Joe Wong, APTN Programme Manager, delivered a powerful opening statement for the Trans Pre-Conference at the International AIDS Conference in Durban, SA, July 2016.
Our movement must be an intersectional one, taking into account the expanse of identities we hold, challenges we face, needs we prioritize, and contexts in which we live. We must focus on what our people need and how they believe those needs should be met. We must center trans voices and promote trans-led initiatives. Today we have a full- day event, time to meet and work with one another, to learn from each other. But as we all know, we must do more. For every single trans person able to be here today, there are thousands upon thousands who are absent. And it is for these people that we must make demands.
Those demands again:
We demand comprehensive data collection.
We demand adequate funding.
We demand responsible gender identity laws.
We demand action to reduce gender-based violence.
We demand universal access to healthcare and gender affirming health services. We demand the right to work.
In sum, we demand dignity, respect, and our humanity.