IJV Stands with Trans and Non-Binary People at the University of Waterloo and Beyond

Last Wednesday, June 28, a gender studies class at the University of Waterloo was targeted in an apparent hate crime that left a professor and two students injured. This was not an isolated incident, but rather another disturbing sign of the rise of transphobia and hate in Canada.

Extreme anti-trans policies are inflaming the United States, but Canada is showing symptoms too. This can be seen in the rise in transphobic rhetoric online and by politicians, as well as the targeting of events like all-ages drag storytime and of teaching and research critical of racial, ethnic, and gender-based intolerance. As an organization established to oppose hate, violence, and oppression, Independent Jewish Voices condemns these hate-fueled attacks and stands in solidarity with trans people all over the globe. We are proud to count trans and non-binary Jews as part of our membership and continue to work to make our organization trans-inclusive. We also recognize that our Palestinian comrades, both at home and in the diaspora, include trans and non-binary people who experience greater susceptibility to violence because of their intersecting identities. 

Our fight for Palestinian liberation and an end to antisemitism is deeply intertwined with the struggle for trans liberation and an end to transphobia. It is no coincidence that those who oppose the existence of trans people also perpetuate antisemitic tropes and call for a white nationalist state. The alt-right movement is the latest stage in a long colonial history that has tried to impose a white, Christian, capitalist, patriarchal power structure on societies the world over. We see this now with groups such as White Lives Matter and their targeting of Jews, racialized people, and trans people, which makes those with overlapping marginalized identities especially vulnerable. But this type of hate is not new, and neither are the direct parallels between oppression of Jews and oppression of queer people.

In the 1940s, the LGBTQ+ community was targeted alongside Jews for systematic genocide by the Nazi regime. While both Jews and trans folks represent a small portion of the overall population, they are often highlighted by hate groups as being responsible for the social and moral decay of (Western) society. 

These hate groups understand that white heteropatriarchal nationalism involves targeting of *all* vulnerable communities. We know that to oppose them, we must continue to see our struggles as interwoven. Today and every day, we stand in solidarity with our trans kin under attack and we will fight for a world where everyone is free, from Turtle Island to Palestine.