Call for transgender liberation

BY:Women’s Collective| May 19, 2024
Call for transgender liberation


This piece is a contribution to the Pre-Convention Discussion for our 32nd National Convention. During Pre-Convention Discussion, all aspects of the party’s program, strategy, and tactics are up for consideration and debate. The ideas presented here are those of the author or authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Communist Party USA, its membership, or their elected leadership bodies. — Editors

On February 6th, 2023, Oklahomans gathered at the Oklahoma State Capitol to protest legislation targeting transgender people. Bills proposed would have defunded trans-affirming healthcare providers, revoked licensure for affirming clinicians and therapists, banned gender affirming care for young people, criminalized appearing in public dressed as the “opposite sex,” forced transgender people to use bathrooms of their state-assigned and state-presumed sex, established vague and politicized definitions of grooming, banned discussion of gender and sexuality in schools, including sex education; banned transgender children from participating in sports, banned books and websites with any indication of transgender or otherwise queer content from schools, defined transgender people out of law, banned amendments to drivers licenses, birth certificates, and other important legal documents, and finally, further criminalized sex work: a type of labor that many trans people find themselves relying upon due to various societal barriers like employment discrimination.

These bills would restrict access to gender affirming medication for transgender youth, up to age 25. Losing this care would result in medical detransition. This is distressing for trans people as they would experience an undoing of secondary sex characteristics that they initiated medical transition for in the first place. Forced medical detransition can have devastating consequences to mental health.

Furthermore, these bills would provide the state with the authority to obligate transgender people to dress as their assigned sex or retreat from public life, resulting in a forced social detransition for many people. The breadth of this attack would have gutted support systems for trans people who already face high rates of discrimination. The assembly at the Oklahoma State Capitol on February 6th intended to show the state government that people would be harmed by these dangerous policies.

Community members took turns sharing stories on the steps of the capitol. There was food, water, and literature. Resources were freely shared. After the community forum, event attendees entered the state capitol building through the metal detector and up the stairs to the 4th floor. Before the Governor’s address, Oklahomans can be heard chanting outside the room in the capitol dome, trying their best to show their opposition to the proposed legislation.

Nobody was harmed that day. The crowd was completely in control. When asked to quiet during the Governor’s address, the crowd sat peacefully and checked in, taking care of one another. This was not an insurrectionist mob. Regardless, the right-wing capitalist news media jumped at the opportunity. The event was called a “Transurrection.” The reactionaries’ response to this was stark. There were calls to put transgender Oklahomans in camps or to “Send them back to California.” They argued that the Oklahomans were outside agitators from coastal states. Event attendees were doxxed and harassed.

Alongside the bills, the intensification of anti-trans rhetoric coming from the Oklahoma State Superintendent has resulted in hostile school environments. The wrongful death of a high schooler from Owasso, Oklahoma, transgender Chahta Native Nex Benedict, can be directly linked to a culture of fear stoked by right-wing bomb threats targeting Tulsa Public Schools. Furthermore, the conditions surrounding Nex’s death come from years of government policy directed at 2SLGBTQIA+ (Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) individuals.

Two-Spirit is a contemporary term used to broadly refer to various interpretations of gender of Native American cultures. This is important to share because it reminds us that the mission for gender equality for trans people is also a mission to resist the ongoing colonial genocide of Native peoples.

The anti-trans policies seen in Oklahoma have created a culture where violence towards 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals has become socially accepted and often encouraged. Public schools struggle as the state continues to defund them and, despite reforms seen in public schools in past decades, they are once again embracing their roots as places of colonial violence and forced assimilation. Oklahoma, known traditionally as “Indian Territory,” is used here as an example with 60 bills targeting transgender people, but this campaign is happening on a national level.

According to the legislation tracker at, in this year 550 bills targeting transgender people were introduced across 42 different states. 37 bills have been introduced at the federal level. Although there have been a few steps forward with the Biden Administrations new Title IX rules protecting gender identity, the governments of some states including Oklahoma, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida are refusing to comply. As challenges to these laws reach higher courts, it remains to be seen what will stand and what will be declared unconstitutional.

These are reasons why we need to take the cause for trans acceptance seriously. First, trans people have always been here. Two-Spirit, transgender people, and their various cultural analogues have existed for thousands of years. Second, the steps to restrict access to gender-affirming healthcare are moving in line with steps to restrict other bodily autonomy. Many of the states banning gender affirming care for youth are also states with bans on abortion and contraception. The anti-trans wave is also restricting free expression in general and contributes to a culture of hyper-surveillance.

The example of the demonization of transgender people is a common strategy of the ruling class: create a scapegoat and drive up panic about them that divides people. This scapegoat status results in regular horrible violence committed towards transgender people. This is in addition to the structural violence manifesting from workplace and government discrimination. These tendencies are all exponential when intersecting with race and class lines. Whether it be a difference in race or nationality or faith, 2SLGBTQIA+ status, or difference in neurotype and ability, the ruling class manufactures and capitalizes upon these differences in order to distract us from our common goals as working class people.

We, the Women’s Collective of the Communist Party USA, call upon you to join us in raising the question of transgender liberation. To not just advocate for the necessary reforms in our current capitalist system, but to organize and take the steps we need to take to build a just socialist world for all.


    Women’s Collective of the Communist Party USA

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