In the days leading up to National Coming Out Day on October 11, the ACLU’s Transgender Education and Advocacy Program will roll out a Trans Ally Toolkit, a series of events across the state, and a digital campaign called, “10 Days of Trans Demands,” all created to develop allies and build a more inclusive state for the 25,000 transgender or gender non-conforming Missourians.
The Trans Ally Toolkit is a resource designed for Missourians who are not transgender but want to be supportive of the transgender community. The toolkit includes strategies to be an effective and compassionate ally through culturally, socio-economically, and racially aware lenses. The toolkit is split into sections based on social or professional spaces such as “education,” “faith,” “healthcare” and more.
“10 Days of Trans Demands” encourages allies of the trans community to “come out” as vocal advocates for trans and gender non-conforming (GNC) individuals around the state. There will be five events across the state. The first event will launch on Oct. 1 in St. Louis and the final event will conclude on Oct. 11 in St. Joseph.
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.
“Each of us has a responsibility to increase the safety, acceptance and power the TGNC Community feels,” says Jay-Marie Hill, Transgender Education and Advocacy program coordinator. “We’re building a Missouri where trans and GNC people can thrive, not just survive.”
Missouri is not always viewed as a safe place to “come out,” partly because of the lack of clear legal protections for LGBTQ individuals.
“If we can empower the transgender and gender-non conforming community and compassionately educate others, we can begin to combat the stigmas the TGNC community faces in Missouri,” said Sara Baker, legislative and policy director at ACLU of Missouri. “We hope this additional pressure hastens the state to pass legal protections for LGBTQ Missourians. The human cost of legislative delay is too high.”
For more information on ACLU of Missouri’s Transgender Education and Advocacy Program, and to download the Trans Ally Toolkit, visit aclu-mo.org/raiseyourvoice.