More than 420 women representing entertainment, business, politics, activism and music have come together and signed a letter organized by activist Raquel Willis timed to today’s Transgender Day of Visibility and the end of Women’s History Month.
The letter arrives during a time when the transgender community has again fallen under attack, this time in Arkansas where the senate passed a bill Monday (March 29) that would ban access to gender-affirming care for transgender youth.
“It is time for the long history of assaults (legislative, physical, social, and verbal) against trans women and girls to end. For far too long, lawmakers have worked to strip trans women of their civil liberties — in 2021, once again, we’ve seen a wave of bigoted governmental policies and legislation. Many of these laws target the rights of girls to play school sports or criminalize doctors for treating trans youth and their families,” reads the letter.
“These bigoted efforts are also aided by a contingent of self-identified feminists, who have been promoting damaging and violent ideas about trans people for years in the United States and internationally. Their vitriol is, in fact, not feminist at all. True feminists do not wish to limit any woman’s identity or freedom to fully be herself. 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.”
Among the signatories are Gloria Steinem, Regina King, Halle Berry, Selena Gomez, Chelsea Clinton, Gabrielle Union, Wanda Sykes, Kathryn Hahn, Bella Hadid, Janelle Monáe, Patricia Arquette, Laverne Cox, Julianne Moore, Brie Larson, Cynthia Erivo, Judith Light, Amy Schumer, Cara Delevingne, Lena Waithe, Sarah Paulson, Alison Brie, Alyssa Milano, Lilly Singh, Ilana Glazer, America Ferrera, Mj Rodriguez, Kat Graham, Peppermint, Tegan & Sara, Beanie Feldstein, Christina Ricci, Melissa Etheridge, Lena Dunham, Mayim Bialik, Amiyah Scott, Tatiana Maslany, among many others.
Also backing it are leaders from national organizations including Time’s Up, Me Too, Women’s March, Planned Parenthood, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, Ms. Foundation, 3% Movement, National Women’s Law Center, GLAAD, the Trevor Project, LGBTQ Task Force, GLSEN, Athlete Ally, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lesbians Who Tech, and others.
“We continue to reckon with a history that has often excluded women of color, of different sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, ages, body types, religions and regions, and who are disabled. However, the feminist movement has largely expanded in beautiful and powerful ways. We have more language and understanding than ever before to describe how our unique experiences are threaded in the larger tapestry of womanhood.,” continues the letter. “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. Our feminism must be unapologetically expansive so that we can leave the door open for future generations.”
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.