The Democratic Debate & Acknowledgement of Trans Community Issues
Last night’s first round of Democratic presidential debate was a lot if you tuned in. Some candidates gained new ground, others didn’t perform so well, some self destructed their chances. What’s important is that issues involving the Trans community were mentioned.
Why was that important? Well because that the Trans community is one of the most overlooked groups. Before I continue. As a cis gender heterosexual (cishet), you maybe wondering why am I writing about this? As a cishet male my demographic is quite responsible to stop and speak up on any/all injustices our Trans brothers and sisters face — This will tie into the larger point of this article.
During the entire debate trans issues were mentioned only twice. Once by Julián Castro and the other by Cory Booker. Castro spoke on the matter of reproductive choice and access also extending being available to Trans individuals. Booker noted the violence the community faces, particularly that of Black Trans women.
Yes, it’s important that these issues were mentioned by both of them. Firstly, the challenges of Trans people face are still unknown to the larger public. Whether it’s a combination of people genuinely not knowing or caring is unknown. This isn’t an excuse but rather a long time coming in 2019.
The other and equally important point is that male candidates drew attention to these issues. It can’t be stated enough but for us (men) to really help, inclusive and accepting society we have to acknowledge all members of society. Also in the case of cishet men like myself, with the privilege we hold, we need to advocate more for them.
It should be no surprise that these two spoke about these issues. As the few non white candidates, I’m assuming their own experiences and understanding being marginalized lead to them speaking about these crucial matters. Or perhaps the credit should go to their presidential campaign teams? Of course that is not to say the other presidential hopefuls weren’t aware. I for one wasn’t surprised that one else took the opportunity.
Now, to the actual point made by both candidates. Castro was asked details about his health plan and if he would cover abortions. Answering with an affirmative yes, he expressed that he believes that the ability to choose is justice and should be available regularly. The choice should be for everyone regardless of socioeconomic status.
or, let’s not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female — is poor doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to exercise the right to choose,” Castro said.
Take note of the framing; “Let’s not forget”. Trans folks have been often forgotten and ignored. Now we’ve had a lot happen in regards to abortion and essentially policing people’s bodies. It’s unfortunate that we have abortion bans at the moment. So it was imperative he drive the point — The choice should be available to anyone with a uterus.
Moving on to Booker’s point, his statement was in reply to another candidate’s change in LGBTQ matters. Booker stressed that we (his political peers) don’t speak enough about Trans individuals. Then he highlighted the ongoing plight of Black Trans women, which is still barely spoken about by mass media/news cycles.
“We do not not talk enough about trans Americans, especially African American trans Americans, and the incredibly high rates of murder right now,” he said. “We don’t talk enough about how many children go to school because of fear. It’s not enough to be on the Equality Act. We need a president who will fight to protect LGBTQ Americans every single day from violence.” Booker said
To repeat what he said, we need a president to protect every LGBTQ person from daily violence. To be frank, it’s not enough to say or appear to be tolerate as other presidential runners. We are at a point where we have to address all matters of concern. Especially, when Trump pushed for a military ban.
Now, despite what I’ve shared, this doesn’t mean no other candidate hasn’t spoken on Trans community problems. In 2019, I’m sure it would’ve been highly difficult to not speak about very real injustices. Unless of course the choose to not acknowledge them and or care. That would be rather damning.
I hope that Thursday night, will allow us to hear other candidates speak about LGBTQ issues. If no one does, that’ll be quite the disappointment.