I'll Speak Out for you
Safety Pins and "I'll Go With You" buttons while meaning well, place a burden on marginalized groups by placing 100% of the requirement of trust on a group of people who have already had their trust shaken and broken by the inconsideration and outright hostility shown by the majority. It is unfair for a person to wear a button that says "I'll Go With You" and expect a trans woman to automatically trust them. Stop to ask yourself "What action am I really taking by wearing this button?". For many the level of effort of wearing the button is no more than pinning it to their shirt and in return placing a burden of trust on trans women. When we stop to consider what "I'll Go With You" means from a trans woman's perspective, "I'll Go With You" means that on top of feeling humiliated and isolated, trans women are additionally expected to trust random strangers in a society that proves untrustworthy every day. In my view this catchy campaign invites cis people to feel like they are taking action without having to examine the trust deficit that exists between cis and trans communities. Is this what we want?
To counter this form of laissez-faire activism, I have created the following button that signifies "I'll Speak Out For You". What trans women need is a signal that shows you are willing to vocally speak out for us whenever and wherever it is needed. If you see something, say something. Counter the transphobia, the transmisogyny, the hostility, the "man in a dress" jokes. What trans women need is for cis people to show that they are willing and ready to put themselves on the line for trans people, and to speak out, to take action, to intervene, to step in and help whenever we need it. I don't want to have to ask cisgender people for trust. I don't need someone to walk me to the bathroom. I need to know that people will speak up and speak out and defend me when I am confronted or harassed. I need cis people to help own this. Don't ask me to trust a stranger, instead give me a signal that you're willing to take action where needed, and then do your part when you are needed. Help me by using your voice for me - by standing up and speaking out you will help reduce the harassment and harm trans people face while also helping cis people build much-needed trust with trans communities