The following remarks were given by QAPA SC member and MTPC SC member, Maxwell on January 14, 2017 at the Queer + Trans Liberation Rally.
My name is Maxwell. I’m here because I also volunteer with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. We are a grassroots organization that advocates and educates on behalf of the trans and gender non conforming community. We are led and run by that community, and in 2011 MTPC worked to pass protections for trans folx in credit, housing, employment, and education. And in July we made a law protects trans folx everywhere else.
But even though we thought we would be able to move on to other real issues, unfortunately for the next two years, we’re going to be forced to defend these protections. Because almost as soon as we passed the law for BASIC rights, it was put up for a recall vote.
This some bullshit. Our humanity is not up for a vote. And it is not subject to the whim of the voter.
But the odds are not in our favor.
Because this is the Trump era. And now and besides being worried about the safety of myself and my community, I now fear that my grandmother will be denied healthcare. I fear that my friends will be deported. I fear what years of permitted racism will do to my soul.
But even in the face of that oppression, I still have privilege. I have the ability to be stealth and go back into the closet. I could just fade away. I would Much rather be sitting on my couch watching Steven Universe.
Which is why I need you. This beautiful queer community that has always understood equality in all its shades. Because we are not political footballs. The rights of me and my family are not up for debate. They are civil rights. Unalienable rights. And oppression knows no boundary.
So I need you to do the one thing that Trump can’t do. Listen.
Listen to your neighbors. To your coworkers. To the person who fixes your car or sits across the aisle in your sociology class. We need to challenge ourselves and put ourselves back into genuine human connection with the other humans of our world.
Because this is not going to be a fight of legislators and speeches. This is going to be a fight waged over kitchen tables. With pie. Neighbors talking to neighbors. Listening. So find that person in the PTA who you’ve never talked to before and invite them over for tea. Knock on the door of the abuela next door and bring her a slice of pie. Or make some dumplings and bring them to the church down the street. I’m serious about the food. They won’t be able to resist your pie. Because only a stranger will deny our rights.
Our emotions are just one part of our story. I am angry. I am scared. Probably many of you are as well. I am also a queer trans man of color. I am a husband, a son and a brother. I am a volunteer and a coach, a chef and a friend. We are real human beings who have rich and complex lives. Swap out your adjective for a noun and find the folds of your intersectionality. because this is just the beginning and we need all of you.