Steve Grand lets transgender people know he's #GotYourBack

Steve Grand, openly gay country music star, is publicly speaking up for transgender people. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Grand talks about allowing trans people to "take the lead" in the movement for LGBT acceptance.

Using his platform to speak out for transgender people, Grand demonstrates an example of how to be an ally. To the trans community, Grand's #GotYourBack.

He says:

"...we can’t forget about the T in LGBT. I think now it’s our trans brothers and sisters that we really need to allow to take the lead. We need to listen to them and support them the way they have supported us all these years. I feel like they’ve put their needs, they’ve taken a backseat, to really help marriage equality come through and help people accept gay people better but that doesn’t necessarily help trans people. I think we need to be there to support them now. There’s a lot of issues that community faces that gay and lesbian people don’t have to face. There’s issues of what bathrooms they can go to and there’s blatant discrimination against them and even the way society thinks of gender is problematic for the way they see themselves and want to be seen by society. We have a long way to go. We’re really just beginning now so we really need to allow trans people to take the lead."

Grand says that many trans people have been allies to lesbian, gay, and bisexual people (and many trans folks identify as part of the LGB community); helping to advance equality for their cisgender (non-trans) peers in the LGBT community. Trans advocates have worked hard throughout history to combat marginalization based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy--all trans women of color--were vital to the Stonewall riots and unifying disenfranchised members of the LGBT community. Everyone in the LGBT community can be an ally to one another, whether it's cisgender LGB people to trans people, white LGBT people to LGBT people of color, gay men to lesbian and bisexual women, and so on.

Grand touches upon the stark discrimination many transgender people face, mentioning the freedom to use the bathroom that corresponds with a person's gender identity. This issue has sparked discriminatory backlash across the country, with many areas introducing anti-trans bills regarding restrooms and locker rooms.

Many other forms of discrimination affect transgender people each day. Last year, several states passed strict identification requirements that make it difficult for some trans people to vote, due to bias from poll workers or existing laws about updating IDs to reflect gender identity. Receiving fair and adequate healthcare is often an obstacle for many transgender people, as most insurance companies do not cover gender-affirming services, and many doctors lack comprehensive knowledge of trans issues. Furthermore, the pervasive discrimination often results in homelessness and poverty, with as many as 20% of trans people experiencing homelessness at some point in their lifetimes.

Join Grand in being an ally for trans people. Let them know you support them by posting your own #GotYourBack photo!