Hollywood luminaries sign letter supporting trans women on Trans Day of Visibility

Laverne Cox posing in a black blazer
Laverne Cox is among the celebrities who signed a letter supporting trans women and girls.
(Chris Pizzello / Invision / Associated Press)

At the intersection of Women’s History Month and Trans Day of Visibility, more than 400 women in Hollywood and beyond have signed an open letter in support of transgender women and girls, as well as the nonbinary community.

Among the entertainment luminaries who joined forces with GLAAD and trans rights activist Raquel Willis on Wednesday in solidarity with their trans and nonbinary peers were America Ferrera, Mj Rodriguez, Brie Larson, Laverne Cox, Halle Berry, Janelle Monáe, Julianne Moore, Lilly Singh, Regina King, Rosie Perez, Selena Gomez and Gabrielle Union.

“Trans women and girls have been an integral part of the fight for gender liberation,” the letter reads. “We uphold that truth and denounce the ongoing anti-transgender rhetoric and efforts we witness in various industries. We acknowledge with clarity and strength that transgender women are women and that transgender girls are girls.


“And we believe that honoring the diversity of women’s experiences is a strength, not a detriment to the feminist cause. All of us deserve the same access, freedoms, and opportunities. We deserve equal access to education, employment, healthcare, housing, recreation, and public accommodations. And we must respect each person’s right to bodily autonomy and self-determination.”

Other “feminist leaders” listed on the address include Gloria Steinem, Eva Longoria, Anna Wintour, Kathryn Hahn, Lena Waithe, Megan Rapinoe, Alice Wong, Munroe Bergdorf, Patrisse Cullors, Sarah Paulson, Suzy Nakamura, Trace Lysette, Uzo Aduba, Klarissa Oh and Cynthia Erivo.

Their statement comes shortly after Arkansas became the first state to prevent trans children from accessing gender-affirming healthcare and South Dakota became the latest state to prohibit trans athletes from joining sports teams that align with their gender. Legislation discriminating against trans people in sports and healthcare has been introduced this year in several regions of the country.

“It is time for the long history of assaults (legislative, physical, social, and verbal) against trans women and girls to end,” the letter continues. “For far too long, lawmakers have worked to strip trans women of their civil liberties — in 2021, once again, we’ve seen a wave of bigoted governmental policies and legislation.

“Many of these laws target the rights of girls to play school sports or criminalize doctors for treating trans youth and their families. The women’s movement has seen doctors targeted before for providing us with necessary medical care and services, and we refuse to let youth endure that now. Plus, we know that anti-trans sports bans are as unnecessary as they are harmful—and that women athletes at both the professional and college levels support inclusion.”

“The ban made me feel excluded, had no merit and negatively affected me and my family,” recalled Jazz Jennings, star of “I Am Jazz” on TLC.

March 30, 2021


The high-profile signatories also called out “self-identified feminists, who have been promoting damaging and violent ideas about trans people for years in the United States and internationally.” One of the most notable public figures who has drawn sharp criticism for making anti-transgender remarks is “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling — whom many have condemned as a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, or TERF.

“Their vitriol is, in fact, not feminist at all,” Wednesday’s missive reads. “True feminists do not wish to limit any woman’s identity or freedom to fully be herself. Allowing transphobic rhetoric to go unchecked also strengthens the legislative efforts of anti-trans politicians — who now cloak their bigotry in language about protecting or supporting women.”

Additionally, the letter acknowledged “the ongoing epidemic of murder and violence plaguing Black and Latinx trans women,” citing 2020 as “the deadliest year on record for the transgender community.” According to the LGBTQ+ magazine Them, 44 trans people were killed last year in the United States.

“As a cisgender woman, I now understand that I should not have considered this role,” Halle Berry said after expressing interest in playing a trans character.

July 7, 2020

”... the feminist movement has largely expanded in beautiful and powerful ways,” the message concludes. “We have more language and understanding than ever before to describe how our unique experiences are threaded in the larger tapestry of womanhood.

“We all must fight against the unnecessary and unethical barriers placed on trans women and girls by lawmakers and those who co-opt the feminist label in the name of division and hatred. Our feminism must be unapologetically expansive so that we can leave the door open for future generations.”

Read the full letter here.

GLAAD’s campaign coincides with President Biden’s historic proclamation recognizing Trans Day of Visibility.

“The crisis of violence against transgender women, especially transgender women of color, is a stain on our Nation’s conscience,” the White House proclamation reads. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to fulfilling the promise of America for all Americans by stamping out discrimination and delivering freedom and equality for all.”