Connecticut Voice

Your LGBTQ+ Voice

No “LGB” Without the “T”

It is frustrating, alarming, sad, and more than a little scary that this still needs to be said in 2024, but here we go, once again, for the record:

Trans. Rights. Are. Human. Rights.

Some so-called “leaders” throughout the country have decided that the trans community—including gender non-conforming, non-binary and intersex folks—make an easy target as political pawns in their hate-filled culture wars. Which is why it is more important than ever for the entire LGBTQ+ community and our allies to stand up boldly on behalf of the entire trans family.

Simply stated, there is no LGB without the T. We are one family.

Do not for a second delude yourself into thinking that this latest attack on the trans community is “not your fight.” Ignoring transphobia does not make cisgender queer people any safer. Already your favorite drag queens are being targeted in places like Tennessee and Arizona. Legislators in Iowa this year proposed a ban on same-sex marriage. And Florida’s now infamous “Don’t Say Gay” law has spawned copycat legislation in more than a dozen other states.

They are coming for all of us. Look at the ominous historical precedents. The Weimar Republic was one of the most accepting political climates in recorded history. It took but a few, short years for the Nazis to take power. And where did they begin? The offices of Magnus Hirschfeld, renowned sexologist whose Institute for Sexual Science supported the rights of sexual and gender minorities, most notably the trans community. The historic parallels to today are dark indeed. Rev. Martin Niemoller famously stated of the progressive inaction during the Holocaust, “Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.”

We cannot allow passivity and apathy to define our future. It is incumbent and imperative for all of us to stand up for the trans community because it is the right thing to do. While those who seek to marginalize the TGNCNBI community attempt to position it as a recent phenomenon, trans folks have existed since the beginning of time, just like the rest of the LGBTQIA+ rainbow. The time for us to act as a community is now.

Intersectionality is more than just an intellectual buzzword when it comes to our civil rights movement. It means that an attack on reproductive autonomy is an attack on trans men and bisexual women, for example. It means that Black LGBTQ+ Lives Matter, too.

For us at the Leonard Litz LGBTQ+ Foundation, it means whether you identify as transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary, intersex or anywhere on the rainbow spectrum, we stand with you—today, tomorrow, and always.

Last year, we were pleased to announce the launch of the Leonard Litz TransPLUS initiative. In response to the unprecedented challenges facing transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary, and intersex (“TGNCNBI”) members of the LGBTQ+ community, the program is providing support for organizations and individuals whose work focuses on those most impacted in this current environment.

As we all continue to embrace the nuanced, socialized, and evolving experiences of gender identity and expression, the Leonard Litz TransPLUS Initiative seeks to center and lift up those voices in our community that have historically been relegated to the far margins of the movement.

The name is very deliberate. We seek to “emPower” the TGNCNBI community, and we believe that every trans life matters. We know that we are strongest when we are unified, and—now more than ever—we must prioritize the safety of our community by responding to hate with resolute love.

In addition to grant funding, the TransPLUS Initiative amplifies voices of TGNCNBI leaders and builds greater awareness of the community’s socio-economic and political challenges. For example, at the Creating Change Conference held in New Orleans this January, we were thrilled to present the Transgender Leadership Award to the very deserving Mariah Moore, who has fought tirelessly on behalf of the trans community, especially Black transgender women. At a time when more and more of our trans friends and family are being singled out for discrimination and abuse, Mariah has chosen to step up and lead the fight for human rights.

It is time for all of us to step up. We are grateful for the opportunity to lead this effort at Leonard Litz, and look forward to helping to recognize, support, and celebrate the most impactful programs, services, and advocacy efforts for the TGNCNBI community.

When we fight together, we win. Please join us!  

—Colin Hosten and Robyn Schlesinger