Guest: Daye Pope
Host: Shimon Cohen, LCSW
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In this episode, I talk with Daye Pope, Director of Civic Engagement at T.A.K.E. – Trans Advocates Knowledgeable Empowering – located in Birmingham, Alabama, and Pennsylvania. T.A.K.E. was founded by Daroneshia Duncan-Boyd as a peer-support group for trans women of color and has expanded to provide services, advocacy, and organizing. We talk about the current anti-trans legislation sweeping the country and how transphobia is not new, but this current climate is increasingly politically hostile, as the Right uses trans folks as scapegoats and a rallying point for their base. Daye talks about the lack of health care access for transgender people and the multitude of interconnected issues that are barriers to health care, rooted in racism, classism, cisgenderism – white, wealthy, hetero, cisgender, patriarchal normativity. Daye explains how ant-trans legislation is creating multiple issues for trans youth, including targeted harassment, potentially being outed to their parents, and being denied medical care, while health care providers and parents and guardians who support trans youth are being threatened with felonies. Daye explains how puberty blockers work and counters misinformation about hormone therapy and surgery. We also talk about legislation against trans athletes. Daye talks about T.A.K.E.’s civic engagement work, specifically on voting rights for trans folks, especially trans folks of color, and the multiple ways voter suppression occurs. Daye emphasizes the strength and love of the T.A.K.E. community and how they are organizing to provide basic needs yet go beyond by developing leaders who are creating change on multiple levels. Daye speaks to her hope among youth and also shares what her experience was like when she was younger. I hope this conversation inspires you to action.