Day 14: Be a micro-inclusionist

It’s the last day of our #14DaysOfAction campaign. We are grateful to everyone who read these posts and took actions to support (other) trans and non-binary individuals and loved ones. To close this year’s series, we would like to talk about micro-inclusions.

You may have heard of micro-aggressions. They can be defined as “indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group,” and they happen a lot to transgender and non-binary individuals and loved ones.

FORGE encourages people to counteract micro-aggressions through micro-inclusions. These are small symbolic actions that “recall our humanity…and signal to those at the margins they are included.” They can be both extremely small – eye contact and a smile – and extremely powerful. They may include body language in which you lean forward toward someone, give a consensual hug, introduce yourself with pronouns and invite someone to share theirs. They can include making sure there is trans literature available in your (or your provider’s!) waiting room. They can include noticing when (another) trans/non-binary person is showing resilience, and making a point of affirming them. They can include saying something positive about trans people whenever you (over)hear something negative being said. Whenever you positively acknowledge trans or non-binary individuals, you are practicing a micro-inclusion.

Many of the #14DaysOfTransAction are also considered micro-inclusions. Talking about trans and non-binary identities – that’s a micro-inclusion.  Spreading the word about sexual harassment and its impacts on trans+ people – that’s a micro-inclusion.  Using an “I’m Here for You” card – that, too, is a micro-inclusion.  There are limitless possibilities!

Earlier this year, FORGE facilitated a learning event at the Bradford Community Church Unitarian Universalist.  During the service, this list of suggestions for folks in their congregation was read: http://forge-forward.org/wp-content/docs/Micro-inclusionist-BradfordChurch-reading.pdf

Countering violence and trauma affecting trans and non-binary people and loved ones is not necessarily hard work. It can be as simple as a smile, a word, a symbol, a poster. Aim to incorporate micro-inclusions every day, and you will be participating in changing the world.

Take Action!

#14DaysOfTransAction #TDOR #TransAwareness #TDOR2019