We believe that transgender rights are civil rights. Stop Street Harassment works to document and end gender-based public harassment worldwide, and we recognize that this includes the harassment of women and LGBTQ individuals across every race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, age, and socio-economic status.
Gavin Grimm’s case is the case of thousands of transgender people across the country. “It’s not just about bathrooms,” Gavin said earlier this week. “It’s about the right for trans people to exist in public spaces.” While Gavin’s case focuses on his access to restrooms in the school context under Title IX, it has much broader implications about who belongs in public spaces in the first place.
Our organization has documented thousands of stories from people of all genders around the world who have experienced verbal harassment, and sometimes physical violence, in public spaces simply for existing: Simply for being a woman. Simply for being LGBTQ. Or simply because, no matter who they are or what they are wearing, public harassment is at its core about power. We reject the idea that – across identity categories – women have less of a right to be in public than men, that gay and lesbian individuals have less of a right to be in public than their straight peers, or that transgender people have less of a right to be in public than cisgender people.
We also believe that an attack on any marginalized community is an attack on all of us. We’ll continue to stand with transgender students like Gavin, and all transgender people, who feel like they are not welcome in public spaces simply because of who they are. We’ll continue to fight with and for them, and will never give up on our global efforts to combat gender-based harassment.
Gavin’s fight has been delayed, but it’s far from over. We look forward to the day when all people feel welcome to exist and worthy of existing in public spaces – no matter who they are, what they look like, where they live, or who they love.
The Stop Street Harassment Board of Directors
(Special thanks to board member Patrick Ryne McNeil for drafting this statement.)Share on Facebook