My civic duties are at stake.

Everyone is always talking about their rights, whether their right to something, or their rights at stake. What about our civic duties and responsibilities?

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Let’s talk about why it’s crucial to delay the vote on RBG’s successor (swipe for quick action steps YOU can take!) As a trans person, my legal rights and protections are repeatedly argued in Supreme Court cases. This is true of many marginalized people – be they POC, disabled, neurodivergent, women, or a member of a marginalized religion. If you’re not a white, Christian, cisgender, heterosexual, neurotypical, non-disabled, wealthy man, chances are that your rights have or will come up for debate. SCOTUS is responsible for interpreting our laws. Many of the advances that we’ve made in civil rights and equal protections over the past fifty years have been decided by landmark Supreme Court cases, following years of citizens fighting for rights. To name a few: Obergefell v. Hodges granted couples of the same legal sex the right to marry, Roe v. Wade granted the legal right to abortion, and Brown v. Board of Ed ruled that racial segregation of schools was unconstitutional. The continuation of our most dearly held freedoms is not a given. Though they were hard-won through the work of activists, a single SCOTUS decision has the power to either reinforce them or whittle them away. In order to further our progress and safeguard our freedoms, it is vitally important that we delay a vote on RBG’s successor until after Biden (hopefully) takes office in January. I know that times like these can feel super disempowering, but our voices absolutely can make a difference. I recognize that RBG left a lot to be desired – among other shortcomings, she failed to show up for indigenous people and asylum seekers, argued in favor of fossil fuel, and spoke out against protest tactics she deemed “disrespectful.” We must demand a successor that embodies all the good of RBG while fighting for communities that RBG historically pushed aside. I am deeply terrified at the implications of a 6-3 conservative majority in SCOTUS. Let’s do what we can to make sure this never becomes a reality. @notcamsand #trans #GirlsLikeUs #TransIsBeautiful #transgender #lgbt #nonbinary #SCOTUS #civilrights #vote #supremecourt #rbg #notoriousRBG #senator #activism #advocacy #nature #naturephotography

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A buddy of mine, author of Trans and Caffeinated, explains what’s at stake for the trans community.

I’m not afraid of losing my rights if Trump replaces RBG’s open vacancy. Losing our jobs to pay the bills, being able to productive members of society. The ability and duty to vote. Being called for jury duty. Joining the military. Planning families responsibly, to minimize unwanted children. Access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare.

Voting is not just a right, but the most important civic duty—if we’re unable to vote, we lose our ability to vote into, and out of, power people who would or won’t protect all the people.

You have a duty to work, to provide for yourself and family—and to pay taxes. If we can’t find a job without fear of being dismissed because we’re LGBTQ, we can’t pay our taxes, and thus unnecessarily live off welfare, not something the average taxpayer wants to think about.

If we don’t have access to affordable housing, we’re forced into homeless shelters or motels. We already have issues with our trans sisters fighting to gain and retain access to safe spaces; our homeless shelters are already overburdened thanks to the recession (if not already a depression), they can’t afford having us add to their numbers if landlords are able to turn us away.

Hospitals are overburdened because people without healthcare just go straight to the ER or urgency care because they can’t afford a trip to the doctor for minor health issues. If we can’t access basic healthcare, we overwhelm the hospitals. This especially will stretch thin rural hospitals, as the ACA cut their funding because all of us were supposed to have healthcare—and Republicans made sure that didn’t happen.

No access to family planning clinics will return women back to the dark days of getting unsafe abortions, or having to take time off from work to travel long distances to get safe abortions or find someone to give them birth control. Time off they can’t afford. Meaning they may lose their jobs, and thus end up on unemployment, raising any unplanned kids.

I’m not asking for my rights, or even fighting that these bigots stop fighting to deny me my rights. I’m demanding that these bigots stop interfering with my duties to be a proactive, productive member of society.

I’m sure if we change the discussion from one about our rights to one about our duties, we’d gain far more allies, and our enemies will lose their fire power.

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