In this short post, I want to ask, Who are we forgetting? Who are we leaving out?
In the ongoing journey for equality and civil rights for all, often times we forget about the underbelly of society (underbelly meaning hidden or vulnerable).
I currently work at a non-profit that works with active drug users and sex workers. A population that society has forgotten. A population that my organization seeks to include in conversations relating to policy and health. We constantly search each day for methods to better the lives of this group and to make them feel included within society. We work with those who are transgender and seek to protect their best interests with their help and input.
At our monthly trans support group last month, one transwoman remarked how she never leaves home without her long metal chain. It’s the only way she’s feels protected and it’s the only way she can guarantee her safety. Another transwoman from the group mentioned how often she has faced discrimination in searching and keeping jobs.
I live a bustling metropolis that prides itself on its open-mindedness and liberalness. How do we still have people feeling unsafe and unwelcome here? How do we do nothing to include them in conversations regarding their problems and safety? For such an open minded city, we close our ears to those in our midst whose voices need to be heard more than ours.
And so it is within the modern Mormon feminist movement. At least in my eyes.
We have made great strides in our community in making Mormonism more vast and egalitarian. We pride ourselves on being more open to change than the traditional orthodox LDS Church members. We’re ahead of the curve.
When we talk about feminism, are we including transwomen into our conversations?
When we talk about equality (within and outside of the Church), why do we often forget our sisters of color?
When we talk about defending ourselves from the patriarchy, do we also include those who are gay, lesbian, or queer?
I still read and hear stories of Mormon women of color who still feel left out of the conversation (myself included). It is painfully obvious that there are few voices in our movement from those who are LGBTQ. And is there even a space for those among us who are transwomen? Just because the numbers are small, doesn’t mean their voices shouldn’t be heard or included.
So, who are we forgetting? And how can we remember them?