Hello community members,
As an organization we are enraged, heartbroken, and ashamed regarding the atrocious amount of violence that has been, and continues to be targeted towards trans women and transfeminine folks on campus and in the wider community. It is apparent that we, as an organization that claims and strives to resist and prevent violence on campus, have been active as well as complicit in this violence and have not done close to enough to include, support, and fight alongside trans women and transfeminine folks in our community. The simple fact that this violence has taken and continues to take place on campus is evidence of this, and of the vast amount of necessary work that needs to take place.
Much of the recent violence has been perpetrated from a group of “radical feminists” who claim to be fighting for and supporting women. We wish to be clear: this group is transantagonistic and perpetuates blatant violence in their actions, politics, and message. If anyone experiences/has experienced violence from this group of people, know that there are community resources available for support (list at the bottom of this post and in the attached file) and that the UVic administration, UVic Equity and Human Rights, Campus Security, the police, and the UVSS are aware of the situation.
When there is a severe act of violence in our communities, many of us distance ourselves from our participation in it by claiming to hold different politics than those accused, and/or that we are “incapable” of such harm. Spending this time ensuring our removal from these acts of violence serves only to deny our participation within systems and structures that perpetuate harm. In order for us to be accountable to our communities, especially those who are disproportionately experiencing harm, we must first recognize that we are all capable (and often have a history) of causing harm.
The people involved in these attacks, and the ideas that they perpetuate do not exist in a vacuum. Our (in)actions and complicity affect the ways that transantagonism permeates our spaces, thoughts, feelings, politics, and intimacy. At the same time that we work to fight the systems of power that create this violence (colonialism, white supremacy, patriarchy, the gender binary, and more) we participate in the ways that these systems have contributed to what we have come to believe is worthy of respect, dignity, and love.
We, as an organization, individuals, and as members of a community have so. much. work. to do.
We invite ourselves and other folks who wish to work in solidarity with trans women and the transfeminine community to listen, learn, unlearn, fight, love, and always do better.
Possible places for all of us to start
- Listening to Trans Women and Transfeminine folks
- Supporting and attending the UVic Pride Transfeminine Inclusion Working Group
- Printing these community notices (attached file) and posting them in our communities and places we frequent.
- Challenging transmisogyny and transantagonism in ourselves, each other, and folks around us. Use our/your privilege and access to spaces and conversations to interrupt violence.
- Take time to find resources, especially those by transfeminine folks – not only about violence but also the historical and on-going resistance within the transfeminine community. Explaining the history of violence and resistance should not always fall on those who have experienced harm.
- Having conversations about what is happening on campus and why it’s violent with folks who wouldn’t normally be aware of the situation or understand why it’s violent.
- Checking in with transfeminine folks and trans women in your life to see what they need. Come up with things you feel capable of doing and offer these supports (check ins, safety plans, cooking food, offering drives, etc).
This list is not perfect, complete, or exhaustive; it is an opportunity for us to challenge each other to do better, to hold our communities with care and respect, and to take part in resisting violence together.
In love, care, and solidarity,
The Anti.Violence.Project Team
Community Support Resources
Vancouver Island Crisis Line 1-888-494-3888 (24 hrs)
Victoria Sexual Assault Centre 250-383-3232 (24 hrs)
Campus Security/Safe Walk
250-721-7599 (24 hrs)
UVic Counselling Services
UVic Pride Collective
Native Students Union
Students of Colour Collective
Society for Students with a Disability