By Aron Cobbs, BYP 100 New York City
Transgender Day of Remembrance Flag
Throughout our country’s ongoing experiment with democracy, we’ve seen historically oppressed groups struggle for basic legal rights and the recognition of their humanity. The women’s suffrage movement won women the rights to vote and hold public office. The abolitionist and civil rights movements ended Blacks’ legal status as “property” and prohibited de jure racial segregation. The immigrants’ rights movement, arguably the oldest social movement in our nation’s history, is still building momentum and has influenced reforms such as the DREAM Act, which has been adopted in 12 states thus far. The so-called gay liberation movement has succeeded in invalidating sodomy laws, repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act. And while there have been recent significant legal victories in the trans community, the reality of lived equality for this community is that it largely does not exist.