Queer Endurance/Defiance

Serah A is a member of the ISO in Wellington. This is a speech she gave at the recent rally in support of trans rights

You’ve heard from some great speakers tonight. You’ve heard about trans awesomeness. You’ve heard about the TERFs, and where their hate leads. You’ve heard about the BMDRR bill that will make our lives easier. You’ve heard about other reasons for action, and other people willing to take that action.

Meanwhile in that building [indicating the Michael Fowler Centre, where anti-trans group SUFW were holding a meeting], trans exclusionary people have been discussing trans exclusionary things.

Those people are wrong. Those who fear trans people are wrong in their analysis of us. We are a threat, sure, but we’re a threat to archaic social structures and to the ruling classes, not to our fellow working class. Those who exclude trans people are wrong in their actions. We hope they’ll realise this and come stand beside us some day. Those who deny our rights are wrong. Human rights are not things which come at the expense of each other. Trans rights do not exclude women’s rights, as the TERFs claim. Trans rights and women’s rights are generally the same thing. If we need to distinguish trans women and cis women when talking about women’s rights, then we can still say both groups’ rights are complementary of one another. They go together. We’re not trying to take rights away, and others shouldn’t try to take them away from us.

I’m a member of the International Socialist Organisation, but I don’t think I’m alone when I say we stand in solidarity with other working class struggles for rights. Just today, Protect Pūtiki protesters were arrested for standing up to construction of a marina on Waiheke Island, construction which has not been agreed to by local iwi. Here in Wellington, Mau Whenua stand up against development of their land against their wishes. We stand with them.

Our rights are human rights. Our right not just to exist but to live, to thrive, alongside our comrades. in society, not sidelined by it. Trans Rights are Human Rights!

This rally was organised by a new activist group – Queer Endurance/Defiance. I’m proud to be one of that group. If you’d like to join us in our organising, come speak with us, or message us on Facebook. Queer Endurance/Defiance. But also the term Queer Endurance/Defiance shouldn’t be just the name of a group. It’s US. It’s what we’re doing. Right now. It describes who we… WE… are.

  • Queer because we’re different. We’re proud of that difference. We’re not afraid to be different. Sure we feel fear sometimes. But that doesn’t define us. We face down the opposition proudly. Proud of our identities. Proud of our authenticity. Proud we love who we love. Proud we love how we love. Proud of how much we love.
  • Endurance because we won’t be worn down. We won’t be swept under the rug. We won’t be forgotten. We won’t be erased from history. We have endured. We’re still here. We’ll continue to endure despite ANY attempts to erase us.
  • Defiance because we will stand strong, together. We ARE doing that right now. We’re not just going to weather the storm. We’re going to face it. We’re here to protect our queer whānau. We’ll stand up to protect takatāpui. Gay men. Lesbian women. Trans binary and non binary. Intersex. Everyone. We love you, we love each other, we all stand together, we protect our community, and we protect each other.

Queer Endurance/Defiance.