Celebs Sign Open Letter Supporting Trans Community

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday April 2, 2021

More than 450 female leaders - including celebrities such as Laverne Cox, Selena Gomez, Megan Rapinoe, Wanda Sykes, and Sarah Paulson, and others - signed an open letter affirming trans women, calling out discrimination, decrying violence, and standing for rights like bodily autonomy, UK newspaper Daily Mail reports.

"The show of support came on the Transgender Day of Visibility, as well as the final day of Women's History Month," the newspaper reported, noting the letter directly challenged the efforts of lawmakers in a number of states to deprive minors of medically appropriate treatment and to ban trans athletes from competing on girls' and women's teams.

The letter was signed by more "feminist leaders in advocacy, business, entertainment, media, politics, and social justice," the article said, who were taking a stand "for transgender and nonbinary people."

Among the celebrities who signed were Halle Berry, Patricia Arquette, Bella Hadid, Brie Larson, Regina King, Janelle Monáe, Lena Waithe, Gabrielle Union, Cynthia Erivo, Judith Light, Amy Schumer, Julianne Moore, Cara Delevingne, America Ferrera, Lena Dunham and Lena Waithe, Sarah Paulson, Ashley Judd, Natasha Lyonne, and Eva Longoria.

"Trans women and girls have been an integral part of the fight for gender liberation," the letter stated. "We uphold that truth and denounce the ongoing anti-transgender rhetoric and efforts we witness in various industries."

The letter demanded "equal access to education, employment, healthcare, housing, recreation, and public accommodations" and called for respect for "each person's right to bodily autonomy and self-determination," Daily Mail said.

"The letter was published by GLAAD and Black transgender activist and award-winning writer Raquel Willis," the article went on to say.

The letter pointed out the ongoing epidemic of lethal anti-trans violence that has mainly affected transgender women of color, and called out those who appropriate feminist language in attacking trans women.

"True feminists do not wish to limit any woman's identity or freedom to fully be herself," the letter stated. "Allowing transphobic rhetoric to go unchecked also strengthens the legislative efforts of anti-trans politicians—who now cloak their bigotry in language about protecting or supporting women."

"We all must fight against the unnecessary and unethical barriers placed on trans women and girls by lawmakers and those who co-opt the feminist label in the name of division and hatred," the letter summarized. "Our feminism must be unapologetically expansive so that we can leave the door open for future generations."

"Organizations such as the TIME'S UP Foundation, The Trevor Project and Amy Poehler's Smart Girls" were also signatories, the article said.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.