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Congress sent powerful warning about rampant transphobia inspired by iconic 80s AIDS slogan

Vic Parsons December 2, 2019
Transphobia

'If transphobia kills me forget burial - drop my body on the steps of Congress." (Twitter/@evren_7)

“If transphobia kills me forget burial – drop my body on the steps of Congress,” the slogan reads.

Painted on the back of a denim jacket – presumably inspired by artist David Wojnarowicz’s – the image was taken last Monday at Nashville airport, Twitter user @evren__7, who took the photo, told PinkNews.

Wojnarowicz wore his denim jacket in 1988 at the height of the AIDS crisis. The slogan read: “If I die of AIDS – forget burial – just drop my body on the steps of the F.D.A.”

Wojnarowicz died of AIDS-related complications in 1992, at the age of 37.

Congress’ record on transphobia and trans rights.

The Trump administration has banned trans people from serving in the US military and rolled back trans healthcare protections, among other anti-trans policies.

Trump’s trans troops ban – first announced in a series of tweets on July 26 2017 – requires trans people with a diagnosis of gender dysphoria to serve in the military as the gender they were assigned at birth.

It also means that people with a trans history are barred from serving in the military unless they have lived as the gender they were assigned at birth for three years and have not socially or medically transitioned.

An estimated 14,700 members of the US military are trans. Under Barack Obama’s presidency, trans people already serving in the military were allowed to be open about their trans status.

Trump’s administration also wants to remove Obama-era protections that explicitly ban health-care providers from discriminating on the basis of gender identity.

The proposal would continue to ban discrimination “on the basis of race, colour, national origin, disability, age, and sex” – but would leave the term “sex” open to interpretation.

Trans people murdered in the US.

In 2019 so far, at least 22 trans or gender non-conforming people have been fatally shot or killed by other violent means.

Twenty-six people were murdered in 2018, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which tracks trans murders. Most of these deaths are as a result of violent transphobia.

More: Congress, David Wojnarowicz, transphobia, transphobic violence

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