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.

New York, NY

Verónica Bayetti Flores has spent the last years of her life living and breathing reproductive justice. She has led national policy and movement building work on the intersections of immigrants' rights, health care access, young parenthood, and LGBTQ liberation, and has worked to increase access to contraception and abortion, fought for paid sick leave, and demanded access to safe public space for queer youth of color. In 2008 Verónica obtained her Master’s degree in the Sexuality and Health program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. She loves cooking, making art, listening to music, and thinking about the ways art forms traditionally seen as feminine are valued and devalued. In addition to writing for Feministing, she is currently spending most of her time doing policy work to reduce the harms of LGBTQ youth of color's interactions with the police and making sure abortion care is accessible to all regardless of their income.

Verónica is a queer immigrant writer, activist, and rabble-rouser.

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