STATEMENT: Iowa's Anti-Trans Law Must Go!

Student workers stand in solidarity with trans athletes against Iowa’s regressive law.

The Union of Grinnell Student Dining Workers stands in solidarity with trans people. We strongly condemn the attempts to regulate, encroach upon, and destroy the lives of trans children and athletes of all ages by the Iowa Republican Party and Governor Kim Reynolds. We must fight to overturn this abusive and discriminatory law and stand together in support with our transgender friends and family. Many of UGSDW’s members and most active organizers are trans, and many more have close friends, family, and loved ones who have been impacted by discriminatory, transphobic legislation.

The new Iowa law, which prohibits trans women from participating in sports teams matching their gender identity, is one of 27 such bills introduced in states around the country this year. Governor Kim Reynolds states that the law targets trans women and girls in the name of “inclusivity” and “equality,” — but the law clearly endangers trans people everywhere. Trans women are women. It is impossible to protect women’s rights while excluding trans women. Governor Kim Reynolds claims to protect women’s rights in the name of “inclusivity,” but she is undoubtedly violating them.

Trans rights are workers’ rights. Any union that does not stand up for the rights of its most attacked and threatened workers is not worthy of the name. This year, trans workers in Grinnell College’s mailroom stood up for their rights and were supported by their coworkers and fellow students at a rally attended by more than 200 people after the College failed to respond to their repeated complaints. UGSDW will continue to support efforts by trans workers to combat transphobic harassment on the job. Collective action is the best way to meaningfully combat discrimination from supervisors and protect our co-workers when HR departments will not.

Trans people cannot rely on the legal system to protect their livelihoods and their rights. We must stand up for each other and take action to make it clear to politicians and anyone else seeking to harm trans people that their hatred will not be tolerated, that any society that does not respect and celebrate trans people is not acceptable. We reiterate that trans rights are workers’ rights, and we will not stop fighting until every person is safe, secure, and has the right to flourish free of discriminatory violence.

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