To our community members,
In light of the recent resurgence of violently transphobic sentiments within our community, The Pride Center wishes to extend our capacities in full as a healing presence to those affected. The SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program at the Pride Center offers advocacy and support to LGBTQIA individuals who have experienced any type of violence, bias, or discrimination. If you or someone you know needs help or support- please reach out to our advocates at 802.863.0003 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also report violence anonymously at bit.ly/reportvt. Please know that we are here for you.
The Pride Center of Vermont is committed to ensuring the safety of all members of the LGBTQIA community, especially those of us who identify as trans. We are receptive to the concerns that have been brought to us by the trans community and we are dedicated to moving forward with our advocacy in a way that is informed by the past. Stepping up and advocating for our most marginalized community members in the time ahead is our foremost priority. As an organization that advocates for inclusivity, acceptance, and safety, we seek to bridge the gaps in our community that allow for transphobic rhetoric to take root and divide us. On principle, we do not condone violence of any sort, and we especially condemn violence that affects our trans community members. Our trans community is deeply valued by the Pride Center; these are folks filled with kindness and love who work every day, just by existing resiliently, to make Vermont a safe and inclusive place for trans people to thrive. At the Pride Center, we are deeply aggrieved and disheartened to see such a staggering revitalization of increasingly persistent transphobic hatred and violence, and we are calling for our brilliantly diverse LGBTQIA community to resist hatred and come together for the sake of our most marginalized.
A critical part of coming together and healing is listening to one another, particularly to the trans community members who have been silenced and subjected to hatred. Supporting our trans community can take the form of actively listening and accepting what people have to say at face value, acknowledging their feelings, and letting them know they are heard. Transphobic rhetoric is a threat to the integrity of our whole community, not just to those who are trans. Recent discussions about transphobia have provided much insight on just how much work remains to be done on the part of the LGBTQIA community as well as the community at large towards learning, healing, and uplifting. In the face of the recent vitriolic transphobia, we challenge our fellow LGBTQIA Vermonters to confront bias every day and to support the trans folks in the community by giving them space to exist safely, listening to their concerns, and taking action when the inherent value of a trans person’s life is questioned. We have to do better by our trans community, and we will persist in the effort to accomplish not only a basic understanding, but a wide spread acceptance as well. We will not tolerate this violence.