Dear cis folk and parents of cis kids,

This post was originally written on Feb. 17th by Nicola Van Kuilenburg

NOTE: The term “Cis” is short for “Cisgender” which is a term for for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth. Someone who identifies as a woman and was assigned female at birth is, for example, a cisgender woman. The term cisgender is the opposite of the word transgender.

“Dear cis folk and parents of cis kids,

You might be wondering why this t-shirt worn by Don Cheadle on a popular national tv show ( SNL) is so bloody important to us. It's just a t-shirt, right? 

It's actually everything right now because we are tired and scared. And we often feel very lonely, and like nobody outside our community cares. After more than 2 years of attack after attack on trans folk, and in particular extra vulnerable trans youth, any display of support for our kids gives us the courage and the strength to continue in this struggle. You see, we know that most folk support our kids but the positive messages often get drowned out by the stories we read in the press almost daily now. Trans girl not allowed to shelter with her peers during active shooter drill at school, trans athletes denied the right to participate in school sports, teachers allowed to use transphobic slurs in school plays and school administrators not allowing our kids to use the bathrooms of the gender they identify with..... These stories leave negative impressions on our kids and help them believe the world isn't a safe or welcoming place for them. And we all know the consequences of that for our kids. 

Don Cheadle is a 'hero' here....but let this be the start of something bigger. Let all of you go out and buy your own shirts supporting trans youth and wear them as often as you can. You might just help save the life of that trans kid who spots your shirt in the grocery store, or make a parent of a trans kid who is struggling feel like somebody else has their back. Let's start with 'protect trans kids' shirts and then move on to fully actually empowering these kids to live as their authentic selves. Be a loud and vocal ally every day. 

If Don Cheadle can do it, so can you.


Kris Janovitz