacy. Continued advocacy at the national, state, and local levels for the elimination of barriers to care, including continued work with the Student Health Insurance Plan for increased medical and mental health benefits.
To our Black Trans and Gender Diverse students, we see you and join you in solidarity and the pursuit of justice and liberation. If you or anyone you know is in need of support or care at this time, please contact one of our CAPS Trans Care counselors at (510) 642-9494 or one of our UHS Trans Care Medical Providers. We look forward to hearing from you.
In community and solidarity,
Your UHS Transgender Care Team