express got in touch with Sam Orchard to ask his opinion on Michael Hootman’s article Can the LGB’s Really Understand the Ts?

Sam’s top four reasons why T(MPFAFF and I) stand alongside LGB

We’re already part of your groups


I’m really sorry to hear that you don’t think that women are already a part of the LGBT umbrella, but I’m afraid you’re mistaken. The women’s movement and feminism is deeply and intrinsically linked with the LGBT communities and, specifically, lesbian communities. So too, are Trans people – see our gender identities/sex assignments don’t stop us from having sexualities – there are a whole lot of us trans folk who are also Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual, Pansexual, or just plain Queer!

Plus, when we look at Fa’afafine, and other pacific identities – sexualities and genders aren’t separate in ways that pākehā identities are – so excluding the T from the LGB is impossible to do.

We’ve always been alongside you

Your trans sisters and brothers have stood alongside you in the trenches since the very beginning of the LGBT rights movement in Aotearoa, and globally. We share the fight towards equality, we battle, we cry, and we laugh alongside you. Your rights and our rights are linked, and many overlap. Don’t believe me? Google Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson, and our very own Carmen Rupe, and get know your/our history.

We have shared experiences

We know what it’s like to be stared at, spat on, shouted at and beaten up just by walking down the street (regardless of whether we’re holding our partner’s hands, or not). We know what it’s like to be told we’re suffering from a moral sickness by religious bigots. A lot of the bullying and discrimination faced by ‘butch’ lesbians, and ‘femme’ gay men has huge overlaps with the gender policing and discrimination that we face as trans people.

What’s more, we know what it’s like to be told by the DSM and Medical communities that we have an illness (just like you, but luckily homosexuality was removed from the DSM in 1986), and there’s a growing movement within trans communities to depathologise our experience (TL:DR there’s a lot of us who don’t feel like we have a ‘condition’ or ‘medical problem’ and we find that model really offensive).

We’re too awesome to not include

If you don’t already know how fabulous we are you’re seriously missing out.

Sam Orchard