Kamala Harris’ simple act of trans solidarity proves why she’ll be the most inclusive vice president in history
With Donald Trump squarely defeated, Kamala Harris wasted no time updating her Twitter bio – and it included a small act of kindness that spoke magnitudes.
Moments after Joe Biden passed the 270 electoral vote threshold needed for victory, he and Harris refreshed their bios with the words we’ve all been waiting to see: “president-elect” and “vice-president elect”.
Biden’s describes him as “husband to @DrBiden, proud father and grandfather,” and “ready to build back better for all Americans,” while Harris’ reads “senator, wife, Momala, auntie. fighting for the people.”
That’s not all, though. At the end of her bio, the vice-president elect of the Unites States of America proudly shared her pronouns: “She/her.”
— Sanjay Sood-Smith (@sanjaysoodsmith) November 7, 2020
Harris has included her pronouns in her bio for some time now, alongside Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and many other progressive Democrats. But it’s still significant to see them there alongside her new title, the second-highest office in the country.
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Including pronouns is important for cisgender people to do, because it normalises the act without placing the onus on trans people. The more cis people do this, the more power it takes away from those who deliberately abuse and misgender trans people online.
It’s been proven that consistently using the correct name and pronouns for trans people can reduce their rates of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts to almost the same levels as their cisgender counterparts – which is why displaying pronouns is one of the easiest ways to be an LGBT+ ally.
The fact that Kamala Harris does so signifies to her 8.8 million followers, and to America at large, that she is sensitive to the needs of trans people, understands their issues and supports their rights in a country that has spent the last four years steadfastly attacking them.
It reinforces the commitments in Joe Biden’s extensive LGBT+ action plan, and serves as a reminder that the LGBT+ community will soon have two powerful allies in the White House.
While those two little words might not seem like much, it sends a clear message of dignity and respect to trans people, ensuring they will feel seen in the Biden-Harris administration to come. What’s more, it signals Harris will be the most inclusive vice president since – well, Joe Biden.