The following resolution was passed by the CPUSA National Board and submitted for party-wide discussion.
The demonization of transgender people in the United States is today a focal point of the far right’s campaign for political and economic domination. Capitalism in the United States has always thrived on the division of working people in our country. At various times in history, the ruling class has promoted the oppression of people of color, immigrants, women, and LGBTQ people. Now, the trans community is in the crosshairs and needs support and solidarity.
A central characteristic of U.S. capitalism is the special oppression it imposes on targeted sections of our working class. This oppression — which comes on top of and compounds the exploitation already inherent under the capitalist economic system — serves two purposes: It increases monopoly profits and creates disunity.
Following the defeat of Trump in the 2020 elections and the blows dealt to the fascist-leaning faction of the Republican Party, the extreme right stepped up its efforts to reclaim the offensive against the forces of progress.
It has added a sustained nationwide transphobic assault to the racism, male supremacy, misogyny, and LGBTQ-phobia that have long been favored weapons of the forces of big-business politics.
The year 2021 saw a record number of anti-trans legislative proposals put forward by Republicans and Evangelical Christian legislators across the country. No fewer than 110 bills in at least 37 states were filed. From Hawaii to Florida, Texas to Maine, Republicans went on a full-court press to target trans people — especially trans female student athletes.
Republican governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis seek to bully trans girls, using them as a political prop to distract from their party’s deadly mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis and their economic plans, which offer nothing for the masses of people in this country. Rather than talk about a people’s recovery, they sign bills forbidding trans girls from playing sports on teams alongside athletes born as girls and cynically try to use fear and lies to divide people.
Rousing his base with his usual recipe of hatred, former White House occupant Donald Trump has eagerly inserted himself into the rush to villainize trans people and their supporters as well, claiming, “Joe Biden and the Democrats are pushing policies that would destroy women’s sports.” Like most Republicans, he never utters the actual word transgender, for that would acknowledge the reality of trans persons.
Although girls’ sports is the primary front in the GOP’s anti-trans game plan, their attacks extend into many more areas.
States like Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Texas, and others have seen efforts to block trans people — particularly trans young people — from accessing needed medical care. In Tennessee, Virginia, and several other states, the fight has been over who can use what toilet. Montana and South Dakota saw Republicans up in arms over what gender people may list on their identity documents. Blocking aspiring trans parents from adopting or fostering children is the GOP goal in Iowa, South Carolina, and West Virginia.
The extreme right’s war on trans people is also inciting physical violence, just like anti-Asian attacks have been sparked by the endless repetition of anti-Chinese policy and rhetoric. Assaults and murders of trans people — especially trans women — have been steadily increasing, reaching crisis proportions.
As Communists, we consider the fight against special oppression and for full equality as fundamental to all working-class and people’s struggles. We base our program and actions on the reality that all are hurt when one is hurt, and that overcoming transphobia — just like racism and other bigotries — raises up all people. This understanding enables us to present a united and effective fightback.
In the immediate term, members of the Communist Party are committed to winning the Equality Act, which, if it can be passed over Republican filibuster threats, would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to forbid discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Making the Equality Act law would provide protections for transgender Americans — and everyone else — against prejudice in employment, housing, education, and many other areas of life.
To be an effective ally and political home for trans people in the United States, the Communist Party will always seek to educate our members and leaders on the trans struggle and train them to be fighters for trans equality and justice. The party also dedicates itself to seeking out and promoting the leadership of trans activists in our ranks.
Communists will mobilize to fight against transphobia wherever it appears — in national and state politics, in the towns and cities where we live, in the places where we work, in the unions and mass organizations we belong to, and within our organization itself.
Winning the long-term goal of socialism requires the unity of all workers and oppressed peoples — and that includes trans people. Our party will never be silent in the face of attacks on the trans community, no matter what forces or interests initiate them.
The Communist Party resolves to throw itself fully into the fight for trans people’s right to exist, to gender self-determination and gender-affirming health care, to be recognized as who they are, to live free of discrimination with full and equal civil rights, and to thrive — on the job, in school, at home, and in all spaces and places.
Image: “2018.10.22 We Won’t Be Erased – Rally for Trans Rights, Washington, DC USA 06815” by tedeytan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 .