S’niyah Tate’s Speech at the Rally for Equal Rights 2022

S'niyah Tate

S’niyah Tate, MyTransVoice Co-Facilitator

Hello everyone, I’m S’Niyah and my pronouns are she/her.

I’m a black trans woman from Detroit, and as a trans woman who is very involved in both politics as well as the trans and larger LGBT+ community, me and many other people have noticed a rise in anti-trans an anti-LGBT hysteria in recent years with misinformation, hate and lies spreading further and further every day as well as hundreds of anti LGBT bills being passed nationwide.

Witnessing this can make the future of our community and movement seem very dark. But I know for a fact that the LGBT+ community is a very strong community that has weathered many waves of hate and persecution that lasted decades and even centuries. This community has survived through thousands of coordinated efforts to eliminate us from governments around the world, disease, many religions, and other groups that had the goal of restricting and or eliminating LGBT existence. I’m happy to say that all those efforts have failed and were still here and still queer to this day. This community has stayed strong through the good times when it seemed like everything was destined to be perfect and the bad times when all we had was each other. We survived the AIDs epidemic, countless attempts to “cure” us through conversion therapy and other harmful practices, our relationships being outlawed in the past and present by governments around the world, censorship of LGBT topics, the threat of jail and or death just for daring to exist as ourselves, constant waves of propaganda and misinformation with the goal of turning more people against us, and so much more. We survived all of it and will continue to survive any future obstacles standing in our way.

Two very important factors that separate the LGBT community today from past generations is the ease of access to information about ourselves and our identities thanks to the internet. Information and resources that are readily available and easily accessible to people who are still figuring out who they are and letting those people know that what they’re experiencing is 100% normal, there’s nothing wrong with them, they aren’t an abomination or have a disease that needs to be cured, and there is a community of others out there like them. Having easily accessible information online also makes it much harder for governments to censor LGBT topics with actions such as book bans when the bans can be circumvented by sharing access to the books online as well as multiple different ways to access information from the safety of your home despite any restrictions a government may create. The second important factor is the amount of allies we have fighting alongside us in the effort to further equality around the world. More people are educated on and support the LGBT+ community than every before which has allowed us to achieve very large goals in a shorter amount of time than ever before and has created a supportive environment where people who are in the community can feel comfortable being themselves in society. With that being said I would like to thank all our allies who went out of their way to educate themselves on queer issues and use that education to fight to help further queer rights.

I would like to end this by saying that our movement and community is built on generations of people who not only survived but thrived in the face of oppression and It is our duty as LGBT people and as allies to pave the road to a better future just as past generations worked to create what we have today. With that being said. Keep fighting, never lose hope, and always be yourself.

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