November is a month of mourning and remembrance for many of our communities.
On November 20, the trans community honors the lives of trans people murdered because of anti-trans oppression and hate. And on the last Thursday of the month, the United American Indians of New England host a gathering, protest, and march to commemorate a National Day of Mourning observed by Native people throughout the colonized and occupied lands known as the United States.
Many of AWN’s leadership and community members belong to the trans community. Many of AWN’s leadership and community members are also members of different Native tribal nations or draw their family and cultural roots from Native communities and nations.
Indigenous Two-Spirit leaders have taught us all for years that anti-trans oppression is rooted in settler colonialism – in white-centric ideas about gender. Loving and caring for trans people of all genders requires fighting to end white supremacy and settler colonialism.
AWN recognizes that those most sharply impacted by anti-trans violence are often Black and Native trans women, many of whom are also disabled and neurodivergent. AWN also recognizes the long-lasting and painful legacies of settler colonialism in upholding ableism through denial of resources, pathologization of peoples subject to colonization and occupation, and environmental racism.
In our own work, we aim to amplify the voices and labor of those at the margins of the margins, including trans and Native advocates in the disabled and neurodivergent communities. We share in the anger and grief of our community members who keep living, surviving, and resisting in the face of anti-trans and settler violence, and ongoing genocide. And we share in the hope that one day we will all live in a world where all people can live authentically and free of fear of violence, honoring sacred cultural traditions and wisdom, and returning sovereignty to the original stewards of the land where we live and work.
We share the following resources as a starting point for understanding trans liberation and Native sovereignty struggles in relation to disability justice:
- “We Move Together: Disability Justice and Trans Liberation” with Patty Berne, Reina Gossett, Kiyaan Abadani, and Malcolm Shanks (video with captioning)
- No Body Is Disposable series by Barnard Center for Research on Women
- Indigenous Lives and Disability Justice by Jen Deerinwater
- Transphobia is a White Supremacist Legacy of Colonialism by Michael Paramo
- Decolonizing the Body: Indigenizing Our Approach to Disability Studies by Rachel Presley