Citizens Project Statement in Support of Transgender Dignity

As an organization dedicated to promoting equity, inclusion, and justice in our community, Citizens Project stands in support of our transgender community.

We reject assertions by some local and national elected officials that recent national legislation “to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation” (H.R. 5, “Equality Act,” passed by the House of Representatives and currently in the Senate) would lead to greater inequality, especially for women, threaten the health and safety of cisgender persons, and in general undermine cultural traditions grounded in a binary biological view of gender.  Such rhetoric promotes dehumanizing stereotypes that transgender people are dangerous and predatory, has the effect of excluding them from public accommodations, and serves to legitimize their being bullied in school.

In this regard, we commend Inside Out Youth Services for their recent letter to City Council Member Jill Gaebler (LINK), which lays out in clear terms the challenges faced by transgender persons and how the stigma attached to them contributes to a crisis of violence within their community.

We believe that our elected representatives hold the responsibility of working toward building a community that serves EVERYONE.  This necessitates honoring all of our community members regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation.  This means creating public spaces—including schools, community centers, and healthcare centers—that do not discriminate against transgender persons.

We join the call for local businesses, organizations, and individuals to stand in support of all who are historically and culturally disadvantaged, marginalized, and threatened.  We must advocate for the rights of all, not just for some.  We still have a lot of work ahead to build a more equitable, inclusive, and just Colorado Springs.