Quick Hit: Demanding the impossible

The Barnard Center for Research on Women recently released Impossibility Now, a video manifesto on critical trans politics made by the trans speaker, writer, law professor and organizer Dean Spade, with Basil Shadid. The video should be required watching for the entire world. We included this in last week’s Weekly Feminist Reader, but I wanted to make sure to specifically highlight it since it does such a great job of articulating complex concepts in a simple manner. Connecting everything from immigration, gender policing, ableism, racism, and sexism, the video critiques federal equality and assimilation efforts and asks us to look beyond what laws say and look at what laws actually do for us. Spade says,

We’re told that the solution to transphobia is to get the law to declare us equal, that that is the most important change we can make. But we know better. In reality, during the period when legal equality was supposedly delivered – when sexism, racism, and ableism supposedly became forbidden – material inequality has worsened, and things have gotten especially worse for women, people of color, people w disabilities, poor people, immigrants and prisoners. The wealth gap has widened, wages have lowered, more people work as temporary workers, less have health care or retirement benefits, and more are facing foreclosure.


The police and courts and prisons will never protect us – they are our most significant predators.

I was fortunate enough to have watched this back in April when I was on a panel with the fabulous Reina Gossett (who helped make this video!) of the Silvia Rivera Law Project, a non-profit which was founded by Spade and is run collectively by and for low income trans communities and trans communities of color. I am thrilled to see it has just been put up for all to see. Do yourself a favor and watch all ten minutes. Rarely do I see a piece of media that makes all of these important connections and yet manages to end on a hopeful note, and this amazing video does just that. Don’t miss it!

Video is currently captioned in English, and will also soon be captioned in Spanish. Turn on captions for transcript.

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