In a State Hostile to LGBTQ+ People, Arkansas’ First Transgender Center Is a Lifeline

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08/29/2023

Every news cycle becomes heavier, like a fog of uncertainty that thickens and makes it impossible to see what lies ahead. Since the beginning of this year, queer and trans rights have been rolled back on almost every front, from bans on gender-affirming care for youth to the censorship of books featuring gay characters. The ramifications of these laws, including an increase in acts of harassment, vandalism, and assault, have already been felt. In the midst of such inequity, it can be difficult to believe that a different world remains possible. And yet, around the country, there are organizations both small and large that are doing the daily work to ensure our communities thrive. They reveal that there is power that emerges from necessity and demonstrate the universal impulse toward transformation: to create something that has not previously existed, and change the world in the process. An example of such transformation has recently unfurled on a quiet street in Little Rock, Arkansas. There, a small organization named Intransitive has alchemized attacks on queer and trans life into a site of collective political power, including building Arkansas’ first-ever Transgender Community Center. Their story provides insights into how we can survive this moment, and perhaps even build power for the future.

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