2019’s Ten Days of Trans Demands (#10DTD) campaign starts November 10th and goes until Trans Day of Remembrance on Weds, Nov 20th. We Dream, We Believe in, and We Demand a Trans Future where we are safe, supported, and seen. Read more about our demands below featuring the words of this year's Trans Leadership Table.
Our 10 Demands are:
1. Decriminalize HIV and sex work in Missouri
“As of a 2015 survey, nearly 30% of trans and gender non-conforming individuals participate in sex work (National Transgender Discrimination Survey). Trans and gender non-conforming folks are kept from the traditional workforce by discriminatory policies, and survival sex work is their widely-used alternative. Sex workers desire a work environment that is both safe and lucrative. Most employees are protected by organizations like OSHA, and they can openly join unions and lobby for their cause without fear. Sex workers, however, are forced to work in unstable, high-risk environments. The sex industry deserves should be regulated instead of being ignored or treated as taboo.
Decriminalizing sex work would allow sex workers to take advantage of privileges that any other employee has, and simultaneously make it easier to prevent assault, robbery, rape, and the spread of STDs. It would benefit sex workers and public health equally. The regulation could come in the form of registration, where sex workers are required to obtain a license, or designated sex work zones. A system that decriminalizes sex work could regulate sex trafficking more effectively, since it would be easier to distinguish between workers and victims, and trafficking victims could come forward without fear of prosecution.
-Brought to you By ACLU-MO Trans Justice Program Fall 2019 Intern Baleigh Jordan (she/her)
2. Expand Medicaid and Transgender Healthcare Protections Statewide
“Right now, activists in Missouri are forging a pathway towards Medicaid expansion by bringing the decisions to the voters themselves. Aimed for the ballot in November 2020, this measure would expand Medicaid to 215,000 men, families, and children while also lifting some of the weights suffocating the Trans community. If passed, anyone making under $18,000/ year or families of 3 making under $30,000/ year would qualify. Cis, Trans, gay, or straight, this measure would help hundreds of thousands of Missourians access healthcare.
As the trans community rallies behind this effort and more, remember that our struggle for liberation is your fight too. Do not forget us when you take to the streets, or to the ballot box. November 2020 will be a moment for all of us, deciding our futures, forging our path. The vote will be up to us, and the future ours.”
-Brought to you By ACLU-MO Trans Leadership Table 2020 Member, Anderson Rasmussen (he/him)
3. Provide Statewide and City Employment Protections
The Movement Advancement Project estimates that only 18% of Missourians are protected by gender identity or sexual orientation discrimination protection. This means 72% of hard-working trans & gnc Missourians are denied work, the ability to provide for themselves and their families, because of who they are. Having robust employment protection in the form of gender identity and sexual orientation protections isn’t just the right thing to do - it makes Missouri more attractive for employers, knowing that they have a diverse workforce to draw from.
These protections are even more vital at this particular moment in history. On October 8th, the Supreme Court of the United States heard three cases, the crux of which being whether employers could fire their employees for being members of the LGBTQ+ community. While we won’t have the outcome of that case right away, it’s imperative that we buffer our existing protections in the interim - we cannot wait on further federal legal protections that may or may not come. We have deliberate and intentional actions we can take. We can push our legislators to pass gender identity and orientation protections and add employment protections in our own workplaces.
-Brought to you By ACLU-MO Trans Leadership Table 2020 Member, Clark Roman (he/him)
4. Provide Statewide and City Public Accommodations Protections
Public accommodations are not something most people have to think about often, but it’s something I have to think about every day, as is the case for most Trans and Gender Non-Conforming people.
Many people don’t even know what Public Accommodations means, but for those of us who are considered radical and rebellious just for existing in our own bodies in public, they’re a big deal and often a big part of our lives. They can also be a huge part of the cycle of poverty and homelessness that many trans people get trapped in. Without public accommodations protections, we can be turned away from a restaurant or any business open to the public because of who we are. We can be denied access to public transportation and excluded from public life.
We already can’t find jobs because of discrimination and we can’t find housing because of people refusing to lease to trans people, or landlords or family members who threaten to kick us out if we express our identities.
MONA would add sexual orientation and gender identity to Missouri’s Human Rights Act, which currently prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations for other protected classes.
For 21 straight years, Missouri lawmakers have rejected our attempts to outlaw the discrimination that still exists here, making daily life unsafe for many Missourians. The act has made progress, but it needs a lot more people publicly supporting it and demanding it get passed (and that means allies too, not just us trans folks).
-Brought to you By ACLU-MO Trans Leadership Table 2020 Member, Elliot Barber (they/them)
5. Establish Trans-Affirming Housing Programs &/or Shelters in all cities over 150,000
As Transgender and gender non conforming individuals in the state of Missouri, it is extremely challenging and sometimes impossible to find a safe place to sleep at night. We’re losing our families and/or fighting to keep our jobs. Our population is more likely to experience discrimination from family and employers and/or coworkers which can lead to unemployment, underemployment, and ultimately homelessness. According to the U.S. Transgender Survey, 77% of the respondants who have been employed reported taking extra steps to avoid mistreatment and discrimination in the work place (Dec. 2017). In fact, according to this same U.S. Trans Survey, the unemployment rate for Trans and GNC individuals is three times higher, and black respondents were three times more likely to be living in poverty, than that of the general U.S. population (Dec. 2017). Respondents also reported losing employment, being denied promotions, and unequal access to home buying. It’s very difficult to rent or own a home if you’re discriminated against at every turn. The U.S. Trans Survey concluded that only 16% of our population owns a home, compared to 63% of the general population (Dec. 2017). This kind of economic and financial hardship is the gateway for housing crises and homelessness.
We demand that Trans and GNC individuals in Missouri have equal and safe, affirming access to buying a home, renting an apartment, and seeking shelter. We desperately need to re-evaluate our laws in order to eliminate and/or diminish mistreatment and abuse to our Trans and GNC community at every economic level.
What little housing protections we had for gender identity through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are being taken away as we speak. Just this year, HUD has released a proposed new rule which would essentially allow the shelter providers, not the individual, to determine an individuals’ gender identity and/or sex in regards to placement in their programs.
We demand that existing homeless shelters be educated on the consequences of their actions and that the legislature in State of Missouri and/or Missouri’s biggest cities (St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield) develop and implement protective policies in housing and shelters for our trans and gnc population. Although such practices may seem new or out of reach, other states have long surpassed Missouri. We can look to these other states as guidance moving forward.
-Brought to you By ACLU-MO Trans Leadership Table 2020 Member, Beth (Eli) Gombos (they/them)
6. Eliminate Conversion Therapy Statewide
7. Eliminate Racist and Transphobic Prison Disparities (#PeopleNotPrisons #ClosetheWorkhouse)
8. Let Trans Kids Learn: Implement Trans-Affirming Policy and Support GSAs for 6-12 grade
9. Establish Trans-Affirming Faith, Educational & Work Spaces
10. Hold Transphobic & Trans-Antagonistic Reporting Accountable