Being “an ally” isn’t a title you can give yourself, it’s something that needs to be demonstrated and earned. Being an “ally” is an active verb. It requires us to do something – speak up, make a change, make space.

 

There are 25,000 trans and gender non-conforming (TGNC) individuals in Missouri who have a right to have safe spaces made for them.

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Some TGNC Missourians are proud of where they’re from and can’t imagine living in any other state. Others – unfortunately – can’t wait to leave because of the pervasive harassment and discrimination that make it a battle to survive in Missouri as one’s true self.

  

Advocating for oneself in an uncertain climate is not sustainable. Allies are needed to help further the efforts of transgender people already fighting for their lives. Because it is still legal in Missouri to fire or evict someone due to their gender or sexuality, allies need to speak up about the needs of trans & GNC folks, personally and professionally.

 

There are lots of great ways to be an active ally to Missouri’s transgender and gender non-conforming communities. We want to make sure that you have the right resources to best help the trans community in Missouri.

 

That’s why we created this Trans Ally Toolkit, a community-backed action guide for cultivating a Missouri that is safe and welcoming for all genders. The Trans Ally Toolkit is a resource designed for cis-gendered Missourians and shares TGNC community-sourced strategies to be an effective and compassionate ally to trans individuals with a racially-aware lens.

 

The toolkit is split into sections based on social or professional spaces such as “education,” “faith,” “healthcare” and more. Also, in the days leading up to “National Coming Out Day” on Oct. 11, you’ll see events across the state as we also launch our “10 Days of Trans Demands.” This campaign – along with our Trans Ally Toolkit – were created to help you “come out” as allies to Missouri’s transgender and gender non-conforming communities.

 

Ten Days of Trans Demands encourages allies of the trans community to “come out” as vocal advocates for trans and GNC individuals around the state. Because it is still legal in Missouri to fire or evict someone because of their sexual orientation, it is even more important that allies speak up. There will be five events across the state. The first event will launched on Oct. 1 in St. Louis and the final event will conclude Oct. 11 in St. Joseph.

 

We encourage you to share our 10 Trans Demands and toolkit far and wide. Post the toolkit in your classroom or office. Email it to your boss, spouse, or coworker. TAKE ACTION in the areas where your allyship can make a welcoming space for someone who may need it.

 

Missouri is not always viewed as a safe place to “come out,” partly because of the lack of explicit legal protections for LGBTQ individuals. 

 

Each of us has a responsibility to do what we can to support community interventions that will increase senses of safety, acceptance, internal power and confidence for the TGNC Community. We seek a Missouri built for trans and GNC people thriving, not simply surviving.

 

Let’s not underestimate the power of community working together to make Missouri a safer, more inclusive state. It is not only for the TGNC people living here now, but also for the generations of gender-liberated humans to come.

 

Speak up, create change and make space. Raise your voice.

 

For more information on ACLU of Missouri’s Transgender Education and Advocacy Program, visit aclu-mo.org/raiseyourvoice.

 

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