Web Analytics Made Easy - Statcounter

Socialist Alternative fights for Trans Bill of Rights

Share this Post:
Photo by Cameron Martinez
Photo by Cameron Martinez

"We are ready to fight, healthcare is a human right," exclaimed those on the Socialist Alternative float at Seattle Pride. While most floats were dedicated celebrating Queer people in companies or social groups, the newspaper/political group Socialist Alternative chose to take a different route: protest.

"We are building a movement for a Trans Bill of Rights, including free gender-affirming health care for all, Medicare for all, social housing, and rent control, and then also fighting back against the anti-Trans attacks across the country," said Joan Wright, the organizer of the Socialist Alternative contingent at the Pride parade.

"We're marching in the parade to build the movement to put pressure on the political establishment here in Seattle that has done nothing ... to help renters."

Photo by Cameron Martinez  

The Socialist Alternative contingent put up posters around Seattle and ads on social media soliciting marchers who agree with its message of Trans rights and rent control. Approximately 50 people showed up; each was given a sign that laid out the values of the Trans Bill of Rights.

According to Wright, this is only the beginning of the fight, and there are plans for more marches and protests later. Walkouts protesting anti-Trans bills have also been brought to the table, since Socialist Alternative took notice of 200 Philadelphia students walking out of school in support of Trans rights in April.

"So, the Trans Bill of Rights is in response to the right-wing attacks that we've seen across the country," Wright said. "The right wing has been really targeting Trans and attacking Queer youth, denying them access to gender-affirming health care. Even now they're targeting adults' access to gender-affirming health care in several states. [They're] targeting Queer and Trans youth in schools ...banning them from school sports, even banning ...books ...that have to do with Queerness. And so really, this is like a big attack that's been gaining momentum throughout the year. And there hasn't been a nationally coordinated organization putting up a fight back."

Photo by Cameron Martinez  

Strategies for the movement
These anti-Trans policies are not popular among most working-class people, and Socialist Alternative makes a point of emphasizing that.

"Absolutely, this can be stopped," Wright said. "There are a few extremely right-wing people that are targeting Trans youth, but the majority of people do not support these policies and bills... So we're trying to point the way forward about ...what kind of movement ...large LGBTQ organizations should have: what kind of demands [and] what kind of what kind of fighting approach they should take to stop these plans."

In addition to the protests Socialist Alternative has been leading, its newspaper has also made a point of talking about the strategies used by ACT UP to speed research on and expand treatment for HIV/AIDS.

"In the fight to defend the rights of Trans people from an onslaught of right-wing legislation, the lessons of ACT UP are critical — that to win, we first have to get organized, and we have to take a direct, combative approach with the right wing. We have to make it impossible for them to conduct business as usual," wrote Greyson Van Arsedale.

"We're inviting people and asking people to come to our meetings," Wright said. "We're asking people to build a movement with us, [to] get involved. The only way that we win this isn't just by [being] a cheerleader on the [sidelines]... They need to come to meetings, they need to get involved here in Seattle, and similarly across the country... It's going to [inspire] strikes, occupations, [and] walkouts. We're pointing to the enormous power of student walkouts, and others across the country... But ultimately, ...every single person, every single oppressed person, every single working person should be joining us fighting [these] things...

"Trans rights are workers' rights, and workers' rights are trans rights, and ...we're all in this fight together as regular people and oppressed people."

Socialist Alternative has two upcoming rent control events: at 9:30 a.m. on June 30 at Seattle City Hall and at 6 p.m. on July 12 at All Pilgrims Church. If you or anyone you know is interested in joining Socialist Alternative, go to https://www.socialistalternative.org/get-involved