Talk by Tsukuru Fors of Red Berets for Queers at the Oct. 7 National March to Protect Trans Youth & Speakout for Trans Lives in Orlando, Florida.
My name is Tsukuru Fors. Born and raised in Japan, I came to the United States at age 19. I am an Asian, immigrant, and nonbinary trans person.
Looking at the world through the eyes of an Asian, immigrant, trans person, I see a common enemy. Who shows up at anti-trans rallies are often the same people who inflict violence on my Asian siblings. So, it’s clear to me that we must work together.
It’s been super-exciting to build the movement with all of you, and this is just the beginning. I am an antinuclear/peace/health care justice activist. I tell everyone that I meet in these spaces that trans rights are their business, too.
Peace is about human rights, so how can that not include trans rights? When we talk about health care for all, gender-affirming care must be included, because trans health care is a human right.
Ron DeSantis is trying to take away our rights to exist. And yet we are still here. We have always been here, and we are not going away.
Thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for being who you are, loud and proud.
When we talk about states like Texas and Florida, we Californians say things like, “Oh, they are horrible states,” but they are not. Coming here, interacting with all of you, I see this is a beautiful place, it’s just that there are people who want to rule by fear and hate.
My new brother Lindsey Spero, when they spoke of their love for their state, brought tears to my eyes. In my antinuclear work, I’ve worked with many displaced people. No one should be displaced. This is your home. You should be able to live here, be safe, be loved, and pursue dreams as who you are. That is why we fight.
For those who choose to leave, I run a grassroots initiative called Trans Migrants Support CA. We aim to support trans and nonbinary siblings relocating to California from other states.
Let me be honest by saying that housing in California is a huge challenge. In fact, I am currently housing-insecure myself. But we are fighting to hold cities like West Hollywood, a supposedly trans sanctuary city, accountable by pushing them to fund housing programs for trans people.
We are a work in progress, but here is a promise. You have a family in California. The community has your back. We protect us.
I spent most of my life being closeted. I was 50 years old when I began my HRT [hormone replacement therapy]. This fight is personal. I am fighting for the young me who was afraid and alone.
My trans/nonbinary siblings, our community is strong, joyful, caring, creative, and beautiful. You showed me what community looks like, what family looks like, after my own birth family disowned me. You showed me what belonging feels like.
If I had a way to talk to my 15-year-old self, I would tell him that this is what he can look forward to. That’s why I fight. We protect us.
Lastly, I would like to honor my sibling back in California who couldn’t be here. Xodiak Rose is an Indigenous Two-Spirit organizer who was arrested at the West Hollywood Pride this year due to a false police report filed by a known fascist. I would like to end this speech by inviting you to do her favorite chant with me:
It is our duty to fight for our freedom.
It is our duty to win.
We must love and protect each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.
Thank you so much. I love you all.
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