Our Feminism is Trans Inclusive.

Our feminism is trans-inclusive.

We, the undersigned, vehemently reject the dangerous and bigoted rhetoric and ideology espoused by Trans Exclusionary Radical ‘Feminists’ (TERFs). As feminist and women’s rights leaders, we know that feminism is not without its flaws – that our movement has long failed many who should have seen themselves reflected within our spaces. Trans people should have always been welcomed with open arms by our movements and our organizations. Trans movements, theories and organizing are essential to an intersectional, liberatory feminist agenda. For too long, we have allowed trans-exclusionary feminisms to thrive – both through our failure in confronting blatant TERF activity and our failure to bring trans inclusion and liberation to live in our organizations. That ends here. 

Trans rights in no way weaken women’s rights. Supporting the rights of trans people is essential to protecting ALL women from violence and discrimination. Amidst organized TERF attempts to define trans inclusivity as an attack on women, we vehemently reject this characterization as thinly veiled transphobia and transmisogyny. Over the past five years in particular, we have seen TERF groups utilize pseudo-feminist language to organize against the rights of trans and gender diverse communities. We have seen this rhetoric used against trans rights bill C-16[1], and most recently within the federal conversion therapy ban bill, C-6, that is making its way through the House of Commons as we speak. TERF advocacy is guided by a fundamental desire to reinforce a colonial gender binary and exempt trans people from human rights protections. By defining gender as based solely on sex, TERFs strive to oust trans people from women’s spaces, and perpetuate violence against trans and gender diverse communities. This transphobic, homophobic, transmisogynistic and fundamentally sexist rhetoric has no place in our feminist movements. 

As feminist organizations, we re-affirm our unilateral and unconditional support for trans rights and trans liberation. It is our belief that, in order to advance ALL women’s equity, rights, health and safety, we must ensure that the needs, experiences, ideas, rights and recommendations of trans women and transfeminine people in particular, and all trans and gender diverse communities more broadly, are reflected in our policies, programs and advocacy efforts.

We are not perfect in our work. While many of our orgs have been working to adopt an intersectional feminist approach, including a trans-inclusive approach, we know we continue to fall short. Trans people continue to be underrepresented in our workplaces, in feminist leadership positions, and within our boards of directors. Trans people are a driving force in our feminist movements and make incredible contributions across all facets of our society. It is past time we stop standing in their way.  

Calls to Action

We call upon ourselves and our partners to loudly and proudly proclaim that our feminism is trans-inclusive. 

We call upon ourselves and our partners to accelerate our efforts to affirm, engage, employ and uplift trans and gender diverse people in all aspects of our work. 

We call upon all feminists to act in solidarity with trans communities and movements. Our feminism must centre and support trans voices and liberation as intrinsic to our feminist agendas.

Signatories

Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
Action cancer du sein du Québec/Breast Cancer Action Québec
Alliance Arc-en-ciel de Québec
AlterHéros
Amnesty International Canada
Anti-Heroine Media
Atira Group of Women-Serving Agencies
Atira Women's Resource Society
Be the Peace Institute
Canadian Association for Education and Outreach / Association Canadienne pour l'Éducation et la Sensibilisation
Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity
Canadian Federation of University Women - Nepean
Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) National
Canadian Labour Congress
Canadian Partnership for Women and Children's Health (CanWaCH)
Centre de documentation sur l'éducation des adultes et la condition des femmes
Centre de solidarité lesbienne (CSL+)
Centre des femmes de Verdun
Centre for Gender & Sexual health Equity
City for All Women Initiative (CAWI)
Club Sexu
Coalition d'aide à la diversité sexuelle de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue
Coalition des familles LGBT+
Coalition des organismes communautaires québécois de lutte contre le sida
Community YWCA of Muskoka
Community-Based Research Centre
Conseil d’intervention pour l’accès des femmes au travail (CIAFT)
Conseil québécois LGBT
Consent Comes First, the Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education, Ryerson University
Cooperation Canada
Council of Elizabeth Fry Societies of Ontario
CUSA Gender and Sexuality Resource Centre
DisAbled Women's Network of Canada
Éditions du remue-ménage
Egale Canada
Elizabeth Fry Society of Northeastern Ontario
Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough
Euphorie dans le Genre
Fédération des Femmes du Québec
Fédération du Québec pour le planning des naissances
G(irls)20
Girls Action Foundation/Fondation filles d'action
Girls Rock Camp Toronto
GRIS-Québec
Halifax Sexual Health Centre
HIV Legal Network
Institute for International Women's Rights - Manitoba
Jeunes Queer Youth
Kickstand (the Alberta Center for Excellence in Youth Mental Health)
Kind Space
Kitchener-Waterloo YWCA
L'R des centres de femmes du Québec
La CORPS féministe
Le PIaMP
North Shore Women's Centre
Oakunsheyld Consulting
OCTEVAW
Options for Sexual Health
Oxfam Canada
PACE Society
Planned Parenthood NL Sexual Health Centre
Planned Parenthood Ottawa
Planned Parenthood Toronto
Platform
Portail VIH/sida du Québec
Purple Sisters Advisory
QMUNITY, BC's Queer, Trans, and Two-Spirit Resource Centre Society
Rainbow Resource Centre
Regroupement Naissances Respectées
Réseau québécois de l'action communautaire autonome (RQ-ACA)
Saskatoon Sexual Health
Second Story Women's Centre
Sexplique
Sexual Health Nova Scotia
SHORE Centre
South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario
South Shore Sexual Health Society
Tall Tree Psychology
Ten Oaks Project
The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
The Equality Fund
The Feminist Campaign School
Trans Health Information Ottawa
Two-Spirit Journal [dot] com
Vancouver Pride Society
WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre
West Coast LEAF
Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre
Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)
Women Transforming Cities International Society
Women's Shelters Canada / Hébergement femmes Canada
Women’s Network PEI
Y des femmes de Montreal (YWCA Montreal)
YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island
YWCA Banff
YWCA Brandon
YWCA Cambridge
YWCA Canada
YWCA Durham
YWCA Edmonton
YWCA Hamilton
YWCA Moncton
YWCA Niagara Region
YWCA NWT
YWCA Peterborough Haliburton
YWCA Prince Albert
YWCA Regina
YWCA Saskatoon
YWCA St. John's
YWCA St. Thomas-Elgin
YWCA Sudbury
YWCA Thompson
YWCA Toronto

Logos for the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, Wisdom2Action and Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights.

This statement was co-created through a partnership between the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, Wisdom2Action and Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights.


[1]  House of Commons. 2016. “An Act to Amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code,” which added gender identity to the list of grounds for discrimination, hate crimes and hate speech.  

Posted on 2021-05-04
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