We, the Board members of NSRAP, are angered and saddened by the recent influx of transmisogynist and transphobic hatred that has been expressed within local online networks. We increasingly live our lives online and transmisogynist and transphobic hatred expressed via the Internet is no less hurtful or harmful than experiencing hatred in person. These expressions of hatred have escalated since local Trans women and Trans femmes sought inclusion in a recent protest against the decision not to charge a local cab driver with sexual assault.
This behaviour is unacceptable and there is no place for transphobia or transmisogyny within our community or movements. Excluding Trans people as a whole, and Trans women and Trans femmes specifically, is neither radical nor is it feminist.
These expressions of hatred have included: knowingly and maliciously misgendering Trans people (specifically Trans women and Trans femmes), making disparaging remarks about Trans people (again specifically Trans women and Trans femmes), harassing local Trans community members and allies, threatening to expose the personal information of these same people (also called doxxing), and threats of physical violence. Local Trans women, Trans femmes, and allies have been pushing back against this transmisogyny and transphobia online since early January, and there is still a lot of work to do.
In addition to this rise of hatred from outside local Queer and Trans communities, we’ve seen internal conflicts escalate within our communities and within NSRAP. NSRAP acknowledges that members of our Board have participated in online discussions on these issues, at times expressing opinions that differ from each other. Online comments and statements made by Board members do not always represent NSRAP’s position as an organization.
NSRAP is committed to continuing our work to improve the lives of Trans people in Nova Scotia. In the past, NSRAP has fought for public coverage of gender affirming surgery, worked to make gender marker changes accessible, advocated for the introduction of non-binary gender makers on ID, provided training to local organizations on Trans inclusion and gender identity/expression, and organized events focused on addressing transphobia.
Recently, internal conflict has limited our organizational ability to be effectively responsive to the rise of transphobia and transmisogyny within and outside of our community. We are currently working to resolve internal conflicts arising from these issues so that we can better serve the communities we are elected to represent. In addition, we have the short-term goal of creating a public event that addresses some of the recent incidences of transmisogyny and transphobia that have affected our communities; we are committed to fostering an 2SLGBTQIA+ community that can effectively respond to this ongoing issue.
We also know that representation matters. After several recent resignations, the NSRAP Board currently does not have any members who identify as Trans women or substantial representation of people who identify as Trans femmes. We are committed to working to make the Board a safer place for Trans women and Trans femmes by: reaching out, and listening, to Trans women and Trans femme members of the community; educating ourselves and each other on issues of transmisogyny (specifically within 2SLGBTQIA+ communities); and attempting to examine and address any instances of transmisogyny within our own organization.
Trans women and Trans femme people have and continue to play a vital role in our communities and movements. Trans women and Trans femmes, especially Trans women and Trans femmes of colour, were instrumental to the riots and protests that led to the founding of the modern day, North American, movement for 2SLGBTQIA+ liberation. Locally, Trans women and Trans femmes have made invaluable contributions to this organization and our community as a whole.
NSRAP will be holding an Annual General Meeting this spring where a new Board will be elected and we especially encourage Trans women and Trans femmes to run for these positions. In the meantime, we will be working towards making the NSRAP Board a safer place for Trans women and Trans femmes, and encourage any community feedback or perspectives on how we can do this most effectively.
Trans women and Trans Femmes deserve to be valued, respected, included, heard, empowered, and celebrated. This is something we believe wholeheartedly as an organization, and we are committed to doing the work to ensure that that is the case.
-March 22, 2017