If you aren’t yourself an LGBTQ person or activist, you’d be forgiven for believing LGBTQ rights movements begin and end with marriage rights.
Marriage equality debates have dominated public discourse related to LGBTQ civil rights. And many activists claim it is to the exclusion of crucial policy discussions addressing struggles many LGBTQ people face—particularly youth, people of color, the economically challenged, and those who identify as gender non-conforming, intersex, or transgender.
Dean Spade, a lawyer and transgender rights activist, was focused on addressing the vulnerability of these intersecting populations when he founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a legal aid organization, in 2002 with the mission to help transgender, intersex, and gender non-conforming people who are low-income and/or people of color. He recognized the high levels of poverty and over-incarceration among these communities and directly addressed the correlation between economic injustice and gender discrimination. Continue reading “Dean Spade’s ‘Critical Trans Politics’”