In the spirit of anti-hate and a truly intersectional politics, we the undersigned express our solidarity with trans women and sex workers by denouncing discourses and practices that engender a culture of discrimination towards trans women and sex workers, prevent their access to health and social services, and otherwise expose trans women and sex workers to harm.
In the wake of a protest and open letter by sex workers, trans women, people of colour, queers, and people in solidarity with them that demanded changes to the structure and content of a local space opened by individuals with a history of transphobic and anti-sex worker practices, we have witnessed widespread and targeted expressions of transmisogyny and anti-sex worker rhetoric.
In light of this, many of our energies have been diverted into a campaign against individual protesters, instead of much needed conversation around the high rates of discrimination, violence, and harassment that is caused to trans women, and how the criminalization of sex workers, clients and third parties in the sex industry contravene sex workers’ rights to safety and self-determination.
● We advocate for actions and initiatives that centre and are led by trans women and sex workers. We commit to creating broader public understanding of the harmful consequences of transmisogyny and anti-sex worker sentiments. We support the rights of trans women and sex workers to resist spaces and organizations that are unsafe to them. We value their voices and testimonies.
● We strongly condemn a radical feminism that perpetuates violence on women’s bodies through the discrimination of trans women and sex workers. People who gaslight, exclude, misgender, and troll trans women and sex workers are not feminists in our eyes, but bigots. Projects that welcome support from these groups and their hate-lobbying leaders endanger the lives of sex workers and trans women.
● We denounce hypocritical and opportunistic uses of the term inclusivity. Genuinely inclusive initiatives must demonstrate accountability and actively give power back to marginalized people. We will not be misled by fraudulent claims while transmisogyny and sex worker phobia proliferate unchecked.
● We recognize that transmisogyny and sex worker phobia are inextricable from the same systems that uphold settler-colonial violence, racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, ableism, and homophobia.
As a result of toxic ideologies, trans women and sex workers have been outed, attacked, and denied rightful access to housing, safe spaces, and social services. We will not stand idle while their lives and safety continue to be put at risk.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to add your name or your organization’s name to this letter.
Click here for updated list of signatories.
Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC)
Arsenal Pulp Press
Alliance Against Displacement
All Our Bodies Zine
Black Lives Matter—Vancouver BC
The Capilano Review
Diversity: Arts Music & Entertainment
FIRST Decriminalize Sex Work
Gays Against Gentrification
The Independent Marxist Coalition
The Khyber Centre for the Arts
Killjoy QTBIPOC Collective
LIVE Biennale of Performance Art Society
The Naked Truth
New Forms Media Society
Other Sights for Artist Projects
Out on the Shelves LGBTQ2IA+ Library
The Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres (PAARC)
Period at UBC
Pleasure + Protest, Sometimes Simultaneously!
Poetry is Dead Magazine
The Pride Collective at UBC
Progressive Librarians Guild at UBC
Publik Secrets Artist Collective
Queer Animal Qllective
Radical Access Mapping Project
REVERB: A Queer Reading Series
Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group (SFPIRG)
SWAN Vancouver Society
The Talon UBC
The Toast Collective
Trembling Void Studios
UBC Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC)
The Vancouver Dyke March and Festival Society
Vancouver Status of Women
VIVO Media Arts Centre
WePress Community Art Space
Danielle St-Amour, Executive Director, Art Metropole
Jenn Matsui De Roo, Registered Clinical Counsellor
Frances Mahon, Barrister and Solicitor
Emily Guerrero, Librarian
Emily von Euw, Author
Sierra Skye Gemma
Claire Forsyth, Librarian
Lorraine Kecker, Parksville, BC
Jonathan McPhedran Waitzer
Casey Stepaniuk, Librarian
Sasha Wiley-Shaw, Poet & Activist
Marlo Turner Ritchie, Consultant
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Hannah Guinan, Artistic Director, The Khyber Centre for the Arts
Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes
Lucinda Murray, MLIS Candidate
Kristine Andersen, Vancouver BC
Stormy Allen, Portland, Oregon, USA
Shilo St. Cyr, SASC Manager
Amber Louie, Registered Clinical Counsellor
Leigh Matthews, Writer
Vanessa Fernando, Registered Social Worker