Pride 2023: Resist the ban on trans lives! March on Florida

As Pride Month begins, last year’s anti-trans panic has grown into a full-blown campaign for trans extermination. We call on the whole movement for social and economic justice, against war and racism, for civil rights and immigrants’ rights, to join the mobilization for a National March to Protect Trans Youth and Trans Lives in Orlando, Florida, on Oct. 7, 2023. 

Queer people are under attack in the U.S. like never before, with Pride festivities curtailed and even canceled in Florida and other states at the instigation of bigots like Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, a candidate for the presidency in 2024 running on a platform of hate. 

Among a raft of hate legislation DeSantis signed into law on May 17 – the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia – is one that supports kidnapping trans children across state lines to forcibly detransition them.

Fear is widespread among trans people and the broad LGBTQ2S community across the U.S., especially in those states that have enacted laws cutting off lifesaving gender-affirming health care, revoking trans people’s civil rights and the very ability to exist in public without threat of arrest or violence. 

The murderous attacks by far-right governments in state capitals and by neo-fascist gangs in the streets must be met with militant resistance in the spirit of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising and the movement to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s. 

Waiting for the next election, banking on the protection of a president and Democratic Party that show no inclination to defend even the most basic rights of LGBTQ2S people, women, immigrants, and BIPOC communities, is not an option. 

Only the people, organized and mobilized in the streets in a way that threatens the profits of Wall Street and the billionaire class’s ability to govern, can turn the situation around. 

And it is possible to do so – we need only look at the massive outpouring of anti-racist resistance following the police murder of George Floyd three years ago, which shook the political elites and their billionaire backers to the core.

In school, before the current wave of book and history bans, many of us learned a variation of the poem “First They Came” by Pastor Martin Niemöller about the rise of German fascism in the 1930s:

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me.

Today they are coming for trans people – and the outlines of the next targets are already clearly drawn on the backs of cisgender queers, working women, immigrants, Black and Brown people, union members, socialists, communists, and ultimately every worker.

For many of our siblings, our rights and very lives are on the line today – and they are coming for you next. 

It’s time to fight. It’s time to resist with boldness and courage.

Join us in the streets – in the spirit of Stonewall!

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