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Watch: How you can be a better ally to trans people

Megan Boyanton June 29, 2015


A powerful new video addresses how people who are not transgender can help trans people.

The Liberty Hill Foundation recently released the video for Trans Pride 2015.

Written and performed by Evolve Benton, also referred to as Emotions the Poet, the video provides viewers with a guide to being a trans ally in just under three minutes.

The poet says: “Stats continue to weigh down. Bodies continue to pile up, and the media continues to misrepresent, misgender and pimp trans bodies.”

Referencing curriculum from Gender Justice LA, Benton defines gender identity, gender expression, appropriate pronouns and being a trans ally.

The issue of others perceiving transgender bodies as “physically passing” is reinforced as irrelevant.

To be a trans ally, Benton advises providing housing, employment, and emotional support to transgender individuals throughout their transitions, explaining: “Let folks’ transitions be transformative and affirm them as a whole.”

The video highlights transphobia and the resulting deaths of transgender women, Yasmin Vash Payne and Penny Proud.

Benton said: “Trans poverty is real.

“Trans homicide is as common as the flu, but without vaccination or visibility.”

In 2013, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that 72 percent of anti-LGBT victims of homicide were transgender women. Of that statistic, 67 percent of those victims were transgender women of color.

A non-profit organization for social justice, the Liberty Hill Foundation supports the issues of the environment, LGBTQ equality, poverty & economic justice and racial justice.

The website, https://www.libertyhill.org/page.aspx?pid=918, provides additional leaflets on the transgender cause, like Words that are Transphobic and Why and 6 Ways to be an Ally.

Based in Los Angeles, California, the foundation functions on the motto: “Change. Not Charity.”

Benton currently works as the Assistant Director of the LGBT Campus Resource Center at UCLA.

More: ally, Equality, gender, gender identity, LGBT, Trans, Transgender, US, video

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