If your feminism doesn’t include trans people, then quite simply, it isn’t feminism. We will not have equality until the most marginalised among us are seen as equals. So, trans people must be centred in feminism in order for us all to move forward.
Trans women are women and trans men are men
When using the word woman, this must always include trans women. A transgender woman is someone who’s gender identity is not the same as the gender she was thought to be at birth. Therefore, she is a woman, and exactly the same is true of trans men.
Everyone has a personal relationship with their gender identity and trans people are no different. Being trans does not define someone’s womanhood or manhood, only their journey to it. While their journey might not look the same as yours, this does not invalidate their innate sense of their gender. Their gender is fundamental and integral to their sense of self and identity, just like yours.
Intersectionality requires trans-inclusion
In order for feminism to be truly inclusive, everyone must be included in the movement. Intersectionality requires that we account for all the unique and specific ways we are marginalised. Centreing the most marginalised groups is key to achieving equality as equality cannot be achieved without including them.
The Combahee River Collective says, “If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.”
Essentially, if the most marginalised groups have equality, then we will know we all have it. If trans people have equality, then we will know we all have it. Excluding marginalised people makes feminism weak. We can only achieve gender equality by including trans people in it.
Transphobia is unacceptable
Everyone has the right to self determine their gender. Gender reassignment is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, meaning that no-one should be discriminated against because they are transgender.
One of our founders, Jo Atkins-Potts said, "If you do not fight for all then you fight for none." If you agree that racism, ageism, ableism, homophobia, and sexism are wrong, then you must also stand against transphobia.
Tragically, there are still high profile people pushing TERF (trans-exclusive radical feminism) agendas such as J.K. Rowling and the Respect my Sex campaign. We must vocally and proactively include and support trans people to counter this blatant and harmful discrimination.
Our common enemy is the patriarchy, and we can defeat it together.
Author, actress, and trans activist Juno Dawson said that we need to tool up to dismantle the power structures which are holding us back. "And we’ll do it much faster if we do it together, united.”