Trans Safe Spaces are Facebook pages that have a firm stance against transphobic speech. The idea behind these spaces is to create a safe environment where people can engage in meaningful conversations. Guests must show respect, and they’re prohibited to participate if they have engaged in a transphobic act, including bullying or misgendering. Additionally, repeat offenders are prevented from participating in further discussions.
These safe spaces weren’t created overnight. Actually, they have been with us for years. Some of the pioneers in this space are Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a writer and organizer in Los Angeles, who founded Gazebo, a 48 person chatroom, in 2006; Lauren D. Wilson, a transgender activist, who started Trans Day of Remembrance, also in 2006. Both these projects grew out of a Transgender Community Forum webpage that prompted Smith to generate them. GAY BARS NEAR ME
While these spaces weren’t made for the purpose of promoting trans awareness or gender identity, they have been a boon to many. This is particularly so of Black trans women, who tend to be more likely to see harassment and discrimination than their straight peers. They’re often ostracized or excluded from social or professional networks, or forced to call home with family members who are intolerant of these gender.
Among the biggest challenges is access to services. Including free medical treatment and counseling. Despite the progress made in recent years, many transgender individuals still struggle to get the help they need. Nevertheless, many employers are beginning to produce moves toward inclusion. As an example, Aetna, Bain & Co, Deloitte, and others provide transgender-inclusive benefits to their employees.
Trans Safe Spaces are a step in the best direction, but there are more pressing issues to tackle. Most importantly, the trans community must be represented and have full access to LGBTQ issues. Until then, it will soon be difficult to completely address the complex issues facing transgender people.
As an example, think about the controversies surrounding Duke University’s reaction to HB-2, a law passed by the Virginia legislature that will prohibit students from utilising the university’s public restrooms to state their gender. There’s no clear timeline on when Duke University will implement its own version of a gender neutral bathroom, and a small grouping of students have written a letter requesting transparency on the university’s position.
Other important concerns include the possible lack of clarity surrounding the implementation of COVID-19, a “vaccine” that was created to protect LGBTQ+ students from “miscarriages of justice” in the workplace. Feminists and other LGBTQ+ advocates shouldn’t overlook these concerns and must be woven into the larger picture.
Finally, these spaces have the likelihood of saving lives. Among the biggest concerns of the trans community could be the slew of suicides amongst trans young people. Not just are they prone to attempt suicide than their non-transgender counterparts, but they’re also more apt to be in a scenario where they feel unprotected. Creating trans-inclusive work environments may be one of many quickest ways to boost the self-esteem of the very vulnerable among us.