by Marsha Botzer
Our unity is more important now than any moment since Stonewall, when we decided to stand up and fight back.
That’s what I think right now, 55 years since my first organized acts of resistance to inequality.
What I learned then I know now: when a challenge comes from powerful forces of history, lie-maddened opponents, and authoritarian leaders, we must take all we know and all that we are, all the powers of our personal identities, and fight—together—until we win.
So simple an idea, so hard to do!
Transgender and gender-nonconforming people have struggled to find our places in the world. We hold on to the same hopes as everyone else in our LGBTQ universe: justice, equality, and the opportunity for a good life. But we have won so much by being fully and wholly part of our full LGBTQ struggle, from Hands Off Washington in the 1990s to Equal Rights Washington today.
I am proud of founding Ingersoll Gender Center. We are many decades into our life as an organization serving the transgender and gender-nonconforming communities.
We will continue, we will overcome every attack, and we will serve with you, my friends, until the new moment and the bright, sweet day of full, inclusive victory arrives.
Remember what Robert Ingersoll said: “The time to be happy is now, the place to be happy is here, and the way to be happy is to help make others so.”
Marsha Botzer has served the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and progressive communities for over 41 years, as a founding member of Equality Washington, and on boards of Pride Foundation, Safe Schools, Lambert House, Seattle Counseling Service and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health. A founding member of Equal Rights Washington, a past co-chair of Seattle’s LBGT Commission, Marsha served as co-chair of The National LGBTQ Task Force in 2005-6, 2009-10, and as Chair of the Action Fund in 2015. She is a founding member of Out In Front Leadership Project, founded Seattle’s internationally known Ingersoll Gender Center, and served as a national co-chair of the 2008 Obama Pride Campaign.