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A Guide to Trans Pride

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Jun 01, 2022

A Guide to Trans Pride
  • Having a trans identity is an amazing reason to feel proud every day. The journey for trans pride and liberation is ongoing but strides are being made every day (thank goddess we finally have an app that’s designed for trans dating). As society becomes more informed about different sexualities and gender identities, trans people gain more rights.

    Flying the trans flag is a way to show your support loud and proud, but many people aren’t aware of the rich history behind the flag. The flag not only represents the community but also represents the fight that trans people have fought and continue to fight for their rights.

    History of Trans Pride

    The first trans pride protest was at Compton’s Cafeteria in San Francisco in 1966. Trans women led the fight against police harassment and violence from the earliest days of the movement. 1969 saw the famous Stonewall Protests led by trans women of color Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.

    After the Stonewall protests, the gay liberation movement began. Inspired by the Stonewall protests, Rivera and Johnson founded STAR. The first organization dedicated to housing and support for queer and trans youth pioneered the movement by providing support for these otherwise unrecognized groups. While STAR may have stopped its work in 1973 due to hostility from the gay and lesbian movement, it was only the beginning of support for trans people in the mainstream.

    STAR may have been a safe space for trans support, but the queer community has not always been open to trans people. The gay and lesbian movement has notoriously left out trans people and ignored them. Changes have been made in the last few decades, to have more love and acceptance for the community.

    Trans visibility has increased in mainstream media, and more trans celebrities, such as Laverne Cox, are able to use their platform to advocate for the community. It’s important to remember that even if there’s more trans representation that it’s still important to continue advocating for the trans community. Allies should continue to use their voices, but also amplify the voices of the trans community when speaking.

    Trans pride flag

    The light blue, pink, and white stripes of the trans flag have become very recognizable when looking at the flags for queer representation. Created by Monica Helms, a trans woman from Phoenix, Arizona, this flag has become a symbol of pride and liberation for transgender people. 

    Helms has described the meaning behind the flag, discussing that the light blue stripes at the top and bottom represent baby boys, the pink stripes represent baby girls and the white middle stripe describes those who are transitioning or have a neutral or undefined gender.

    The original flag is on view at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, where it was donated by Helms.

    How to Support Trans People

    Supporting the trans community comes in many different ways. Making trans people feel at home and supported makes everyone feel better. Show your solidarity in these ways:

    1. Make sure to use proper pronouns.

    Using someone’s proper pronouns, or no pronouns at all if they prefer, is one of the best ways to respect trans people. Making a habit of asking for someone’s pronouns if they haven’t disclosed it or how they would prefer to be referenced ensures everyone feels comfortable.

    1. Don’t deadname someone.

    A huge no-no is deadnaming someone post-transition. Even when speaking of someone before their transition, it is completely inappropriate to refer to them as anything but the name they prefer. Some trans people keep the same name, but outside of those circumstances be sure to be respectful.

    1. People don’t have to “pass” to be trans.

    Remember that people don’t have to look stereotypically like the gender they identify as in order to be considered a part of that gender. Gender can be expressed in any fashion that a person sees fit, so listening to someone’s wishes is very important. 

    1. Outwardly show support for the community.

    The platform of allies is more important than ever to amplify the voices of the trans community. Being willing to actively speak out and educate yourself and those around you makes a tremendous difference. Knowing the balance between speaking out, but also using your platform to allow trans people to speak is key in continuing the fight for liberation.

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    Alexandra hails from Boston, MA but is currently living in the DC Area. She's passionate about social justice, self-care, spirituality, and watching documentaries. She's no stranger to telling her story through writing and has written for a variety of freelance publications. You can find her on Instagram at @lexlexlexlexlex__.

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