The Trans Community Has a Message for Trump | Opinion

With the midterm elections right around the corner, it's more important than ever to be vocal about the Trump administration's constant attacks against the trans community. Between the military ban, his refusal of protections for trans youth in public schools, or trans people using public restrooms, and now his determination to erase trans people's legal identity, Trump has proven to be an enemy of our community and must be met with strong opposition.

After Trump became president we regressed in the fight for equality. We took several leaps back from all of the progress we had achieved during the Obama-era. In the beginning of my career, I received minimal backlash and was met with slight opposition during Barack Obama's presidency, however, during Trump's candidacy, nomination and eventual inauguration I received a terrible backlash. Having someone like Trump in office gave his supporters the agency and validation to spread hate and attack public figures who are trying to create positive and genuine change.

After Trump became president this world became a more dangerous place for trans people. The fact is, society was more comfortable embracing stories like mine and people like me during President Obama's terms in the White House.

Mainstream society has felt the need to de-feminize me whenever they can and discredit my female identity. Some people have decided I "don't really count as a woman."

This isn't just a trans issue, it is a women's issue too. I threaten traditional ideas and structures on gender and that scares Trump and his supporters. I even see it with the brand partnerships I've had in the past. Companies became a bit more hesitant to work with me or promote campaigns because they feared how their consumer base would react after Trump was in office.

Social media is one of our most vital tools in fighting the Trump administration. The #wontbeerased movement shows how the trans community and its allies adapt and push back against the dangers and toxicity from this rhetoric coming out of our White House. Social media effectively rallies like-minded communities and empowers them to continue to fight for their rights. I use my platform to educate, inspire and empower my followers.

Sometimes knowing that there is an entire community out there fighting the same battle as you is all the inspiration you need to keep going.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before departing for a rally on October 27, 2018 in Murphysboro, Illinois. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

Trump is a cisgender, straight, rich, white man who can't possibly understand what it is like to live a trans experience because he's never been exposed to that life—or even a trans person that he takes seriously.

I would implore him to research and educate himself. Get to know us. He needs to understand that we are human beings and valued citizens of this country. He needs to familiarize himself and recognize the many accomplishments and contributions we have made to society. We are not second class citizens. We are innovators and trailblazers. We are worthy of love, appreciation, acceptance, and a chance at life after our transition.

Trump's presidency is fueling the fire that President Barack Obama helped extinguish during his terms in office.

But our community will never be erased. We are here, we have always been here, and despite Trump's continued attacks to delegitimize transgender people, we will persist in our fight for equality. We are embedded in society. We are educators and doctors. We are lawyers and entrepreneurs. We are artists and designers. You cannot get rid of us. Like so many of my trans brothers and sisters, I have worked extremely hard to build up my identity to where I am today, and that will not be erased because of the ignorance and hatred Trump continues to spread.

We will not sit idly by and let him chip away at our right to exist. We have a powerful voice and it would be in his best interest to listen. The trans community is a loyal 1.4 million strong family. And we vote.

Carmen Carrera is a mother, actor, advocate and one of the world's highest profile transgender women. She is a dedicated international human rights and HIV Prevention advocate, and works with organizations like SUENOS LGBT to fight discrimination against young transgender women.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own.​​​​​​