Omaha’s First Trans/GenderQueer Day of Action!!
Yesterday, Tuesday, November 27, 2012, Forward Equality staff and supporters took to the streets to protest for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Social and Economic Equality and Justice! Some of Forward Equality’s demands that were put together by the Board of Directors include,
- We demand an end to profiling, harassment and brutality at the hands of the police. Like many other oppressed communities, TGNC people are subject to harsher treatment, and maybe profiled and brutalized by the police. This violence does not occur in isolation it is in conjunction with racism, classism, ableism, xenophobia, misogyny, ageism and homophobia. We call for an end to racial profiling of individuals in North Omaha.
- We demand access to respectful and safe housing. Although strides in the right direction have been taken, TGNC people still face discrimination when it comes to housing. We support Queers for Economic Justice in their demand that all DHS shelters provide adequate Trans sensitivity trainings for all personnel and enforce clear non-discrimination policies that respect the dignity and safety of all homeless people. However, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) states that people will be placed in shelters according to their gender identity, this discrimination based on gender identity causes many homeless TGNC to face discrimination and violence when trying to access shelters and other assisted living programs. This cannot be tolerated. We celebrate that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has developed policy and procedures to prevent discrimination related to sexual orientation and gender orientation in their housing programs, but many TGNC still are discriminated against from property owners and housing administrators; displacing us from our homes due to gender identity or expression. All of this has led to a disproportionate number of TGNC who have been or are currently homeless. Forward Equality calls on the Omaha City Council to pass fully inclusive housing protections for the TGNC and the lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) community.
- We support Immigrants’ Rights. TGNC people deserve the right to access competent and respectful immigration services. (We demand that the consulates of all countries respect and honor our identities, issue passports, and other documentation that accurately reflects who we are.) We oppose the Secure Communities program, the guest worker program, the Real ID Act, enforcement provisions to build more walls and give greater powers to the Department of Homeland Security, increased barriers for asylum seekers, and other anti-immigrant policies.
- We are in solidarity with TGNC prisoners. We call attention to the under-reported accounts of violence and rape that our community faces at the hands of correction officers and other prisoners, in psychiatric facilities, and group homes. We demand an end to the torture and discrimination TGNC prisoners face. We demand that all TGNC prisoners receive competent and respectful healthcare. We oppose the continued growth of the prison industrial complex that continues to target our communities, yet we recognize that TGNC people need access to services and facilities that lessen our vulnerability to violence within the present jails and prisons. We call attention to the criminal injustice system that increasingly puts People of Color (POC), immigrants, people with disabilities, TGNC and poor people behind bars – criminalizing our communities and our lives.
- We oppose the militarization of our borders and heighten surveillance and control over people living in the U.S., separating our communities by fostering feelings of hate, xenophobia, and violence.
- We demand health care. TGNC people deserve the right to access health care, receive hormones and necessary surgery. We demand that health care providers and insurance providers acknowledge this right and provide this service without bias and discrimination.
- We demand safety while utilizing public transportation.
- We demand that all people receiving public assistance be treated with respect and dignity. We are in solidarity with all people living on public assistance.
- We demand that TGNC people have equal access to employment and education opportunities. The high numbers of TGNC who are unemployed outrages us. Many TGNC continue to face blatant discrimination and harassment from employers due to systemic transphobia. Few TGNC have access to opportunities for learning in a safe school environment. TGNC demand that all employers and educational institutions implement non-discrimination policies that respect the rights of all workers and students and that they comply with the City of Omaha Equal Employment Law that prohibits discrimination against gender identity and expression.
- We demand justice for the many TGNC who have been beaten, assaulted, raped, and murdered. Yet these incidents continue to be silenced or misclassified. Instead of disrespecting the identities of TGNC, like the New York Times recently did with Lorena Escalera, we call for media to address individuals by their preferred names and pronouns. The police and the media continue to criminalize us even when we try to defend ourselves. We call for a unified effort for all of us to look deeper into the root causes of why these incidents happen. In striving for social justice, we seek to find ways of holding people accountable and coming to a joint understanding of how we can make our communities safer.
This event was very successful and there were several new faces! We hope to see this new faces again at other Forward Equality events and we hope to continue to work with them! Forward Equality hopes that this is the start of something new. We hope to build a UNITED Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Community that will stand up for their rights and begin to demand for some change to be made. This event was the first of many Trans related events that we plan on hosting. We also plan to have the Trans Day of Action annually.
We commemorate the memory of Brandon Teena, Tracy Bumpus, Yvonne McNeil, Deoni Jones, LaShai McLean, Brandy Martell, Paige Clay, Shelly Hillard, Coko Williams and the many brave souls we have lost, who struggled and lived their lives fearlessly, being true to who they were. They keep the fire of struggle burning within all of us.
Posted on November 28, 2012, in Economic Justice, LGBTQ, Trans/GenderQueer and tagged discrimination policies, forward equality, lgbt, lgbt issues, lgbtq, lgbtqi, nebraska, omaha, politics, queers for economic justice. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.